Horizon Franchise | My Love for Aloy.

Thursday 24 March 2022

*This post contains an affilate code*

I started Horizon Zero Dawn back in 2017, it was a game I was meant to go back and finish, it took me until recently to get around to doing so. I already knew how the game would pan out because I watched a good few twitch streams and YouTube videos so knew what to expect just not how annoyed I would be with the last boss in the game. I'm not very good with timed games so when I was faced with a time limit I knew I was going to get annoyed. Luckily I was patient and managed to get to the end of HZD and experience it for myself. After finishing the first game I felt a sense of relief after leaving it on the shelf for so long. Going straight to Horizon Forbidden West after HZD was a good move on my part, I usually have to get used to how a game works and the button layout when I start the next game in a franchise after waiting for so long but this time it was smooth sailing, I only had to learn a few new added elements.

The story of Aloy is both heartbreaking and exciting, experiencing her life from a baby to a woman has been a joy especially when she has had the world on her shoulders from the very start without even realising it. The moment she was shunned was the moment she worked on proving them all wrong, this dangerous world has been no match for Aloy, she managed to show them all who she really is. So why was this young girl hated so much? Surely a child is innocent, which is exactly right. Paranoia and speculation cause most issues in life which is no exception in the HZD franchise. Tribes have interpreted data and the world humans left behind many years ago in their own way which pushes Aloy to find the real answers and find out who she really is. 

Her growth throughout both games has been a pleasure to play through, it's easy to tell that there is a huge difference in Aloy's personality now she is older. In the first game she felt more determined and put up walls, she wanted to show those who doubted her that she is capable of more than they will ever know. Whereas in the latest game she seems to let her walls down, she's calmer and a symbol of hope, I put this down to people being more accepting of her and finding her place in the world. I keep kicking myself for taking so long to finish HZD as Aloy has become one of my favourite female protagonists in the gaming world now. 

She's honest, faithful, and heroic all at once, she will stop at nothing for a peaceful world even if that means she is treated cruelly and unjustly. Society can change which is what I took away from Aloy's plight, she is hard not to love and once people admire her she returns their kindness by helping them as best as she can. Aloy has come a long way in the 6-month jump between two stories, the story of her success when she defeated HADES spread leaving her with more friends than enemies. Although Aloy knows more about her origins she doesn't make this her whole personality, she touches the subject when she needs to and the fact that she isn't Miss perfect makes me love her that much more. 

A recent conversation with a friend got me thinking about how different this franchise would be if was made into a romance, for me it would have ruined Aloy's personality. A game can be great without a love interest, Guerrilla uses the love Aloy has for those she has lost to show that vulnerable side of her instead. We had the pleasure of seeing old characters who stay by Aloy's side such as Erend, it's clear he still has feelings for Aloy but she doesn't share them back, he is still willing to be there for her and help her as much as he can.

We have to give kudos to the voice actors who expressed a wide range of emotions by using their voices in order to bring the story to life, without this the franchise wouldn't have been the rollercoaster of emotions it was, yet the success of the Horizon franchise has had negative feedback, people chose to pick on Aloy's appearance and try to find issues that aren't there. This only made more people speak about HFW along with Guerrilla creating yet another beautifully crafted game where the protagonist shows her emotions on so many different levels and as a redhead myself I appreciate there is a thrilling and determined character representing us. The developers have made it so players can connect with Aloy, her venturing out of her safe environment to find herself also took players on a journey, it may inspire people on their own path to self-discovery. 

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