During E3 I was shown a live demo of Horizon: Zero Dawn and right off the bat, they wanted to make clear that Horizon is third person single player completely seamless open world action-RPG. The game is set in what Guerrilla is calling a "post post-apocalyptic" world. It has been over a thousand years since the collapse of human civilization. Much of the world’s old cities have been reclaimed by nature and the surviving human remnants have formed new primitive tribes. The game stars Aloy, a skilled machine hunter.
Once the introduction was out of the way, the demo proper started. What I was shown was a slightly longer version of the gameplay trailer that was revealed during the Sony E3 press conference. Aloy was on a quest to gather canisters on the back of deer-like machines called Grazers. In the world of Horizon the primitive tribal remnants of humanity are desperate for machine parts. Much of the economy of the world is based on these parts. Aloy can buy or sell these parts but she can also use them to craft weapons, outfits, and items like ammo or health potions. One interesting mechanic is the quick-craft menu that allows you to quickly craft consumables right from the HUD. You'll still have to dive into the menus to craft more complicated items.
Aloy stealthy made her way around the environment and used her versatile bow to set up a hunting trap for a group of Grazers. After herding the animals to their deaths, a large eighty-foot long and heavily armed dinosaur-like robot, called a Thunder Jaw, attacked Aloy. An interesting thing to note about the Thunder Jaw is that it has ninety-three individual plates of armor with their own hit point value. Each can be shot off to expose different weak points on the giant beast. She then proceeded to dodge the robot's attacks while shooting and switching between various arrows aimed at its numerous weak points.
Really, the main take away or unique insight that I got from this demo is that yes indeed this game is beautiful and is full of interesting creatures. If Guerrilla Games can deliver on half of what it is promising, Horizon will have a unique and giant world to explore with a strong story driven narrative.