Horizon: Zero Dawn – Combat, World & RPG Systems Explained By Guerilla

Gamesradar got a chance to talk to studio art director Jan Bart Van Beek and lead producer Lambert Wolterbeek Muller, about their upcoming PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Below is a list of the information they learned exactly as detailed by gameradar's Leon Hurley, who conducted the interview:

  •  It's a full open world with no loading between areas. "The whole world is explorable. Every mountaintop is accessible, every river you can go through, every valley, and this is basically one of many valleys", says Jan.
  • It's a post-apocalyptic game but "a thousand years beyond modern civilisation’s collapse".
  • One of the weapons, a rope caster which can be used to tie down robosaurs, can also be used to lay explosive tripwire traps.
  • Combat is tactical, benefiting players who prepare by surveying the environment, laying traps and learning the robots' weak points.
  • Fighting styles roughly break down into three types: "There’s one that’s very much focused on stealth, one that’s focused on firepower, one that’s focused on setting traps and hunting. So there are ways where you get to customise your character and tune her more towards your play style, or develop them all to make her more into a Jack of all trades," says Jan.
  • Combat is focused on the bow. "They have a limited understanding of the technology," says Jan, "enough that they can make explosive arrows from the shells that the machines use but they don’t have enough knowledge to reverse engineer any of this.
  • Jan says that, "the XP system is mostly tied to the perk system, so you can develop and focus your character". Much of the RPG side is "focused on the more natural progression of harvesting stuff from robots, materials, learning how to craft new weapons, new armour, new weapons types, new ammo types. That’s really where the core of the character progression system is".
  • The perk system lets you develop these fighting styles with specific abilities like stealth kills or the time-slowing precision aiming mode.
  • There's a "full climbing and traversal system" says Jan, "you can climb up mountains, climb into trees, swim through rivers". Useful if you want to flee the robots instead of fight.
  • The game will have some sort of online component according to Jan. "The core of the game is a single player experience, but there are certain social features in there".
  • Hunting isn't the only option with robots, although "the other interactions you can have [is] something we’re not going into yet". When asked directly if you could get on a large plate-headed robot's head, Jan answered, "that is something you will see later"

Mark Norris Senior Producer from award-winning Guerrilla Games, talks us through the E3 2015 Trailer breakdown blow-by-blow.

In a lush, vibrant, post-apocalyptic world, colossal mechanized creatures roam a landscape that they have torn from the grip of mankind. Human evolution has, over time, regressed to a tribal hunter-gatherer existence, surviving amongst towering forests, imposing mountain ranges and the atmospheric ruins of a bygone civilisation – while the savage machines have become all-powerful.

Players take control of Aloy, a skilled hunter who relies on speed, cunning and agility to stay alive and protect her tribe against the strength, size and raw power of the machines.

Horizon Zero Dawn is Guerilla Games' new open world RPG for the PS4

Horizon Zero Dawn is an exhilarating new action role-playing game exclusively for the PlayStation 4 system, developed by the award-winning Guerrilla Games, creators of PlayStation’s venerated Killzone franchise. As Horizon Zero Dawn’s main protagonist Aloy, a skilled hunter, explore a vibrant and lush world inhabited by mysterious mechanized creatures. Embark on a compelling, emotional journey and unravel mysteries of tribal societies, ancient artifacts and advanced technologies that will determine the fate of this planet, and of life itself.


  • A Lush Post-Apocalyptic World – How have machines come to dominate this world, and what is their purpose? What happened to the civilization here before? Scour every corner of a realm filled with ancient relics and mysterious buildings in order to uncover your past and unearth the many secrets of a forgotten land.
  • Nature and Machines Collide – Horizon Zero Dawn juxtaposes two contrasting elements, taking a vibrant world rich with beautiful nature and filling it with awe-inspiring highly advanced technology. This marriage creates a dynamic combination for both exploration and gameplay.
  • Defy Overwhelming Odds – The foundation of combat in Horizon Zero Dawn is built upon the speed and cunning of Aloy versus the raw strength and size of the machines. In order to overcome a much larger and technologically superior enemy, Aloy must use every ounce of her knowledge, intelligence, and agility to survive each encounter.
  • Cutting Edge Open World Tech: Stunningly detailed forests, imposing mountains, and atmospheric ruins of a bygone civilization meld together in a landscape that is alive with changing weather and a day/night cycle.

We will bring you any new information on Horizon: Zero Dawn, as soon as it becomes available.


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