Horizon: Zero Dawn’s Lead Writer Reveals Inspirations

Horizon: Zero Dawn recently celebrated its launch anniversary with the news of a new record. Sony announced that the game sold over 7.6 million units, making it the best-selling first-party new franchise on the PlayStation 4.

Horizon: Zero Dawn Frozen Wilds

To thank players, the development studio Guerilla Games organized a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session with Ashly Burch (voice of the main character) and lead writer Ben McCaw. McCaw shared numerous tidbits on the game’s development, including the inspirations for the game’s story.

“We had many inspirations, but here are two that might surprise you,” he said. “For the main story, we took inspiration from biblical epics like Ben-Hur and The Ten Commandments, not because Aloy is religious in any specific way, but because we realized that there were parallels between what we wanted to do and some of those epic heroes. As for the Frozen Wilds, we were inspired by the film 2010. Can you guess why?”

McCaw also shared what the Guerilla Games team was trying to convey on a personal level with the story.

“Horizon Zero Dawn gave us an amazing opportunity to make the game we wanted, and PlayStation was always supportive,” he said. “In addition to making it a kick-ass story about machines and tribes and epic threats to the world, we wanted it to be personal. We wanted it to be about bonds of love that cross generations, ties that can survive any destructive force. And on a very basic level, we wanted it to be about a woman’s search for her mother. We hope that came through, and from the response, it seems like it has.”

In addition to story information, McCaw also touched on a quest line that sent Aloy to visit the Oseram territory, a patriarchal society where women aren’t allowed to own property.

“We had a quest line that had Aloy visit the Oseram territory of the Claim at one point,” he said. “She was definitely going to shake things up a bit.”

Horizon: Zero Dawn is available for the PlayStation 4.