KDM Local - Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition
March 23rd, 2020,
Available in store now
The heroes and heroines
of video games reside in the pantheons of gaming hierarchy, as the
greatest incarnations of the best novels do in literature, or
film-stars do within Hollywood. They pull us in, make us love
them, feel their pain and joy equally. Be it Sonic and Mario of the
Sega and Nintendo dominated era of the late 80s and early 90s, to
Crash Bandicoot, or maybe Lara Croft or sisters Anna and Nina
Williams from Tekken franchise that came forth when Playstation came
to the fore in the mid 90s, bringing with it its 3D polygon graphics
and as such a groundbreaking and game-changing period in gaming
followed. Especially for the heroes and heroines, and their looks
within a game.
Whereas it was the norm for the majority of heroes and heroines to rely on love-ability and cuteness, with the odd exception, now it could be portrayed more enticingly and visually. Some of the overally sexualised perfection that humanity apparently strives for in gaming started to dominate, which is why the heroine of Horizon: Zero Dawn felt like such a breath of fresh-air to me. She broke free from that growing trend in a lot of ways. Don't get me wrong, I can extrapolate reality outside of any game, and understand that the character creation of, let's say, Lara Croft had an appeal (especially to a post-pubescent teenager of the 90s!) but I believe it's sometimes used as a short-cut in character creation, especially female, as it's an “expected” look in some ways, and easy win button in games creation.
Sure, Aloy, the star of Horizon: Zero Dawn has the kind of natural and endearing charm and beauty of that “girl-next door” stereotype, and is portrayed thusly visually, with a natural and grounded type of appeal. It's refreshing to see an everyday kind of heroine with looks not being the only way to overly sell her roll in the game, visually her beauty is in the 4k Playstation Pro landscape setting of which she's depicted within, her personality and charm are captivating, too. Photo-mode being one of the stars of this game. Often heroines appear scantily clad, but Aloy relies on a variety of woollen garments, skins and outfits to realistically survive in her environment, rather than crop-top and hot-pants to titillate as you play as can be the worrying norm with female portrayal in video games. And what this has done is help to draw me into a far more grounded, believable, engrossing and quite spectacular story.
She'll sit in the pantheons of the gaming hierarchy for years to come and in the setting of Horizon: Zero Dawn you have, in my opinion (debated alongside The Witcher 3), the best open-world game of a generation. With the above factored in it's 100% the best new exclusive of 2017, and a flag-bearer for Sony's 4k gaming and a heroine to last a life-time. Guerrilla Games have created a masterpiece – and Sony are reaping the rewards of a new, loveable, believable and entirely beautiful heroine called Aloy.