We don’t want to imagine standing in front of a hungry dinosaur one day while walking the dog. We would even less like to stand in front of the beasts we encounter in Horizon Zero Dawn: monsters made of steel and electronics – who for mysterious reasons roam a world that is actually more reminiscent of prehistoric times.
We find out what this is all about together with the young woman Aloy. Horizon Zero Dawn has been available on Playstation 4 since the beginning of 2017 – in the test on Golem.de the program did very well at the time. Well that has Guerrilla Games published an implementation for Windows PC – presumably also to increase the target group of the successor Horizon Forbidden West announced for the Playstation 5 (still without an appointment).
For PCs there is only the so-called Complete Edition, which, in addition to the main game – campaign and open world, includes around 40 to 60 hours – also the story-based expansion The Frozen Wilds – another 15 to 20 hours. The PC version also contains some extras, including outfits for Aloy as well as bows and raw materials.
On the PC we can control Aloy with a mixture of the WASD keys and the mouse, which works fine from the first moment and is our preferred mode of operation. Alternatively, you can also play with a coupled gamepad – not only with the Dualshock 4 of the Playstation, but also with the controller of the Xbox or the one from Steam.
Compared to the roughly three-year-old PS4 version, the PC version looks much nicer in higher levels of detail. The textures are finer, the lighting, colors and reflections are more consistent – the difference is immediately visible. While the frame rate on the PS4 is 30 fps, we can also compete with high-performance PCs with up to 120 fps. The system requirements are high.
The graphics menu is medium-sized. The most important options are included, but tuners are likely to miss further access to texture resolutions and the like. In addition to well-made thumbnails, there is an integrated benchmark.
Like the recently released Death Stranding, the program is based on the Decima engine programmed by Guerrilla Games. But the implementations differ astonishingly: Unlike Death Stranding, Horizon Zero Dawn optimizes the graphics neither with FidelityFX from AMD nor with Nvidia’s DLSS 2.0 – a shame!
The program still has a few bugs – say the developers themselves. Anisotropic filtering doesn’t work that way yet. Some animations are played back at 30 fps, even if a higher frame rate is actually running.
Aloy fights with a bow and arrow, among other things. (Image: Sony / Screenshot: Golem.de)
In addition, there are always noticeable jerks, especially when updating the user interface, updating quests and simply walking through the landscapes. The stuttering is definitely noticeable in practice. The developers promise to work at full speed on all of the above.
The PC version of Horizon Zero Dawn is only available as a download for 50 euros. The program offers good, but somewhat sterile German dubbing voices and selectable subtitles; alternative audio tracks in other languages can be selected at the first start. There is no multiplayer mode or microtransactions. The USK has given the title a release from 12 years.