Guerrilla Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment



I'm playing Horizon Zero Dawn and loving every second. It's exactly my kind of game – a massive open world FPS with an interesting storyline with stealth, crafting, and to top it all off, set in a post apocalyptic future. (I'm a little obsessed with the genre). I'm a completionist, and when I find a game I like, I play it until I feel I've done everything. I've wrung Skyrim, Fallout 4 and No Man's Sky dry, doing every available quest, maxing out every skill tree and build limit. I get my money's worth and then some.

There's a lot to love about Horizon Zero Dawn, but it wouldn't be the game it is without the protagonist, Aloy. She's an outcast of the Nora tribe, and has grown up under the wing of her father-figure, Rost, who brings her up in the wilds and teaches her how to survive and hunt. She's treated by her tribe, run by matriarchs, with disgust for being motherless. As she encounters other tribes, she's shunned for being an outsider and a woman. But she always has a witty comeback when someone makes a derogatory comment.

I also love that her clothes are practical and appropriate for fighting mobs in different climates – they're designed for her, not for the player's gratification. AND she's voiced by my favourite voice actor, Ashly Burch, who has given life to some of my favourite characters including Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2, Chloe Price in Life Is Strange, and even a few Adventure Time characters.

Unlike most games, she's not a reluctant hero. The choices she makes are as a direct result of being told she can't do something and being desperate to prove to others that she can. Her strength isn't gifted, it's been earned through years of training.

There's a lot to recognise in Aloy's experiences. Similar challenges that probably helped shape Aloy in the game's development, when there were reservations about having a female protagonist. It's like even in the real world, she's proving that she can do the things that people have told her she can't.