If you are a fan of video games and graphic novels, Horizon Zero Dawn Vol. 2: Liberation by Anne Toole, Elmer Damaso, Byran Valenza, and Jim Campbell might be just the thing for you. Extending beyond the story of the original video game, you can experience more of the adventure with this graphic novel series. Continue reading to get my experience while reading Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation.
A brand new graphic novel expanding upon the story of the epic video game Horizon Zero Dawn, and its highly anticipated sequel, Horizon Forbidden West.
Horizon: a far-future Earth full of epic natural beauty and forgotten ruins, where awe-inspiring, animal-like machines are the dominant species and humans struggle to survive in pre-industrial tribes.
Set during the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, Erend and Aloy are on the hunt for the killer of an important member of the Oseram tribe, fending off deadly machines along the way. As the hunt progresses, Erend reveals the sweeping tale of the liberation of Meridian, and how his sister, Ersa, Captain of the Carja Vanguard, was murdered.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I do not know much about the Horizon Zero Dawn video game. I’ve always wanted to play it if anything just for the graphics. It is a very pretty-looking game. The same can be said about the artwork of the graphic novel. There are some very striking shades of blue, but in comparison to the game, the artwork is more muted and gritty than I would have imagined. Although, in the end, it is a post-apocalyptic world.
Keep in mind, Liberation is the second graphic novel of this series. Regardless this volume does have a full and completed plot in its own right. You could easily read this on its own and not need to have read the first novel. If you do want to better understand the characters and setting, however, I recommend starting from the first novel. As I said, I’ve not played the game. Thus I did not entirely grasp the setting and characters as much as I would have liked, but I certainly got by.
The narration and plot consisted of the weaving of two storylines. One is in the “present,” following Aloy and Erend, while the other is in the past. Erend’s sharing of events from his past makes up the narration of the “past” timeline. Although there was the back and forth, the present timeline did not seem to contain that much content. Liberation mostly focused on the past timeline to justify and explain the plotline of the present.
Since I’ve not played the game, elements of plot, characters, and other aspects of the world lost me. Nevertheless, this could serve as its own graphic novel as it has a full plot resolved by the end. Given the fact that this is a graphic novel, the plot had to move along very quickly to be able to have some sort of resolution.