Horizon’s Lead Writer Reveals Story Inspirations, Cut Questline in Oseram’s Claim Territory

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Mar 3, 2018
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Horizon: Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games’ PlayStation 4 exclusive action roleplaying game, recently celebrated its first launch anniversary with the exciting news of a brand new sales record. The game, Sony announced earlier this week, managed to sell over 7.6 million units and thus became the best-selling first-party new franchise on PlayStation 4.

As a way of thanking players, the Dutch development studio organized a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with Ashly Burch, who voiced the main character Aloy, and Lead Writer Ben McCaw, who shared several interesting tidbits on the game’s development, starting with the inspirations for the stories of the base game and the Frozen Wilds expansion.

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We had many inspirations, but here are two that might surprise you. For the main story, we took inspiration from biblical epics like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, not because Aloy is religious in any specific way, but because we realized that there were parallels between what we wanted to do and some of those epic heroes. As for the Frozen Wilds, we were inspired by the film 2010. Can you guess why?

McCaw then revealed that there was a quest line (cut in the final game) that would send Aloy to visit the Oseram territory of the claim. This would be particularly interesting because the Oseram tribe have a patriarchal society where women aren’t allowed to own property, for instance, and the Lead Writer said Aloy would “shake things up a bit” there with her signature strong and independent attitude.

This question made me take a walk down memory lane! We had a quest line that had Aloy visit the Oseram territory of the Claim at one point. She was definitely going to shake things up a bit.

Finally, McCaw also shared what the team really wanted to convey on a personal level with the story of the game.

This is a cool question. Horizon Zero Dawn gave us an amazing opportunity to make the game we wanted, and PlayStation was always supportive. In addition to making it a kick-ass story about machines and tribes and epic threats to the world, we wanted it to be personal. We wanted it to be about bonds of love that cross generations, ties that can survive any destructive force. And on a very basic level, we wanted it to be about a woman’s search for her mother. We hope that came through, and from the response, it seems like it has.

There won’t be any additional expansions for Horizon: Zero Dawn after The Frozen Wilds, but with all the success the game received it’s hard not to think a sequel is already in the works at Guerrilla. It might be a while before we get to play it, though.

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