Guerrilla Games' is best known for its series of Killzone games, but in 2017 the studio will be attempting something completely new and different. Enter Horizon: Zero Dawn, an action RPG that sees heroine Aloy journey across a vast post-apocalyptic universe where huge, mechanical dinosaurs and strange robotic creatures roam the devastated wastes.
Launching exclusively on the PS4, Horizon: Zero Dawn has quickly become one of the shining stars of Sony's 2017 launch calendar, not to mention the poster child of its PS4 Pro console. Guerrilla has promised high dynamic range (HDR) support and resolutions that checkerboard up to 4K on the PS4 Pro, allowing consumers to immerse themselves in a much richer, more detailed set of environments.
As we gear up for the game's launch, here's everything we know about the game so far, including its release date, price and pre-order deals. We've also described the exact ins and outs of its PS4 Pro support as well as current available merchandise.
Horizon: Zero Dawn release date
It might have been delayed a few times, but right now, Horizon: Zero Dawn is set to launch on PS4 on March 1st 2017 in the UK. It was originally set to launch two days later on March 3rd, but Sony announced in December that it would be bringing the game's release date forward to the 1st.
What is Horizon: Zero Dawn?
Horizon: Zero Dawn is the very first action RPG from Killzone developers Guerrilla Games. Having brought the world to the brink of destruction, humans are now subservient to a mechanised fleet of creatures that are determined to wipe them off the face of the Earth. Forced to retreat to near prehistoric-like conditions, the last few pockets of civilisation must now cling to life in any way they can, using tools like bows and traps to take down their foes and scavenge for resources.
Protagonist Aloy is one such hunter, but this young orphan is also viewed as an outcast by the remaining members of her tribe. Determined to find out more about her past and the calamity that's befallen mankind, Aloy sets off on a journey of discovery that will push her to the very limit of her abilities.
While combat plays a major part in the game, players will also be able to use stealth tactics to sneak up on enemy machines to take them by surprise. Aloy also has an extensive arsenal of ranged and close combat melee weapons at her disposal, and she'll be able to upgrade her bow to use different kinds of arrow. Machines can be hacked and turned to Aloy's advantage as well, whether it's for general traversal or extracting information about the local area.
Like most modern RPGs, sidequests can be undertaken alongside the main story. These will allow Aloy to dig a little deeper into the tribes she encounters on her journey.
Horizon: Zero Dawn PS4 Pro support
When Sony first announced the PS4 Pro at its November press conference in New York, it chose Horizon: Zero Dawn to show off the latest version of its super-powered console. And with good reason. Guerrilla Games' is a studio renowned for its superb visuals, and Horizon: Zero Dawn looks like it could be one of the best-looking games of 2016.
As outlined on Sony's PlayStation Blog, Horizon: Zero Dawn will have extensive PS4 Pro support, with consumers seeing tangible benefits such as denser, richer environments regardless of what type of TV they have.
Full HD TV owners, for example, will benefit from more detailed environments thanks to the game's supersampling technology. This effective renders the game at a higher resolution and then shrinks it down to 1,080p, resulting in smoother edges, fewer jagged edges and a clearer, crisper-looking image.
4K TV owners, meanwhile, will be able to run the game at a much higher resolution, with Guerrilla Games' stating it can achieve 2,160p via checkerboard. This doesn't mean the PS4 Pro will output native 4K video, but this clever upscaling technique is essentially the next best thing. Details such as stitching on Aloy's clothing will be more visible, and the game will also be able to take advantage of longer draw distances and more detailed character models.
Those with an HDR-capable 4K TV will also see a much richer colour palette on display, with colours appearing much closer to what the studio originally intended than what you'll see on a regular non-HDR TV.
Horizon: Zero Dawn price and pre-order deals
GAME is selling three versions of the game: the standard PS4 version for 44.99, a collector's edition for 104.99 and exclusive special edition for 69.99.
The standard version only includes a copy of the game, but the collector's edition comes with a 9in Aloy statue, a steelbook case with a copy of the game, an artbook, an exclusive PS4 theme, and in-game DLC, which includes two outfits and two bows.
Meanwhile, GAME's exclusive special edition comes with everything included in the collector's edition minus the 9in Aloy statue, so consumers will still get the artbook, steelbook case, PS4 theme and DLC described above.
Amazon is only selling the standard edition of Horizon: Zero Dawn, but at time of writing its price of 44.00 comes in slightly lower than GAME. The collector's edition, however, is still priced at 104.99.
Tesco is only selling the standard version of the game (also priced at 44.00), but other supermarkets such as Asda and Sainsbury's have yet to open pre-orders. Argos, on the other hand, is selling the standard version of the game for 47.99.
Horizon: Zero Dawn is also available digitally on the PlayStation Store. Here, the standard edition costs 49.99, while the deluxe digital edition costs 59.99. This includes a digital artbook, and various in-game bonuses ranging from additional costumes to weapons and survival packs.
Horizon: Zero Dawn merchandise
Sony has announced that a range of Horizon: Zero Dawn merchandise is very much in the works, but at time of writing it has to be unveiled. Sony's European licensing manager David Evans told MCV last year that Horizon: Zero Dawn is "an incredible licensing opportunity" and that it has all the makings of a hit franchise.
"The epic feel of the game, its breath-taking visuals, strong character development, imaginative combat sequences and the marketing weight of the PS4 release all combine to make this a hot property for 2016," Evans continued.
"Guerrilla Games have created a lush post-apocalyptic world that players simply won't want to leave and licensed merchandise offers consumers a way to extend that extraordinary experience into their everyday lives.”
At the time, the merchandise categories were expected to launch in Q4 2016, but given the game's release date has now been pushed back to March, Sony may well wait until Q1 2017 before it gives us exact details on what to expect. We'll update this article with more information as soon as it's available.