The newest wave of game consoles has had its fair share of successes and failures. Whether from new installments of returning, favorite franchises like Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End on the PS4, or disappointing original outings like No Man’s Sky. With each passing year it feels like the releases for both the PS4 and the Xbox One are becoming more and more custom to their consoles, and as a result, more successful critically and financially. Both consoles have a large amount of highly anticipated releases still to come as well, and with the recent release of the Nintendo Switch, the console gaming community feels more vibrant than it has in a long time.
But few of the new releases on the Xbox One or the PS4 have been quite as critically acclaimed and successful as Horizon: Zero Dawn. Combining primitive forms of combat and civilization with unique technological environments and creatures, it looks like gamers have had more fun shooting arrows at robotic dinosaurs than they have had in a majority of the other original franchise releases from either of the major consoles.
Indeed, the numbers are finally in and it looks like Horizon: Zero Dawn has cemented itself as one of the most successful games of this modern console generation. EuroGamer is even reporting that not only did Zero Dawn beat Zelda: Breath of the Wild in sales this week, but that it’s the biggest new franchise launch in PS4 history, claiming that title from No Man’s Sky. In addition, it’s also the largest PS4 launch in general since the release of Uncharted 4.
With its gorgeous, cinematic visuals and unique combination of two very different aesthetics, it was already clear heading into 2017 that Horizon: Zero Dawn was going to be one of the most-anticipated new titles of the year. But there was always the possibility of it being a disappointing final product once gamers actually got their hands on the full experience. Judging by the reception and instant popularity of the title, however, it’s fair to say that Horizon: Zero Dawn is the new, original franchise that PS4 users have been waiting years for.
Set in a post-apocalyptic world where robotic animals have taken over the planet, Horizon: Zero Dawn follows Aloy, a headstrong and skilled hunter, who takes it upon herself to discover the secrets of the Earth. That general outline is certainly nothing necessarily revolutionary or new to any veteran gamer, but with a unique spin on the post-apocalyptic genre itself, as well as just the sheer artistry behind the overall execution of the game, and Horizon: Zero Dawn wound up being everything gamers wanted it to be and more. In a world where new titles like this get more attention and hype behind the, often years before they even hit the shelves, it’s becoming increasingly rare for gamers to be able to say that, but it’s also become sweeter when they actually can.