Is Horizon Zero Dawn better on the PC? This exact question ran through my mind when I first heard that the game would be dropping on Steam. I also asked myself if I really wanted to pay for the same game twice.
I don’t usually double dip, but this caught me by surprise. Also, to be fair, the original rendition was spectacular. Even so, I had to talk myself into getting it, just to see how it runs on a powerful computer.
So, in this post I will be sharing my experience so far with this version, there may or may not be spoilers.
Is Horizon Zero Dawn’s story different on the PC?
No, there are no changes to the story. It wouldn’t be a PC port if they made a significant change to a core component like that, otherwise they might as well have made a completely new title.
The story is the same, playing in the shoes of a young woman named Aloy who was cast out of the tribe at birth.
In a post apocalyptic world, people have rewound to the stone age, but with futuristic technology. A unique blend of old and new makes for a very interesting tale.
Aloy is still the headstrong, independent woman she was in the original PS4 version. Still charged with uncovering the secrets of this changed world and saving her people.
How is the gameplay in the PC version compared to the PS4?
The gameplay in the PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn hasn’t changed much either. Controls and responsiveness is still the same, even the glitches have been brought over.
Sure, we can change the camera sensitivity, and maybe even the higher frame rates could give it a different feel. I, for one, didn’t notice too much, though my aim is much better with the mouse and keyboard.
During the prologue when we’re learning to hunt, Rost kind of vibrates along the path towards the first herd of Striders we come across.
I found this to be consistent between both the PC and PS4 games, something that they didn’t get around to fixing. At least, with my two copies they are.
Gameplay is still just as annoying as it was on the PS4. Trying to aim and dodge multiple enemies simultaneously almost gave me a hernia a few times. Making me feel like a bad player.
For some reason, she just wouldn’t nock an arrow while I was aiming. So, when I let go of the right trigger, nothing happens except that she gets hit or does a strong spear attack instead.
I don’t remember having a problem like that playing on the PS4 side. I’m just going to chock it up to a poor PC port, or maybe I’m not as good as I thought.
Even so, the gameplay is nice enough, just a few hiccups here and there, hope they get patched up at some point.
What changes were made in the PC port?
The only changes that I’ve noticed are the extra settings we have access to. We get to play around with the settings and customize our experience to enhance our enjoyment of this title further. The PC gives us better graphical settings, the ability to remap buttons and an increased field-of-view (FOV) slider.
Other than adding more options, the core of Horizon Zero Dawn is still the same. An interesting and immersive story in a beautiful open world filled with dilapidated, yet futuristic technology.
I was hoping that they would do more though, such as refining the flaws of the original. That would have pushed this mediocre port into a good or even great one.
Did they make any improvements?
Unfortunately no, they did not. Everything is exactly the same, just with a few more setting sliders. Optimizing and going over everything with a fine-toothed comb would’ve done Horizon Zero Dawn some good.
Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed it on the PS4. I just thought they would’ve made it better, push it passed its console limits.
Getting rid of some of its more glaring annoyances such as a ridiculously sensitive demand on players to have flawless aim. Or, maybe letting you keep a tamed mount without having to go and override another because you had to reload a save.
It would also have been good if they had smoothed out player movement. Again, I have to mention that some NPC’s vibrate or jerk while they walk or talk. Facial expressions could have been improved too, to be more expressive, like in The Last of Us Part 2.
Kind of a wasted opportunity if you ask me. It was a great game, but it could have been more polished here.
So, is Horizon Zero Dawn worth getting for the PC?
Despite the near non-existent changes and improvements, Horizon Zero Dawn is still a fantastic game. I’m enjoying the unlocked frame rates and higher graphical fidelity. It’s kind of nice to hear my computer being pushed a bit harder, finally working up a sweat, figuratively of course.
Also, with the more fine-tuned precision work that only a mouse can provide, my battle with aiming isn’t as rage inducing as it was on the console version. A much more calm and joyful experience this time around.
Even so, many improvements could have and should have been made. Especially when they’ve had 3 years to make this jump from console to PC. Alas, that is not so.
For those who want to play Horizon Zero Dawn with higher frame rates and graphical settings, then it’s worth getting on the PC. If that’s not important to you, then you can safely skip out on this PC port if you’ve played the original.
Are you planning on getting the PC version? If you’ve already got it, what did you hope they would have changed or improved in the port?
Let me know what you think down in the comments below, I’d be happy to see your thoughts and opinions on Horizon Zero Dawn‘s jump to the PC platform.
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