Horizon zero dawn is one of my most anticipated titles ever since it launched in February 2017. I had held back from purchasing on PS4 because I had heard that other than it being an amazing smash-hit game, the 30FPS held it back and made it challenging for some players to carry on til game completion. Then the best news ever hit earlier this year which was that it was getting ported to PC, this had me sold right from the get-go. Able to play at a smooth 60FPS and higher, I could explore this masterpiece in all it's glory!
Now, I did have an early complaint when it got listed for pre-order and this was the price which began at £33. To say I could get the complete edition on PS4 brand new for £15 and the game had been released 3 and half years ago, I was hoping for a price tag of maybe £30 or just under. I fully understand the work involved with porting a game but it's been done before (better may I add) for a lower price. My issue didn't end there though, a week later they increased the price from £33 to £40! Their excuse was to do with people pirating the game, which I've never seen before, how is that the consumer's problem and why should they pay the price? multiple games have released in the past with increased security which has made it so hackers have taken months and years to finally crack the game. Anyway, after fighting against this, I finally ended up convincing myself to purchase the game on launch, although I did stop myself as I wanted to see the initial reviews and I'm happy I did, let's jump into it.
Currently, on Metacritic, the critic score stands at a strong 85 but the user score sits on a mediocre 6.0. Unfortunately, the port from PS4 to PC didn't go as smoothly as planned, large amounts of players are reporting numerous issues with the game, even when they first boot the game up and install the shaders and run the optimisation part, multiple reports of the game fatally crashing and freezing. If you manage to make it over this first hurdle then there are plenty more to beat once you actually start playing the game.
Endless reports of people struggling to maintain frame rates as drops occur during gameplay and in cutscenes. To further add to this, users playing in 4K have problems with the game running in native 4K as it seems to sometimes just upscale itself from 1080, some peoples resolution just refuses to go 4K if they're set to full screen, some players report that running on borderless window fixes that problem.
The benchmarks for the game are also giving players high average frames but when it comes to playing the actual game, these number significantly decrease. Furthermore, the anisotropic filtering options in the game appear to do very little to tidy the game up with some users stating that it doesn't work at all. There is a workaround for this though, if you open your GPU settings and force your graphics card to run its own anisotropic filtering at 16x for the game, this will get the job done.
Just before we wrap things up, all these issues seem out of the ordinary considering the recent launch of the Death Stranding port. As they both run on the same Decima engine, although Horizon runs on an older version, yet Death Stranding using the latest version has minor issues especially when it comes down to resolution and frames. Horizon also lists that it requires almost double the hardware requirements compared with Death Stranding.
Although I am desperate to play this title and if you're the same but have yet to purchase, I highly recommend waiting a couple of weeks or a month or two until patches are released to solve these issues and we get a better experience. The game isn't going anywhere so there's no need to rush with purchasing.
Guerrilla Games have quickly responded to the issues
"We appreciate those who have already taken the time to report their issues on Steam, Reddit, or via our website. If you are still encountering crashes or bugs, please continue to use those spaces, or refer to our FAQ if you are unsure of how to proceed. Your reports are, and have already been, incredibly helpful for our teams."
"We have been monitoring all of our channels and are aware that some players have been experiencing crashes and other technical issues, Please know that we are investigating your reports as our highest priority"
Guerrilla seems to be anxious to sort all of these issues out ASAP, although no date has been given for the fixes, it's good to know that they are determined to fix the game and give everybody the experience they were expecting and deserve.
Have you run into any issues if you're already playing the game? Maybe you're one of the lucky ones who haven't run into any issues at all. Let us know in the comments