Greatness Awaits Horizon Zero Dawn

One of the catch phrases for PlayStation and the PS4 has been greatness awaits and when it comes to Horizon Zero Dawn, that sentiment definitely applies.

It’s no secret that we are fans of Guerrilla Games’ upcoming PS4 exclusive, Horizon Zero Dawn. Back in December 2015, Chan Moore talked about why Horizon Zero Dawn was on his must buy list. Last year we got a hands off behind closed door look at Horizon Zero Dawn and this year we got another hands off preview with the devs from Guerrilla Games, albeit an updated demo showcasing more gameplay and teasing more about the game. Horizon Zero Dawn continues to impress and if you haven’t already pre-ordered then this is one that I just can’t see disappointing fans upon release.

Something you may or may not know about Horizon Zero Dawn is that the lead writer is none other than, John Gonzalez. If the name doesn’t ring a bell then think Fallout New Vages and Shadow of Mordor, John worked on both of those titles. We all know how well those titles fell out so with such a talented writer leading the way on Horizon Zero Dawn it’s hard not to think that this title will be another instant success. Good writing is one thing but it all falls to pieces if it isn’t backed up by good gameplay and all things are pointing to Guerrilla backing up the story with briliant gameplay.

The demo that we got to view had so much to take in. Our heroine, Aloy is at her hunting best and returns to her village. Signs are pointing to some serious danger in the offing and we discover that their is a new threat that has recently entered the world in the form of machines called “Corrupter’s”. After speaking to the powers that be in her village and gearing up, Aloy heads out to hunt down a corrupter, along the way taking control of a machine which becomes her method of transport to get from A to B. After a fierce battle, Aloy has defeated one of these Corrupter’s and once again we are left with more question than answers and aching to find out more and more about this mysterious post-post apocalyptic world.

With little being given away about the overall story (trust me, I asked as did other journo’s and we got nothing), there was still plenty to take away from the behind closed doors hands off session.

First off, this large open world third person adventure has RPG elements baked into it. Obtaining resources from the machines you take down is an important elements to the game. Some of those resources, Aloy will be able to make use of but another important resource to collect are Metal Shards, which is THE core resource in the game that have a dual purpose. Metal Shards can be used to craft ammunition but also serve as the core currency in the game. If you want to buy new gear and upgrade then you’ll want to find as many Metal Shards as you can.

Each weapon comes loaded with mod slots available and eah have their As with any RPG style game, upgrading is essential to Aloy’s survival as she gets better weapons and learns new skills to deal better damage and allow her more variety of attack and better chance of success when encountering the machines. Each weapon comes loaded with mod slots available and each have their different types of ammo that can be used. What’s clear is there is no one way to take down the machines and in most cases deploying a variety of weapons and ammo types is going to provide the most effective attack. Sure you could immediately use the weapon that pins a machine to the ground but if it isn’t in a weakened state it will be easier for the machine to break free, thus minimising the effectiveness of that weapon.

The developers have said that almost every thing that can be seen in the game can be explored, even some of the mountain ranges. Of course every game has boundaries so when you reach the edge of the map, unless you know how to crack the code of a game that has been published and write your own code into the game, you ain’t going any further than the edge of the map. A question I had from last year was how is Aloy going to get around such a large map? Last year the dev’s were cagey on the topic but this year we learn that Aloy can take control of some machines and thus make use of they larger limbs to get from A to B. Part of this power comes from some old world technology called focus. This technology isn’t just limited to helping tame a wild machine, it is also useful for reconnaissance. Using the focus ability before engaging will reveal weaknesses that will make battles much more effectiv, plus it will reveal certain resources the machines may have, again a very important bit of intel to have on board.

Another important tidbit we picked up was that normal animals also inhabit this world. We haven’t really seen them but it was given away in the demo when there appeared to be meat in the village. Our friendly dev’s confirmed that there are in fact normal animals inhabiting the world but where they fit in and what they are, is yet to be revealed. The story is being closely guarded but overall what we do know is that this is a story about a girl in a world…Well it’s a bit more elaborate than that! Aloy is different from her fellow tribesman, she has an idea she is different but doesn’t understand what this truly means. Horizon Zero Dawn is as much about discovering who Aloy is and how she fits into the world as it is about how the world came to be this way. Come release day expect the answers to start to be revealed. In the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy the trailers that showcase a game that is big on explorative open world gameplay with a mysterious story to unfold before our very eyes.

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