I’m in Love: My Final Thoughts About Horizon Zero Dawn

After almost sixty hours with it, I’ve finally reached the end of Horizon Zero Dawn.

I completed every side quest I could find, beat all of the bonus missions, found all of the items, and upgraded everything I possibly could. I would be lying if I said I was happy to reach the end of the game because, to be completely honest, it has been a very long time since I enjoyed something as much as I enjoyed my time with Horizon Zero Dawn.

Read more: Horizon Zero Dawn Review

Guerilla really accomplished something wonderful with their open world adventure game. They did a very smart thing in not revealing too much about Horizon when it was first teased. This made everyone ponder what to expect when the game finally did release – and boy, did it deliver. Horizon‘s open world is really what blew me away; I had been expecting something a little more linear and was pleasantly surprised that I was basically given complete free reign to do whatever I wanted, however I wanted.

The sheer amount of content in the game – 60+ hours – is a feat not be taken for granted. Even if you don’t decide to do all of the sidequests like I did, there’s probably a good 30 or so hours that you can devote yourself to. Although the main storyline is fantastic, there’s a lot of extra narrative content to be discovered by heading off the beaten path and completing some extra missions. You’ll end up making friends, discovering the history of the land you live in, and even getting valuable items to help you as you progress through the story.

What makes Horizon Zero Dawn so refreshing is the ability to completely ignore the main storyline for as long as you want – within reason of course. The hunter’s lodge missions are a great way to distract yourself from your real responsibilities (and, if you’re anything like me, waste all of your resources). Each one is catered to challenge you in a different way; even when I’d completed the game, I jumped back in immediately to try and beat some of my best times on these missions.

The cauldrons – special dungeon-type missions – are another great way to waste time in the vast world of Horizon. Each cauldron is very difficult, so I put them off for a while, but completing them is gives you a major boost to the game as you’re granted the ability to override certain machines. This helps a lot in the missions where stealth is the better approach then storming in.

Read more: Horizon Zero Dawn is Diversity Done Right

I could go on and on about how gorgeous Horizon Zero Dawn is, but I’ll let my screenshots speak for themselves. Whether it’s a snowy tundra, a dense jungle or an arid desert, each location is beautiful; every moment of Horizon Zero Dawn feels like taking a picture with a high definition camera. I spent way too much in photo mode trying to find the perfect angle, the perfect amount of lens flair, and deciding whether or not to keep Aloy in the shot. Every single minute I was blown away by the sheer amount of detail that went into creating this extensive world.

I am absolutely and completely in love with Horizon Zero Dawn and don’t think any game will be able to top it this year. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild might win all of the actual awards, but Horizon wins all of mine.