Six Games that Inspired Horizon Zero Dawn

Playstation fans across the UK finally have their hands on Guerilla Game’s highly anticipated post-apocalyptic open world adventure.

Announced back in 2015, the game has garnered plenty of attention for its strong leading lady, unique enemy design and mysterious narrative. Sony has further hyped the new console exclusive in positioning it as the poster child for their latest hardware release, the Playstation Pro, showing off its incredible graphics and beautiful HDR display. This game is truly stunning, with photorealistic visuals on par with Uncharted 4, and a world comparable to Skyrim in size and scope.

As a brand new IP, Horizon has always looked like something fresh and genuinely interesting, but it also feels distinctly like something familiar and its easy to draw comparisons to the big, genre-defining games that came before it.

To understand how this critically acclaimed game came into being, here are six games that might have inspired its development.


1- Far cry

Far Cry is well loved for its vast environments and near-endless opportunities for exploration. Whether you’re stumbling upon prehistoric wildlife, charting your way through the Himalayas or taking down outposts, Ubisoft created a series of incredibly immersive worlds for players to explore. Now there has been no shortage of open-world RPGs in recent years, but there is something clearly reminiscent of Far Cry in Guerilla’s new big release. Whether it’s the hunting across varied, taming wild enemies or taking bandit outposts, Horizon has inherited some of the things that made Far Cry so great.


 2- Tomb Raider

There are few video game characters as iconic as Lara Croft, and yet she burst on the scene when a female lead was almost unheard of. So when Aloy arrives as a robot-smashing, bow-slinging action hero it’s difficult not to draw comparisons. But the two women share many traits beyond their gender. The Tomb Raider reboot introduced a more fleshed out Lara, one who wears her heart on her sleeve, never gives up and really feels every decision you make throughout the games. Horizon’s heroine very much shares that tenacious, unstoppable spirit and it’s difficult to find any reason dislike her.


3- Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter has an obsessively detailed crafting system, one that demands strict preparation and constant revision. From my experience Horizon isn’t quite so demanding, but it is certainly inspired by the same drive for foraging and survival in a vast world filled with over-powered, monstrous enemies. So if you enjoy that familiar Monster Hunter grind, you won’t be disappointed, but Horizon delivers those same mechanics in its own streamlined style.


4- Witcher 3

Guerilla Games were until now most famous for their first-person shooter series Killzone, a well-received but comparatively modest series. Similarly when CD Projekt Red released the third instalment of their Witcher series, nobody expected it to be quite so ambitious. Both game’s boast vast open worlds, incredible narratives, complicated battle mechanics with an emphasis on preparation, and seemingly endless side quests to get lost in. Witcher 3 is so far one of biggest and most impressive open world adventures of this generation, and although the two games look remarkably different, it’s hard to play a game in this genre without comparing it to Geralt of Rivea’s epic adventure.


5 – Xenoblade Chronicles

Xenoblade games offer huge open maps densely populated with enemy machines for you to conquer. As you’re bounding across seamless environments on your tamed robot steed in Horizon, only to encounter an enormous new breed of robot, it’s easy to understand why one might draw parallels to the Japanese RPG.


6- The Legend of Zelda

Zelda has defined open world RPGs from the very beginning. Each generation has built on the ever evolving genre, and with the latest iteration of Link’s quest released within days of Horizon Zero dawn, the two will inevitably be directly compared. Even at the most basic level the games look remarkably similar, with their bow-wielding protagonists facing wide open landscapes full of mechanical enemies. Scratch the surface and you’ll more and more similarities, from Zelda’s new crafting systems to Horizon’s ‘cauldrons’ – which seem like super simplified Zelda temples.

Both games have their own distinct spirit and style, but its safe to say we wouldn’t have Horizon today as we know it without the Zelda franchise.


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