Horizon Zero Dawn was bold new territory for Guerrilla Games. The studio is best known for the Killzone franchise, never having ventured into the complex realm of the open-world action RPG before. Nevertheless, they really knocked it out of the park.
Launching in February 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn quickly proved to be an early Game of the Year contender. It has all the hallmarks of a great entry in the genre: the engrossing world and story, the stunning visuals, the sheer range and scope of things to do… not to mention, of course, generous number of trophies to get. Aloy’s adventure is quite forgiving in this regard (it’s relatively easy to collect them all), but that doesn’t mean that some can’t give you trouble. Let’s take a look at some of the hardest.
10 Conquered The Mountain
As tends to be the case with open-world games, a simple run to complete the main campaign shouldn’t give you much trouble here. The main challenge lies in hunting down every last collectible, finishing every sidequest and such. A 100% run is never an easy feat and story DLC content is usually a cut above, for those who have already bested the story itself.
For the trophy Conquered The Mountain, the player will also need to make their way through the main questline of the DLC The Frozen Wilds. The trophy unlocks on completion of the quest The Forge Of Winter, which the final main mission. It's tied to progression and won't tax you too much, though.
9 Headshot 30 Human Enemies
Of all the trophy challenges in Horizon Zero Dawn, headshotting 30 human enemies doesn’t exactly sound like the most difficult. If you’re a good shot with Aloy’s arsenal of weapons, you might think that you’d have this completed in a trice. After all, it’s just a gamer’s instinct to go for headshots on enemies whenever possible, isn’t it?
Well, you’d better be a great shot, because some players have had trouble with this one. You see, Aloy famously faces off against an array of enemy machines, so it follows that there’d be a limited amount of human foes. Take care when you’re clearing out those bandit camps, because respawning human enemies can be tough to find.
8 All Corrupted Zones Cleared
Now, it’s no secret that combat (melee combat in particular) isn’t Horizon Zero Dawn’s greatest strength. It’s perfectly functional and enjoyable, true enough, but isn’t quite as polished as it may have been. Nevertheless, if you’re hunting that elusive platinum trophy, you’re going to need to tangle with some tough enemies.
All Corrupted Zones Cleared, funnily enough, tasks you with… clearing every Corrupted Zone. There are eleven of these areas, which are clearly marked on the map. They’re inhabited by Corrupted Machines, tougher versions of familiar enemies that inflict additional Corruption damage on Aloy. This one isn't ranked higher because an experienced player will know the best way to approach these enemies, but don’t underestimate this challenge!
7 Won Ikrie’s Challenge
Back in The Frozen Wilds now, a real test of the player’s resourcefulness (and aim) in battle awaits: Ikrie’s Challenge. This errand takes place in the Snowchants Hunting Grounds, where Ikrie is currently based. The side quest The Survivor is a prerequisite to finding Ikrie here, but once you’ve finished that, she’ll present a combat challenge.
Working together with Ikrie, your goal is to dispatch a maximum of ten machines (a combination of Scrappers, Grazers, Tramplers and a final Fire Bellowback). There’s no time limit, but rather an ammo limit: you have only 5 Fire Arrows and a combination of 55 Hunter/Hardpoint Arrows to take these enemies down. If you want the gold medal, you’ll need to kill them all. It's not easy, but once you have a strategy down, you'll make it.
6 All Allies Joined
If you’re one of those players who simply has to experience everything in a game, All Allies Joined is going to be essential for you. Not only is it needed for that sweet, sweet platinum (obviously), but it’s also necessary to see the best ending.
On her journey, Aloy can recruit various allies to her cause to aid her in the final mission. There are 13 in all, each requiring a different errand or side quest to be completed. It’s a lot of busywork. Luckily, this one isn’t missable, as the final mission can be replayed. All in all, a modest challenge, which is why it's ranked in the middle.
5 All Activities Completed
Next up, we’ve got some trophies that all fans of open-world adventures will be familiar with: the obligatory complete all of the side quests/nab all of the collectibles trophies. All Activities Completed is one such trophy from The Frozen Wilds, and it can be a real doozy to unlock.
There are three specific things you’ll have to do in The Cut: the Tallneck, the Hunting Ground and the Bandit Camp. The main issue here is that you’ll need a first-place finish in all three of the Hunting Trials. If you’ve had a tough time with these up to this point, you’re going to struggle here. After all little practise, though, you should get there.
4 All Quests Completed
As you’d expect of story-based DLC, The Frozen Wilds added a number of new takes on familiar challenges from the main game, as well as some wrinkles of its own. To unlock our next trophy, All Quests Completed, you’ve got a lot more optional content to dive into.
As players know, The Frozen Wilds offers a lot of open-ended and surprisingly lengthy quests. The side quests and errands available here will allow Aloy to upgrade some of her equipment (such as the Stormslinger and Ice Rail). It’s good that it’s worth your while, because completing all of the little (and much bigger) quests will take you some time! Things are starting to get time-consuming now!
3 Reached Level 60
Some gamers are simply completionists who want to do everything in a game, just because they can. That’s a perfectly legitimate way to live your gaming life, certainly ensuring that you get money’s worth out of each title you buy! On the other hand, though, many of us need a progression system to drive us forward as we grind out side quests.
In the base game, Aloy was capped at level 50. The Frozen Wilds increased this cap to 60 (ghost levels aside), and that’s the level you’ve got to reach for this trophy to unlock. This might take even longer than the last trophy!
2 Blazing Suns At All Grounds
As we’ve already mentioned, Horizon Zero Dawn boasts a lot of time-based challenges. These are common additions to open-world titles that offer bite-sized and addictive little distractions for the player. If you struggle with this sort of thing, you’re sure to find Blazing Suns At All Grounds one of the most difficult trophy in the game to acquire.
A Blazing Sun ranking is, essentially, a gold medal. For this trophy, you’ll need to reach this elusive rank in every Hunting Ground trial. There are 15 in all, so this is quite a task. Fortunately, you can return to them later when Aloy is at a higher level.
1 Ultra Hard Completed
Now, this pick is sure to be subjective. Ultra Hard Completed has the potential to be the toughest trophy to unlock in Horizon Zero Dawn, but there are a lot of factors at play here.
On the one hand, players can do this on a New Game+ cycle, and even play through on an easier difficulty the first time around before trading up to Ultra Hard. This means that so much carries over that you may not struggle at all, especially if you’re bringing some of your best gear along for the ride. On the other hand, a raw Ultra Hard game can certainly be a rough ride if your skills aren’t up to scratch. Enemies are more aggressive and seem to see you from just about anywhere. When an angry Corruptor comes barrelling at you, you'll have a bad time.