Horizon: Zero Dawn is a visually breathtaking game with graphics on-par with (or even superior to) games like Skyrim Remastered and Red Dead Redemption 2. The writing is top-notch as well, creating an incredibly immersive storyline. With such a strong visual and story presence, it is a downright shame that Guerilla Games has consistently glazed over some obvious bugs. The game deserves far better from its creators.
Past Patches have addressed needed mechanical fixes, such as glitches within certain quests, inventory bugs, and issues with the map and cut scenes. 'General' video and audio fixes are listed in those patch notes as well, but the game still has glaringly obvious issues with both. Though not all of the issues may hinder gameplay directly, they are without a doubt distracting and dampen the impact of and otherwise incredible experience.
Horizon: Zero Dawn still has a lot of issues with character animations and facial cues. In a game with less visual emphasis, this might be acceptable. In a story as captivating as Horizon, however, dead-pan expressions can completely kill critical moments and cut scenes. This is a huge blight on a game that is otherwise extremely immersive. Expressionless faces just aren't cohesive with the game's incredible writing and on-point voice acting. The water rendering in the game doesn't hold up with the rest of the graphics either. In such an astonishingly vivid world, you would expect it to be reflected in the still pools of water in-game.
Also, for the sake of graphic continuity, the shadows in-game should not suddenly jump from crystal clear silhouettes to ambiguous blobs. Most obvious when immersed in heavy foliage, this inconsistency creates an almost sort of spotlight around Aloy as shadows deteriorate mere meters from her position.
If we overlook technicalities in graphics, it is still surprising that there hasn't been a patch for even the most glaring problems. Some bugs are as obvious as rogue dialogue playing after fast-travel, despite being out of context to the new location. There are other more vexing glitches that have evaded the developers' attention as well. Frustrations such as Aloy spoofing into various terrain, unable to get out, or resources spawning inaccessibly inside other objects. Bugs like these severely inhibit gameplay and quite frankly, waste the player's time.
The last patch, update 1.52, put the focus on fixing various crashes that occurred for players without the game's expansion, Frozen Wilds. This is understandable- no one wants to play a game that dependably crashes every so often if they don't invest in all the DLC, but that update was back in February of 2018! In that time we have seen the massive Frozen Wilds expansion and even heard talk of a Horizon 2. So why have we not seen hide nor hair of a new patch update addressing these glaring issues with the gameplay itself?
Horizon: Zero Dawn is an astonishingly beautiful game that is truly ground-breaking in a lot of respects. The gorgeous graphics, solid storyline and expansive DLC give this game excellent replayability. Because of this, the game is in desperate need of a remaster to fix all of these inconsistencies in quality and mechanical glitches. At the very least it is fully deserving of another patch update, sorely overdue, to smooth out the gameplay experience.