Guerrilla explains that the philosophy of combat that they designed for Killzone still carries over into Horizon: Zero Dawn. You can still breakdown enemy robosaurs using weapons to destroy energy capacitors, or weaken them by selectively damaging their armor plating in order to expose a weak point.
They showcase how some of the old combat mechanics apply to their new IP, which you can check out below in the behind the scenes developer documentary.
They’re still using the Decima engine that they used to build Killzone: Shadow Fall, but they adapted it to fit the open-world nature of Horizon. That open-world change also came with hiring in new team members to design narrative structures, quests and dynamic dialogue trees.
Over on the PlayStation Blog, community manager from Guerrilla Games, Jeroen Roding, went into more detail about the company ecosystem and ethos changing at the studio in order to better adapt to what they wanted to achieve with Horizon. This concept was also further discussed in another behind the scenes video, which you can check out below.
They talk at length about how they first designed the concept of Horizon being in a post-apocalyptic world with robo-dinos and primitive cave people, but they hadn’t quite worked out the details on why there were robo-dinos and cave people.
They hired in a team to iron out the details and then sprinkle in some fairy dust to give players a reason to discover the mysteries of the game world.
They discuss that the story is the driving factor for Horizon and that they had to figure out where to place cinematics and how to interweave the gameplay into those story and questing elements.
The last behind the scenes video discusses how they wanted to create a new icon for the PlayStation 4 as a way to give the system a new mascot.
They showcase a few of the concepts of Aloy before they settled on the design that we see in the game, and I must admit that some of her earlier concepts actually looked better than the final and finished version below.
A few of the concepts that they were working with before they finalized Aloy, had a more whimsical design for the character as opposed to the more realistic and modernized look they went with.
They gave up the more playful look in the early concepts for a more mature design… she’s not quite Rambo but not quite a girlie-girl either. They settled on something in between.
In some of the concepts it reminded me a bit of Ninja Theory’s Enslaved: Odyssey to the West… just in terms of color tone and their depiction of Aloy.
Another concept art showed her as more of a fantasy warrior type, looking as if she came right out of League of Legends. Just as a comparison to what they were working with before, you can check out the older concept art below.
Notice how she had the wild hair going on? Pretty cool. I would have loved to have seen how it would have blown in the wind with some top notch physics on display.
Also note that in the older concept art Aloy carried around an old Italian Beretta Laramie, which is an interesting weapon choice. It’s a shame they later removed guns from the game saying “no guns” for Aloy.
It would have been cool to at least have a limited amount of ammo so you only used the pistol during desperate times or against other humans.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is due for release on February 28th at the end of the month, exclusively for the PS4 and PS4 Pro.
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