Guerrilla Games’ open world epic Horizon Zero Dawn quickly became one of the fastest-selling and most sought after games of 2017, following its release at the end of February exclusively for PS4.
Praised for its strong, often emotional storytelling, beautifully detailed expansive world and iconic heroine; HZD‘s also boasts a fantastic combat system and style that sees protagonist Aloy traverse the lush forests, snowy mountains and barren plains of its open world armed with primitive weapons such as spear, slingshot, bow and arrow along with a handful of gadgets for company, something that according to Guerrilla Games Managing Director Hermen Hulst, might have been entirely different compared to HZD‘s original pitch.
Speaking in a recent interview with Uncharted and The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog’s Creative Director Neil Druckmann, Hulst discussed Guerrilla Games original pitch for Horizon Zero Dawn, comparing that to the end product we see today.
“In some ways, it’s super close“, explains Hulst. “If you look at sort of the top line pitch of it, the lush BBC nature documentary element, robotic dinosaurs, the redheaded character in it, all of that was in the original pitch, which, by the way, was JB Van Beek’s original pitch, our director. He was the guy that pitched it. So all of that stands and it almost sounds, like, too perfect, we executed on the original vision.
But at the same time when you look at the core combat, for instance, the very first prototype we did had Killzone M82 guns in it, and you were actually firing your submachine gun, or your machine gun at these robotic dinosaurs. And that very quickly felt weird. And that’s what we had; right? You start with the mechanics that you have. And it’s just, conceptually, to be making that much noise in a beautiful forest, that was wrong.
So that was one of those moments where we realised “You know what? we actually need to produce, not just the tribe’s cultures in this world, of people that live in this world, back to kind of the bronze age, but the weaponry comes from that”. You really can only have access to spears and slingshots and bow and arrow and traps and things like that. That was a big moment.”
Horizon Zero Dawn became a huge success for Sony and PlayStation following its worldwide release earlier this year, becoming the fastest-selling new IP on PS4, in addition to topping numerous video game charts across the globe.
Developer Guerrilla Games is currently working on a story expansion for Horizon Zero Dawn but is yet to confirm any details or reveal any information regarding a possible release date.
Horizon Zero Dawn is available now for PS4.