Three New Horizon Zero Dawn Videos Show How Guerrilla Games Went from FPS to RPG (VIDEO)
Over the weekend, Guerrilla Games released a series of videos discussing how the studio went from “Killzone”, a first person shooter, to an open world action game. The three Horizon Zero Dawn videos each detail a different aspect of the creation of the game, painting a vivid picture for fans on how the action RPG was built. You can watch the videos throughout this article.
The first of the Horizon Zero Dawn videos, titled “From Corridors to Mountains”, details how the developers shifted from the intense first-person shooting to open world third-person action. Part of what came from Killzone to Zero Dawn was the system that allowed players to shoot enemies in specific places to expose or exploit vulnerabilities. They seamlessly brought that same system to Horizon Zero Dawn, allowing players to knock off armor plating on massive mechanical dinosaur-like animals to expose weak points. Game Director Mathijs De Jonge had this to say about it:
That’s one of the things that we’ve adopted for Horizon, when building the combat with the machines. We’ve tried to expand it further, because these machines are way more complicated than the Helghast.
Ultimately the studio wanted to bring what they were good at into an open world RPG. The video details some pretty amazing action that would definitely set it apart from other games similar to it. With a setting that is as much from the past as it is the future, we think this game will do exactly what the studio had hoped which is to stand out.
The second of the Horizon Zero Dawn videos focuses more on the history of the studio and what changes needed to be made in order to create something so vastly different from their previous titles. Guerrilla Games drew in talent from various areas of expertise to help create the game. Developers, engineers, narrative teams, and quest designers all came together to help mold Zero Dawn into what it is. The biggest obstacle according to Narrative director John Gonzalez was bringing everything together.
We had the lush verdant nature, we had these mechanical beasts that are like robotic dinosaurs, and also these human beings that are living in this more primitive or tribal state. At that point, how exactly those elements had come to exist in this world together hadn’t really been worked out.”
After the narrative team had worked out the beats of the story, the quest design team got busy turning the narrative into something that would accommodate the questing style of an open world game. Lead quest designer David Ford had this to say about his teams work:
When I arrived, John and his team had written the overarching narrative for the game and had an understanding of where the story was going to go, but it was written as a story, not a series of quests. So the quest team had the opportunity to work with the writers to break that story apart into smaller chunks, figure out where the gameplay would be, where the cutscenes would be, how it would all fit together.
It is impressive to see how much work, creativity, and detail went into the creation of Horizon Zero Dawn. Beyond the scope of the story, the teams worked to develop realistic mechanical creatures that physically made sense and tribal societies with their own cultures and ideas. An incredibly detailed world and rich story, what more could anyone want except maybe a stand out character to tie it all together?
The last of the Horizon Zero Dawn videos focuses squarely on the development of the playable main character Aloy. As the world was built the character design became more and more in tune with it. This wasn’t enough for the developers who wanted the character to stand out like other PlayStion exclusives have in the past.
You can hope for it, but it’s not something you can really put a stamp on it, like ‘okay, it’s iconic now.’ There are people even within this building who were feeling like, ‘How do we try and get something that’s even to 90% of Nathan Drake?’
The developers believe that many different aspects go into what makes Aloy iconic. From strong character design, personality, and solid voice acting Aloy certainly stands out in many ways. Having learned that perhaps they had characterization backward in Killzone, the studio now believes they have a protagonist as strong and iconic as their Killzone Helghast antagonists are.
Horizon Zero Dawn will arrive February 28th exclusively on the PlayStation 4! If you wanted to read more about the game, you might like some of these articles below:
Will you be picking up a copy of Horizon Zero Dawn? What did you think of the videos on the game’s development? Sound off in the comments below!
Charles Douglas734 Posts
Deep in the mountains of the south west lives a man who writes game editorials, makes YouTube Videos, and is an overall mega nerd. An avid believer in Unicorns, and your new all star line backer, Number 34, CHARLES DOUGLAAAAAAASSSS!!!!