With most of the E3 press conferences behind us this year, leaving only Nintendo and Square Enix left to showcases their biggest and baddest new titles, we have certainly been greeted with many head turners thus far. From Bethesda’s announcement that Fallout 4 would in fact be launching this year, the reveal of Dishonored 2, Ubisoft’s impressive For Honor and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and Microsoft’s intriguing Ashen and Recore with the exciting Rise of the Tomb Raider, there is much to be excited about. In addition, EA and DICE has us convinced we will be living out our Star Wars fantasies when Star Wars Battlefront launches this holiday. Mirror’s Edge Catalyst along with The Last Guardian (about time), No Man’s Sky, and the knowledge that will be playing a next-gen HD remake of Final Fantasy VII in the not so distant future is what we live for at E3.
Please trust there are more games I have not mentioned which also have my interests greatly peaked however, none have made quite the lasting impression as the reveal of the new IP, Horizon Zero Dawn, from Guerrilla Games the creators of the popular Killzone franchise.
Every year the show is saturated with sure bets found in successful series sequels, void of bold new and creative IPs, with a large majority of the new and innovative gaming experiences fostered on ambitious indie titles. However, this year Horizon: Zero Dawn has not only grabbed our imagination, it has truly raised our excitement meter with a mysterious narrative, courageous new protagonist amidst a seemingly open world 3rd person perspective. We simply can’t stop throwing around ideas after witnessing its stellar gameplay.
If you’ve seen the reveal, knowing of the creative team behind the project, you can see the artistic Killzone influence as the introductory portion of the reveal captures the vivid complex metropolis (ala Shadowfall), before the post-civilized reality took shape. Even the robotic dino’s metallic layers give way to the stylish art heritage of the studio. More importantly, and unlike the Killzone series which isn’t known for great storytelling, Horizon introduces you to a new civilized dichotomy where man by the looks of his current state has regressed, adopting a more primitive way of life, needing to survive by sheer cunning, agility and stealth against robotic dino-beasts.
As evident by the reveal and as Herman Hulst, managing director of Guerrilla Games has updated, Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a lush, beautiful open world with nature reclaiming the ruins of a long lost civilization. No longer is man the dominating species on Earth as highly advanced machines “sit at the top of the food chain.”
The reveal featured a red-haired female protagonist name Aloy who as we are told is a young outcast of one of the first tribal societies. It appears there is more to Aloy as her independent nature and potential unsettled curiosity leads her to embark on an incredible open world journey. Guerrilla mentions that Aloy has learned the ways of the hunt as showcased in the reveal with the intent of unraveling the many mysteries that surround her life.
We’ve also learned that our red-haired leading lady will face off against entire machine herds as well as other complex and combative scenarios . Players will need to learn the robotic animal behaviors, attack patterns and weak points in order to survive while utilizing the games beautiful and lush environments.
So far Guerrilla Games has played Horizon Zero Dawn close to the chest with no real leaks. But now the cat is out of the bag and we’re all anxious to pet it. Hopefully the 2016 launch doesn’t fell too far off and Sony can spare more insight on this brave new adventure later this year.