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Gameinformer: Why Guerrilla Needed Horizon Zero Dawn To Be An RPG

Jul 7, 2014
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"Is Persona 5 really an RPG" /s

Turn-based combat is an automatic qualifier as an RPG. I also failed to see any one respond to my question of how Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts are more of an RPG than Horizon Zero Dawn. So I'm gonna go out on a limb and say people that continue with the "is it really an RPG" nonsense are doing it because they can't find anything else to criticize about the game. Pickings are VERY slim for the people trying to hate.
 

Number45

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I think it's pretty safe to say that the RPG genre is broad enough to encompass a lot of elements that not everyone would agree mean a game is an RPG. It's little more than a label anyway, and is increasingly used to describe an action game with some depth to its mechanics (equipping/levelling different types of gear for example).

I'm semi-blind on this (I've seen some footage that I like and I'm a fan of Guerilla), but it seems like an action game with those elements to it so it's fair enough to call it an RPG in my opinion.

If we're super strict with the definition very little would actually meet the criteria anyway, right? It's like RnB music of today as opposed to when it first surfaced - they're not the same thing at all, but the definition has clearly evolved over time.
 

Heshinsi

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I am super excited about this game, but seriously the Killzone games were all pretty bad. It's good that they shifted genres.
No they weren't. I mean you may not have liked them, but the last three (ignoring the Vita game which was also good) have aggregate scores of 91, 85, and 73.
 

valkyre

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Horizon is an RPG?



It looks like FarCry w/ a techno-dino setting. I don't think that makes it any worse. It think it looks awesome, but unless they're hiding a lot more that I haven't seen about the game in these interviews and preview videos, I think they're doing the game a disservice trying to sell it as something its not and will only leave an RPG audience disappointed.

Far Cry certainly doesnt involve a ton of dialogue that has to do with world building and Lore. FC just gives you the essentials and then stops bothering you with any kind of details.

I will agree that the term RPG is butchered these days, but comparing FC with Horizon is far fetched.
 

Dalibor68

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Sad that appearantly dialogue is really just there for extra lore, and not for decisions/skillchecks.
 

Kyonashi

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As cool as it looks
(and fun to play when I got my hands-on at EGX last weekend)
I can't get over how dumb the robo-birds flapping their wings is, haha.
 
Jul 7, 2014
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Sad that appearantly dialogue is really just there for extra lore, and not for decisions/skillchecks.

They actually clarified that the dialogue tree will have consequences, just not major game altering decisions like you would see in a Bioware game or The Witcher series. Your choices will affect your relationships with some NPCs such as whether they might come back later in the game. They also hinted that you won't be traveling alone all the time so presumably your choices in conversations could determine who becomes your ally or possibly your enemy.
 

Dalibor68

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They actually confirmed that dialogue tree will have consequences, just not major game changing decisions like you would see in an Bioware game or The Witcher series. Your choices will affect your relationships with some NPCs.

Well that's something at least!
 
Apr 10, 2007
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Scene looks great but the nerd in me can't get my head around how on Earth that thing could plausibly be able to fly?

Not only is it's wingspan faaaaar too small, with too sparse plumage to be able to generate sufficient lift from flapping, let's also not forget the thing is made of metal and likely weighs several tonnes.

Guerrilla you guys are great and all but let's try and bring some plausibility back in this bitch...
 

Fredrik

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Scene looks great but the nerd in me can't get my head around how on Earth that thing could plausibly be able to fly?

Not only is it's wingspan faaaaar too small, with too sparse plumage to be able to generate sufficient lift from flapping, let's also not forget the thing is made of metal and likely weighs several tonnes.

Guerrilla you guys are great and all but let's try and bring some plausibility back in this bitch...
It's a game, stuff rarely (if ever) make any sense in games when you're doing a comparison to reality, especially if it's science fiction. Maybe they're made of an out of earth extremely light-weight material?
 
Jul 7, 2014
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Scene looks great but the nerd in me can't get my head around how on Earth that thing could plausibly be able to fly?

Not only is it's wingspan faaaaar too small, with too sparse plumage to be able to generate sufficient lift from flapping, let's also not forget the thing is made of metal and likely weighs several tonnes.

Guerrilla you guys are great and all but let's try and bring some plausibility back in this bitch...

They did say that everything in this game is based on real science that is actually plausible. Not sure if that applies to every single machine design though. Not an engineer so I have no idea if such a machine could fly or not. I will say this technology is so advanced compare our primitive tech that any problem you see with this will have been solved by then. How do UFOs fly? :)
 

OléGunner

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GI's Horizon coverage this past month has been amazing.
I'm now just foaming at the mouth to play this, feel like I've already seen too much footage haha.

They did say that everything in this game is based on real science that is actually plausible. Not sure if that applies to every single machine design though. Not an engineer so I have no idea if such a machine could fly or not. I will say this technology is so advanced compare our primitive tech that any problem you see with this will have been solved by then. How do UFOs fly? :)

GG even said in the other Game Informer video that they hired engineers to be concept designers for machines so that everything is practical and mechanical enough to work irl.
Obviously it's a game so they are taking liberties but they are striving for the real science approach like you said.
 
Apr 10, 2007
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They did say that everything in this game is based on real science that is actually plausible. Not sure if that applies to every single machine design though. Not an engineer so I have no idea if such a machine could fly or not. I will say this technology is so advanced compare our primitive tech that any problem you see with this will have been solved by then. How do UFOs fly? :)

Not by flapping their wings that's for sure...
 

jayu26

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Not by flapping their wings that's for sure...
Do the words "science fiction" mean anything to you? One NPC could literally turn to screen, break the fourth wall, and proceed to tell me that it's made from a special kind of light weight metal alloy, and it flaps its wings because of it's creator's bullshit "nature equals good" philosophy, as the NPC is raising couple of middle fingers from the bottom of the screen; and I would be perfectly fine with it.

If they cannot have this much liberty then I feel sorry for all the science fiction writers out there.
 

Loudninja

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Taking Real-World Inspiration
Guerrilla tries to look for inspiration in nature for all its designs, using recognizable wildlife to form its robotic creatures. "We go for that...that there is a recognizable element in there," says lead designer Dennis Zopfi. "We try to twist it a little bit, so that there's something new to it." This all ties into giving you familiarity before stepping into battle. "The reason for that is so that you expect certain behaviors and movements, so it's all about readability," explains managing director Herman Hulst. "The combat encounters need to be fluid and easy to read."

For the Shellwalker in particular, the team looked at various pictures of the hermit crab, focusing on how it shields itself and uses its claws for protection. The Shellwalker is part of the transport class of machines within Horizon's unique ecosystem. Guerrilla studied hermit crab movements, especially how they looked and functioned in groups. They rarely travel alone, and the lowest amount you'd usually encounter at one time would be three.

Because the Shellwalker is part of the transport class, it needed something to cart; this led to the addition of the Shellwalker's precious box on its back. Moving boxes is all that matters to the Shellwalker; this is the role it's programmed to perform and the creature will do everything in its power to ensure it doesn't leave its box behind and completes the task at hand.

Bringing Robots To Life
Guerrilla Games has a team of six that do nothing but work on animations for the machines in the game. Visualizing these robots is one thing, but it is a whole other task to make sure they work within the game. "We need to make sure that things move in a way that makes sense, but also have enough clearance so that the things that need to happen in gameplay can," says principle animator Richard Oud.

Most of the time during the animation phrase, the team starts discovering what's fun and interesting about each machine. "Every robot has its moment where you find out its personality," Oud says. "For the Shellwalker, it was the first time he puts the crate on his head. His only obsession is protecting his cargo. When we did the first animation, that's the moment it started clicking with the whole entire character."

While the box certainly stands out, the Shellwalker has 150 unique animations to make him feel alive and react to various things that happen in the heat of battle. For instance, even if you shoot off the cargo clamp, he'll use his claw to secure his crate, giving him one less weapon to use against you. If you kill him and shoot off his precious cargo without destroying it, there's loot awaiting you. However, you never know what or how much is inside, making it a gamble.

To make these robots feel even more in tune with the world, their behavior will change depending on which other machines are or aren't around. For instance, if Watchers aren't around to alert of nearby danger, another machine, such as a Grazer, takes on patrolling. Grazers, which are usually peaceful animals, can also have one of its members turn into an alpha male if it gets angry. "These roles are layers of complexity on top of the generic group behavior," Hulst says. The components they have also determine their behavior and help players strategize how to take down these mammoths. Machines always have some type of risk/reward, whether it's loot or a weapon you can shoot off. Guerrilla also focused on getting the destructibility of these machines just right, so as you shoot off more and more components, robots reflect that and start to look different.

Machines always have some type of risk/reward, whether it's loot or a weapon you can shoot off. Guerrilla also focused on getting the destructibility of these machines just right, so as you shoot off more and more components, robots reflect that and start to look different.
Finding The Right Voices

Sound can be make or break any game, so Guerrilla is doing all that it can to capitalize on this in Horizon Zero Dawn. Different machines all have memorable sounds that you can recognize from afar, such as the piercing lasers coming from Scrappers. "It was really hard at first to find a balance between machine and animalistic at first," says senior sound designer Anton Woldhek. "If you went too far animalistic, they wouldn't really seem like machines anymore. And if you went too far robotic you lost the emotional impact. It was a lot of experimenting and finding out what worked emotionally as well as rationally in this world."

For instance, the Shellwalker, every so often makes a sound that conveys his state, while his machine-like elements come in the sound of how he walks and how he picks things up. As soon as you start to get in his way, he pounds his fist angry and lets out a terrifying mechanical shriek. Every robot has 200-300 unique sounds and then there's another 150 sounds that are shared between the different machines. For instance, when they're walking on different materials you get different sounds and different A.I. states, such as suspicion, also bring out different noises.
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/featu...raordinary-machines-of-horizon-zero-dawn.aspx
 

Diprosalic

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The only thing that keeps me from getting excited about this game is the company's track record. But maybe this time everything clicks?

Cautiously optimistic.
 

IvorB

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Maybe the poster can do little bit research, even one minute of googling would suffice (maybe even go the GameInformer), before question what makes this game RPG in a thread titled "Gameinformer: Why Guerrilla Needed Horizon Zero Dawn To Be An RPG Reply to Thread."

No you don't. The gameplay loop of No Man's Sky is exactly what was described over and over again in those threads. Missing advertised features didn't change the core gameplay loop.

There's no need to be so defensive or worked up. There's no minimum knowledge requirement for posting questions in this thread as far as I'm aware.

They really don't. I thought it would have been a while before a game could pass The Order in graphics, but now there's Uncharted 4. And then I thought It would have been a while to pass that, but now we have Horizon O_O
and don't get me started with GOW.

Yeah they keep passing the ball backwards and forwards between them. Wish graphics like these was the standard rather than the exception though.
 

TatteredHat

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How it might compare to Monster Hunter?

I always laugh when comparisons like that are made before a game's release, because they always end in disappointment. Guerrilla doesn't have the pedigree for me to trust that this game will play anything like Monster Hunter, aside from eye candy I'm not even convinced it has much going for it at all.
 
Jul 7, 2014
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How it might compare to Monster Hunter?

I always laugh when comparisons like that are made before a game's release, because they always end in disappointment. Guerrilla doesn't have the pedigree for me to trust that this game will play anything like Monster Hunter, aside from eye candy I'm not even convinced it has much going for it at all.

I don't want it to play anything like Monster Hunter aside from maybe those optional bosses they mentioned. Regardless of any perceived faults GG knows how to make good and satisfying combat. That is my least concern when it comes to this game.
 

jayu26

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There's no need to be so defensive or worked up. There's no minimum knowledge requirement for posting questions in this thread as far as I'm aware.
No? How about read the thread or the article in the OP? Seems like a thing to do any thread. It's encouraged even.
 
Jul 7, 2014
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There's no need to be so defensive or worked up. There's no minimum knowledge requirement for posting questions in this thread as far as I'm aware.

If I'm going to critique something I would at least try to make sure I have some reasonable amount of knowledge on the subject. Obviously many disagree with that train of thought
 

Primethius

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How it might compare to Monster Hunter?

I always laugh when comparisons like that are made before a game's release, because they always end in disappointment. Guerrilla doesn't have the pedigree for me to trust that this game will play anything like Monster Hunter, aside from eye candy I'm not even convinced it has much going for it at all.

It's pretty clear to me the Monster Hunter inspired design tendencies present throughout the game.

It doesn't play like MH, but that doesn't mean it's not inspired by it or its design choices.

Even ignoring other aspects, at its base level, Horizon is attempting to emulate the same core loop and make its version fun. Person hunting giant monster with specific weaknesses in a mechanically focused combat system.

It isn't Toukiden or another obvious clone of MH. But as an MH fan myself, the design focus Horizon shares with MH is the part I'm excited for most.
 

BumRush

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I've been trying to stay on video / photo blackout as much as possible. Have we seen varied environments, or mostly the plains-type ambience we see here? Either is fine, but snow, jungle, etc. would be so nice.
 

Loudninja

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I've been trying to stay on video / photo blackout as much as possible. Have we seen varied environments, or mostly the plains-type ambience we see here? Either is fine, but snow, jungle, etc. would be so nice.
We seen all of this stuff in the first trailer btw.
 

Sanctuary

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The title (taken from the GI article) makes zero sense. Watched the video, and nowhere does it explain why the game "needed" to be an RPG...
In fact, if you actually listen to what is said in the video, it's more like "Why Guerrilla felt like they needed to make Horizon less of an RPG" than anything.

"Because players are dumb" basically.
 

HStallion

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I've been trying to stay on video / photo blackout as much as possible. Have we seen varied environments, or mostly the plains-type ambience we see here? Either is fine, but snow, jungle, etc. would be so nice.

They've mainly shown off two areas so far, a more arid looking area with canyons and impressive rock structures and the more pastoral woodsy areas that have been the focus so far. We've also seen destroyed overgrown cities, snowy mountainous areas, jungle areas.
 

BumRush

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They've mainly shown off two areas so far, a more arid looking area with canyons and impressive rock structures and the more pastoral woodsy areas that have been the focus so far. We've also seen destroyed overgrown cities, snowy mountainous areas, jungle areas.

Excellent, thanks for the response. Exactly what I wanted to hear.
 

Ascenion

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Turn-based combat is an automatic qualifier as an RPG. I also failed to see any one respond to my question of how Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts are more of an RPG than Horizon Zero Dawn. So I'm gonna go out on a limb and say people that continue with the "is it really an RPG" nonsense are doing it because they can't find anything else to criticize about the game. Pickings are VERY slim for the people trying to hate.

I'd say FFXV and Kingdom Hearts are more RPGs by way of meaningful progression. From everything I've seen of Horizon it looks more like a step above an adventure game or an RPG in the sense of Fallout 4/Skyrim/Mass Effect 2-3. FFXV will likely have ready checks or situations where you can be underleveled. Kingdom Hearts also I feel had this whole sense of I shouldn't be here yet with some worlds or fights. Leveling and stats matter. Fallout/Mass Effect/Skyrim are all streamlined to hell and back...you can go through those to completion without ever opening the skill menu or venturing anywhere and dying just because you didn't prepare your character. That's the difference to me. All still I guess RPGs but some very much less so. Horizon would likely get less crap if they just called it an adventure game. Also I just woke up so sorry if it sorta doesn't make total sense.
 

Omnistalgic

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Is it because they realized they can't make a good shooter?
Killzone 2 was received well commercially and critically I thought?

Killzone 3 sold well
Killzone Mercenaries reviewed well
Killzone liberation reviewed well
Killzone shadow fall sold well

I don't think this narrative of Killzone games have been "bad" is a good reflection of reality.

Having said that, we not only have interviews but a lot of hands on time with Horizon already, all are generally great, and the only ? Is if the story will hold up.
 

Omnistalgic

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I'd say FFXV and Kingdom Hearts are more RPGs by way of meaningful progression. From everything I've seen of Horizon it looks more like a step above an adventure game or an RPG in the sense of Fallout 4/Skyrim/Mass Effect 2-3. FFXV will likely have ready checks or situations where you can be underleveled. Kingdom Hearts also I feel had this whole sense of I shouldn't be here yet with some worlds or fights. Leveling and stats matter. Fallout/Mass Effect/Skyrim are all streamlined to hell and back...you can go through those to completion without ever opening the skill menu or venturing anywhere and dying just because you didn't prepare your character. That's the difference to me. All still I guess RPGs but some very much less so. Horizon would likely get less crap if they just called it an adventure game. Also I just woke up so sorry if it sorta doesn't make total sense.
Horizon is a skill based game though. There will be sections and enemies that will kill you if you don't run away, you can go anywhere, it's an open world. And you could get through Mass effect without going in the skill menu? On what settting? I think the recommended one was hard wasn't it?

Either way you guys should really just watch some videos, it's an action RPG game. It won't be as deep as Witcher 3, because it's not a goal of the game.
 

Omnistalgic

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The title (taken from the GI article) makes zero sense. Watched the video, and nowhere does it explain why the game "needed" to be an RPG...
In fact, if you actually listen to what is said in the video, it's more like "Why Guerrilla felt like they needed to make Horizon less of an RPG" than anything.

"Because players are dumb" basically.
you must have just skimped then.

- director said they didn't state from the beginning what the genre was, it organically became an RPG
- RPG elements were put in for design reasons
- example: attack numbers appearing when you hit an armored enemy versus an unarmored one
- they are purposely streamlining elements to make them accessible
- needed more systems to tell the story they wanted to

I don't get how stuff like Mass Effect or Monster hunter aren't "RPGs". I don't get what type of criteria users are getting at here. It's like I understand if people want/like deeper Rpg mechanics and to have more customization control, but it's still an RPG. It's like saying DC really isn't a racer because it doesn't let you customize much lol. Just didn't styles and variety in the same genre.
 

IvorB

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No? How about read the thread or the article in the OP? Seems like a thing to do any thread. It's encouraged even.

The post I originally responded to contained a perfectly reasonable set of questions that could be asked of any unreleased video game. I have no idea why it should infuriate you so much that people should ask that of this game but I'll just leave you to it.

If I'm going to critique something I would at least try to make sure I have some reasonable amount of knowledge on the subject. Obviously many disagree with that train of thought

I'm not talking about critiquing anything just asking pretty standard questions in a thread about an unreleased video game.

Anyways, I'm done on this topic.
 

AudioEppa

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I have mixed emotions about this game. A part of me is excited about it, then the other part doesn't know if I'm fully interested in playing it. I just don't want it to be overly clogged up for the sake of making the game longer to get through. I have to do more research about if the story can progress without interruption, not slowing me down to partake in other stuff I don't care about.
 

Venture

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Scene looks great but the nerd in me can't get my head around how on Earth that thing could plausibly be able to fly?

Not only is it's wingspan faaaaar too small, with too sparse plumage to be able to generate sufficient lift from flapping, let's also not forget the thing is made of metal and likely weighs several tonnes.

Guerrilla you guys are great and all but let's try and bring some plausibility back in this bitch...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg_JcKSHUtQ

And that's a big assumption about it's weight.
 

Alex Stroud

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Looks like it'll have some good eye candy.

Should also be a fun game to talk about over the next year, I see some people are already picking up their swords for the game a la NMS and The Order. Giddy up!
 

Alo0oy

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I'd say FFXV and Kingdom Hearts are more RPGs by way of meaningful progression. From everything I've seen of Horizon it looks more like a step above an adventure game or an RPG in the sense of Fallout 4/Skyrim/Mass Effect 2-3. FFXV will likely have ready checks or situations where you can be underleveled. Kingdom Hearts also I feel had this whole sense of I shouldn't be here yet with some worlds or fights. Leveling and stats matter. Fallout/Mass Effect/Skyrim are all streamlined to hell and back...you can go through those to completion without ever opening the skill menu or venturing anywhere and dying just because you didn't prepare your character. That's the difference to me. All still I guess RPGs but some very much less so. Horizon would likely get less crap if they just called it an adventure game. Also I just woke up so sorry if it sorta doesn't make total sense.

They said at E3 (I think it was a gamespot interview, but I'm too lazy to search right now) that when you go to an area underleveled, you'll be destroyed and that the game doesn't scale with your level.
 

Loudninja

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They said at E3 (I think it was a gamespot interview, but I'm too lazy to search right now) that when you go to an area underleveled, you'll be destroyed and that the game doesn't scale with your level.
Yep even the demo they show at TGS and EGX the enemies were higher level.