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Video GameHorizon Zero Dawn Review
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Posted: 2 years ago, last updated 7 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Horizon Zero Dawn, and the follow-up game Horizon Forbidden West, has a post-apocalyptic feel familiar from movies like Planet of the Apes. It plunges you into an overgrown landscape with now-crumbling remnants of modern life where animalistic machines have taken over. The exploration and combat don’t dwell on the downfall of the world, but there is an interesting undercurrent of self-annihilation that lingers as you play. It’s an impressive and enjoyable world to explore that says as much about humanity’s ability to survive as any direct narrative.

This combination of overblown disaster and sometimes simplistic solutions – such as the discovery of a small group of scientists with a plan to remake the planet – manages not to jar. It’s a game that invites you to find the resilience of life even in the catastrophe. Life goes on, maybe differently And haphazardly, but still finds a way to continue.
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The second game in the series, Horizon Forbidden West takes the action to a vast and foreboding wilderness to the far west as a pestilence has driven the planets inhabitants to search for a cure. You play Alloy, again, in a world bristling with even more robot dinosaurs.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/03/2017

Price: 50% off

Platforms: PC and PS4

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Players: 1

Genres: Adventure, Narrative (Action, Fighting, Open World, Shooting, Stealth and Traversal)

Accessibility: 30 features

Developer: Guerrilla (@Guerrilla)




Play Time: This game will take between 22 hours and 30 hours to complete.

Play StylePlay Style

This is a single-player game.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

This game was rated PEGI 16 for frequent scenes of moderate violence. Violence consists of Aloy, armed with bow and spear, fighting mechanical dinosaur type characters and humans from enemy tribes. While blood is not depicted, violent scenes during the cinematics can be quite realistic which contributes directly to the rating.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Blood, Drug Reference, Language, Mild Sexual Themes, Violence. Players guide Aloy as she learns to hunt robotic creatures and animals in the wild. Aloy uses arrows, spears, and explosive traps to injure and kill machines, boar, and occasional human enemies. Animals and humans emit small puffs of red blood when struck; one sequence depicts an abandoned camp with large blood stains on rocks and trees. The game contains a brief reference to sexual material (e.g., “Eighteen months hard labor in exchange for thirty years lounging around Elysium watching porn?”). In text/audio files, characters sometimes reference fictional drugs, overdoses, and getting high: “...not even out of junior high and already a drug addict”; “...I ran across a pusher who was selling Razorwing for eight bucks a tab”; "I'd spend a few days getting high, then OD on Overcast." The word “sh*t” appears in the text/dialogue.

Skill Rating

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Young players need to be able to traverse the huge world, both following a map as well as navigating the best route when climbing. You also need quick reactions for battle where you must switch to the best weapons to deal maximum damage to enemies. It's fast-paced and demanding. There are prolonged story elements of the game that while optional are a key ingredient of why players enjoy this experience.


Horizon Zero Dawn usually costs £15.99 to £39.99. 

Horizon Zero Dawn

Steam Store PC £39.99

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition

There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
Additional paid content in the form of "The Frozen Wilds" that substantially extends the experience with storylines, characters, machines and new areas. 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.


Our Horizon Zero Dawn Accessibility Report documents 30 accessibility features:
Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition has extended accessibility features on the PC. You can't remap controls on PlayStation 4, but you can on PC. However, you can't change the button to access the Menu. It also doesn't support use of the scroll wheel of the mouse to switch weapons (which would be useful to reduce the number of buttons). There are a lot of button-holds required, holding two triggers to fire. You can toggle sprinting to hold.

You can scale your head-up display on PC but not on PlayStation 4.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

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Our experts have hand-picked the following similar games. These are similar to Horizon Zero Dawn in how they play or their theme. These are good alternative games to Horizon Zero Dawn, or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16 or ESRB TEEN games.

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Our experts have hand-picked the following board games that offer a similar experience or theme to Horizon Zero Dawn., or are a younger rated alternative for players not ready for PEGI 16 or ESRB TEEN games.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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