Premiered last year at E3 2015, PlayStation also returned with a playable demo of Guerilla Games’ new title Horizon: Zero Dawn. We spent some time with a sample demo of the game that gave a simple rundown of its mechanics. Following a short demo showing off one of the more elaborate battles with a possessed machine, we got right into the action.
In the demo we controlled the game’s lead character Aloy. Aloy is a female hunter (and hacker of sorts) looking like a retro version of a character pulled out of Mad Max. Aloy has a variety of melee and ranged weapons, as well as helpful tools for trapping and controlling her opponents. The game utilizes a third-person over-the-shoulder view of the action with the camera rotating around Aloy. In this mission, the aim was to hunt and stalk stallion-like robots. Aloy’s world is a post apocalyptic one, where humanity has lost control of the technology that it once relied so heavily and reverted to an almost medieval form of hunter-gatherers. Now the forests are filled with these mega powerful robots behaving almost like real animals themselves.
Aloy is stalking the stallion-like machines seeking either parts culled from their circuitry or to take control of them wholly to use them like a steed. If she can get close enough and subdue the bot with tripwire, she can hack its mainframe (in a manner of speaking) and make the machine docile and friendly. Like real wild horses though, the machines are skittish. Get too sloppy in their presence and they’ll all run off in fear. Worse yet, a pack of velociraptor-like one-eyed hunters (think of them like wolves) will give pursuit. They don’t look like much, but they’re ferocious.
It takes some getting used to know how to anticipate the hunters’ attack patterns, but once you can—whether through stealth or swift action—there’s a wild dynamic to besting, beating and controlling these machines. Hopping on the first “horse” and heading off with speed is a real treat.