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What You Didn't See In The Horizon Zero Dawn Trailer

by Matthew Kato on Jun 17, 2015 at 07:41 PM

Gamers were wowed by Guerrilla Games' new IP, Horizon Zero Dawn, as the title's debut trailer revealed an Earth more than a thousand years into the future – one where animal-like machines dominate the land and mankind is reduced to scattered, almost pre-historic, tribes. As impressive as the trailer was, however, we found out more about the game.

In a behind-closed-doors demo of the title with live gameplay, we saw an alternate take on the events of the trailer as well as found out more info on the title's crafting and more.

In the demo, Aloy still takes out the watcher sentry stealthily, but before engaging the herd machines called Grazers to collect some of the canisters on their backs she sets a trap. Using a type of bow with a special explosive cable, she sets up trip wires between two rocks near the river. Then she fires an explosive arrow on the opposite side of the Grazers, sending them toward the river and her trap. A number of them explode, dropping the canisters Aloy needs to collect for her mission.

While most of the herd escapes up the river, a few Alpha Grazers stay behind to engage Aloy and protect the herd's escape. All this commotion draws the attention of a large Thunderjaw – an 80 foot long, 30-foot wide beast. As large and formidable as the beast is – with its arsenal that features a mouth laser, tail disc launcher, tail stomp attack, charge attack, and more for a total of a dozen different attacks – it also has 93 plates that can be hit and destroyed to expose the machine's weak spots (which cause three-times the damage), most notably the brain and power core. Also not shown in the video was the fact that when you hit an enemy the damage points are shown, old-school RPG style.

In the demo Aloy shoots off the Thunderjaw's disclauncher, and picks it up to use against the machine. Guerrilla told us that such found weapons cannot be used very far from the battlefield since they are often too large for Aloy to carry for long and will run out of their ammo.

Aloy will have her own ammo supply during fights since you can craft during battles right from the radial weapon menu (accommodating four weapons, each with three types of ammo) which slows down the action but doesn't bring it to a full stop. Earlier when looting the Grazers, Aloy picked up one part of metal scrap and five flame coils. These can be saved for crafting or sold. Both these parts are listed as common, so they probably won't fetch a lot. There is also a menu-based crafting screen, and Guerrilla says the aim is to be somewhere between being too simple and yet not as daunting as The Witcher 3, for example.

The demo's encounter with the Thunderjaw can occur naturally as players travel through the open world – whether they are of a high enough level to take on such foes or not. The developer stressed that Horizon is a single-player only title with a fully open world letting you go anywhere with no loading and with plenty to do.

While the demo's battles were certainly fun, the machines' existence and the tribes' relationship with them isn't necessarily only adversarial. Their sheer reason for being and man's relationship with them is one of the game's deeper mysteries – ones we can't wait to dive into.