Joel Eschler, Senior Producer at Guerrilla Games, seemed pretty comfortable when I told him Sony had called Horizon: Zero Dawn and its protagonist Aloy the next “PlayStation icon”.
After six years of development, it’s safe to say that Guerrilla has a lot of confidence in its heroine. Eschler said Aloy could definitely stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Kratos, Nathan Drake and even Crash Bandicoot.
“You know, I think internally Aloy has been a huge part of Horizon since the beginning so we’ve all bought into Aloy’s story, her development and going through the process of creating her and these concepts,” he said. “Of course we hope that people kind of resonate with her and find, playing through this game, that they relate to her. I think it’d be awesome if there’s a new gaming icon for a whole different demographic of people to rally behind.”
I told Eschler my experiences with Horizon: Zero Dawn, at least in terms of the world and its lore, were like playing Halo for the first time. There’s no denying Horizon’s world is vast and full of stories to tell.
“There’s definitely been a lot of investment in building this huge backstory and building the lore like, you’ve probably seen, the different tribes throughout the world,” Eschler offered as an example.
“The amount of effort that went into plotting those, the concept, the history behind them — we’ve done a lot of world building for this. This game is absolutely Aloy’s journey through this world but I think we feel like we could’ve told a number of stories.
“We wanted to make it robust enough that different stories could exist in there. You know – one can only hope.”
Eschler was quick to point out that there’s nothing additional to confirm at this time.
“We obviously have to wait and see at the moment,” he said, saying Guerrilla was trying to enjoy this moment. “There are people back home in the studio who are playing through the game naturally for the first time and they’re excited because they’ve been off doing their own little thing and they’re actually seeing how the story unfolds now that we’ve added all the final assets to the final cinematics and everything.”
Fans will have a chance to do the same thing from 1 March, when Horizon: Zero Dawn heads to the PS4.