Killzone dev talks about leaving franchise behind for 'radically different' Horizon

"We really love making fluid, awesome combat -- and we're trying to do that again."

GameSpot staff
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GameSpot staff
2 min read

Some may have been surprised when Killzone developer Guerrilla Games announced PS4 action-RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn, a wildly different-looking game in a new genre than the shooter series. Now, the studio's manager has spoken about saying goodbye to Killzone and hello to Zero Dawn.

"It's really exciting," Hermen Hulst told Game Informer. "It is fantastic when you've worked on a franchise for more than a decade -- actually, in my case, it's been almost 15 years -- to do something that's so radically different and at the same time kind of stands on the shoulders of what we made before."

Though the Killzone and Zero Dawn franchises are obviously completely different in terms of look and feel, Guerrilla does see some similarities when it comes to design.


"We really love making fluid, awesome combat -- and we're trying to do that again," he said about Killzone and Zero Dawn. "We're really into making fantastic science-fiction worlds -- and we're doing that again. There are a ton of similarities, but I think more importantly this is really fresh."

Hulst went on to say that Killzone is beautiful in its own "gritty" way. But Zero Dawn is "beautiful in kind of a majestic way." If you've seen any of the game's trailers, you might agree.

In the Killzone franchise, it's all about surviving and escaping a harsh world. For Zero Dawn, Guerrilla wanted to make a game that draws you in and asks you to explore every corner.

"A world that you want to be in instead escape away from," Hulst said.

Game Director Mathijs de Jonge added in another Game Informer video interview that Guerrilla prototyped more than two dozen ideas for what it would make after PS4 launch title Killzone: Shadow Fall. The studio put the ideas into an Excel spreadsheet and asked staffers to rate the options on what excites them the most and what is most risky.

"It was certainly not the least risky, but definitely the one where everybody that saw the original pitch, they said, 'Well, we gotta make this,'" Hulst added, according to VideoGamer.com. "This is maybe incredibly risky but it's something that is so radically different and so inspiring that it actually took me very little time to convince the team to jump behind it. We wanted to make [Zero Dawn] straight away."

A second project that was prototyped was cancelled, de Jonge said, though he never specified what it was. One possibility is that it was a new Killzone title, though this is not confirmed.

Watch the full video interviews here and here to learn a lot more about the origins of Zero Dawn.

Though no new Killzone games have been announced, Guerrilla has said it loves the franchise and is not ruling out returning to it someday.

Zero Dawn was originally expected to debut in 2016, but was delayed to February 28, 2017. A new trailer was released at TGS last week and can be seen here.