Guerilla Games is set to release the next huge PlayStation exclusive, Horizon Zero Dawn, this February. Previously slated for this year, Horizon was recently delayed a few months. Normally, this kind of news would illicit mass disappointment from fans. Sometimes a delay is so unwanted, gamers have resorted to threats of violence and emotional outbursts, as was seen with the recent delay of No Man’s Sky.
Yet, the buzz around Horizon has been almost exclusively positive. You’ll find that many gaming outlets even shy away from using the word “delay” when discussing its new release date. Like IGN, many outlets chose instead to simply say a release date had been announced.
Positivity in the gaming community is great to see, but one may wonder why Horizon is already poised to be a critical darling. So little of the game has even been shown, yet everyone seems certain this new property from Guerilla is going to be a huge success.
Funny thing is, they’re right.
Horizon Zero Dawn will be the next Uncharted. It will become synonymous with the PlayStation brand, do well critically and sell well commercially.
Look to the bonafides at Guerilla Games. There’s an excitement and sincerity surrounding development. Yes, Guerilla is passionate about Horizon, but so is PlayStation. Notice the promotional image for PlayStation’s E3 movie theater event. The center silhouette depicts Horizon’s main character. Not Nathan Drake, Sackboy, Ratchet or Kratos. Instead, Aloy takes center stage.
Aloy is a strong, female warrior that may be the new face of the PlayStation brand. Sign me up. As you can see in the trailer linked below, Aloy is a badass. Having diversity in gaming is so important, it’s fantastic to see PlayStation making an effort in matching the diversity of their consumers.
Speaking of diversity, the game nails its contrasting aesthetic. Presented as a post-post-apocalyptic world, it’s a twist on something that we, as gamers, have seen many times. It’s no secret that we love post-apocalyptic and dystopian settings. To see a game take that world and change it, make it fresh and inject color and life into it is incredibly attractive. The grays and browns of The Walking Dead or Mad Max are still there, but they’re playing against a mysterious technological force of chrome.
I’m excited just thinking about it.
Finally, the look and the feel of the game seem to hit all the right notes. In the newest trailer, you can see bits of inspiration from Nathan Drake, the adventurer. In other footage, one takes in 3rd person action reminiscent of the Witcher and the Batman games. I don’t mean in aesthetic, I mean in creative decision making. There seem to be options and RPG elements, something Uncharted never had, so that players can engage in instances in a variety of ways.
So, why aren’t people more upset that Horizon Zero Dawn is delayed? We’re all still excited that the world exists. Guerilla Games has hit on something special, I’m personally betting on their success, and I can’t wait to see what they show off next week at E3.