Creating a new iteration in an existing franchise is a much more manageable task than creating a brand-new game for a brand-new IP. When it comes to an existing brand, developers know what the world is and what it isn’t. A sequel is about building on what has already been done, so it isn’t surprising to learn this new information about Horizon Zero Dawn.
Guerrilla Games’ first PS4 game was Killzone Shadow Fall and it debuted at the launch of the PS4. Work on this game wasn’t as drawn out as development has been on Horizon: Zero Dawn, and in fact, Guerrilla started development on the latter before they even began work on Shadow Fall. “We actually commenced on the Horizon Zero Dawn project before we commenced on Killzone Shadow Fall,” Guerrilla Games Co-Founder Hermen Hulst told OPM.
The tech that helped created Shadow Fall and is creating Zero Dawn has evolved as the latter has been made. For Guerrilla Games, having the tech evolve as they have developed both games has been a reward for all of the studio’s hard-work. Hulst spoke about the game engine that will bring Horizon Zero Dawn to life.
“It’s been a huge benefit that we started with a mature engine, but the mature engine came into existence whilst the development of Horizon was ongoing! But nevertheless, because we were working on Shadow Fall, of course, to obviously have an engine ready at launch of PlayStation 4 was a boon to us,” Hulst said.
Guerrilla Games has traditionally created linear, first-person shooters, so Horizon Zero Dawn will certainly be a major step away from that, with the game being open-world. There are a lot more variables that Guerrilla will have to account for when it comes to making sure Zero Dawn is ready to go.
“I believe that the challenges that we have on Horizon Zero Dawn – specifically the open world nature of this game, but also the artistic and graphical fidelity that we’re after and that people expect from us off the back of our past games in the Killzone series – getting all that to work has probably been… No, not probably! It has been a much bigger challenge to the team and to the studio than getting a PlayStation 4 engine ready at launch of PlayStation 4,” Hulst said.
Guerrilla Games received its first demo back at E3 2015 and ended up capturing a throng of E3 awards due to its stellar performance. Horizon Zero Dawn will be a PS4 exclusive and is slated to launch sometime next year, barring any game delays.