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Horizon Zero Dawn

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Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Zero Dawn.jpg
Developer(s) Guerrilla Games
Publisher(s) Sony Interactive Entertainment
Director(s) Mathijs de Jonge
Producer(s) Lambert Wolterbeek Muller
Programmer(s) Michiel van der Leeuw
Artist(s) Jan-Bart van Beek
Writer(s)
  • John Gonzalez
  • Ben McCaw
Composer(s)
Engine Decima
Platform(s) PlayStation 4
Release
  • NA: 28 February 2017
  • PAL: 1 March 2017
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing video game developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It was released for the PlayStation 4 in early 2017. The plot revolves around Aloy, a hunter living in a world overrun by machines. Having been an outcast her whole life, she sets out to discover the dangers that kept her sheltered. The player uses ranged weapons, a spear and stealth tactics to combat the mechanised creatures, whose remains can be looted for resources. A skill tree provides the player with new abilities and passive bonuses. The game features an open world environment for Aloy to explore, while undertaking side and main story quests.

Development began in 2011 after the studio completed production of Killzone 3, with game director Mathijs de Jonge considering it "the most risky" idea of those that were pitched at the time. The concept explores the contrast between the beauty and danger of the game's setting. The game engine, Decima, was developed for Killzone Shadow Fall and altered for Horizon Zero Dawn. Anthropologists were consulted to authenticate the world's decay over a millennium. The game is the first new intellectual property (IP) developed by Guerrilla Games since Killzone in 2004, and also the studio's first attempt at developing a role-playing video game. The soundtrack, led by Joris de Man, contains experimental instrumentation to distinguish the themes.

Horizon Zero Dawn was well received by critics, who praised the open world, story, visuals, combat, the character of Aloy and the performance provided by her voice actress Ashly Burch, whilst giving criticism to the dialogue, melee combat and character models. It won various awards and accolades and was the best-selling launch of an original IP on the PlayStation 4; selling over seven million copies by February 2018, which ranks it among the best-selling games on the PlayStation 4. An expansion, The Frozen Wilds, was released in November 2017.

Gameplay[edit]

Aloy using her spear in combat against a Watcher, one of the many robotic creatures found in the game.

Horizon Zero Dawn is an action role-playing game played from a third-person view.[1][2] Players take control of Aloy, a hunter who ventures through a post-apocalyptic land ruled by robotic creatures.[3][4] Aloy can kill enemies in a variety of ways: setting traps like tripwires using the Tripcaster,[5][6] shooting them with arrows,[7] using explosives,[8] and a spear.[9] Machine components, including electricity and the metal they are composed of, are vital to Aloy's survival; she can loot their remains for crafting resources.[7][10] Ammo, resource satchels, pouches, quivers; resistance, antidotes, health potions, and traps can all be crafted.[11] Weapons have modification slots for dealing more damage.[12] Aloy wears a Focus, a small head piece that scans machines to determine their susceptibilities,[13] identify their location, their level, and the nature of loot they will drop.[4] One machine, the Stalker, can enable cloaking technology to avert the gaze of Aloy's Focus scan.[14]

Machines attack with defensive and offensive measures, and will in either case react to a perceived threat by charging at it with brute force or projectiles. Exhibiting the behaviour of wild animals, some machines are inclined to move in herds and others, with the ability to fly, do so in flocks. Unless hacked with the Override Tool, machines will not exert aggressive force against each other.[6] Aloy engages in battle with the cult known as the Eclipse, who are occasionally flanked by corrupted machines.[15] She can dodge, sprint, slide, or roll to evade her enemies' advances.[16] Hiding in foliage to ambush nearby enemies can ensure immediate takedowns.[7] Swimming may reach enemies stealthily or places otherwise unreachable on foot.[6] Furthermore, she is able to hack a selection of machines with the Override Tool, turning them into makeshift mounts or temporary travelling companions.[9][17] Explorable ruins called Cauldrons exist to unlock additional machines to override.[18]

There are three categories in the skill tree: "Prowler" concerns stealth, "Brave" improves combat, and "Forager" increases healing and gathering capabilities.[19] To level up, Aloy attains experience points from individual kills and completing quests.[20] Upgrades in each category result in more adept use of the skills learned, with "Prowler" leading to silent takedowns, "Brave" to aiming a bow in slow motion, and "Forager" to an enlarged medicine pouch.[21][22] The Frozen Wilds added "Traveller", which unlocks the ability to jump off a mount to attack enemies.[23]

The game features an open world environment with a day-night cycle and dynamic weather system which can be seamlessly explored.[10][24][25] The map is composed of forest, jungle, desert, and snowy mountain regions.[26][18] Mountainous terrain is traversed with the employment of parkour,[27] and aided by the use of zip-lines installed throughout the world.[28] Corruption Zones constitute areas that heighten difficulty and are populated by corrupted machines that behave with more aggression.[9] To uncover more of the map, one must scale large giraffe-like machines known as Tallnecks.[29] Twenty-five robotic creature designs are present in the game.[30] Save points and fast travel can be accessed by interacting with campfires, once discovered.[19]

The quest structure unfolds to accommodate the exploration of tribes, while the main story covers the entire world.[31] Side quests involve Aloy completing tasks, like gathering materials, coming to the aid of individuals in danger of being killed, solving mysteries, assuming control of bandit camps, eliminating criminals and more difficult machines, accomplishing various challenges at any of the five Hunting Grounds,[32][6] and obtaining an ancient armour that makes Aloy almost impervious to damage.[12] A dialogue wheel is used to communicate with non-player characters.[13] Collectibles include vantages that offer visual information of the Old World, metal flowers, which when acquired contain poetry, and old relics, such as ancient mugs and tribal artefacts.[33]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

The story is set in the 31st century, in a world where humans have regressed to primitive tribal societies as a result of some unspecified calamity. Their technologically advanced predecessors are vaguely remembered as the "Old Ones." Large robotic creatures known merely as "machines" now dominate the Earth. For the most part, they peacefully coexist with humans, who occasionally hunt them for parts. However, a phenomenon known as the "Derangement" has caused machines to become more aggressive towards humans, and larger and deadlier machines have begun to appear. There are three tribes that are prominently featured: the Nora, the Carja, and the Oseram. The Nora are fierce hunter-gatherers who live in the mountains and worship nature as the "All-Mother." The Carja are desert-dwelling city builders who worship the Sun. The Oseram are tinkerers known for their metalworking, brewing, and arguing.[6]

Plot[edit]

Aloy was cast out from the Nora tribe at birth, raised by an outcast named Rost (JB Blanc). As a child, she obtained a Focus, a small augmented reality device that gives her special perceptive abilities. After coming of age, Aloy (Ashly Burch) enters a competition called the Proving to win the right to become a Nora Brave, and by extension, a member of the Nora tribe. Aloy wins the competition, but the Nora are suddenly attacked by cultists. Aloy is almost killed by their leader Helis (Crispin Freeman), but is saved by Rost, who sacrifices himself to save Aloy from a bomb. When Aloy awakes, a Matriarch explains that the cultists had gained control of corrupted machines. Aloy also learns that as an infant, she was found at the foot of a sealed door. An Oseram foreigner called Olin (Chook Sibtain) informs Aloy that the cultists are part of a group calling themselves the Eclipse. Olin indicates that the reason Aloy was targeted by the Eclipse was due to her resemblance to an Old World scientist named Dr. Elisabet Sobeck (also voiced by Burch).[6][34]

Aloy locates the remnants of the company Faro Automated Solutions and discovers that the old world was destroyed nearly 1,000 years ago after Faro lost control of its automated "peacekeeper" military robots. The robots, which could self-replicate and consumed biomass as fuel, overran the planet and consumed the biosphere, stripping Earth of all life. Project Zero Dawn, a top secret project spearheaded by Dr. Sobeck, was a plan to create an automated terraforming system to eventually shut the robots down and restore life to Earth. Aloy is then contacted by Sylens (Lance Reddick), a secretive figure interested in uncovering what happened to the "Old Ones". Aloy eventually learns that Dr. Sobeck was sent to an Orbital Launch Base to complete Zero Dawn and Sylens reveals that the base is located under the Citadel, the centre of Eclipse power. Aloy heads for the base and inside, she learns that Zero Dawn was a vast underground system of databases, factories, and cloning facilities all controlled by a single artificial intelligence named GAIA (Lesley Ewen). Once all life had been extinguished, GAIA developed a countermeasure to deactivate all of the Faro robots and then build its own robots to restore the Earth's biosphere. Once the planet was habitable again, GAIA reseeded life on Earth based on stored DNA and taught the first human clones not to repeat their predecessors' past mistakes. However, APOLLO, the system designed to teach the new humans, was sabotaged by Faro in a fit of nihilism, and the Cradle-born humans were therefore reduced to a tribal, subsistence society. HADES was one of GAIA's subsystems designed to enact controlled extinction if the outcome of Zero Dawn was not favourable for human existence.[6][34]

Aloy reaches Dr. Sobeck's office, where she downloads a registry to give her access to the door from which she was born. She is captured by Helis and sentenced to death at the Citadel, but escapes with the help of Sylens. Aloy helps the Nora tribe fight off the Eclipse and then enters the door beneath the Nora mountain. She finds a recording left behind by GAIA, revealing that a signal of unknown origin caused HADES to activate and seize control of her functions. As a last resort, GAIA self-destructed in order to stop HADES. Without GAIA to maintain the terraforming process, the entire system began to break down. As a contingency plan, GAIA created a clone of Dr. Sobeck in the form of Aloy, in the hope that she would find GAIA's message, destroy HADES, and restore GAIA's functions. Aloy learns that Dr. Sobeck sacrificed her life to ensure the Faro robot swarm would not find GAIA. Aloy manages to obtain the System Override necessary to destroy HADES. Sylens admits that he was the original founder of the Eclipse, originally tempted by HADES' promises of knowledge. With Sylens's help, Aloy surmises that HADES wants to send a signal to reactivate the Faro robots so that they can once again extinguish all life on Earth. Aloy kills Helis and helps fight off waves of corrupted machines, before stabbing HADES with Sylens' lance, ending the war. Aloy then journeys to Dr. Sobeck's old home, where she finds her corpse, and has a moment of mourning for her predecessor. In a post-credits scene, HADES is shown to still be alive, but trapped by Sylens, who intends to interrogate HADES to find out who sent the signal that activated it in the first place.[6]

The Frozen Wilds[edit]

Aloy travels to The Cut, the home of the Banuk Tribe after hearing word of dangerous machines appearing and a mountain belching smoke. There, she learns from a local chieftain named Aratak that the Banuk have been attempting to battle a Daemon on the mountain, "Thunder's Drum", which is apparently the cause of the machines in the area attacking the Banuk. However, their first attack had been a failure, and their shaman, Ourea, had disappeared afterwards. Aloy searches for Ourea, coming across strange robotic towers which corrupt any nearby machines.[35]

She finds Ourea in an Old World facility that had been converted into a Banuk shrine, and is housing an artificial intelligence called the Spirit, which she believes is a machine spirit. Aloy is able to establish communications with the Spirit, which warns Ourea that the Daemon is blocking its transmissions before being cut off. Aloy and Ourea agree to work together to save the Spirit. However, Aloy must first oust Aratak and replace him as chieftain, since he refuses to let Ourea go to Thunder's Drum. It is also revealed that Ourea and Aratak are siblings.[35]

Aloy challenges Aratak, but daemonic machines ambush them in the final stretch of the challenge. They both team up to fight off the machines, and impressed by Aloy's skills, Aratak concedes leadership to her. Aloy, Ourea, and Aratak head for Thunder's Drum. They infiltrate the Old World facility built inside the mountain where Aloy discovers that the Spirit is actually CYAN, an AI designed to prevent the Yellowstone Caldera from erupting. Traveling further inside, they discover that the Daemon has already overtaken much of the facility, but CYAN suggests using lava from the caldera to destroy the infected areas while preserving the facility. It is also revealed that the Daemon is in fact HEPHAESTUS, another of GAIA's subsystems.[35]

The group fights through HEPHAESTUS' defenses and Ourea sacrifices herself to override CYAN's core, allowing it to transfer to an auxiliary data center and initiate destruction of the facility. Aloy and Aratak are able to narrowly escape. Aloy returns to the Banuk Shrine, where CYAN has transferred herself to, and CYAN provides additional information about the Old World but warns that HEPHAESTUS is still active somewhere, and will continue to build machines designed specifically to kill humans, which is why it tried to seize control of CYAN and its facilities. Aratak thanks Aloy for all of the help she has provided to the Banuk, and Aloy puts him back in charge of his people before parting ways.[35]

Development[edit]

Guerrilla Games began developing Horizon Zero Dawn in 2011, following the release of Killzone 3.[36] When conceiving the idea for a new game, about 40 concepts were pitched. Among these was Horizon Zero Dawn, which game director Mathijs de Jonge considered "the most risky" of the concepts[37] and was first pitched in 2010 by art director Jan-Bart van Beek.[38] When this concept was chosen, a team of 10–20 began building prototypes of the game.[37][38] Approximately 20 different stories were written for the game, exploring varying concepts for the game, such as different player characters. John Gonzalez, who previously acted as lead writer for Fallout: New Vegas (2010), was hired to write the game's story as narrative director, with Ben McCaw as lead writer. The main elements of the story and the character of Aloy remained intact since early development.[37][38][39] Upon the completion of Killzone Shadow Fall in late 2013, the remainder of the staff began working on Horizon Zero Dawn.[40] Guerrilla also cancelled work on another title so as to allow the entire team to focus on the development of Horizon.[41] Sony would later admit to being reluctant about having the main character be female and conducted focus testing to see if such a decision was marketable.[42] It had an estimated budget of over €45 million.[43]

The game's concept explores the juxtaposition between the danger and beauty of the world, particularly analysing the concept of humanity not being the dominant species. The team aimed to emphasise the game's exploration element by featuring a quest system, as well as including items throughout the world that can be used to craft or replenish health.[37] The team wished for the game to have a simple user interface design, specifically avoiding complicated menus for crafting, and considered the game to be a technical challenge.[44] They felt that the game engine, Decima,[45] which was designed for games such as the Killzone series and was previously used for Killzone Shadow Fall,[46] was difficult to alter for Horizon, in terms of draw distance and loading. To discover how some game elements work differently in open world games, the team sought help from talent in the design, art and technical fields.[44] In extrapolating the game world, Guerrilla turned to anthropologists and researched the formation of tribal cultures as well as how building materials would decay over a millennium.[38] The game's quest system and narrative design took inspiration from other role-playing video games, ranging from the "Relaxed" quest design of RPG Maker games to the "Strict" quest design of hack and slash games. They defined "Relaxed" quest design as having few centralised systems for managing quest progression, and "Strict" quest design as having a rigid structure and predefined elements, with the team deciding the latter.[47][48]

Lead composer Joris de Man used experimental instrumentation in the score

The involvement of Lance Reddick and Ashly Burch was revealed in January 2017.[30][49] Burch voiced Aloy,[30] whose likeness was portrayed by Hannah Hoekstra[50] and motion capture was performed by Amanda Piery in London. Following an auditioning process in 2014, Burch was called in to do the E3 2015 trailer and worked on the game for two years, providing facial motion capture as well. Her work was done in Los Angeles, with the Dutch developer brought in via Skype.[51]

The game's soundtrack was composed by Joris de Man, The Flight, Niels van der Leest, and Jonathan Williams, with vocalist Julie Elven serving as the primary performer.[52][53] Lucas van Tol, music supervisor and senior sound designer, provided the composers with a game design document, insisting on an intimate sound for the score. For the tribal theme, they experimented with bows on piano wire and resonator guitars (with layered tracks of harmonicas on top of the latter) and playing cellos with plectrums or the back of a bow to convey how contemporary instruments would be played by someone to whom the instruments were unknown; de Man also used a contrabass flute and made synth pads from blowing on a Thai bamboo flute, noting "distant pads and ambiences, and wide, spread out chords seemed to work well". Circuit-bent synthesizers and percussive loops, run through impulse responses of metal and iron being beaten, were devoted to making a thematic identifier for the machines based on technology and metal. Van Tol required that the music be supplied in stems so that different pieces could be combined. The positive response to the first E3 trailer's main theme led it to be included in the main menu. The composers also did the motion capture for diegetic music vignettes, portraying in-game tribal musicians.[54][55] The 4-hour score was released across digital music platforms on 10 March 2017.[56][57]

Release[edit]

The concept art as well as the game's codename, Horizon, were leaked in September 2014.[58] Horizon Zero Dawn was officially announced during Sony Interactive Entertainment's E3 2015 press conference.[59] The game was featured as the cover story in the September 2015 issue of Edge and the October 2016 issue of Game Informer.[60][61] At E3 2016, Sony had a life-sized cosplay version of one of the machines greet the trade show attendees.[62] Originally set to be released in 2016, the game was later delayed to February 2017 so as to give additional time for the development team to polish the game.[63] It was released to manufacturing in late January 2017.[64] The game launched to North American markets on 28 February 2017, in Europe, Australia and New Zealand on 1 March and Asia on 2 March for the PlayStation 4.[65][66] Horizon Zero Dawn is forward compatible with the PS4 Pro,[28] allowing it to run up to 4K resolution.[67] In April 2017, a 47-minute documentary about the making of Horizon Zero Dawn was released by Dutch public television.[68] By March 2017, a story expansion had already been set in motion.[69] New Game Plus, an Ultra Hard difficulty mode, additional trophies and aesthetic features were introduced with a patch released in July 2017.[70] The expansion, The Frozen Wilds, was released on 7 November 2017.[71][72] Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition, which contains the base game, The Frozen Wilds, and all additional downloadable content, was released on 5 December 2017.[73]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic89/100[74]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10[75]
EGM9/10[27]
Game Informer8.75/10[76]
GameSpot9/10[77]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[78]
Giant Bomb5/5 stars[79]
IGN9.3/10[80]
Polygon9.5/10[81]
VideoGamer.com8/10[82]

Horizon Zero Dawn received "generally favorable" reviews from critics, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[74] The open world exploration, the story's depth, the visual aesthetics, the challenging combat, the character development of Aloy and voice actress Ashly Burch's performance were acclaimed by reviewers, while contradicting dialogue, aspects of the melee combat and character models faced the most reproval.

Destructoid's Chris Carter commended Ashly Burch and Lance Reddick for their performances, with the character of Aloy receiving credit for maintaining a "captivating" and "interesting" consistency in the narrative and action sequences. Carter also lauded the focus on exploration and discovery, which he said grew more effective as he traversed more of the land. The game world itself was subject to compliment for its "beautiful" day-night cycle and weather system. According to Carter, the challenging nature of the machines and varied methods with which to battle them brought a real sense of fun to the combat.[75] Matt Buchholtz of EGMNow likewise praised Burch as well as the game world, which he found to be mesmerising. Thought as the most powerful part of the game, the Focus feature gained approval for complementing the combat in a way that "forces you to become a hunter".[27] Writing for Game Informer, Jeff Marchiafava opined that, unlike with other open world video games, searching for audio logs and emails provided the plot with a "remarkable sense of discovery". He was thankful that story-based missions dominated the overall experience, arguing that they worked to detail the game world and inspired variation in the gameplay.[76]

Peter Brown at GameSpot reflected on Aloy's character development with amazement, adding that the process matured Aloy and grew her confidence. One constant thrill to Brown came from combating the machines, which he said took the spotlight and never lost its flair. He appreciated also that the main quests encouraged one to explore the environment.[77] Zoe Delahunty-Light, writing for GamesRadar+, was fascinated with the intricacies of the game world and found integral value in the lore scattered among the ruins. She echoed Brown's view that fighting machines maintained excitement throughout.[78] Giant Bomb's Jeff Gerstmann declared Horizon Zero Dawn as "a near-perfect story" with a satisfying conclusion, and emphasised that it contained substantial depth.[79] Lucy O'Brien at IGN admired its weight in meaning, while welcoming the charm of the protagonist's personality. A considerable impression was made with the combat, which was stated as the game's most compelling accomplishment.[80] Writing for Polygon, Philip Kollar applauded the game as what he dubbed the "refutation" of Guerrilla Games' past work, a change of pace he described as "refreshing". Aloy was observed to be perfectly coupled with the story in that she offered the curiosity to seek out its many mysteries. Kollar perceived the Focus as "key to combat" and the machines as engaging foes in battle.[81] Colm Ahern of VideoGamer.com wrote in his verdict, "Destroying large robot beasts while frantically switching between weapons is intoxicating, but the strength of Horizon Zero Dawn is in Aloy's engaging quest to find out who she really is".[82]

Conversely, Carter saw the characters beyond Aloy and Sylens as uninteresting and bland in their designs. He also disparaged the human artificial intelligence as being worse than that of the machines.[75] To Buchholtz, the weapon system in relation to ammunition appeared convoluted; the ability to only purchase one item at a time "a massive oversight"; and Aloy's ability to only grab marked ledges was confusing for a "parkour master".[27] Marchiafava's only major criticism was that it held too familiar roots with established open world formula.[76] Although Brown drew enjoyment from other aspects of combat, he disparaged the melee for its ineffectiveness and simplicity.[77] Delahunty-Light concurred that the melee fell short of its potential, and also took issue with the jumping mechanic.[78] O'Brien felt the dialogue occasionally contradicted the otherwise intelligent narrative.[80] Kollar bemoaned the character models as Horizon Zero Dawn's one visual shortcoming.[81]

Japanese game director Yoko Taro listed Horizon Zero Dawn as one of his favourite PlayStation 4 games.[83] Entertainment Weekly ranked it as the fourth best game of 2017,[84] GamesRadar+ ranked it second on their list of the 25 Best Games of 2017,[85] and Eurogamer ranked it 31st on their list of the "Top 50 Games of 2017".[86] The Verge named Horizon Zero Dawn as one of the 15 Best Games of 2017.[87] In Game Informer's Reader's Choice Best of 2017 Awards, it took the lead for "Best Sony Game", coming up in second place for both "Best Action Game" and "Game of the Year".[88][89] Game Informer also awarded it "Best Sony Exclusive" in their Best of 2017 Awards, and also gave it the awards for "Best Story" and "Best Character" (Aloy) in their 2017 Action Game of the Year Awards.[90][91] EGMNow ranked the game third in their list of 25 Best Games of 2017,[92] while Polygon ranked it eighth on their list of the 50 best games of 2017.[93] The game won the Gold Prize and Users Choice Prize at the 2017 PlayStation Awards.[94] It was nominated for "Best PS4 Game" at Destructoid's Game of the Year Awards 2017.[95] It also won the awards for "Best PlayStation 4 Game" and "Best Graphics" at IGN's Best of 2017 Awards,[96][97] whereas its other nominations were for "Game of the Year", "Best Action-Adventure Game", and "Best Art Direction".[98][99][100] It was nominated for "Best Looking Game" at Giant Bomb's 2017 Game of the Year Awards.[101] In 2018, it won the awards for Best PS4 Game, Best Performance for Ashly Burch, Best Art Direction, Best Soundtrack, Best Story, Best Post-Release Content, Best PlayStation Console Exclusive, and Best Use of PS4 Pro at PlayStation Blog's Game of the Year Awards.[102]

Sales[edit]

Horizon Zero Dawn was the best-selling game during its release week in the UK.[103] It surpassed No Man's Sky as the biggest launch of a new intellectual property on the PlayStation 4 and was the most successful launch of any kind on the PlayStation 4 since Uncharted 4: A Thief's End,[104] as well as Guerrilla Games' biggest debut to date.[105] The game sold close to 117,000 copies in its first week in Japan, becoming the second best-selling game that week.[106] Horizon Zero Dawn was the second most downloaded game on the PlayStation 4 US store for the month of February. Because its launch day occurred on the last day of February, only one day of sales was counted.[107] It was the best-selling game in its week of release in Australia.[108] For the month of March, it was the second best-selling game in the United Kingdom and the highest-selling PlayStation 4 game.[109] Horizon Zero Dawn was also the best-selling game on PlayStation Store that month.[110] It was ranked number one in the UK sales chart of 22 April 2017, and took eighth place in the Japanese chart of 16 April.[111] By February 2018, 7.6 million copies had been sold.[112]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2015 Game Critics Awards Best of Show Nominated [113]
Best Original Game Won
Best Console Game Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Nominated
2016 Best of Show Nominated [114][115]
Best Original Game Won
Best Console Game Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Nominated
Gamescom 2016 Best Preview/Vision Won [116]
Golden Joystick Awards Most Wanted Game Nominated [117][118]
The Game Awards Most Anticipated Game Nominated [119]
2017 Develop Awards Animation Won [120]
Golden Joystick Awards Best Storytelling Won [121][122][123]
Best Visual Design Runner-Up
Best Gaming Performance (Ashly Burch) Won
Best PlayStation Game Won
Ultimate Game of the Year Runner-Up
Best Audio Nominated
The Game Awards Game of the Year Nominated [124]
Best Game Direction Nominated
Best Narrative Nominated
Best Art Direction Nominated
Best Performance (Ashly Burch) Nominated
Best Action/Adventure Game Nominated
2018 New York Game Awards Big Apple Award for Best Game of the Year Nominated [125]
Herman Melville Award for Best Writing Nominated
Statue of Liberty Award for Best World Nominated
Great White Way Award for Best Acting in a Game (Ashly Burch) Nominated
45th Annie Awards Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Video Game Nominated [126]
Writers Guild of America Awards 2017 Outstanding Achievement in Videogame Writing Won [127][128]
D.I.C.E. Awards Game of the Year Nominated [129][130]
Outstanding Achievement in Animation Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Character (Aloy) Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Story Won
Outstanding Technical Achievement Won
Adventure Game of the Year Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Game Design Nominated
Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction Nominated
NAVGTR Awards Animation, Technical Won [131][132]
Art Direction, Period Influence Nominated
Character Design Nominated
Control Precision Nominated
Direction in a Game Cinema Nominated
Game Design, New IP Won
Game Engineering Won
Game of the Year Nominated
Game, Original Action Won
Graphics, Technical Won
Innovation in Game Technology Won
Lighting/Texturing Nominated
Original Dramatic Score, New IP Won
Performance in a Drama, Lead (Ashly Burch) Nominated
Sound Effects Nominated
Use of Sound, New IP Nominated
Writing in a Drama Nominated
SXSW Gaming Awards Excellence in Visual Achievement Won [133][134]
Excellence in Animation Nominated
Most Promising New Intellectual Property Won
Excellence in Gameplay Nominated
Excellence in Design Nominated
Video Game of the Year Nominated
Game Developers Choice Awards Best Audio Nominated [135][136]
Best Design Nominated
Best Narrative Nominated
Best Technology Won
Best Visual Art Nominated
Game of the Year Nominated
16th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards Audio of the Year Nominated [137]
Music of the Year Nominated
Sound Design of the Year Nominated
Best Original Soundtrack Album Nominated
Best Cinematic/Cutscene Audio Nominated
Best Dialogue Nominated
Best Original Instrumental Won
Best Original Choral Compostion Won
14th British Academy Games Awards Artistic Achievement Nominated [138][139]
Audio Achievement Nominated
Best Game Nominated
Game Design Nominated
Music Nominated
Narrative Nominated
Original Property Won
Performer (Ashly Burch) Nominated
Ivor Novello Awards Best Original Video Game Score Won [140]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]