Guerrilla Games made waves at E3 with their announcement of Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games is well known for their shooter series Killzone, though in Horizon Zero Dawn they aim to get into the world of role-playing games. According to producer Mark Norris in an interview with Polygon, this may be their “most ambitious game” yet.
Unlike many post-apocalyptic games on the market, Horizon Zero Dawn takes place well after the disaster that led to the fall of humanity.
The wastelands that you normally see in post-apocalyptic games are absent in Horizon Zero Dawn.
“When we see a lot of post-apocalyptic worlds, we see a lot of grays and we see a lot of destruction. It’s almost like a sense of sadness. That’s not what this world is. It’s bright and it’s lush and it’s vibrant. Once we put that, the sort of nature reclamation idea over the top of these highly technological machines, it creates a mystery. I think it’s the mysteries that we’re most excited about.” -Mark Norris
The world that the developers created is very much alive, and it’s full of monsters.
As seen in the trailer, the creatures are robots with an animalistic nature. Norris also told Polygon that there are a wide variety of monsters, from robotic deer to massive dinosaur-like creatures.
“They’re a form of creatures that have never been seen,” he said. “The machines represent one of the core mysteries of Horizon: Where did they come from? Why are they here, and probably most importantly, why do they look the specific way that they do? Why do they present a danger to the world of Horizon and the player herself? What does the player have to do? Does she have a unique connection with the machines?”
Also seen in the trailer is the protagonist Aloy, who is a young woman and hunter in her tribe.
In the demo at E3, we saw some of Aloy’s skills on display as she took down one of these great beasts. Norris described the overwhelming odds Aloy must face in throughout the game when facing the machines. She’s able to set traps and use a mix of specialized weapons to defeat her enemies. This introduces a tactical element to gameplay: How will you defeat the monsters?
“We wanted to be a very tactical and strategic shooter. I think we pulled a lot of what we learned on Killzone, in terms of how to create compelling combat scenarios, and pulled that into Horizon Zero Dawn. What we have to do now is just make sure that we layer in the encounter design and the level design from open worlds that fits that sort of combat paradigm that we’ve pulled over from Killzone.”
In order to make this open-world game, Guerrilla has enlisted help from developers who worked on Fallout: New Vegas, The Witcher, and Skyrim.
Norris added that they hope be somewhere in between action-based open-world games and RPG heavy open-world games. While the RPG elements of the Horizon Zero Dawn have yet to be seen, we can expect more news on it soon.
Horizon Zero Dawn will be available to play on Playstation 4 in 2016. Anyone else ready to preorder?