Posted by

I'm obsessed with Mega Man and Mr. Robot and a huge fan of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. Follow me on Twitter: @DaveFinalVR

Horizon Zero Dawn is the first major exclusive of 2017 and the newest IP to join the Sony family. Made by Killzone developer Guerrilla Games, Horizon is an open-world game unlike anything you've ever seen before: a post post-apocalyptic world where humanity is broken into tribes and outcasts, and mechanized beasts roam the lands.

On your journeys you can expect to encounter bandits, harsh weather, and giant robot dinosaurs—yes, it's as awesome as it sounds. Add in a great protagonist with , fun gameplay, and top-notch production quality and has it's next hit exclusive.

Creating a new IP is hard, but borrowing facets from other popular games may have played an integral role in Horizon's critical success. The games Horizon Zero Dawn draws influence from can be found below – and if you've been enjoying Horizon but have yet to play these titles, be sure to check 'em out:

1. Tomb Raider

Lara Croft with her signature weapon in "Tomb Raider" [Credit: Square Enix]
Lara Croft with her signature weapon in "Tomb Raider" [Credit: Square Enix]

Horizon Zero Dawn's similarities most notably align with the rebooted series. The most obvious of these are that both star empowering female leads. Like Lara, Aloy is an adventurous, courageous, and determined warrior, well-trained and willing to take on nearly any challenge necessary to achieve her goals. Both protagonists are driven by their desire to uncover hidden truths about not just their parents but also the world around them at any cost necessary, sometimes even recklessly so. Oh, and contrary to the plenty of other female leads in gaming, they both wear pants.

Aloy scaling the side of a mountain "Tomb Raider-style." [Credit: Guerrilla Games]
Aloy scaling the side of a mountain "Tomb Raider-style." [Credit: Guerrilla Games]

Horizon borrows a significant amount of gameplay features from the rebooted series. For starters, the platforming. Aloy can run, jump, climb, and swing from platforms just like . Compared to Tomb Raider, Horizon's climbing is faster and requires less precision, but the animations and overall feel between the two titles is similar.

Next is the hunting and gathering. Tomb Raider has players seeking out deer and boar among other animals for meat, fur, bones, etc. and grants the player experience for each kill. Horizon follows suit allowing players to hunt both real animals for food and mechanical beasts for parts. Unlike Tomb Raider where the wildlife is scarcely a threat with the exclusion of bears and tigers; each and every one of Horizon's machines is hostile requiring careful planning to take down the creatures. Ultimately, the additional layers to hunting provided by Horizon's mechanical beasts, serve as an evolution of hunting in Tomb Raider.

Skill Tree "Horizon Zero Dawn" [Credit: Guerrilla Games]
Skill Tree "Horizon Zero Dawn" [Credit: Guerrilla Games]

Lastly, both titles make use of a skill system, allowing the player to spend points earned from leveling up on new abilities. Horizon borrowed the categories straight from Tomb Raider albeit renamed. (Horizon's categories are in bold)

  • Prowler/Hunter is geared towards tracking and taking down wildlife.
  • Brave/Brawler is focused on combat.
  • Forager/Survivor is used to find and gather more items.

2. Deus Ex

Adam Jensen planning his next move in "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" [Credit: Square Enix]
Adam Jensen planning his next move in "Deus Ex: Mankind Divided" [Credit: Square Enix]

is all about the freedom of how to tackle a situation. Players have the option of handling most situations in one of four ways: combat, stealth, hacking, and social interactions. At times, players can mix elements of each playstyle to great effect. While the options on how to take on enemies in Horizon are slightly different: combat, stealth, traps, or avoidance; the player is always allowed to pursue their preferred method.

Should you opt to take the stealth approach, the two games begin to feel akin to one another. Careful study of your enemies will be key, while Jensen has augments that allow him to see through walls and track enemy movements, Aloy can scan foes' movements with her Focus ability, displaying their paths on screen.

Aloy using Focus to track enemy movement "Horizon Zero Dawn" [Credit: Guerrilla Games]
Aloy using Focus to track enemy movement "Horizon Zero Dawn" [Credit: Guerrilla Games]

In addition, the skill system in Horizon allows the player to tailor Aloy to their playstyle just like Jensen. If you're the kind of player who wants to pursue a stealth approach, you can acquire a skill that allows for stealth take downs; if you desire a more combative form of play, you can purchase a skill that enables critical strikes via spearing downed enemies.

3. The Witcher III

Geralt facing a pack of wolves in "The Witcher III: Wild Hunt" [Credit: CD Projekt Red]
Geralt facing a pack of wolves in "The Witcher III: Wild Hunt" [Credit: CD Projekt Red]

Like many of the most successful games this console generation, Horizon has a vast open-world with plenty of side quests. These quests range from simple fetch missions to challenging hunts to missing persons investigations (Where is Mankrik's wife?).

Some side quests will have the player doing a little detective work which makes use of Aloy's Focus in a matter that borrows from . With this, Aloy will scan an area to find clues. Once the right objects are found Aloy can scan the area showing a trail to the next object or person/beast you're searching for in the same way as Geralt's Witcher Sense.

Aloy using Focus to search for a missing person. "Horizon Zero Dawn" [Credit: Guerrilla Games]
Aloy using Focus to search for a missing person. "Horizon Zero Dawn" [Credit: Guerrilla Games]

Interestingly, while the melee combat may control differently, it's reminiscent of Witcher's. Aloy shares a certain fluidity to her movement with . Close range encounters in Horizon have the player dodging and slashing away at enemies in a rhythmic fashion with Aloy twirling both body and spear to break apart the enemy just like Geralt. Not like Geralt: Decapitations.

Read more about 'Horizon Zero Dawn':

Horizon Zero Dawn is out now. What are some of your favorite games that Horizon reminds you of? Let us know in the comments!

Latest from our Creators