How Guerrilla Games are Creating a New World with Horizon Zero Dawn

In a post to the official PlayStation EU blog, the author discusses a recent trip to Guerrilla Games’ studio in Amsterdam, his hands-on time with Horizon Zero Dawn while there, and what the team has in store for us when the action RPG launches in March of next year. An excerpt:

In our play-through session, Game Director Mathjis De Jonge guided the way from initiating a quest from talking to Rost – a member of the Nora tribe who remains friendly to Aloy despite her outsider status – to hunting down a herd of machines to harvest parts from them, which then allow Aloy to create new, upgraded arrows.

It’s a task that shows off the rocky, wooded landscape and allows Aloy to use the terrain to achieve her goals. Clifftops and outcrops can be used to spot prey, while the long grasses provide cover when she moves in to stalk the machines. Traps can be set amongst narrow mountain passes, then machines can be lured into them; it’s a strategy that has countless iterations in each part of the map, and something that promises great depth of gameplay when more of the tools, traps and areas are revealed.

Aside from how the player interacts with the world of Horizon Zero Dawn, it’s the natural feel of the machine’s ecology which really impressed. Herds of Grazers roamed, following their own instincts; startle them, and they’ll bolt or stampede, fleeing from danger – just as you’d expect to see on a nature documentary. The overall feel was one of a living, breathing world that has evolved in harmony with the machines – with humans being only a distant memory.

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