Horizon: Zero Dawn

Guerrilla Games goes open world in this sumptuous, enjoyable yet overly generic new age sci-fi RPG.

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We are living in a new golden age of video game music, and by way of a celebration there will be a lavish orchestral concert at the Royal Albert Hall at the end of the month (Wednesday, 30th May). It's called PlayStation in Concert and will feature an 80-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, plus City of London Choir, bringing PlayStation music to life. Oh, and a light show.

Hellblade leads BAFTA game nominations with nine nods

Horizon and Edith Finch not far behind.

Ninja Theory's self-published gamble, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, leads the nominations for the BAFTA video game awards 2018, with nine nods including Best Game. It's been a tremendous success for the British studio, with Hellblade winning both critical acclaim and bringing in more than half-a-million sales.

After the darkness and dormancy of winter life restarts, almost as if the punishing frosts, snows and winds had never happened. The season of spring starts to take hold, colours reappear, foliage regrows and landscapes transform to offer different looks, feels and opportunities for interaction. This can be truly impactful when it manifests in video games. Where winter revealed the bones of landscapes and their design, spring brings a softer touch, its re-birth and revitalisation draping life and colour back over lands. Spring can empower a landscape to represent and symbolise in its own way. By adding these into games' story arcs and narratives, a whole new side of the landscape can be seen and experienced - one where the land tells stories of recovery, shows an ability to cleanse and has an ability to enhance peace and quiet, all while under the drape of a colourful, full of life landscape, giving the land an entirely new look and atmosphere.

Digital FoundryHorizon: The Frozen Wilds is an unmissable tech showcase

One of the most impressive 4K HDR experiences you can play.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds is an expansion for one of the year's best games in just about every sense of the word. This isn't just more of the same - from a technological standpoint, it's a genuine effort to push on to even greater heights, and an impressive evolution of Guerrilla Games' peerless Decima Engine. Pushing beyond the forests and great plains of the original experience, The Frozen Wilds invites players to the northern-most region of the map to explore snow-covered fields and steep mountains. New features are added to Decima to emphasis the new environments and weather systems, but the core aspects of the technology are just as strong as they ever were: from the gorgeous lighting to the world class HDR implementation and smooth performance, there's little doubt that Horizon remains a beautiful game.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds review

There's a nostalgic euphoria I associate with the sound of crunching snow. It reminds me of childhood winters wrapped up in scratchy scarves and impractical mittens, trudging through Irish fields, white as the eye could see and making that first welly-boot footprint in an untouched blanket of glistening snow.

Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds

Developer: Guerrilla Games

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Robo-crocs and hawks in new Horizon: The Frozen Wilds trailer

Roughly a week to go until Horizon Zero Dawn expansion The Frozen Wilds comes out, on 7th November, and Sony has released a quick refresher video about what to expect.

Robo-crocs, hawks and giant burrowing creatures all await Aloy as she ventures to the snowy north. We also get a glimpse at some new outfits, some of which are very ornate and elaborate.

The Frozen Wilds will cost £16 and opens a whole new zone to explore. You're off to uncover the mysteries of The Mountain - no not him from Game of Thrones.

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Horizon DLC The Frozen Wilds gets a release date

Sony has announced a 7th November release date for Horizon Zero Dawn add-on The Frozen Wilds. It costs £16.

The Frozen Wilds brings a whole new story set in a whole new zone in the frozen and mountainous north. There will be new machines to fight and new mysteries to uncover.

The Frozen Wilds was unveiled in a trailer at E3 earlier this summer. In it, Aloy announces she's off to discover the mysteries of The Mountain, but is told if she wants to, she'll have to face the beast that guards it. Could it be the Metal Devil we've heard about?

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Digital FoundryHorizon Zero Dawn: the making of PS4 Pro's best 4K game

Guerrilla Games on how it met the ultra HD challenge.

Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn not only raised the bar in terms of technical accomplishment on current generation console hardware, it handed in the best 4K HDR presentation we've seen from any PlayStation 4 Pro title. The native 1080p output on base hardware scales up to 2160p on Pro, using a custom implementation of checkerboard rendering, but Horizon's presentation is so clean, so solid, so convincing, it passes for the 'real thing' - so how was this achieved?

Horizon Zero Dawn gets a big new update today

Horizon Zero Dawn gets a big new update today

New Game +! Ultra Hard difficulty! More!

PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn gets a big new update today that adds a host of new features to the game.

The headline new features of patch 1.30 are New Game + and an Ultra Hard difficulty, but there are also new Trophies and unlockables.

New Game +, as you'd expect, lets you continue the game without losing your character progression and your collected inventory. You can't progress beyond the level cap of 50, but you can still collect XP.

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FeatureThe big interview: Sony's Jim Ryan

On the competition, cross-platform play, exclusives and more.

It's hard to argue with Sony's first half of 2017. The PlayStation 4 has enjoyed a number of exciting console exclusives, including Horizon: Zero Dawn, Nier Automata, Persona 5 and Nioh. But after watching Sony's E3 2017 media briefing this week, I couldn't help but feel the next six months look decidedly pedestrian in comparison.

Horizon: Zero Dawn patch adds new photo mode features

PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn is getting an improved photo mode in a forthcoming patch.

The update, due next week, will let you command main character Aloy to stare at the camera, strike new poses and switch facial expressions.

Three new photo filters and new "greetings from" cards will also be added. Snazzy.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn sells 2.6m copies in two weeks

Horizon: Zero Dawn sells 2.6m copies in two weeks

Making it Sony's most successful new franchise.

Horizon: Zero Dawn has shifted 2.6m units globally since its 28th February launch, Sony has announced.

This makes it the most successful new IP exclusive to the PS4 since the console launched in late 2013.

It's also had the best-selling debut of any title by developer Guerrilla Games, best known for its work on the Killzone franchise.

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Next week sees the launch of Guerilla's much anticipated open-world game, Horizon Zero Dawn. When I first saw Horizon in action a couple of things instantly caught my eye. Obviously the giant robo-dinosaurs were a big selling point, but it was the hair colour of protagonist Aloy that really appealed to me.

Digital FoundryWorld in Motion: Horizon Zero Dawn 4K time-lapse

Digital Foundry showcases the scale and scope of Guerrilla's open world.

With Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games has capitalised on its technical acumen to deliver one of the most beautiful open world video games to date. The environment is massive both in scope and scale, featuring everything from vast deserts and dark forests to snowy mountain tops and abandoned skyscrapers. In this Digital Foundry World in Motion time-lapse, we'll be visiting several biomes across the world of Horizon, showcasing the attention to detail on display. From individual leaves to gargantuan mountain ranges, the detail on offer is breathtaking. In creating this video, we visited four distinct corners of the environment to better showcase the variety on display.

Digital FoundryWhat works and what doesn't in Horizon Zero Dawn

Digital Foundry's comprehensive technical breakdown.

Guerrilla Games has long been known for pushing the limits of console technology, but with Horizon Zero Dawn, the Dutch studio reaches new heights. After spending more than ten years immersed in the world of Killzone, Guerrilla has shifted gear with a deep, complex action RPG with perhaps the most impressive visuals yet seen in an open world title. It's a massive shift in focus and a big gamble on the part of the developer. So what works and what doesn't in Horizon Zero Dawn?

Digital FoundryHorizon is a technical masterpiece on PS4 and Pro

UPDATED: What does PS4 Pro's new performance mode actually deliver?

UPDATE 27/2/17 8:45am: Patch 1.02 has dropped for Horizon Zero Dawn, delivering a small range of changes and updates. However, for PS4 Pro owners, the ability to choose two rendering modes is now available with users able to favour performance or resolution. Prior implementations of performance modes in the likes of Knack, Rise of the Tomb Raider and the inFamous titles have seen developers unlock the frame-rate, leading to a much faster, but often more jerky experience. On both counts, this does not happen in Horizon Zero Dawn, which opts for smoother performance instead.

Horizon Zero Dawn review

You'd be forgiven for going into this one expecting something a little different. For developer Guerrilla Games, at least, Horizon Zero Dawn sees a remarkable change in both pace and tone, a well-earned break from over ten years of stoic service on the gritty battlefields of Killzone and a step away from the crushed concrete and exposed steel mesh of Helghan towards something brighter, breezier, more open. Horizon Zero Dawn is a sumptuous, slow-burning adventure that stretches its 30 hour tale across a vast and beautiful map that's light years away from the killing fields of Guerrilla's first-person shooter series. It's an open world game of admirable scope and craft.

Horizon Zero Dawn

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

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Up until last week, I didn't have a very clear handle on what sort of game Horizon: Zero Dawn was. It was the one with the robot dinosaurs, that much I knew, but details of how it actually played still seemed somewhat murky. It also seemed massively ambitious, given that its Amsterdam-based developer Guerrilla Games is best known for linear first person shooter franchise Killzone. It wasn't the first studio I'd have in mind to tackle a project like Horizon, given that the two properties were like night and day, with Horizon an open-world action RPG set in a vivacious post-apocalyptic world where nature - and those aforementioned robots - have reclaimed earth.

Some cracking games came out in 2016 - this year we've spent hours screaming about onions in Overcooked, contesting the payload in Overwatch and, of course, going on overwatch in XCOM 2.

Horizon: Zero Dawn release date brought forward a couple of days

We're used to Sony delaying its big-budget PlayStation exclusives. Well, this time, it's brought one forward.

The game in question is Horizon: Zero Dawn, which Sony said will launch two days earlier than planned in the UK, on 1st March 2017 for PS4.

Horizon is the new post-apocalyptic open-world action RPG from Guerrilla Games, the studio behind the Killzone series. It's been in development for a few years now, and was once due out at the end of 2016, but Guerrilla delayed it into 2017 to add spit and polish.

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Watch Sony's fancy pants PS4 advert

And hunt for video game references.

John Lewis and M&S eat your hearts out. Sony's released a fancy new PlayStation 4 advert just in time for Christmas - and it's packed with video game references.

PS4 Pro Performance Analysis: Horizon Zero Dawn

Digital FoundryPS4 Pro Performance Analysis: Horizon Zero Dawn

Digital Foundry looks at work-in-progress frame-rates - plus the innovative 4K upscaler.

It's early days on this one, but with PlayStation 4K Pro media on the thin side right now, we want to make the most of what we have. Horizon Zero Dawn is easily one of the most impressive titles we saw at the PlayStation Meeting, and it's a fascinating example of the how well the upscaling algorithms work in creating a substantial upgrade for 4K display owners compared to the native 1080p resolution edition found on the base level PlayStation 4.

Some time after the PlayStation Meeting ended, Sony's press site updated with a 4K, 60fps version of the initial asset. While Horizon is a 30fps title, the additional temporal resolution makes frame-rate analysis with accurate frame-time graphing possible, giving us our first work-in-progress look at how Guerrilla's beautiful title is shaping up on the new PlayStation 4 hardware.

It's a 30fps game with some occasional frame-rate dips, to be expected on a title with some months remaining in development. Horizon is also interesting in that it's one of the best examples of Sony's hardware-based 2160p checkerboard upscaling. Unfortunately, the supplied media is nowhere near good enough to get a good handle on how well this works, but alongside the video asset, Sony has released some 3840x2160 screenshots that you can see here.

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CS:GO pros fight for $100,000 at EGX 2016

Plus: Playable Battlefield 1, Horizon and Dawn of War 3.

There will be some bamboozling pro Counter-Strike: Global Offensive action at EGX in Birmingham next month as Gfinity flies-in four of the best teams in the world to compete for $100,000.

Horizon: Zero Dawn new gameplay features dialogue wheels, mounting

Sony has shown some new gameplay for Horizon: Zero Dawn at its PlayStation E3 conference.

The clip sees our hero Aloy hunt some mechanical beasts, before engaging in conversation with an NPC using a dialogue wheel.

From there, she has to get to a nearby village quickly, and so mounts nearby mechanical wildlife to speed through the game's open world. We also see more of the game's war-of-attrition combat against a towering and rather intimidating scorpion-like foe.

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Horizon Zero Dawn release date confirmed for March

Horizon Zero Dawn release date confirmed for March

New trailer shows more dinobot action.

Killzone developer Guerrilla Games' upcoming PS4-exclusive robot dinosaur-hunting game Horizon Zero Dawn will launch on 3rd March in the UK.

The rest of Europe will get it a couple of days earlier on 1st March, while North Americans will receive it on 28th February.

It was originally expected to launch later this year, but alas. "It wasn't an easy choice to make; we know many of you have been anxious to play the game since we first announced it. However, we also want to ensure that Horizon Zero Dawn lives up to the visuals and gameplay quality that our games are known for. The new date affords us the extra time required to deliver fully on our ambitious vision for Horizon Zero Dawn," said Guerrilla Games' managing director Hermen Hulst on the PlayStation Blog.

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Horizon: Zero Dawn gameplay footage shoots down a robot dinosaur

Guerrilla Games has debuted new Horizon Zero Dawn gameplay footage at its Paris Games Week 2015 press conference.

The gameplay sequence shown saw heroine Aloy lay down Monster Hunter-style traps for one of Horizon's robotic dinosaurs.

Spoilers: things don't end well for a nearby robo-dino. Watch the new footage in full below:

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FeatureLooking to the Horizon: how Guerrilla moved on

Dutch studio's next is filled with promise, robots and loot.

A conversation about video gaming's greatest gunsmiths wouldn't be complete without mention of Guerrilla Games. The Amsterdam studio's Killzone series has always been anchored by the intense physicality of its weapons: their solid handling, their booming audio, the deliberate smack with which every bullet lands. They are true craftsmen, no doubt, though perhaps not the artists and inventors you find elsewhere in this subset of game design - the minds who cooked up the gravity and portal guns, the BFG and railgun, Titanfall's smart pistol, or the eccentric, asymmetric balance of the first Halo's weapon set. Those were guns that could change the world around you, or the way you interacted with it, or both.

Killzone dev announces new PS4 action RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn

Killzone dev announces new PS4 action RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn

UPDATE: Due 2016, and it sounds like Killzone isn't benched.

UPDATE 16TH JUNE: There's been a bit more information released - notably that the game is due 2016. You play as lead character Aloy, an outcast form her relatively primitive tribe. She's off to discover the mysteries of the ruined world and with it her destiny.

She'll be up against it, outgunned (although she took that massive beast down pretty easily didn't she) by an assortment of big dino-bots, little pack-bots and ripe-for-the-picking grazer-bots.

"Of course you won't be hunting unarmed in Horizon Zero Dawn," a PlayStation blog post read. "Aloy is capable of combining natural materials with machine parts to turn them into ingenious weapons, ammunition, traps, and tools."

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