Horizon: Zero Dawn will feature a massive world, story and philosophical questions

5 min read

Horizon Aloy

Horizon: Zero Dawn is next year’s Bloodborne. No, not that it’s a From Software game that will make you regret your life/death choices. But it’s a highly anticipated PS4 exclusive that might convince some gamers that it’s time to jump on the PS4 bandwagon. With an intriguing protagonists, post-post-apocalyptic world and robotic dinosaurs, I already had a seat booked on the hype train. Now we’ve gotten a few more answers about the game, and I’ve got some seats here next to me for you.

Over on DualShockers, the guys were lucky enough to chat to Senior Producer Mark Norris about the game. It seems that they’re still keeping a lot about the game under wraps, but at least it was possible to glean a few details from it. First up, Aloy has a unique relationship with the machines (what they call the robotic dinosaurs):

Aloy is an incredibly unique character, and she’s not actually representative of all of the rest of the different tribal humanity that you see in the E3 demo. She does have a little bit of a special relationship with the machines.

We can’t really get into the details of what that relationship is, or how that relationship may exist, but thre is something about her. Something that’s happened sort of in the first nineteen years of her life, that really speaks to why she treats the machines the way that she does.

And she may not always treat the machines the same way over the course of the game. So it is an interesting line, that has sparked a lot of interesting commentary, and we’re actually looking forward to see more people talk about what they think the theories are there.

Hm, so she has a unique relationship with the machines, one that isn’t shared by the other tribes. I wonder if that isn’t what sets her apart and sends her on her mysterious journey. Each tribe seems to have a different relationship with the machines, which he explains a little bit more:

[…] You can see that the first tribe is the tribe that Aloy comes from. And you can see that they’re kind of a nomadic kind of tribe. They have wooden homes, and they appear as if either they haven’t been there long, or they had to move around a lot. And that probably shapes their cultural influences and their relationship with the machines.

Similarly, there’s the tribe that you can see on top of the giant plateau, with a really cool city sitting at the top. And of course, like Aloy mentions in the dialogue, some live like kings. Their relationship with the machines is actually very different. Perhaps the reason why those walls appear to be more stone and less wood is because they’re not threatened nearly as much.

So each of these tribes has a different relationship, so I don’t think we can generalize kind of what Humanity’s relationship is with the machines, but I think it’s also a relationship that changes over the course of the game.

With all of these tribes and so much exploration, they asked Norris about the size of the world, a question he kept on dodging. He did mention that it’s sort of like The Witcher in that there’s a strong central character the world and story revolve around her, but also sort of like Skyrim or Fallout where the world and the story of the other tribes are equally important. While he wouldn’t answer about the size of the world directly, we do get some indication that it’s going to be rather large based on the question if there will be vehicles, mounts or flying.

The reality is, a certain size of the world I think demands a mount, right? We take a look at a world like The Witcher, which is an enormous world, we take a look at a world like Skyrim, which is 41 square kilometers, and they’ve added mounts.

We take a look at GTA or Saints Row, those are games that have cars, right? So they have “mounts.”

We’re not ready to talk about the different ways that Aloy moves around the world, but what I can guarantee is, it’s not just walking and running. Certainly, she gets around the world in a couple of different ways.

Okay, so Aloy gets to explore an enormous world and engage with machines in unique ways. But why? Who is she and what is her purpose in Horizon: Zero Dawn’s world? Well, that’s something that we’ll get to discover right alongside her.

She will discover who she is. She will discover her purpose in the world. She will discover the weak points of the machines. She will discover all these different tribes around the world. She will discover people that will become very important to her over the course of the game. So I think you can get excited about discovering Horizon, because I think it’s gonna open your mind to a different way that we can tell stories in games.

I know, it’s not much information to go on. We can glean aspects about exploring an open world, discovering societies and learning about the lore of the world. But beyond that, we just don’t know much about the gameplay to expect when Horizon: Zero Dawn launches next year. That’s not going to stop me, though; I’m genuinely excited to play this.

Last Updated: October 27, 2015

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