As expected (and very warmly welcomed by me), Horizon Zero Dawn got some new DLC! It’s called The Frozen Wilds and it adds a whole new area with it’s own story packed with quests and new stuff! Here’s the lowdown:
How to start the DLC
When you find yourself at Daytower, you come across an Oseram complaining about something. He tells you there’s rumour of new dangerous machines roaming the Cut, a piece of Banuk territory way up in the mountains. A waypoint shows you a new path through the Gravehorde.
As well as the main story mission in the Cut, there are a few excellent side quests and a few new characters I became attached to. One of these characters was Gilden. To be honest, I kinda hated Gilden at first. He was too in-your-face for me, but once we delved deeper into the Old Ones’ facility, his loud yet somehow meek presence grew on me.
The Frozen Wilds brings more than just a few new missions in a new area. The level cap is extended to 60, and a whole new skill tree is opened up: The Traveller. In it you can purchase skills that allow you to forage plants and machines from atop your mount. Now you don’t have to jump off every time! As a hoarder, I loved picking up every single collectible thing I came across. But it felt really clumsy having to jump off my Broadhead every time I found a medical plant. So this is a welcome skill! There are other new skills in the tree that let you heal your mounts and other machines you’ve overridden, which is also cool.
New Machines, New Weapons
The Cut is a very dangerous place, with metal beasts that don’t take too kindly to a level 50 Aloy with all the best gear. I was playing on Hard, but it took me near half an hour to defeat my first Frostclaw. Fortunately, there are certain merchants around who will trade locally sourced Bluegleam for some very powerful bows. There are also three other upgradeable weapons that you pick up throughout your travels: The Stormslinger, the Forgefire and the Icerail. These elemental firearms are pretty spicy in a fight and, once upgraded, make you look super cool as well.
There is also a new outfit, but nothing beats the Shield-Weaver. In the main game, using the Shield-Weaver felt like you had enabled god-mode. And yet I found it absolutely essential in my battles with the new Daemonic machines. That’s how much harder the Cut really is.
I don’t want to give too much away about the Daemonic machines and the Daemon that has made them so – because, any information is a spoiler in my opinion. But also, part of the fun with Horizon Zero Dawn is coming across a new machine and figuring out the best way to defeat it. Even if it does take you the better part of an hour.
You can directly compare the Daemonic machines to the Corrupted ones in the rest of the world. Which is a good example of how The Frozen Wilds is basically more of the same. But is that such a bad thing? The battles have certainly escalated. We get a few new powerful weapons. And we find out more about the Banuk, Sylens, the Carja War, and Project: Zero Dawn. This is exactly what I wanted from more Horizon Zero Dawn!
The Frozen Wilds will set you back NZ$32, but for DLC that gives an extra 13 hours of gameplay and adds new features to the game as a whole, I reckon it’s definitely worth it. Especially if you’re into the lore. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from The Frozen Wilds, it’s that Horizon Zero Dawn isn’t finished just yet. I am expecting, with anticipation, for more.