Main-quest-related combat spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn


So in spite of things (Mrs. McP graduating, in-laws in town, revelry), I did fire it up and finish up the Grave Hoard.

That Deathbringer fight…sucked. Very, very, very much. I eventually turned it to easy. I HAD to get through that quest yesterday, it was hot (I forgot how it being really hot in the house makes one tired and less good at games), and when you don’t have time or your best skills and you keep dying when it still has, like, 92% of its health, it’s turn it down time.

It being able to remove cover was just plain mean.

But kill it I did. Took forever, but kill it I did. On easy…there should just be a mercy rule. Like, when I was a kid, in gym class they had a rule that if one team was winning 12-0 or something, game was over. On easy, that fight was “Shoot shoot, run run run, repeat.” It became very clear that I was GOING to win. I wasn’t even using healing! Running out of arrows was going to be a problem, but really it was just run around chipping away until it finally, FINALLY ran out of HP.

Maybe normal would have been more interesting. But I figured I got my interesting dying on hard.

So this quest….I don’t know. It was good. Good mood, etc. But by the end I was like “Yeah yeah, I get it. Robots got all smart. Took over. We had to live in bubbles, air was bad, no food, yes, very bad, etc., Zero Dawn, yes, very mysterious, everyone felt bad, etc.” There wasn’t a lot here I didn’t already know. Nice flourishes, sure. Added some details. The stuff with the soldiers writing home, their wives realizing it was all just edited, that was cool. Humanized it. But in terms of really trucking the story forward, I didn’t feel that happened. I started this quest knowing the robots all got smart and started eating all life and something called zero dawn, which had consequences, stopped them, and I end this quest knowing…well…that.

Oddly, I felt the most interesting bit, the thing that really got my attention, was an aside. When Aloy finds the globe, she doesn’t know it’s earth, but Sylens is telling her all this deep stuff and she knows the earth must be round because of the curvature of shadows during eclipses, and Sylens gets all “Uh…yes. Yes. We’ll discuss that later.” Like he knows she’d know…what? Stuff? I kinda bought that she’d be figuring stuff out. She’s all smart. But his reaction was pretty fascinating.

But then I got back to killing dudes and learning stuff I knew.

As for that reaction…remember a ways back we talked on how, during the Erand/Ersa quest, she really seemed to know the physics of sound really, really well for a cavewoman?


One thing I did NOT learn: Why is this place called the “grave hoard?” I mean, without context, that sounds like two cool sounding words a bunch of ninth graders mashed together to name their garage band.

(Cue deep announcer voice):

Appearing this Saturday….one night only….the two most ROCKING bands in the Nora lands…..METAL DEVIL and GRAVE HOARD!!!!!!

Seriously, why was it called that?


Sounds cool, I guess? And, I mean…a hoard of information? On the grave of the metal devil? Yeah, I got nothin.’

That fight SUCKED, didn’t it? Man. It was just…endless running and chipping away. Using all my healing, all my bombs, all my arrows…that was the fight where we both got SOOOOOOO close to death, and then, mercifully, I won.

The first deathbringer was a piece of cake. It couldn’t MOVE, or shoot off your cover. This one was a monster.

And it’s true, this quest filled in some details, but didn’t really give us a lot of new information, except possibly about Aloy’s excellent 21st century education and/or keen ability to make independent discoveries in sound physics and the curvature of shadows. I mean, she’s (probably) a clone of Dr. Sobeck, who is clearly brilliant, and she did have the focus telling her things, so maybe she just picked stuff up.


Yeah, when she was all “This one MOVES?” I swore, then I thought “I can hide up here,” and it wrecked the balcony and I died, and I said “The fuck just happened?” And I reloaded, and I swore…

I mean, you couldn’t even really take time to set shit up. Usually, you have time to suss things out, take cover, find paths, think, etc. This was just “AIEE THING I’M DEAD.”

Bad fight.

As for information, yeah, that was pretty much it. I was expecting more, frankly. Why did Sylens even send us there? I don’t even know. “Go there…” “Uh…now go there….” He kept being all “Find something useful” and I kept saying “Dude…what more do you WANT? This was your fucking idea….”

Oh, and “I don’t how I feel about that” week continues on (old news, but…):

Kotaku: DONTNOD announced today that they are working on a new Life Is Strange game.

I mean….weren’t there two VERY VERY VERY different possible endings?

I don’t know how I feel about that.


Yes! “Oh, it’s OK, I’ll just snipe at it from–aiiiieeee!!!”

I tried sneaking a couple of times, thinking maybe I could skulk down and kill off all the guys and get some blast wires set up, but no, it spots you almost immediately. (I was able to surprise-kill one guy, but everyone else spotted me as soon as I did.)

And yeah, really no time to set traps, just running and dodging and trying desperately to pick up healing mushrooms as you race past. I did find that I could pretty much ignore the dudes, because getting them between me and the machine meant that it killed most of them for me just because it didn’t care enough to avoid hitting them, but…just mountains of hit points on that thing. And so much running.

I thought maybe even Sylens was kind of disappointed. I mean, he didn’t really know what was there either, so maybe that’s why he kept being all “find something interesting! There’s got to be more here!”

No, man, this is all there is. It’s not that interesting. Sorry.

I’m also not sure how I feel about another Life is Strange. Maybe it’s not about Max? Maybe it will have a different time-bending character, so the ending to the first one will be irrelevant.


This has been a good week for not knowing how we feel about things.

Though, in totally not game related news, Mrs. McP went to an awards ceremony last night, at which she was officially named valedictorian and got two academic honor awards (Leadership and finance) which are very prestigious and came with checks taped to the back.

Brag brag brag.

Successful wife, good. Deathbringer, bad.

Back to game rant:

Especially as the whole “destroy cover” thing was new! I don’t remember anything else that can destroy cover! I mean, game, seriously….


Woohoo! Congrats to her! She rocks, and I hope she got some nice booze with the checks.

That’ll look good on the ol’ resume.

I mean, not the booze, specifically, but the awards. Booze on the resume is probably not actually the best idea, but then, she’ll know all about that as a savvy MBA-holder.


I dunno, man. Them business folks can drink.

I did get booze yesterday…but that might be more inlaws.

She does rock, that she does.

Brag brag brag.


You gotta brag. Celebrate the brag-worthy, for it keeps us sane in trying times.