If there’s one game that gets us fired up at TSA Towers, it’s Horizon Zero Dawn. Some of us (raises hand) think it’s brilliant, others are less impressed with our beloved Editor describing its character development as “Aloy just talks to people and looks concerned.”
A recent job listing at Guerrilla Games has got us talking about the game once more as it indicates whatever Guerrilla are working on it’s going to have multiplayer, as did a job listing last October. That could be a new Killzone, but we know they are also working on a sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn and the thought of adding a multiplayer component to that has divided them team once more.
So, we’ve collected our thoughts on the matter, both positive and negative to see if it makes sense (it doesn’t).
Horizon was a phenomenal game for many reasons. The world was unique, the characters were engaging and the story was so rich I’m salivating at the thought of sinking my teeth into it again. But, at its core, Horizon is and always has been a single-player campaign. It tells the story of a powerful young woman overcoming adversity, and it did so at a time when there was a dearth of games that can actually do that in an effective way.
Tacking multiplayer onto a sequel would simply be an afterthought — which is fine if it will actually added something worthwhile to the game — but if it’s just a reskin of your standard battle royale or a basic horde mode, that not only cheapens Horizon as a whole, but it cheapens multiplayer as a whole. A game designed as a phenomenal experience has the chance to be phenomenal, just like Horizon was and is. Something designed as an afterthought will never be more than that.
Maybe it’s not so much should Horizon Zero Dawn 2 have multiplayer, but could it? The simple answer is, yeah sure. Playing out like a Monster Hunter/Dragon’s Dogma style affair with players collaborating to take down a giant robotic beast sounds cool. The idea of multiple players trapping a creature while another climbs atop it sounds like it’d be pretty smart. Does it need it? No. Can Guerrilla pull it off? Almost certainly.
My first reaction is no. No, no, no, no, NO! Other than the Naughty Dog games, traditional single player titles that forced in multiplayer have been rubbish, I’m talking about your God of Wars, your Assassin Creeds. I would despise any sort of standard PvP multiplayer being thrust in to the Horizon: Zero Dawn world, but I do see one way in which Guerrilla could include it.
The first game includes Hunting Grounds where Aloy can master her skills, these could be expanded to include multiplayer and work rather like Destiny 2’s Gambit mode. For the most part the two teams are working in separate arenas, trying to take down the machines as fast as possible, but there could be a mechanic where the opposing team could unleash and control a larger enemy in the opposing team’s camp, disrupting their progress. That might work. It stays within the mythology of the game and it’s based on the best part of the single player: attacking massive robots.
Monster Hunter style multiplayer would be awesome with the potential for some great robot battles if PvE but the amazing range of combat options would feel really watered down with any kind of standard PvP. Would be nice to be able to directly control the robots but would be a nightmare to balance. I remain unconvinced.
Horizon Zero Dawn doesn’t need multiplayer, but I kind of want Guerrilla to add some modes to the sequel. “It’s a waste of time!” and “It’ll make the single player suck!” people will cry, but that doesn’t come into it.
This is a company that knows multiplayer and I’m sure they can come up with some interesting concepts that surprise people. It’s not guaranteed to be worthwhile – for every Uncharted 2 multiplayer, you can also point to a God of War multiplayer that really did very little – but we should keep an open mind.
Also, it’ll be funny.
The only way I see multiplayer working in Horizon Zero Dawn’s sequel is if the campaign is completely co-operative. It won’t work if Guerrilla plans on creating a PvP multiplayer mode. At least, it’s not something I can imagine. Guerrilla aren’t strangers to multiplayer games though, and while it could be fun if they did go down that route, there are elements in the story of the original that already play phenomenally and could could be reworked for some insane co-operative play.
HZD MP can chuff right chuffing off. The original was bloody awesome, just give me more of that please.
Who do you agree with? Let us know in the comments!