Why I’m excited for Horizon’s expansion, The Frozen Wilds

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By the end of the year, the action role-playing game Horizon: Zero Dawn will be found on top of many best of the year lists. There’s no doubt about it, even with lots of worthy competition.

Dutch developer Guerrilla Games created an extremely unique post-apocalyptic world with Horizon: Zero Dawn that was truly a pleasure to explore. Sure, at first glance the gameplay looked like old socks, but who said artists had to reinvent the wheel every single time they wanted to create something good? Fortunately Horizon: Zero Dawn smells and tastes a whole lot better…than old socks. Certain mechanics make life on future earth so much easier. You can craft ammunition on the fly, even during combat. Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, right? But it makes for fun gameplay. If you want to know more about why Horizon: Zero Dawn is a worldwide hit, check out this article.

Let’s focus on what to expect from Horizon’s first and probably only DLC, The Frozen Wilds, which is going to be released on November 7th. Players nowadays have high expectations, even for bonus content. This isn’t surprising, considering the quality of many DLCs these days. Take a look at Destiny: its DLC The Taken King made the base game substantially better. Another example is The Last Of Us’ Left Behind DLC, which is considered a mini-masterpiece that added depth to a game that was already profoundly deep. And we all know how well Blood and Wine and Hearts of Stone (both for The Witcher 3) were received. We players are now used to great games not really being over until at least a year after their initial release.

So how are the beautiful people behind Horizon: Zero Dawn going to feed the hungry masses anxiously awaiting more Horizon content? So far they’ve released two short trailers, that combined run about two and a half minutes. The first one is a little bit more story driven. We are not told too much. Basically, there’s a land somewhere in the north with a wintry climate. A voice-over tells us, in a nutshell, that this land is harsh, brutal and holds no mercy for hunters.

It turns out the voice comes from a shaman of some sort who talks to Aloy at a campfire. He basically warns her that what lies ahead is dangerous. But she insists that she has to reach the mountain (and this is the interesting part) to find answers. I’m sorry. Answers? Hasn’t she found out everything about what messed up her world and who she is in the base game? Either way, I’m curious to fin dout what “answers” she’s so desperately seeking now.

The second trailer is an environment showcase featuring the beautiful scenery of The Frozen Wilds. Beautiful music, beautiful graphics, wind and ice, candles in a cave, snow-covered settlements. No word is spoken. It’s all there. One of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s secrets to success is that it’s basically a nature expedition. It shares that with the Far Cry series, especially Far Cry 4. At their core, these games are all about the outdoors.

For more information on The Frozen Wilds, I looked up what Guerilla Games tell us on their homepage.

“Beyond the northern mountains, the borderlands of the Banuk tribe challenge all who dare enter to survive the extremes. But now this frozen wilderness harbors a new threat, and for Aloy, a new mystery – one she’s determined to solve. The Frozen Wilds contains additional content for Horizon Zero Dawn, including new story lines, characters and experiences in a beautiful but unforgiving new area.”

So the map will get bigger, a whole new section will be added. I might be wrong here, but I am assuming the story takes place after the events of the main game. So you would have to be finished with it before starting The Frozen Wilds, right? Besides, who really needs additional content while still in the middle of the game?

I know I’m excited for this DLC because, after I finished Horizon Zero Dawn, there where only two options left for me. I could either start a NG+ playthrough with all my skills and loot intact, or the game would put me back in the timeline just before the final main quest. But what I really wanted to do was just keep traveling the land in its current state after having beat the final enemy. All unfinished quests would have vanished (shame on me), and the only thing to do would be to just roam and hunt. You know, enjoying post-playthrough retirement.

So, for players like me, The Frozen Wilds comes as a savior. A promise that it is not yet over. A great game grows bigger and continues. That is simply what is going to happen come November 7th. Not more, but definitely not less.

Are you excited for The Frozen Wilds? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Writing out of Goettingen, Germany. Comic lover and movie enthusiast. Father of two. His life was once saved by the Nintendo Gamecube. Deeply in love with not only his wife but also the NY Islanders and the TMNT. And food. Did we mention food?

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