A Horizon: Zero Dawn franchise could be possible on PC and PS4, according to Sony. They might have rather high expectations if you consider that Ubisoft did something similar early last year.
At first glance, Horizon has a very distinct look similar to Far Cry: Primal, a game which didn’t do very well with sales. Of course, the Far Cry franchise has been known for its open-world shooter/survivor gameplay, and the fans have grown to expect the setting to be some exotic location away from the world we know, which somehow has access to a lot of guns. Ubisoft had taken the franchise off the beaten path by giving us a new definition of survival … in the Stone Age. After the success of Blood Dragon, they likely wanted to experiment again.
Horizon: Zero Dawn does something very similar, melding the idea of Stone Age survival with a hint of steampunk. The protagonist is female, a hunter/ranger names Aloy, in a world overrun by robots. There are threats everywhere as you creep your way through the wilderness and “tame” the mightiest beasts you can find, killing the rest. She stops to pick up random items which sometimes help regenerate her health, also giving it a feeling like Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor. The weapons all appear to be energy-based high-tech ones, meaning you probably won’t be crafting them on the go. You’ll probably need to take random parts of dead robots to a mechanic to make them.
Also much like Far Cry: Primal, the world of Horizon is divided into tribes, though in this case, said tribes provide side quests. You might still need to conquer them to convert them to your side.
You might be fooled into thinking that Horizon: Zero Dawn is little more than a copycat of other titles, but it’s more impressive when you realize that it’s actually Guerrilla Games’ first role-playing game ever. Their past titles have included the Killzone franchise, so focusing less on action and more on exploring an open world is a big risk for them.
The general reception to this title has been very positive, as Sony has reported that pre-orders are on par with their sales expectations, says Video Gamer. Contrast this with Ubisoft’s lack of projected sales over the 2016 Holiday season, and it might not be a problem with Far Cry: Primal so much as an image problem Ubisoft created for themselves.
Ubisoft has had some good games which failed to sell as expected, and the problem appears to be that they tended to rush the finished product to the shelves and patch it later. Assassin’s Creed: Unity appears to be the biggest indication of this, having launched with so many glitches that gamers eventually ignored the core game and laughed it off. All it takes is one really bad release to tarnish a game publisher’s image.
Sony UK’s product manager Jon Edwards believes that due to the positive reception surrounding Horizon: Zero Dawn‘s upcoming PC and PS4 release date, it could become a franchise.
“We’re really optimistic about how this title’s likely to perform. It’s got a great studio behind it and what we’ve revealed so far has been really well received. It was also on many ‘Most Anticipated Games of 2017’ lists which added to our confidence. Nothing has been announced to date but I think there’s a lot of potential for this to be an exciting new franchise for us – we’ll just have to wait and see.”
If the game does become a franchise, Ubisoft will likely want to take note, having allegedly already done it before in a more realistic setting. If Sony can do it right, and better, we might see a Far Cry: Primal 2.
[Featured Image by Sony Interactive Entertainment]