How Horizon Zero Dawn Gave Me The Fatherly Feels

Oh father figure and child tropes! We never can get enough of them in pop culture. From cartoons like cute Disney stories like Finding Nemo to horrific tales of mutant battles in the Last of Us video game. There’s just something about a dad showing his kid the ways of the world albeit a horribly dangerous one.

Guerrilla Games who were responsible for the classic video game series Killzone released the PlayStation 4 exclusive, Horizon Zero DawnThe game puts you in the shoes of Aloy, a girl outcast from her tribe and raised by her also outcast father Rost. Years later as a young woman, she comes face to face with her destiny of saving her post-apocalyptic world filled with enormous machines that don’t take kindly to us humans.

First off, your kids are going to hound you to play. The robotic creatures you battle look like dinosaurs–and what kid doesn’t like those? There is some blood so if that’s the type of thing you don’t want them to see, just run around and destroy the bots until the little one(s) are asleep then put the smackdown on as many human enemies as you like. There’s no time limit so you can explore and hunt all day if you want.

What I like the most about Horizon Zero Dawn is bond that Aloy and Rost have. Rost is a firm but loving father who works tirelessly to make sure his daughter has the life skills she’ll need to tackle whatever comes her way. It’s a true nod to the feeling dads have towards their children. There’s one part of the game where Rost gives Aloy a final test in which she must fend for herself. A moment where you feel the pride and nerve shattering fear of a parent letting go to let a child move forward towards their own destiny. You know, sort of like the first day of school.

Aside from the emotional strings being plucked on the daddy ukulele, Horizon Zero Dawn is an awesome game with a beautiful world to explore. Think of it as the new slew of Tomb Raider games with a little sci-fi fantasy mixed in.

After playing, you’ll certainly want to hug your kids and maybe sign them up for archery classes.

Horizon Zero Dawn is available now for $59.99 at your local retailer and online.

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