I was lucky enough to sit down with Guerrilla at E3 to see its new project Horizon. It's an open world RPG about hunting robot dinosaurs that's worlds away from Killzone, which obviously leads to many, many questions. If you need a quick catch up then there's a dev breakdown below, and after that I'll go through all the stuff I learned talking to studio art director Jan Bart Van Beek and lead producer Lambert Wolterbeek Muller.
• It's a full open world with no loading between areas. "The whole world is explorable. Every mountaintop is accessible, every river you can go through, every valley, and this is basically one of many valleys", says Jan.
• It's a post-apocalyptic game but "a thousand years beyond modern civilisation’s collapse".
• One of the weapons, a rope caster which can be used to tie down robosaurs, can also be used to lay explosive tripwire traps.
• Combat is tactical, benefiting players who prepare by surveying the environment, laying traps and learning the robots' weak points.
• Fighting styles roughly break down into three types: "There’s one that’s very much focused on stealth, one that’s focused on firepower, one that’s focused on setting traps and hunting. So there are ways where you get to customise your character and tune her more towards your play style, or develop them all to make her more into a Jack of all trades," says Jan.
• Combat is focused on the bow. "They have a limited understanding of the technology," says Jan, "enough that they can make explosive arrows from the shells that the machines use but they don’t have enough knowledge to reverse engineer any of this.
• Jan says that, "the XP system is mostly tied to the perk system, so you can develop and focus your character". Much of the RPG side is "focused on the more natural progression of harvesting stuff from robots, materials, learning how to craft new weapons, new armour, new weapons types, new ammo types. That’s really where the core of the character progression system is".
• The perk system lets you develop these fighting styles with specific abilities like stealth kills or the time-slowing precision aiming mode.
• There's a "full climbing and traversal system" says Jan, "you can climb up mountains, climb into trees, swim through rivers". Useful if you want to flee the robots instead of fight.
• The game will have some sort of online component according to Jan. "The core of the game is a single player experience, but there are certain social features in there".
• Hunting isn't the only option with robots, although "the other interactions you can have [is] something we’re not going into yet". When asked directly if you could get on a large plate-headed robot's head, Jan answered, "that is something you will see later".
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