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Horizon Zero Dawn

Sony Interactive Entertainment
Released 05/12/2017
PS4 Pro Enhanced

Release Information

Platform:
PS4
Release date:
05/12/2017
Developer:
Guerrilla Games
Publisher:
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Genre:
Action
Role Playing Game (RPG)
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Game overview

Earth is ours no more.

In an era where Machines roam the land and mankind is no longer the dominant species, a young hunter named Aloy embarks on a journey to discover her destiny.

In a lush, post-apocalyptic world where nature has reclaimed the ruins of a forgotten civilization, pockets of humanity live on in primitive hunter-gatherer tribes. Their dominion over the new wilderness has been usurped by the Machines – fearsome mechanical creatures of unknown origin.

horizon zero dawn aloy

Meet the characters

A legend in the making

Shunned by her tribe since birth, Aloy has never known a mother’s embrace or the acceptance of a community. Her only companion was Rost, the stern, impassive recluse who fostered her.

Rost taught Aloy to survive any physical hardship and to scorn comforts as weakness – but he couldn’t provide the answer to the questions which troubled her above all else: who her parents were, and why she was cast out. 

 

Aloy’s allies and enemies

A rugged outcast who fosters Aloy in the wilds, Rost is an honourable man whose life has taken a number of tragic turns. Only the Matriarchs know why he was cast out, but no one who’s ever met him could believe he would commit a crime against the tribe… 

A soft-spoken brave of the Nora tribe, Varl has had to content with being the son of Sona – one of the greatest heroes the tribe has ever known and its iron-willed War Chief. Along with his sister Vala, Varl has rarely seen positive encouragement from his mother, who deemed excellence was its own reward… and attainable to a very few. 

Sun-King Avad is the 14th monarch of the Carja tribe and, paradoxically for such a gentle soul, the only one to ascend to the throne through regicide. Avad never thought he would be king, thinking his older brother as a more fitting heir. But the younger sibling has discovered that his intelligence, perception and empathy has prepared him better for the crown than all his brother’s might and confidence… 

Haunted by his father’s terminal alcoholism and poor leadership, Erend has watched the Oseram clan broken by vicious infighting. And while this legacy saw his sister Ersa fight hard for a better life, Erend’s feelings grew into a powerful hatred of his father’s failings… and the creeping fear that he is doomed to repeat them, as he spirals into depression, self-destructive impulsiveness and excessive drinking.

Tasked with the mission to convince Dowager Queen Nasadi to defect, the Meridian born Vanasha has worked as an undercover spy among the Shadow Carja for the past two years. It’s an objective which has almost seen success – if not for the Citadel being locked down under mysterious circumstances.

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Explore hidden depths

Journey through a world filled with strange artefacts and crumbling ruins...

Tallnecks

Tallnecks are majestic patrolling Machines that can be scaled – with a little help from the immediate environment. Successfully climbing and overriding a Tallneck will reveal the surrounding area of the map, including Machine sites, and trigger an energy discharge that weakens nearby Machines. 

Hunting grounds

Hunting grounds are timed arena-style challenges that require you to try diverse combat tactics against different types of Machines.

Earn at least three Sun marks – the rewards from completing Hunting Ground trials – to gain access to the Hunters’ Lodge in Meridian.

Bandit camps

Bandit camps are combat encounters with large numbers of entrenched human enemies. Clearing out these camps allows settlers to move in, adding a merchant and valuable fast-travel point.

Vantage points

Vantage points are geocached remnants of the ancient past, left in scenic areas. Focus scanning a Vantage shows a glimpse of the Ancient World, and unlocks a segment of their creator’s story. You can read these from the Collectables tab in the Notebook menu.

Collectible items

Collectible items include Metal Flowers, Banuk Figures and Ancient Vessels. Completed sets can be brought to special collectors in Meridian – Kudiv, Cantarah, and the Studious Palas – for rewards.

Cauldrons

Cauldrons are the source of the Machines: cavernous, self-operating robot foundries. By reaching the core at the centre of a Cauldron, you can learn to override additional types of Machines in the world.

Exploring the Cauldrons also reveals more about the life cycle of the Machines.

Bunkers

Bunkers contain the secrets of the ancient past – be sure to use the Focus device to check for clues and other items…

Datapoints

Learn more about both the ancient and tribal world by scanning Datapoints with the Focus device.

  • Quest Datapoints can be found by exploring locations on the main quest, and are usually related to the story’s important inciting events.
  • World Datapoints and Glyph Books are found in ancient ruins and Carja settlements, respectively, and offer additional insight into Horizon’s backstory.
  • Any scanned Datapoint can be read or listened to again from the Datapoints tab in the Notebook Menu.
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KNOW YOUR ENEMY

The Machines

The world of Horizon Zero Dawn is inhabited by Machines of all shapes and sizes. Terrifyingly alien yet strikingly familiar, these mysterious automatons combine mechanical strength with organic features and an animalistic ferocity.

Thunderjaw

The combat-class Thunderjaw is one of the deadliest Machines in Horizon Zero Dawn. A formidable beast equipped with cannons, disc launchers and a mouth laser, its powerful ranged attacks will quickly cut down any hunter foolish enough to alert it. Space permitting, it can also unleash with a devastating range of melee attacks such as charges and tail swipes.

Snapmaw

An acquisition-class Machine, the Snapmaw is frequently found basking in or near bodies of water, where it gathers valuable minerals from the sediment. It can move with surprising ferocity when alerted, lashing out with an array of melee attacks that include powerful lunge bites and tail swipes. For ranged attacks, it fires off cryo mortars that freeze the target on impact.

Stormbird

Soaring through the sky at high altitude, the fearsome Stormbird is a combat-class machine that can swoop down and attack its prey with tremendous force. It’s just as dangerous on land as it is in the air, with a variety of swift and powerful attacks that range from wing blasts to claw slashes. Its enormous metal wings are also capable of collecting and discharging the electricity in the air.

Behemoth

The Behemoth is a huge, rugged transport-class machine that uses anti-gravity technology to transfer precious cargo from smaller acquisition-class machines into its stomach container. When provoked, it may charge at the enemy or use its anti-gravity unit to hurl heavy objects. It is also equipped with a set of grinding drills that allow it to pulverise and propel rock projectiles. 

Begin your hunt

Fuse primitive gear with advanced technology to craft devices that turn predators to prey. 

A hunter at heart

Use stealth and agility to outsmart your opponents, and lay traps to catch them off-guard. Then utilize modifiable weapons to move in and bring down your quarry.

 

Technology of the Old Ones

The Focus is an artefact from the old world – a wearable computer and augmented reality system that you can use to:

  • Identify important quest-related items.
  • Pinpoint and highlight tracks or Machine patrol paths.
  • Inspect Machines, and display their individual components and elemental weaknesses.

The craft of survival

You can craft most of the ammo and supplies you need from resources you discover in the world, or loot from downed enemies. Make sure you don’t enter a battle unprepared – craft traps, arrows and pouch upgrades on the go. 

Prepare for the hunt

Merchants will offer Aloy a wide range of goods, varying from resources to craft items, as well as new gear. Trade in your metal shards and resources for special weapons and outfits to protect you from the dangers you'll encounter.

Most weapon types come in three variants – Nora, Carja, and Shadow Carja. These variants affect which types of ammo the weapon can fire, and the number of modification slots available.

Weapons can have up to three modification slots to improve their existing statistics, or add new ones. Modification items such as Weapon Coils can be found as loot, or purchased from merchants.

The Hunter Bow is a lightweight, low-powered bow capable of firing regular arrows, fire arrows and hardpoint arrows. It is particularly effective against unarmoured humans and animals.

The Sling is a short range weapon with a lower fire rate, suitable for launching projectiles that break on impact and spread damage across a wide area of the target.

The Ropecaster is ideal for temporarily slowing down or immobilizing targets. The arrow on one end of the rope is fired at the target, while the arrow on the other end is fired into the ground.

The many outfits available to buy can be used to protect Aloy against different sources of damage. Most outfits have light, medium and heavy variants, affecting the level of protection and the number of modification slots available – the latter of which can be used to improve existing stats, or even add new ones. Modifications items such as Outfit Weaves can be found as loot, or purchased from merchants. 

A Dynamic World

Cutting edge open-world technology

Explore a vibrant landscape rich with the beauty of nature. Travel through stunningly detailed forests, imposing mountains and the atmospheric ruins of a bygone civilization, all brought together in a world that is alive with changing weather systems and a full day/night cycle.

1,000 years in the future

As you travel you’ll discover different ecotopes, tribal settlements and Machine types, as well as the towering ruins of a forgotten era. Can you unlock the mysteries that link them together and discover the fate that befell mankind?

Varied ecotopes

From the frozen mountain ranges of the north, to the hot, dense jungles of the south, the world of Horizon Zero Dawn offers a wide variety of different geographies.

Changing weather systems

During your travels you will experience a full day/night cycle and dynamic weather conditions, ranging from sunny days to ominous rainstorms. Adapt your tactics accordingly…

Buried secrets of the past

Traces of a lost civilization linger throughout – discover overgrown ruins and buried secrets that have lain undisturbed for generations.

A forgotten civilization

Along your journey, you’ll meet several different tribes, each with their own culture and traditions. 

The Nora are an isolationist, matriarchal tribe of fierce hunters who worship their nature goddess, All-Mother. They are forbidden to leave her Sacred Land, or explore the ancient ruins of the Metal World, without risking exile. They view the other tribes as heathens at worst, interlopers at best.

The other tribes see the Nora as mysterious barbarians, though many colourful rumours and legends circulate about the tribe.

The sun-worshipping Carja consider themselves the most civilized of the tribes, ruling a great empire from their City of the Sun, Meridian. Under the tyrannical rule of the previous Sun-King Jiran, they waged war against the other tribes for sacrificial slaves until a coup by the king’s progressive son, Avad.

The other tribes, having hated and feared the Carja, are now warily re-establishing contact – though most still consider them stuffy and pompous.

After a coup against their previous Sun-King Jiran, the Carja tribe descended into a civil cold war. Jiran’s surviving hardliners declared themselves the Shadow Carja and claimed a fortress citadel in the west, Sunfall.

The Shadow Carja fanatics are universally despised.

The Oseram are a secular, hardy tribe of metalworkers, explorers and tinkerers – inventors of unusual devices or powerful weapons. It was an Oseram-Carja alliance that allowed Sun-King Avad to overthrow his father’s regime, and now the two tribes are strange neighbours in the streets of Meridian.

The other tribes respect Oseram steel, but their brash, forward behaviour is often taken as boorishness – particularly by their new allies.

The aloof Banuk seldom descend from the snowfields of their homeland, but are renowned for the Machine-hunting skills of their warriors and the strange mysticism of their shamans. A tribe of survivalists, they prioritise proving themselves against the odds, instead of engaging with other tribes or their politics.

Due to this frostiness, the other tribes view them much as they do the Nora: curious but largely unknowable savages from the east.

Bandits survive by raiding the villages and caravans of other tribes. Occasionally they will claim abandoned habitats entirely, turning them into staging grounds for new raids. They take great pleasure in repurposing loot for their own twisted designs.

Opportunistic and hostile, Bandits live in a near-constant state of chaos. This is also their primary weakness when facing tribes that are better organized.

Horizon Zero Dawn tips

Become a better Machine hunter with these pointers from Guerrilla Games. 

  1. Find your focus. Focus is useful to identify Machines, inspect their components and keep track of their patrol paths, but be wary of the disadvantages. “Because Aloy’s movements and actions are limited while using Focus, the tall grass is useful to stay out of sight,” says Director Mathijs de Jonge. “Then hit specific components you’ve marked on targeted Machines to deal a lot of damage, especially when tackling the more dangerous ones.”
  2. Be crafty with your traps. It’s rare you’ll survive an out and out battle during the early stages of the game, where even a couple of Watchers can quickly overwhelm you. So it’s vital to exploit traps to hinder an enemy’s movement or reduce its health, especially when you’re tracking a Machine’s path. “Tying a big enemy down for a long period of time using something like the Rope Caster is really useful,” explains Combat Designer Troy Mashburn. “You can come back to them after you deal with other enemies – or even have the Machine tear off its own parts as it tries to get free.”
  3. Harness the elements. Taking advantage of a Machine’s elemental vulnerabilities could be the difference between life and death, so use your Focus to find out what works and equip yourself appropriately to deal maximum damage. It’s also worth making sure you’re aware of the elements those particular Machines can dish out in their attacks, too – this can make a potentially tricky battle become easier. “Crafting potions, especially ones that can give you elemental resistances, can be a huge help, as it can cut down the amount of damage you’ll take in those conflicts,” says Lead Narrative Designer John Gonzales. 
  4. Broaden your weapons range. Most Machines are equipped with special weapon components that can be torn off with a few well-placed Tearblast arrows – which means you can turn the tide of a battle. “You’re never going to one-shot a Thunderjaw,” warns Lead Narrative Designer John Gonzales. “But if you blow off its disc launcher, stealth around its attacks and turn its own weapon against it, then that can be a massive help.” 
  5. Even the odds with override. If you’re struggling against too many Machines, overriding a few to fight on your behalf can ramp up your chances of survival. If you don’t want to get too close, firing Corruption Arrows can cause enough chaos for you to sit back and watch the battle, before moving in to pick off the survivors.
  6. Keep moving. Agility and mobility are Aloy’s greatest assets, and there’s no stamina bar to limit you from sprinting or dodging as much as you like. Her dodge roll is particularly vital for evading Machine attacks, so always remain ready to use it, before springing a counter-attack. 
  7. Let Aloy be your guide. Pay particular attention to Aloy’s head movements and dialogue, as they’ll help you when exploring. Her head will often move in the direction of something of interest (usually a resource you can collect), while her dialogue will sometimes let you know when an enemy has spotted you or called off its pursuit. 
  8. Don't be afraid to run. If you accidentally alert powerful Machines to your presence or feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew in a fight, turn tail. “In Horizon, ‘retreat’ does not indicate failure,” says Lead Quest Designer, David Ford. “It’s part of playing tactically, so it’s okay to run out of sight and hide. “Most enemies will keep looking for you where they last saw you, so reassess your situation and re-engage when you’ve worked out how you want to take them down.” 
  9. Get out there and explore. “Venture off the beaten path,” encourages Lead Narrative Designer John Gonzales. “There are lots of different details like the text logs from the ancient world which are pieces of the puzzle you’re fitting together of the wider story.” “If you’re really diligent with your exploration, you’ll find a hidden outfit with protective properties early on in the game,” reveals Lead Quest Designer, David Ford. “You won’t get the items required to unlock it until later on, but if you do enough exploring and collecting you’ll find the keys you need to open the door to that particular piece of clothing.”
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Continue Aloy's Journey

The Frozen Wilds

Expand the vibrant, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon Zero Dawn with this stunning new downloadable add-on, which gives you a brand new area with its own compelling storyline, adventures and side activities to enjoy… and survive.

In The Frozen Wilds, Aloy travels to the borderlands of the survivalist Banuk tribe to investigate a mysterious new Machine threat. Only by enduring the harsh landscape and earning the respect of the Banuk, will Aloy gain the allies, abilities and knowledge she needs to uncover a secret from the past – and stop a threat to the future…

Creating the world of Horizon Zero Dawn

Go behind the scenes

Learn more about the challenges involved with bringing the world of Horizon Zero Dawn to life! In these exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, Guerrilla’s developers reveal more about the creation process for Horizon Zero Dawn, as well as its main character.

From corridors to mountains

In order to create Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla had to transition from specializing in first-person shooter development to creating a brand-new open-world action RPG.

Preparing for Horizon Zero Dawn

Before Guerrilla could fully realize its vision for Horizon Zero Dawn, the studio had to recruit new talent for a variety of specialized positions first.

Creating a PlayStation icon

A PlayStation icon isn’t designed overnight. For Aloy, Guerrilla went to great lengths to create a strong, versatile and relatable character.

Available on PlayStation Store

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Complete Edition

Includes:

  • Horizon Zero Dawn PS4 Game*
  • The Frozen Wilds Expansion
  • 'The Art of Horizon Zero Dawn' Digital Art Book
  • PS4 Theme
  • Carja Storm Ranger Outfit
    Carja Mighty Bow
  • Banuk Trailblazer Outfit 
    Banuk Culling Bow
  • Banuk Traveller Pack
  • Carja Trader Pack
  • Nora Keeper Pack

 

*Some gameplay required to redeem bonus outfits and weapons.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds

The Frozen Wilds contains additional content for Horizon Zero Dawn, including new storylines, characters and experiences in a beautiful but unforgiving new area.

  • Uncover a compelling new story.
  • Explore a brand new area
  • Face new machines.
  • To use this download, you need Horizon Zero Dawn.
  • Enhanced for PS4™ Pro with dynamic 4K gaming, improved graphics and environments, and High Dynamic Range visuals*.

 

*Compatible 4K display required for 4K resolution.