Horizon: Zero Dawn game director at Guerrilla Games, Mathijs de Jonge, explains the reason for the game’s recent delay to 2017, and why it has a female protagonist.

E3 2016 brought with it a number of release dates for various games set to launch within the next year. These release dates included the revelation that PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn has been delayed to 2017, a decision that has since been elaborated on by Mathijs de Jonge, the game’s director.

According to de Jonge, Horizon: Zero Dawn was delayed in order to give the team more time to polish the experience. Guerrilla’s latest is shaping up to be a rather complex game, with a large open world, high quality visuals, and a deep action-RPG combat system at work. With all these different components to take into account, playtesting the game has been more time-consuming than Guerrilla Games is accustomed to, so polishing it has also taken more time than expected.

The complexities of Horizon: Zero Dawn were on full display in the game’s E3 2016 gameplay presentation. As it turns out, many gamers were impressed with the gameplay footage shown at E3, and while it may be disappointing that they will have to wait a little longer to play it, most would probably prefer to wait longer for a more polished experience.

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In the meantime, de Jong also spoke about the company’s decision to have a female protagonist in Horizon: Zero Dawn. Apparently, the Ygritte-inspired Aloya was made female out of a desire by Guerrilla Games to do something new with Horizon. The company has made nothing but gritty shooters starring male leads since its inception in 2004, and so it’s hard to blame the developers for wanting a change of pace with their next project.

As Zero Dawn‘s various trailers and gameplay videos released since its announcement will attest, the game is a departure from the usual titles from Guerrilla in other ways as well. For example, Horizon: Zero Dawn trades the bleak visual aesthetic of Guerrilla’s Killzone franchise for bright, vibrant colors, and it also uses a third-person perspective instead of first-person like most of the company’s other games.

There seems to be some decent buzz behind Horizon: Zero Dawn, so perhaps this change of direction for Guerrilla Games will pay off. As of right now, it does seem as though Horizon is one of the more exciting games of next year, and it will be interesting to see if it lives up to the hype come its February release.

Horizon: Zero Dawn will be available February 28th, 2017, exclusively for PlayStation 4.

Source: GameSpot