At the Sony Press Conference during E3 2015, Guerilla Games revealed their newest IP in over 10 years, Horizon: Zero Dawn. It wasn’t immediately known during the reveal, but this new IP would go on to be Playstation Insider’s E3 Game of Show.
During a behind closed doors demo of Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerilla Games went into a little more detail about Horizon’s backstory, mechanics, and the world the game takes place in. We are in a post-post apocalyptic world. A world where nature has started to reclaim Earth and mechanical beasts roam freely. Not much backstory was given during the presentation, perhaps to keep our cognitive juices flowing.
During the demo we are introduced to the game’s protagonist Aloy. Aloy explains how the world of the old ones was different than hers. They built incredible cities with buildings that reached the sky. Then something catastrophic happened, which wiped the world and all of its inhabitants. The world would go on, bringing new life and burying the existing world in new vegetation. As time passed, new tribes inhabited these old cities. Aloy’s tribe was a tribe of pioneers. Pioneers that introduced hunting and weapon-craft. But the world must go on. The battle between man and machine must go on.
The demo starts with Aloy running through plants, avoiding detection from a nearby creature. Aloy gets closer, then leaps out and takes down the creature. It is at this point where we get to see how some of the combat and character interactions play out. Aloy continues to push forward, continuing to remain unseen from the nearby creatures. We can see from the gameplay that the world looks to be completely open world and environments can be destroyed and even used to your advantage. Towards the end of the demo a large creature, who looks to be a boss of some sort, emerges from the background and engages in a battle with Aloy. The environmental destruction caused by this massive foe is amazing. Strapped with what appear to be rocket launchers, the giant creature takes aim at Aloy and begins to hunt. Although weapons weren’t really covered during the demo, we can see that Aloy will have different types of arrows for her bow, each type adding a strategic advantage to the creature that she is currently engaged in battle with. The two types of arrows we were able to see during the demo are the Armor Piecing Arrow and the Electric Arrow, which was used to help take down the massive beast in a “stunning” way – no pun intended. The Armor Piercing Arrow was used to knock off one of the creatures Disc Launchers, which looked like a rocket launcher. Aloy picks up the Disc Launcher and proceeds to fight off the beast. During this battle, we can see that player interaction with the enemy is going to play a big role in the game, and we are totally stoked for that. A utility type item called the Ropecaster is also shown off in the demo. The Ropecaster shoots a harpoon-like object at the beast and grounds it to the floor, assisting Aloy in finishing off the massive machine.
This is where the demo ended, at which point I had to pick up my jaw to proceed to the next showing. Horizon: Zero Dawn is Developed by Guerilla Games and will be released exclusively on the PS4 in 2016.