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Some minor early plot spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn


So…..found the focus, did all of that, became a seeker (which will forever make me think of Varric every time someone says “seeker,”), did the whole “corrupter” fight (only died once, I am awesome), rode around on a strider just because I could, sent you a photo mode photo, left the hinterlands, found those hunting grounds, did some of that just because, met the dude who said there was a bandit camp nearby, said “phew, that’s overwhelming,” stopped.

Wow. The things one does when one’s spouse goes out to eat.

So……(I’m just gonna do stream of consciousness here)

She was just plopped outside a door? Hmm. Interesting. That whole scene was pretty great, really. (I seem to be saying that a lot.) It was truly amazing that Teersa started praying “The Goddess SPEAKS!” and Aloy would have none of it. “It’s just a door! There’s people behind it!” That dynamic (holy/cursed/just a door) and the themes therein are gonna matter. A lot. I’m sure. And props to the game for letting themes play out over time. A lot of games play all of their theme cards at once: Here’s the metaphor here’s why here’s how we’re going to do it please note every time we do for the next 80 hour ok thanks bye. This game is letting things go slowly. Sure, we can see the TYPE of metaphor they’re going for, what questions they’re going to ask, but I’m not sure WHAT those answers will be yet. It’s a subtlety games often lack.

Ohlin being a spy was not really a surprise. Some subtlety falls flat.

When they were getting ready for that hymn, they should’ve sung it. Terrific chance for a DAIesque moment there. Dropped ball.

Watching the corrupter approach in through the fog was one of the most harrowing cutscenes I’ve seen in a long, long time.

So now the game is beginning in earnest, huh? Cuz I’ve been wondering “so where are all the side quests?” and NOW I know. Here they come. This, coupled with the fact that the map is fucking huge (have you scrolled around to see how much is still fucking clouds?) makes me think I’m going to be playing this a long time. Don’t fly through it. MEA will wait.

Though I can already tell that I might not get in good with the hunting lodge. I did one, figured, what the hell, I’m here, it’s a side quest, I’ll try anything once, so I spent exactly six minutes, thirty nine seconds shooting canisters off of grazers. No…not true. I spent about 28 seconds shooting canisters off of grazers and six minutes eleven seconds saying “No, shit, WAIT! Come back! Aw, shit, where’d they go?” I finished, but then was all “Uh, yeah, thanks for the half sun…..uh…see ya ’round.”

The bandit camps, though….they sound fun…..

I’ll get to the massacre site next time.


So many side quests! So much mystery!

I couldn’t get the hang of the ‘hunting grounds’ challenges either. It took me about that long to shoot canisters off grazers’ backs, and then I decided to try the next one, which is “shoot at log traps to make them fall on machines,” and I couldn’t even make it work. Shoot WHAT at them? Arrows sure did a big heap of nothin.’

I think maybe I need to come back with different ranged weapon, although it would have been nice if that had been a bit clearer before I spent 15 minutes fruitlessly shooting both regular and flaming arrows at the damn log traps with no effect whatsoever.

Eventually I got so annoyed and had wasted so many arrows that I suicided in order to pretend the whole thing never happened. So, yeah, my recommendation is ignore the hunting grounds for now. Although one of the challenges is about using the tripcaster with blast wire as opposed to shock wire, and I do have blast wire now, so maybe I could go back and do that one. Whenever I’m in the neighborhood…it’s not a priority.

I was also intrigued by Aloy’s mysterious origin story, and thought the set-up was really interesting, how, as you said, Aloy is all “it’s a DOOR,” while the matriarch is falling to her knees crying “the goddess speaks!” A very interesting take on religion, among other things: these people have apparently based their religious beliefs around the lingering active mechanics of an ancient bomb shelter. But is that any sillier than anything else? I mean, at least the bomb shelter does occasionally talk to them! (Let’s leave aside the extreme implausibility of any mutually intelligible language existing between a 1,000-year-old recording and one small surviving group of humans. Or maybe the program is designed to adapt to whatever language is spoken around it, and has picked it up from the matriarchs when they come in to do ceremonies and such. Yeah, let’s go with that.)

I immediately wonder, ARE there people on the other side of the door as Aloy assumes, or is she in fact some sort of vat-grown clone of someone who USED to live there…maybe there’s a small group of — let’s call them Vault Dwellers — who’ve been hiding out in there for 1,000 years and decided to send a child out to be raised among the outside people as an envoy or something, or maybe it’s just some weird quirk in the machine that had been saving this child in cryogenic suspension until a part failed and it had to put her outside because it was her only chance, or something.

We shall someday know! I hope! But it’s a good mystery to have going forward, and we don’t need to know right now.


I think you needed the Carja sling (which I just bought but haven’t used yet) for the logs. It said you should herd the damn things with the sling to get them to where you could crush them. I saw, in my future, me shooting the sling, having them run exactly the wrong way, and me letting loose a string of swears that would embarrass a pirate.

So I didn’t do it.

Blast wire? Ok, I gotta get better with that. Last time I played I tried to be all sneaky sneaky and lay down a wire, and the damn watcher went everywhere but over my wire. It was across the track! I swear! I think.

As for the language, hey, at least I haven’t met people who are inexplicably British. Cut the game some slack.

And, well, the matriarchs can’t even agree. That one matriarch certainly doubts that Aloy is a good person/thing. Maybe she’s of the vat grown clone thing. Or cryogenic past person.

Your not knowing things yet implies you aren’t finished yet. Good.


Oh man, I am so not finished. There’s a huge section of the map, at least 2/3 or 3/4, that’s still shrouded in clouds. I haven’t even been to Meridian.

Ah…maybe it is the sling. I have that! But I haven’t done much with it.

I played over the weekend, but was pretty much just chasing collectibles and completing side quests. (Yes, there will be collectibles.) But I think I’m about done with that, which, like the intro section, feels about right…I like that sort of thing, but if there’s too much you risk losing track of the actual story.

I feel like I had a nice weekend of bumming around hunting for shards and such (not literally shards), and now it’s steering me back toward the story, which is good because I would keep hunting shards if I saw more of them on the map, but I would also, at the same time that I compulsively sought them out, begin to be annoyed about seeking them out. “There’s too much of this completely optional stuff that I can’t keep myself from doing!”

Games gotta know when to cut us off, for our own good.

“All right, you’ve had enough, you collectibles-junkie…go do some plot stuff.”

So far I’ve liked the balance they’re setting here.


I haven’t even fired the sling. It’s odd. Here we are in a very stealthy game, and the thing seems to fire bombs. Bombs are not stealthy. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do with it yet.

So are these like, useless collectibles? Or story ones? Because I stumbled across the first couple of datapoints I’ve found since leaving the vault there, which, at least, had some backstory.

Needing to be cut off for your own good is especially true for people like you.

I’m also compelled not to stray too far from the story because it seems they plop useful things along the path of the story. That tallneck was right between two story objectives, and there’s no doubt they wanted us to find it when I found it. So I’m still sticking with story because I want to find other stuff in the “right” order.

But maybe that’ll stop being true when there’s nothing else to really learn. We shall see.