Horizon Zero Dawn represents a marked departure for Guerrilla Games in the sense that, come 2017, the Dutch studio will be swapping the linear corridors synonymous with the Killzone franchise for the vast openness of a post-post-apocalyptic world.
That’s a change of pace that brings with it a series of design challenges, one of which being the need to populate the game world with a series of side quests and ancillary activities. Game Informer brings word of Guerrilla’s creative process in that department, revealing five of Horizon‘s many diversions: Corruption Zones, hunter challenges, tribe quests, hunting and crafting along with spontaneous quests.
Starting at the top, Corruption Zones are considered to be some of the most dangerous areas in the RPG’s landscape. Teeming with hostile monsters, the zones house some of Horizon‘s major battles. There’s also mention of a “hunter’s guild” in the new IP, inviting players to partake in a series of challenges — kill X enemies with weapon X, and the like — to unlock experience and, ultimately, push Aloy to the tip-top of the hunting hierarchy.
Hunting and crafting does feature heavily in Horizon Zero Dawn, coaxing you to strip those mechanical beasts for weapons, armor and items to better your equipment. Finally, those tribe quests and spontaneous quests are fairly self-explanatory, and add a nuance to the game’s quest system.
In terms of Aloy herself, Guerrilla Director Mathijs de Jonge stated previously that our flame-haired heroine is a curious soul.
She’s very curious and determined, and she wants to explore the world and figure out these mysteries. And hopefully we can give the player the same feeling; you want to know what’s out there, you want to discover these new Machines, you want to meet the new tribes. That’s how we’ve mostly designed her character.
Horizon Zero Dawn stomps onto PS4 on February 28. What do our readers think of Guerrilla’s world-building process?