Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review

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Guerilla Games has created a new expansion for their latest hit game, but is it worth the playthrough? Find out in our Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review

Release DateNovember 7, 2017
GenreAction RPG
PlatformsPS4
DeveloperGuerilla Games
Price$19.99 US
ESRB RatingTeen
Players1 Player

 

*A copy of this DLC was provided to FYIG by PlayStation for review purposes*

We don’t generally see a lot of DLC come out for first-party PlayStation titles, so it was a surprise earlier this year when The Frozen Wilds DLC was announced for Horizon: Zero Dawn. It’s a perfect game to include DLC and there’s a great base for Guerilla to expand upon so I was pretty excited waiting for this one to come out. I certainly wasn’t disappointed with what I played.

The Frozen Wilds take place in a new area called “The Cut” in the top right corner of the game map. This is an expansion of the main game and not a stand-alone story so you’ll have to use a save game that has completed the quest “A Seeker at the Gates” to access the new content. There’s an entire new questline focusing on a new force that is affecting the machines. There are also new side missions, errands, collectibles, weapons, modifications, and outfits so it’s a pretty beefy bit of DLC.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review
The snowy landscape is a stark contrast to the setting in the main game,

“The Cut” is by far the most beautiful area in the game. It’s a snowy, mountainous region of the map and is populated by the Banuk tribe. They’re a different type of tribe than seen in the rest of the game focused on fighting and surviving in harsh conditions. Unlike the other tribes in the game, this tribe seems very nomadic. Their camps seem very much temporary and I got the sense that they could pick up and leave at any time. I loved exploring this area and seeing the Northern Lights light up the night sky was something to behold. The snow effects are also top-notch, there were times when it was snowing so heavily that I could barely see. 

The new machines are quite the handful with the Scorcher being particularly difficult to defeat. They have mine launchers that can toss out a lot of explosives. The Frostclaw and Fireclaw machines are equally as difficult being massive creatures that take a bear-like stance. They’re good additions to the roster of machines and allow for a bit of variation when traveling through the new area. Some of the new weapons will help to take these machines down. Some of these are more powerful versions of the existing types of bows while others are better elemental weapons. There’s even a cool quest where one of the characters upgrades 3 of the special weapons you find to create a very rare variant. There’s another that allows Aloy to upgrade her Spear. The best new item that I found was an outfit that regenerates health over time, it became my go-to outfit. I felt like Guerilla made sure as best they could that the new upgrades made a difference in your gameplay.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review
The Frozen Wilds bring some new machines to Horizon Zero Dawn.

The Frozen Wilds includes a brand new branch of the skill tree called, “Traveller”. This branch of the tree includes a lot of things that make your life easier in the game. “Mounted Pickup” allows you to collect resources while riding a mount which is something I’ve wanted for my entire playthrough. There’s also a “Dismount Strike” which allows you to jump off and take down smaller machines as well as land a critical blow to bigger ones. “Shard Salvager” allows you to deconstruct items to gain half the shard value back for those moments when you’re not near a merchant. Aloy can even repair mounts and machines she’s taken over with a new skill as well. These skills addressed most of my annoyances so I was pretty happy with them.

An interesting point of The Frozen Wilds is how much emphasis there is on working with NPCs in the various missions. Seldom did we see Aloy have other people on her missions in the main game, but it happens quite frequently in the DLC. It’s a nice change of pace to feel like someone has your back at least a little bit. There are also a lot of puzzles both new and familiar which I enjoyed because they were always smartly implemented into a mission. It gave the game more variety which is always welcome.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds Review
Snowfall can get pretty heavy at times.
ProsCons
Snowy landscape is as beautiful as ever 
New skills 
Great new story