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Horizon Zero Dawn

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Horizon Zero Dawn is an open-world action role-playing video game developed by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony Computer Entertainment for the PlayStation 4 in 2017. It was officially revealed at E3 2015 during Sony's press conference, and is the first intellectual property created by Guerrilla Games since Killzone in 2004, as well as the developer's first foray into the role-playing genre.

Synopsis

Horizon Zero Dawn takes place a thousand years into the future, in a post-apocalyptic world where colossal machines dominate the land.[1][2] Over time, human civilization has regressed to tribal societies of hunters and gatherers who survive in immense forests, imposing mountain ranges, and the atmospheric ruins of their ancestors – all while the machines become increasingly powerful. The player controls Aloy, a hunter who uses her speed, cunning, and agility to stay alive and protect her tribe against the force, size, and power of the machines.

The game features mystical and mythical elements.[3]

Gameplay

Features

  • Horizon Zero Dawn features quests elements which includes the main story quests, national quests involving the tribes and also the side quests.
  • As player progresses through the game, they are able to level up their character.
  • Aloy has three skill trees which are the Prowler, Brave, and Forager.
  • Stealth is also a central element of the game, comprised of a crouch system and sections of tall grass, which can be used to avoid enemy detection completely.
  • Guerilla Games has created a robotic ecosystem where each machine type has its own behaviors and purpose in the world of Horizon Zero Dawn.
  • Aloy has the ability to override the machines with her old-world technology. This will allow the player to mount certain machines such as the Broadhead and Grazer while some will fight by your side. 
  • The override feature has a progression system. 
  • Aloy has an old-world device which provides focus scan ability. It shows the enemy's level, weakness, weapons they are equipped with, and also the components they are constructed from. 
  • Aloy can swim in the game, but the player might encounter hostile machines in the water, like the Snapmaw
  • The world in Horizon Zero Dawn has its own economy and is heavily trade-based. 
  • They are two types of currency in the game: shards and blaze. Shards are the common currency, whereas blaze is more valuable and is acquired through hunting rarer and tougher machines.
  • The hunting of machines and harvesting of their parts is essential in the game as it provides important resources and components for food, crafting, and trading.
  • Aloy can also combine the components from the machine with natural resources to craft ingenious weapons, ammunition, traps, and tools.
  • Aloy also has multiple hunter weapons at her disposal, including her bow and spear, various arrow types, tripwires, and a ropecaster, which can be used to pin down and capture machines.
  • Weapons are customization and have slots for modifications.
  • Outfits have stats, weaknesses, and can be modified. Players will have to wear warmer outfits in colder regions.
  • Another aspect of machine combat includes detachable enemy weapons, such as the disc launchers of Thunderjaws; if a Thunderjaw's disc launchers are successfully detached, they can be used to deal heavy damage and quickly dispatch opposition.

Setting

The open world of Horizon Zero Dawn is dense, varied, and full of opportunities for exploration, as well as transitionally dynamic and seamless, due to day-night and weather system cycles, and a lack of loading screens. Guerrilla Games has stated that they are focusing on world density in particular, rather than size. Of the three known biomes—alpine, desert, and tundra—all are said to be explorable.

Special Editions

Digital Deluxe Edition

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Digital Deluxe Edition

Contents

  • Horizon Zero Dawn PS4 game
  • The Art of Horizon Zero Dawn digital art book
  • Exclusive PS4 theme
  • 2 Outfits: Carja Storm Ranger outfit and Banuk Trailblazer outfit
  • 2 Bows: Carja Mighty bow and Banuk Culling bow

Bonuses

  • Banuk traveler pack
  • Carja trader pack
  • Nora keeper pack

Collector's Edition

Collector

Collector's Edition

Contents

  • 9' Aloy statue
  • Steelbook case including Horizon Zero Dawn PS4 game
  • The Art of Horizon Zero Dawn digital art book
  • Exclusive PS4 theme
  • 2 Outfits: Carja Storm Ranger outfit and Banuk Trailblazer outfit
  • 2 Bows: Carja Mighty bow and Banuk Culling bow

Bonuses

  • Banuk traveler pack
  • Carja trader pack
  • Nora keeper pack
  • Nora trapper pack

Development

Horizon Zero Dawn was conceived in 2010.[4] Development began in 2011, after the release of Killzone 3.[5] Guerrilla Games announced that they were creating a new intellectual property, with 40 concept ideas created for the game. Among them was Horizon Zero Dawn, one to which the director Mathijs de Jonge called the "most risky".[6] The original concept has been described as "a pretty fresh mix of ingredients; the BBC nature documentary kind of feel, and then the sci-fi elements with the robots." Likewise, Guerilla sought a new main character, different from the male protagonists of the Killzone series.[7] When the concept was chosen, a team of 10-20 people started building prototypes for the game, with many of the prototypes' elements being included in the game. Roughly 20 unique stories were written, all exploring various concepts and character ideas. The story was written by John Gonzalez, the head writer of Fallout: New Vegas. Since the beginning of development, the various elements of the story remained intact.[6] Aloy was in the original pitch, and regarded as one of the game's three 'pillars', the others being being "gorgeous nature" and the machines.[3]

Early on, the game's combat bore a resemblance to the Killzone series. In fact, the M82 rifle was present in early builds of the game, being fired at robot dinosaurs. In the words of Hermen Hulst, this started to feel weird "very quickly," and the direction was changed in terms of combat.[8]

Guerrilla Games invested more of its staff into the development of Horizon Zero Dawn following the completion and release of Killzone: Shadow Fall.[9] More staff were hired, as the studio's experience mostly lay in FPS games.[3]

The game delves into the juxtaposition of the beauty and dangers of its world. More precisely, it considers the scenario of humanity's fall from grace and regression into hunter-gatherers, where the species is no longer "at the top of the life list".[6] Emphasis was given to a quest system; various acquirable items are spread throughout the world, used for crafting resources and replenishing health.[6] Horizon Zero Dawn is also completely devoid of tutorials, an implementation purposed for fostering trial and error solutions to the game's various obstacles.[10]

Horizon Zero Dawn was created with the engine used in Killzone: Shadow Fall; Guerrilla Games, however, felt that the purposing the engine for Horizon Zero Dawn was a technical challenge, with regard to loading and distances times.[6] The team also sought a simplistic user interface, avoiding overly-complex menus for features such as crafting. With Horizon Zero Dawn being Guerrilla Game's first venture into the role-playing genre, the developer sought assistance with design, art, and other technical fields to discover how elements of said genre work.[6][11]

Conceptual art of hunters and machines, as well as the name of the game code surfaced on September 14, 2014.[12] Horizon Zero Dawn was officially unveiled during the press conference Sony at E3 2015, with a worldwide release, exclusively for PlayStation 4, being expected in 2016.[13] The game's release was then pushed back to 2017. Guerilla used the extra time for playtesting.[14]

Guerilla is open to books and comics based on the game being released.[3]

Gallery

Images

Videos

Reception

The reveal of Horizon Zero Dawn during E3 2015 received critical acclaim from the critics and received several awards, including "Best Original Game" awarded by the panel of judges Game Critics Awards.[15]

References

  1. Engadget: Robot dinos, archery and mystery in 'Horizon Zero Dawn'
  2. Digital Trends: Horizon Zero Dawn is even better than the mind-blowing trailer made you think
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 GameSpot: New Horizon Zero Dawn Concept Art and Details Revealed at PSX
  4. Game Informer # 82: Human vs. Machine
  5. IGN: E3 2015: Horizon: Zero Dawn's Incredible Balance of Action and RPG
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 GameInformer: The Origins & World Of Horizon Zero Dawn
  7. Horizon Zero Dawn Dev Talks Delay and Why It Chose a Female Hero
  8. Horizon: Zero Dawn's First Prototype Had Machine Guns
  9. Eurogamer: Killzone dev Guerrilla confirms work on new IP has begun
  10. VideoGamer.com: Horizon Zero Dawn won't be 'tutorialised'; RPG systems detailed
  11. VideoGamer.com: Horizon Zero Dawn is 1080p/30fps, runs on modified version of Killzone: Shadow Fall engine
  12. IGN: Guerrilla Games New Project Could Feature Robot Dinosaurs
  13. Game Informer: Killzone Creators Announce Horizon Zero Dawn
  14. GameSpot: Horizon Zero Dawn Dev Talks Delay and Why It Chose a Female Hero
  15. Game Critic Awards: Best of E3 2015

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