A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The complex and emotional narrative explores topics to do with family, death, responsibility, equality. Parts of the game are driven by sensationalized combat, but with a focus on strategy rather than graphic violence.
Positive Role Models
Aloy is a strong female character, capable of taking on any challenge she faces, be it physical or intellectual. She's also a caring friend and feels a sense of duty to do what's right.
Ease of Play
Combat ranges from easy or extremely challenging, depending on difficulty chosen. Players can opt to use a keyboard and mouse or a traditional gamepad. Both interfaces should prove intuitive, and in-game tutorials and skill-based missions are designed help players understand and master controls and strategies.
Violence & Scariness
Players fight large robot animals using bow and arrow, spears, explosives, various types of traps. Robots explode, break apart when defeated. Players can also hunt wild animals, and will occasionally fight human enemies, both of which bleed small amounts of red blood. Blood also occasionally appears as stains within the environment.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The word "porn" appears in text.
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Dialogue contains occasional profanity, including the word "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
This is the expanded version of 2017's Horizon Zero Dawn, and includes both expansion and downloadable content.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few ancient artifacts found by the player contain references to drugs and intoxication.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition is an enhanced Windows PC port of Horizon Zero Dawn, an acclaimed sci-fi action game originally released exclusively for PlayStation 4. Players assume the role of Aloy, a tough and intelligent young woman with a strong sense of duty and morality who's trying to find answers about herself and the world she inhabits in a distant post-apocalypse future. She primarily fights giant robot animals using arrows, spears, explosives, traps, and other weapons, but also hunts wild boar and occasionally finds herself up against aggressive human enemies that bleed red blood when hit. The combat is glorified and spectacular, but the focus is on strategy rather than graphic violence. Players can expect to encounter occasional references to drugs and porn in text and audio artifacts, and infrequent language in dialogue, including the word "s--t."
Is It Any Good?
This was a remarkable game on the PlayStation 4, and it's just as good on Windows PCs. Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition wisely chooses not to mess with anything that made the console version so unforgettable. The compelling story -- filled with memorable characters and brilliant plot twists that fans of speculative fiction are sure to love -- remains intact and unchanged, and the fascinating, enormous open world we get to explore as Aloy is brimming with mysteries to discover. The combat is as strategic and rewarding as it was on PlayStation 4, forcing players to learn how to use a satisfying array of weapons and traps to take down challenging robotic foes, and PC players who don't like gamepads are bound to appreciate the improved accuracy offered by a keyboard and mouse setup. Having the excellent and expansive The Frozen Wilds DLC -- a narratively rewarding chapter that takes place at the same time as other events in the main game -- thrown in at no extra charge is just gravy.
As expected, PC players also benefit from graphical and performance boosts -- assuming that the game is being played on a moderately well-equipped rig. A decent gaming PC will allow players to increase the frame rate for a smoother experience, and players with extra-wide displays can expand the camera frame to create a wider field of vision and achieve a more cinematic look and feel. Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition probably isn't enough of an upgrade to justify purchasing it a second time, but anyone yet to experience this enormous, brilliantly written adventure with one of the strongest and most memorable female leads in recent memory would do well to seek it out now that it's available on a new platform.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.