Everything You Need to Know About Horizon Zero Dawn
Everything You Need to Know About Horizon Zero Dawn
When Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn was announced at E3 2015, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the action RPG. Robotic dinosaur-like creatures to hunt? Check. Futuristic post-apocalyptic world? Check. A mystery behind it all? Check. It all sounds fresh and exciting and it’s rare that new IP comes along with this much quality going for it out of the gate. Now we’re getting closer to the PlayStation exclusive’s release, here’s everything we know about the game and it’s development so far:
A New Direction for Guerrilla Games
The Sony-owned Amsterdam based studio is perhaps best known for its work on the Killzone series, in fact it has almost worked exclusively on that property since 2004. Their last game, Killzone Shadow Fall was a launch title for PlayStation 4 in 2013 and generally was received pretty well. So why did Guerrilla Games choose to move away from the first-person shooter genre for which it was best known in favour of Horizon Zero Dawn?
In an interview with Game Informer, managing director Hermen Hulst said the following:
“It’s really exciting. It is fantastic when you’ve worked on a franchise for more than a decade…to do something that’s so radically different and at the same time kind of stands on the shoulders of what we made before…
“We really love making fluid, awesome combat and we’re trying to do that again, we’re really into making fantastic science-fiction worlds and we’re doing that again. So there are a ton of similarities but I think more importantly this is really fresh.”
Hulst also mentions that the team wanted to create a world you wanted to get lost in rather than a gritty world like Killzone‘s which you want to escape from.
Horizon Zero Dawn will mark Guerrilla Games’ first foray into the RPG genre and the studio had to hire all new talent for the project including story writers to work on quests. It’s a significant step for a studio to transition like this and from the demos, trailers and glimpses of the game we’ve seen so far, it all looks pretty impressive.
In Horizon Zero Dawn you play as Aloy, a hunter who lives in a world overrun by robots. Aside from the mechanical creatures roaming around, the people are separated into several tribes spread across the land. Aloy’s journey surrounds the question of their origins and how all this came to be.
Warning: The following story trailer may be considered to contain spoilers by some so don’t watch if you want to go in completely fresh:
Guerrilla Games have shed some light on the specific nature of the world, for example Aloy’s time period is set 1,000 years in the future after some catastrophic event has sent humankind back to the Stone Age. The status quo is being upset with many of the mechanical beasts becoming corrupted and more dangerous; Aloy sets out on a mission to find out why.
Horizon Zero Dawn is an action RPG, with elements drawn in from other games in the genre. Aloy’s main weapon is her bow but she has access to a number of tools such as a Ropecaster to create tripwires or other traps. These can be used in creative ways to take down the robotic creatures that roam the land. By hunting these machines, Aloy is able to craft various tools and upgrade her weapons, an important gameplay loop in Horizon Zero Dawn. The red-haired protagonist also has the ability to tame some of the creatures and use them for transport.
There are three branches of a skill tree: Prowler for all things stealth, Brave which improves combat and Forager which upgrade healing and gathering abilities. For some of the game’s activities, the title looks a lot like a Ubisoft game as players climb towering creatures to unlock areas on the vast map while corruption zones are areas with higher difficulty and more aggressive enemies.
The game features numerous quests and side-quests with dialogue featuring multiple choices in a Mass Effect-type wheel. While players will be able to make choices for Aloy, they won’t drastically change the outcome of events or the story. The main plot of the game is provided by the various tribes Aloy will encounter throughout the course of the game.
A New Franchise for Sony?
Although the game’s reception commercially and critically will have a say in the decision, it appears that this could be the next big franchise for Sony. The name Horizon Zero Dawn suggests that Guerrilla Games has at least some notion of a potential sequel and with other series’ like Uncharted winded down for the time being, Sony will be looking for its next hit franchise.
Release Date and More
Horizon Zero Dawn was originally supposed to release in 2016 but was delayed in order to give the development team extra time to polish the game, it is now scheduled for release on February 28th in North America and March 1st in Europe.
The game will be PS4 Pro compatible and runs up to 4K resolution. The action RPG is a flagship title for the PS4 Pro and has featured in many highlight reels for the 4K-capable console.
That’s everything we know leading up to Horizon Zero Dawn‘s release later this month.
What do you think of the game so far? Are you excited to play it and will it live up to the hype?
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