Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds

Aloy returns to fight new devastating mechanical beasts and to solve the mystery of ‘The Daemon’. 
horizon zero dawn frozen wilds nerdvana tv review

Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds is the first DLC for the hit game Horizon Zero Dawn. It chills to the bone as the much demanded upon hero Aloy, returns to the beck and call of the Banuk Tribe. She’s needed to fight new mechanical beasts and to solve the mystery of ‘The Daemon’, an entity residing in the brutally cold mountainous regions of a “post-post” apocalyptic world.

For fans and new players Aloy is the much loved although not always liked reluctant and often sarcastic hero, the dry witted outcast of the Mother worshiping Nora Tribe. She traverses into the frozen wilds where new mechanical beasts roam the harsh and majestic environments featuring blinding snow storms and beautiful auroras.

Frozen Wilds focuses on the Banuk tribe who like most clans, have chosen spirituality over technology. Aloy is the highly resilient pragmatist who is unable to escape her drive to serve others.  The inhabitants of the Frozen Wilds continue to remind Aloy of her outcast past but it doesn’t stop them from seeking her assistance. Aloy does her best to help others albeit as a lonely, capable and often underestimated young figure.

For those that have played through Horizon Zero Dawn, Frozen Wilds offers new insight into the old world. For those that haven’t yet played through the main game, this DLC cleverly adds to the intrigue without spoiling the mystery of the main plot. It’s possible to play this DLC if you have not completed the main game however you will need a minimum of level 5. There are several ways to kick off the game.

For more information on starting Frozen Wilds read – How to start Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds. 

The Frozen Wilds is played out mostly in a separate section of the map – an area known as “The Cut,” a treacherous and sparsely inhabited, brutally wild and harsh cold mountain region occupied by the stoic Banuk and Werak.

Of note to those that have not played Horizon Zero Dawn to completion, there is one aspect to the Frozen Wilds that might not make sense. In Horizon Zero Dawn Aloy “meets” a character named Sylens who remains shrouded in mystery. In Frozen Wilds his name pops up several times as Aloy continues to search for information about the illusive and intrusive ally whose motivations have never been truly revealed.

GAME PLAY

Frozen Wilds provides around 15 hours of new game play with 5 main quests and plenty of additional side quests and errands.

Main Quests

-Into The Frozen Wilds
-The Shaman’s Path
-For the Werak
-Firebreak
-The Forge of Winter

Side Quests & Errands

-Waterlogged
-Secret Shared (errand)
-The Survivor
-The Hunters Three
-Geared up: Forgefire (errand)
-Geared up: Stormslinger (errand)
-Geared Up: Ice Rail (errand)
-The Claws Beneath (errand)
-Out of the Forge (errand)
-Frontier Justice
-Ikrie’s Challenge
-Tallneck
-Bandit Camp – Stone Yield
-Snowchants Hunting Grounds

New Machines

New machines introduced in Frozen Wilds include the Scorcher, the Frostclaw, the Fireclaw and Corruption Towers. Each a formidable new opponent.

Frostclaw

The Frostclaw looks something like a bear. It is weak against fire and has several critical points to exploit. It’s strong against Shock and Corruption.

Fireclaw

The Fireclaw is an upgraded version of the Frostclaw in reverse – it has fire attacks and is strong against fire and weak against frost. It also has more armour than the Frostclaw.

The Icerail weapon (preferably the upgraded version from the geared up missions), is handy for attacking the Fireclaw. Frost bombs from the sling and ice arrows from a war bow are also good tactics to slow it down. Sticky bombs are always a useful and devastating friend.

Scorcher

Scorchers are wolf-like machines with powerful melee and ranged fire attacks. They are strong against shock, corruption and fire. Take these mechanical beasts slowly and methodically. Tear away their armour defenses and hit their on-board blaze canisters with fire arrows for some devastating explosions.

Control Towers

Frozen Wilds introduces Control Towers.  While active, they repair damaged hostile machines in their radius, knock over and damage friendly machines, and zap away Aloy’s Shield-Weaver’s force field armour.

There are two ways to take down a Control Tower. The first way is to get close and override it. This causes the Control Tower to emit a final pulse, which briefly stuns all nearby enemies. Or it’s possible to destroy the Control Towers from a distance. There’s a power box on the rear side which can be sniped and blown up from a distance – highlight it with Aloy’s focus. It should take three shots to drop the Control Tower.

New Weapons

Fortunately with the new beasts comes new weapons that can be purchased from Banuk merchants or found via missions. New weapons include:

-Stormslinger for shock attacks

-Icerail for frost attacks and

-Forgefire for fire attacks.

There are new Banuk bows: The Champion Bow, The Powershot Bow and the Striker Bow. It’s recommended to acquire at least one of these bows before setting out for the final quest and adding some modifications.

hzd Frozen Wilds weapons-must-have

Game tip –  Complete the Geared Up missions with Varga to maximize weapons modifications before starting the Frozen Wilds final quest!

Bluegleam

In order to purchase or upgrade new weapons you’ll also need to find Bluegleam, a new frozen machine fluid.  It’s rare and can be traded with special merchants with the blue antlers. It unlocks powerful new weapons, Banuk outfits and specialty boxes. A bluegleam map can be purchased to reveal locations.

One fault in the game is that Aloy mentions bluegeam often in her travels. However it’s not always clear if that means she’s in proximity to bluegleam or not. At times she mentions bluegleam while in some other unrelated conversation. It’s not a show-stopper, just a slightly annoying game glitch.

Collectibles

New collectibles include animal figurines and paint pigments both of which can be traded. There are three sets of three kinds of Pigments to collect and trade for rewards. There are six Animal Figurine collectibles to pick up as you explore.

Outfits

There are five new outfits in Frozen Wilds:

  • Banuk Werak Chieftain
  • Banuk Werak Runner
  • Banuk Ice Hunter Master
  • Carja Blazon Master
  • Nora Silent Hunter Master

nerdvana tv frozen wilds dlc Banuk werak cheftain outfit recommended

Game Tip: The hardy shield weaver acquired in the main game is slightly less effective in Frozen Wilds. Corruption Towers drain the shields and it can become distracting in battle. Try swapping for one of the new Banuk outfits, ideally the Banuk Werak Chieftain.

Verdict

The Frozen Wilds draws players back into the fictional world of Horizon Zero Dawn in an engrossing  way. It follows on naturally from Horizon Zero Dawn by building on Aloy’s experiences and revealing new information about the old world. Like with any game as epic and grand in scale as Horizon Zero Dawn, its always disheartening knowing when the games final quest draws closer. However while Aloy has already had monumental experiences, she’s still young and some say baby faced, suggesting that for the developers of Horizon Zero Dawn, there’s scope to follow this hero for a long time to come. How nice would be to see Aloy’s continue to grow.

Overall Frozen Wilds is another winner from Guerrilla Games.

Horizon Zero Dawn: Frozen Wilds is available as DLC for Horizon Zero Dawn only on PS4.

  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Genre: Action / Role Playing Game (RPG)
  • Publisher: SIEA
  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
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Ghostwriter

Digital Producer and blogger at Nerdvana.TV. Specializes in human-cyborg relations. Enjoys intergalactic travel. “My most exciting moment has been meeting C3PO…”

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