Horizon Zero Dawn draws players back to its world with The Frozen Wilds DLC. An amazing and worthy chunk of content that gamers shouldn’t stray from. Time to pick that controller up again and experience more of the world of Horizon Zero Dawn by taking a trip to the Frozen Wilds.
If Horizon Zero Dawn taught me anything it is to expect the unexpected when it came to some of the mechanical beasts strewn throughout the land. While we were gifted with a perfect game, developer Guerrilla Games has been more than generous with this 15 or so hour DLC expansion. If Horizon Zero Dawn was on one level than the Frozen Wilds is on a completely different one than that. Going from 10 to 100 the Frozen Wilds gives players a real challenge with some much tougher mechanical beasts to fight and even a few new ones we have yet to see before.
If you just picked up Horizon Zero Dawn don’t expect to jump into Frozen Wilds anytime soon. I mean you could try but I would highly recommend against it. You need to at least be level 30 and have high enough gear to tackle some of the brutes in these frozen lands. Any level lower than 30 would just be stupid. Take it from me. I’ve delved deep into Horizon Zero Dawn and some of these enemies have had me playing sporadically with the controller to prevent Aloy from certain death. You will find some exciting and thrilling battles here as you run, duck and dive around the battlefield fending off mechanical machines big and small.
These monsters, familiar and new aren’t messing around. They are a lot stronger and smarter in battle then the creatures you have come upon in the past. Expect to run across mechanical beasts you’ve fought before but are now more imposing and threatening. For the first time in a while I felt threatened with fighting old beasts that I had fought before only to be given a challenge due to the infection of sorts that now plagues these beasts. Earlier we are told that the mechanical beasts in these lands have become a more threatening force due to a daemonic force that has overtaken the beasts. Thus making them a lot more of a challenge. This was great as roaming the lands outside of the Frozen Wilds had grown normal to me as I could take on the beasts without feeling threatened as I had taken down almost all of the more threatening beasts before. Now in the Frozen Wilds where these machines have been kicked up to 11, I find myself enjoying the battle again thanks to the increased abilities that the machines here now have.
Aside from the monsters there are these new towers that look like trees, they shoot off a sort of EMP blast that can disable your shield and heals nearby enemies making these encounters that more challenging. Yet at the same time it also makes the encounters more of a thrill ride as you try to hack into these towers to take them over to stop them from disabling your shield and healing the other beasts. Caution must be taken when coming close to these towers as there are always enemies nearby.
The story of the Frozen Wilds can be a tiny bit convoluted at times as the characters you meet, specifically the Banuk tribe that you had encountered in the main game. A sort of more religious group. They speak of how they believe that what has happened to the earth has happened due to what they believe is the work of gods and demons and that they are the reason behind these mechanical monsters.
Many conversations had me nodding off at times and waning interest at what was going on. Mostly due to confusing and head scratching dialogue. I had no idea what was going on until Aloy would say something or make a remark that would clear things up a little. Exciting back story, but how it gets there in terms of explanation to the player is downright boring and confusing at times. Just get to the point and say it in terms the average gamer will understand.
Graphics and Sound
The Frozen Wilds brings more of what blew me away in the original game; beauty. When you finally reach the Banuk tribe, if it is day time I highly suggest leaving your game and waiting for night time because holy moly is the design of the sky absolutely beautiful. I only wish I had a 4K TV to enhance the look of what I saw as the beautiful night sky was washed over with the stunning northern lights, millions of stars and the cherry on top, beautiful snowflakes falling. It felt as if I was playing Christmas DLC for Horizon.
Snow effects as well are impressive as you trudge your way through the heavy snow and it separates as your legs push through the cold white powder. Some of the designs of the newer machines are also quite impressive. There are quite some large machines stomping around the Frozen Wilds that we’ve never seen before so kudos to the team at Guerrilla Games for thinking up of some new beastly machines for us to take down.
What Guerrilla Games has given players is a 15-hour extension to an already massive game that players absolutely loved, and one that is certainly going to be on the roster for Game of the Year. The Frozen Wilds is an expansion that is priced fairly and contains an expansion that is worthy for any fan that has gotten a fair way into the game and wants to experience something more challenging that kicks the thrills and action to max. While the dialogue from some in game characters can waiver players interests at times, the action and Aloy’s dialogue at least make up for that in spades. A worthy addition to a perfect game.