Horizon: Zero Dawn may be fun, but it’s not always easy, so here are a few hints and tips to help you along your way.
When in combat, keep moving
This might seem like an obvious one, but it’s actually pretty easy to end up too focussed on your aim with the bow and just stand still in the middle of a fight. The Machines of Horizon are smart, and hit hard, and if you stand still you’ll die fast. Keep running and rolling and pay attention to the body language of the Machines. There’s often a pattern to their attacks, and they’ll switch what attacks they want to use depending on your range. Be mindful, the Machines have fantastic tracking on their ranged attacks, so only dodge AFTER they fire, not before otherwise they’ll just correct and hit you anyway.
Combat in Horizon is much more tactical than it might first appear, but after the first couple of times you just run headlong into a fight and then immediately die, you’ll realise that you’re not a one woman army. Aloy, for all her skills and strengths, is pretty fragile when under attack. So before you engage any enemies, use your Focus, plan your attack, set traps or wires around the area, use the environment to your advantage to split up groups of enemies. And, also, take your time when aiming, holding on for a properly good shot is pretty much always worth it.
Use your Focus and Weakpoints
Despite the fact the game often has you use it, if you’re not in the habit of using the Focus to find weakpoints on the Machines, you’re making your job harder. It’s worth highlighting the weaknesses and strengths of each Machine before you fight it so you can always be arriving in a fight as well prepared as you can be. This is especially as important later in the game where the enemies get bigger, and a hell of a lot meaner.
Keep your medicine pouch well stocked
Again, this might seem a little obvious but if you’ve always got instant healing to hand, everything is going to be easier. Make sure you’re always picking any medicinal herbs you pass by and you’ll find yourself surviving longer.
There’s a weapon and armour for every occasion
Unlike some games where you can make one weapon survive the whole game and armour is mostly an aesthetic choice, that’s not the case here. Each enemy type will be much better suited to being brought down with a certain weapon, and you should always be trying to work out what’s going to work best. The same is true of armour, each set will help protect you in specific fights better than anything else. Don’t be afraid to constantly hot swap weapons and armour depending on what you’re doing as it’ll give you a major edge in combat.