2017's Best Sandbox Games So Far

Horizon: Zero Dawn


Horizon: Zero Dawn is one of the best-rated games of this year so far, let alone being among the best sandbox games. It's not difficult to see why, either -- it's a gorgeous-looking game with a lot to offer.

Set in the distant future, where humans have reverted to living in tribes and machine monsters run wild, this game puts you in the role of Aloy -- a motherless outcast from a matriarchal society. You discover technology that you can harness to hunt and control the monsters you encounter as you traverse the world around you and attempt to unravel the many tangled threads of politics and warfare. 

Or you can do none of that, because you're also free to pursue sidequests, wander the world, or master your combat techniques -- and it's the latter that makes Horizon Zero Dawn really shine. Combat in this game involves learning the patterns and behaviors of various machines in a way reminiscent of Xenoblade Chronicles, and Aloy has no shortage of weapons and abilities to help her on the way to victory.

Of course, the combat is helped along quite a bit by the game's visuals. Dark, yet rich, they go a long way in pulling you into this world and making it believable -- and interested parties will also find a lot to enjoy in the game's themes of what it means to be human and the role of technology, among other things not often explored in video games. 

For more information, read our review of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Published Aug. 24th 2017

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