Horizon Zero Dawn is easily one of the years more interesting titles. With everything coming together in a way that makes us want more, it’s easy to understand the excitement for Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds. Taking place prior to the events at the end of the game, it adds a new location with fierce new beasts, a harsh climate and new people to help. Considering there is so much going on, will it bring the first game to a chilling end or was it better to leave it out to the cold?
At the core, Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds is about Sylens. This much is reinforced at the start when Aloy mentions Banuk Shamans thread blue cables to a disappointed Sylens, who wants you to save the world, further illustrating this takes place prior to the events at the end of the game. As you might’ve guessed, the story doesn’t offer too many answers about Sylens past, though there are some things and works to further tease the future of the franchise.
Even though Sylens is a constant element of the expansion, the actual story is about working with the Banuk to remove a new threat. A malicious force known as the Daemon is creating new enemies and enhancing existing foes to combat hunters. This eventually leads to a larger discovery that links to some of the most exciting elements of the base games story. Without revealing too much, anyone looking for more information about Horizon Zero Dawn’s past will want to check out the expansion.
As important as story is, the gameplay is still fantastic in Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds. Most of the enemies you’ll face in the expansion area are Daemon enhanced enemies, which are more aggressive than normal enemies. They won’t require different tactics to overcome, just expect to dodge a little more often. But, in addition to the control towers that enhance these beasts, a few new foes have been added.
The most common new enemy is called a scorcher and has a number of devastating fire attacks. Not only does it attack fast, it can launch various flame attacks at you or over a wide area, making it something to look out for. It also has a mine launcher that will quickly force you to move to a safer location. But, this is nothing next to the other two enemies.
Frost and fire claws are very similar, with their main difference being their elemental affinity. The other thing that sets them apart is how aggressive they are. With fireclaws being the more aggressive of the two, they’re easily one of the deadliest creatures in the world of Horizon Zero Dawn. Being based off a bear, this pair will alternate between spraying fire or ice at you, throwing large objects in your direction, attempt to grab you for a devastating hug or quickly slash you for a huge amount of damage. Thankfully, this pair is pretty easy to defeat with the new weapons.
To aid you on your adventure, three new weapons were added. The first, icerail, has the ability to quickly freeze hostile machines or shoot an icicle. Forgefire works in a similar way, offering a flamethrower and fireball attack. These two weapons are invaluable when fighting frost or fireclaws and offer some new tricks for other enemies. The final weapon, stormslinger, is basically a gun that shoots lightning balls. It isn’t the best for new enemies, but certainly offers a new way to directly attack enemies. New armor was also added, giving Aloy some interesting new looks.
Upon finishing the main story, there are a number of side quests for Aloy to complete. Sadly, there aren’t many, with what is included having a good variety. These include a couple story heavy missions where you fix or save someone, along with a couple hunting quests and even a new combat arena. None of these are terribly lengthy, though some have some interesting new characters, making for a nice journey. While doing those you can also keep an eye out for new collectibles that further expand Horizon Zero Dawn’s lore.
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds is pretty much everything you could ask for in an expansion. The new area is quite large, complete with memorable quests, experiences and visuals. With it adding to the more interesting elements of the game, it makes for a compelling adventure that fans or newcomers are going to like. Sadly, it doesn’t add the most quests, enemies or weapons, though it’s still a good amount of content for the price. So if you want to learn more about Horizon Zero Dawn’s past or just fight new enemies in a striking new location, this expansion is for you.
[Editor’s Note: Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds was reviewed on PS4 platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review,