Zero Dawn Was ‘Boring’ While In Development

Ever since its release last year, Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn has become one of the PlayStation 4’s most popular action games, selling over 7.6 million copies and guaranteeing future franchise potential.

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But it wasn’t always that way. An interesting report has come from Dutch website Control-Online suggesting that the game wasn’t always the adrenaline-pumping experience that we’ve been enjoying.

During this past week’s Nordic Game Conference, Horizon executive producer Angie Smets explained that Sony had some doubts about the game in its first two years of development, particularly with its size. At one point, it was larger than World of Warcraft, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Grand Theft Auto V. Combined.

“We didn’t see this coming,” Smets explained. “Because we had become blind to the game’s weak points.”

She further demonstrated this point with a screen image of the map, which can be seen below. As you can see, it’s a pretty damn big area, leaving us wondering just how long it would take to get from one point to the other. We’re probably talking hours worth of travel.

Horizon 2
(Photo: Control-Online)

As a result of this, playtesters found Horizon to be a slog to get through. Some even deemed it “beyond boring” since it took pretty much forever to travel anywhere.

Obviously, Guerrilla righted the ship by shrinking down the map size significantly and focusing more on the action at hand. And thus, Horizon Zero Dawn was saved.

Another great story that came out of Smets’ presentation is that Dawn wasn’t the only game that the developers were pitching at the time. It also pitched Dark Silence, a beat-em-up game. Sony apparently took a good look between the two and found Dawn to be worth Guerrilla’s development time. You can see an image of Dark Silence below, featuring a beat-up detective walking through the city streets with a number of characters behind him.

Horizon 3
(Photo: Control-Online)

It’s funny how things could’ve gone if Dark Silence were greenlit instead of Dawn. But it appears that Sony chose correctly as Aloy’s adventure has become one of the biggest sellers on the PlayStation front. Hopefully we’ll see what she’s up to next down the road.

Horizon Zero Dawn is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.

(Hat tip to Control-Online for the details and images.)

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