Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review

By Mike Sousa on November 13, 2017

Horizon Zero Dawn is without a doubt one the best games of 2017. This post-apocalyptic action RPG impressed everyone with its fantastic story, engaging battle system, and some of the most impressive visuals ever seen in a console game. Although the ending of the game answered pretty much all the questions we might have had about Aloy’s past and the events that led humanity close to extinction, that didn’t stop Guerilla Games from giving fans more of this amazing world with The Frozen Wilds expansion.

In The Frozen Wilds, Aloy travels to a new region to the northeast called The Cut, home to the Banuk tribe. Upon arriving at this new region, Aloy finds the Banuk still recovering from recent heavy losses in their battles against the machines. Machines have become more aggressive recently, and the reason behind this is a new threat called the Daemon. The Banuk marched toward an erupting volcano named the Thunder’s Drum - home of the Daemon - in an attempt to defeat it, but ultimately failed. Determined to find out what exactly the Daemon is and destroy it, Aloy must find a way to Thunder’s Drum. What follows is an interesting adventure that while it features its own mysteries and narrative, it also addresses and complements some unanswered questions and lore of the main game.

While you can access The Cut very early in the base game, it’s highly recommended that you only explore this new area after completing the game, as these new quests and machines are far more challenging than anything else you might have encountered before. And while the gameplay remains basically the same as before, Guerilla Games made a few additions and changes to help keep things fresh and somewhat more challenging.

For starters, you will occasionally encounter Control Towers, tentacle-like machines controlled by the Daemon that not only neutralize Aloy’s shield (if you acquired the armor in the base game), but also heals every machine nearby. To prevent this, you have to either destroy the Control Tower or override it, with the latter sending a pulse wave that temporarily neutralizes all machines and gives you an opportunity to deal massive damage on nearby machines. In addition, machines controlled by the Daemon not only are more aggressive, have more health, and are more resistant to status effects, but also are immune to Aloy’s override ability, making things a lot more challenging when facing several enemies at once. The biggest challenge, however, will be the new machines, such as the Scorcher and the Frostclaw. These new machines are fast, deal a lot of damage, and are a challenge to face even at level 50 or above.

In terms of length and content, The Frozen Wilds is certainly a meaty experience. The story quests alone will take you around 5-8 hours to finish, but if you want to complete everything this expansion has to offer, including sidequests and collectibles, you will easily invest around 20 hours. To help you face against the challenges of this expansion, The Frozen Wilds features new weapons that are very effective against the new machines. In addition, the level cap has increased to 60 and a new Skill Tree has been added. Unfortunately, none of the new skills are particularly exciting, being inconsequential upgrades that don’t add much to the game.

Horizon Zero Dawn is without a doubt of the most beautiful consoles games ever released. Visually, the snowy environments featured in The Frozen Wilds are just as impressive as everything else in the base game, if not even more. From the tall mountains and icy lakes, to the particles of snow in the ground and trees, every landscape is so visually stunning and incredibly detailed that you will often find yourself stopping to just observe the environmental beauty around you.

Final Thoughts

The Frozen Wilds is an amazing expansion that reminds us why Horizon Zero Dawn is one best games of 2017. It delivers a brand new story arc set in an entirely new region that manages to expand the lore of the world of Horizon while telling an interesting self-contained tale. While some of the gameplay additions aren’t groundbreaking, they manage to make combat feel more challenging and fresh. With a new storyline, nearly 20 hours of content, a sizable new region to explore, and new machines and gameplay mechanics to master, The Frozen Wilds is an expansion that’s absolutely worth your time if you enjoyed Horizon Zero Dawn.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds was reviewed using a PS4 Digital Copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment. You can find additional information about Gaming Union's ethics policy here.
Storyline expands the lore of the world.
New machines provide a decent challenge.
Absolutely gorgeous snowy environments.
20 hours of new content.
New skill Tree doesn’t offer any great upgrades
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