Guerilla Games’ art director Jan-Bart van Beek has made it clear that there will be no hand-holding in Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Talking to videogamer, van Beek said “We don’t tutorialise the game, we don’t go and tell you how to hunt these robos or how they interact. You really have to go out there and explore these things by trial and error.”
This applies to observing the robos out in the wild as well. “And it’s the same case for learning about how the robos interact between themselves; who’s protecting who and how they are all interconnected. You’re always a little bit like David Attenborough where he’s sitting in the bushes and studying these creatures trying to learn their behaviour, seeing how you can exploit that behaviour from them.”
He also explained that the studio wouldn’t be talking about story details, leaving the player to discover the world and what happened to change it. “You won’t find us in any interviews explaining what the robos are, why they are there or how they came to be. This is something for the player to find out themselves.”
van Beek did talk about the skill tree in the game, and the two “basic character development systems”. Gaining XP grants perks, like the slowing down time mechanic we saw at E3. “Without that it’s actually really hard to hit certain weak spots. [The character in the demo] is already an advanced character about level 12, I think.”
The crafting and harvesting system is the second way to upgrade. “By going into nature and defeating bigger and stronger robos you’ll get better armour-plating, better weaponry and slowly but surely you’ll develop your character in a more naturalistic way.”
Horizon: Zero Dawn is coming to PS4 in 2016.