If someone told me 5 years ago that the Dutch would become a new leader in open world gaming, I would have told them to stop using drugs and could I please have some of whatever they were taking and I would be proven wrong and I am. The software maker Guerrilla Software, the makers of the Horizon series did something way unique, not only did they set a new record, the have now 2.3rd (if there will be a third part) to actually surpass Mass Effect in storytelling. A scenario that was unheard of 5 years ago. There was no doubt, there was no doubt that part one was exquisite on many levels, but at present, as I approach the level with three snakes, the point of the first repel I feel that there is a larger station, a story that could become legendary and a Dutch software maker did this. Yes, I saw a few glitches, I saw 1-2 bugs, I also saw 1 error and as Eloy is now visible in the red grass (intentional or not) is beside the point. This game is roaring an introduction that is unheard of and it is merely the intro to something we can only guess on. And (to vex Microsoft) it is only for Sony PlayStation gamers!
The game plays like we are getting in our most comfortable shoes. We see the things we loved, the controls we remember and the game has the feel of a world we understood and on the PS 5 it is so gorgeous, water the blight, it is amazing and there are dozens of hours head of me, optionally up to 100 (speculation) hours of amazement and gaming. The posters revealed San Francisco (what is left of it), those large red towers were a bit of a giveaway and some of the trailers showed that we have so much more to see. But the part that get me the most is that the intro part gives us what was and a larger story (supplementing) on what became through time. A station largely ignorant of the player, making us watch whilst we game through a story that goes into a direction we do not know where. In part because I would not give spoilers, but to the largest part because I am merely at the first repel point (it makes sense when you get there). The horizon story is breathtaking and I feel certain that NO ONE had a clue what we were in for when the first trailers were given to us in 2015 I believe. We knew that we were seeing something special but how special is only coming clear in the beginning of part 2.
In the speculative part of me, I do hope there is a deeper setting to Sylens (Lance Reddick), apart from the cast of Fringe (Scarecrow) being upset, I believe that there is a lot more to the setting of Sylens (but that could just be me), It seems that the story can go a whole lot further, but that too is a combination of speculation and wishful thinking. What is true is that I am at the mere start of the game and it is impressive beyond believe, to be honest, it has been a whilst since I was that impressed. It is the combination of Story, gameplay, character and anticipation/thrills. You see, the corners, the triggers we have seen in past games have presented anticipation and even as we think we know what we get into the first repel will dazzle and optionally surprise us (I actually do not know yet).
And this is brought to us all by a Dutch game maker. It would be folly to think that all great games come from America/Japan, but to see another game maker surpass thresholds like the story of Mass Effect trilogy and new levels of gaming that America seems unable to deliver is something no one would have expected and as other games come, some need to realise that the old standards no longer apply. The old masters have to some degree now been surpassed. It would always happen, but I never expected to be around to see that and it should be a harsh lesson for players like Microsoft and Ubisoft. There levels will only maintain with the upcoming new titles, so whatever they think they have, they better test it and if it does not break the 83% marker it will bring them down, not sustain them. We have arrived at that point and their influencers and marketing will not aid them, not when these new levels of excellence are brought to the gamers. It was a lesson they were always going to have to learn, but I reckon that they hoped that there would be time until 2023/2024. As I see it, 2022 will be the first moment these makers will get the crap kicked out of them. And it was a Guerrilla army of makers (360 of them housed in Amsterdam) that would treat them to the first kick.