Shocking is the right word when Guerrilla Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment suddenly announced and confirmed that one of their flagship open-world games, which had been used as the spearhead to popularize the Playstation 4, was suddenly certain to be released on PC. That’s right, we’re talking about Horizon Zero Dawn, which contains the adventures of Aloy in the post-apocalyptic world with an action RPG format which was indeed at the beginning of its release, which was praised. After waiting for a long time, the opportunity to try out how well and intentional the process of porting this game to PC has finally arrived! The question now is of course one – how significant is the experience improvement it offers?
Because it is clear to Sony Interactive Entertainment, the strategy for releasing Horizon Zero Dawn on PC has a specific mission – opening the eyes of PC gamers to the quality of their exclusive games and therefore, it is possible to consider purchasing a Playstation 5 later to enjoy the sequel series – Horizon Forbidden West which is indeed previously announced. Therefore, they certainly have to make sure that the experience of PC gamers who entrust their money to this game port pays off nicely. Moreover, they already carry affordable region prices and their engine base – Decima has proven to be running fantastic on Death Stranding.
So, what does the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn actually offer? Why do we call it the “Ultimate” sensation that has finally arrived on the market? This review will discuss it more deeply for you.
Welcome to the “Ultimate” Version
The PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn doesn’t offer anything new and different in terms of the story. But the affordable price that he carries, both from the Steam version or the Epic Games Store (with coupons) already provides you with – the experience of the Vanilla series as well as his expansion pack – The Frozen Wild. For both content combinations that seem poised to offer you dozens of hours of gameplay, there’s almost no reason not to glance at this game.
The good news? It also comes with a unique sequence at the beginning of your run. The PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn will initiate a minute-long optimization action to test the performance of your gaming machine and then adapt to ensure you have the best gaming experience possible. After this process, if you want to test it deeper manually, it also provides a benchmark application to give you an immediate idea of the performance your PC or laptop can offer. Although we cannot test how accurate the benchmark is compared to the existing real-time performance, from the gaming sessions we run, the benchmark is quite representative of the performance we get.
So like PC games it should be, the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn carries many things that the Playstation 4 version doesn’t offer, even when running on the Playstation 4 Pro though. The most striking thing is of course the resolution and graphic options that can now push the Decima Engine’s capabilities in this game further. Guerrilla Games also looks non-stealthy to give you a clearer picture. There is an “Original” setting option that can be selected to represent the quality of the Playstation 4 version which turns out, oh apparently, it contains all the graphic settings available in “Medium”. If your rig is powerful enough, you are now given graphic options up to “Ultimate Quality” for a more maximal graphics experience. No doubt, this beautiful game on the Playstation 4 Pro is even more beautiful on the PC version.
The extra performance offered by the PC version also makes it come up with “minor enhancements” which, although they may not seem significant, are quite stunning when they happen. It is a feature called Dynamic Foliage where the plants Aloy found during the exploration process will now move and react, having their own physics. Given how often you’ll be doing Stealth stunts that will require you to hide behind these tall grass and flowers, this feature does make Horizon Zero Dawn feel “next-gen” now. A small improvement that will leave your eyes quite pampered and satisfied at the same time.
If you play this game with an SSD as a base, which incidentally also happened in our gaming session using the ASUS ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 GX550, you will also enjoy super fast fast-travel sessions which are essential for open-world games like Horizon Zero Dawn. . You no longer have to wait long enough to just change places to take Aloy to any location you want. As for other features, like other PC games, this also means the opportunity to taste it in native 4K resolution or Ultrawide, depending on what your PC is capable of.
There is also a feeling of extra comfort to finally enjoy this game using a mouse and keyboad, with a 60fps framerate in our gaming sessions. With Aloy always relying on bows and arrows as weapons, carrying out the aiming process, holding back the power of the arrows, and releasing them when fighting humans or the animal robots he met made things feel easier. Especially considering that most of the animal robots you come across will have weak points, which of course will be easier to target using a mouse. With higher framerates, your accurate shot execution will no longer be a problem.
So, does this mean that the port itself is perfect? Unfortunately no. There are a few notes worth talking about, especially if you plan on tasting them in Ultrawide format:
With a fairly optimal performance compared to the specifications you have, the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn is still not exactly perfect. We had some crashes for no reason during the exploration process, which made you have to run the game again from the Steam Store page. We also had time to find a little glitch where Aloy did not respond to movements for at least a few seconds after the looting action, making him just stand still. Although not significant, the frequency of these glitches is quite annoying. The good news? These technical problems are within the range of problems that can be resolved with further updates.
One of the weirdest parts of our action trying out the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn actually came from the experience of using the Ultrawide monitor, which is indeed an option. During gameplay, where you fight against cool animal robots or just do an exploration process in a beautiful world, the Ultrawide format does make the experience feel cinematic. It works in the capacity it should, as you would expect. But you can feel that Ultrawide’s support is just half-hearted.
Weird menu composition
There are some oddities that you will immediately encounter. First, from the menu that you can access. Instead of adapting a wider menu format, the fixed menu comes with a 16: 9 resolution with extra cuts on the left and right to make it feel stretched.
Second? Cut-scene course. It feels obvious and ends up awkward and strange, every portion of the cut-scene in the Ultrawide format in Horizon Zero Dawn makes everything feel forced to widen, with a lower subtitle text resolution as well. It’s certainly not the Ultrawide support you’d expect. Third? This widening case also occurs in the cut-scene conversation, which is followed by a zoom-in effect on the character’s face. Now you will see a super wide character face model, which again, makes this game that should spoil the eyes, look hilarious.
We ourselves do not understand whether the issue of improved Ultrawide support will be resolved with an update or not in the future. But for now, apart from the cinematic sensation on the gameplay side, other portions, such as cut-scenes and dialogue, must be admittedly looking strange. Fortunately, the same problem doesn’t occur at 16: 9 resolution regardless of whether you sample the game in 1080p or 4K native format.
This action RPG game with a super beautiful world formulated by Guerrilla Games has pretty good optimization, eye-pleasing visualization, proper PC features and support, and Photo Mode support which provides plenty of room to channel your creative actions to capture all of these attractions. With the gameplay and tantalizing stories that have always been the hallmark of Sony’s first-party games, this is the best opportunity for PC gamers to understand what makes this series so highly praised.
So with all the support for the new features they offer on this PC version, especially with the super affordable pricing policy on Steam and the Epic Games Store, there seems to be no reason for PC gamers not to jump into Horizon Zero Dawn.
This action RPG game with a super beautiful world formulated by Guerrilla Games has pretty good optimization, eye-pleasing visualization, proper PC features and support, and Photo Mode support which provides plenty of room to channel your creative actions to capture all of these attractions. With the gameplay and tantalizing stories that have always been the hallmark of Sony’s first-party games, this is the best opportunity for PC gamers to understand what makes this series so highly praised. Of course, there is hope that the problems we discussed above can be resolved with various updates in the future.