Guerilla Games shows off the amazing visuals of their new title Horizon: Zero Dawn as well as discussing the backstory of its tough, independent female protagonist

Guerrilla Games has released a new video which goes a little deeper into the origins of Aloy, the protagonist of their new game Horizon: Zero Dawn. Although the game isn’t slated to release until spring 2017, already Aloy is a cosplay icon, with the studio even bringing out a guide to help fans copy her distinctive style.

Their protagonist’s fame, despite Horizon: Zero Dawn‘s release being months away, has taken even the studio by surprise. “It never was our goal or intention – it was a happy coincidence!” says studio co-founder and Managing Director Hermen Hulst in an interview with the Playstation Blog. “We just wanted to make a great character for the game.” Their decision to make Aloy look like she does, nimble but tough, was in reaction to other games, says Hulst.

“We didn’t want this typical hulking dude, but an agile person who wouldn’t necessarily be able to hold her ground against the sheer gun power of these Machines, but is able to outsmart them. We’re really happy with our choice … We wanted somebody who was very curious, intelligent and takes in this wondrous world full of mystery to unravel … and she can be fierce. We didn’t want a Disney type princess.”

Horizon‘s publisher, Sony, was concerned about Aloy at first, but has since come around to the idea of a tough female protagonist. Make no mistake: Aloy may look pretty, but she is tough as nails. Most of the game she will be outmatched and outgunned and she has the kind of personality that rises to such occasions, rather than shrink from them.

One reason for her independent mindset is that Aloy usually goes into battle alone against the hulking robotic dinosaurs that will be the main enemy in Horizon: Zero Dawn. She is an outsider among a set of primitive tribes surviving in a landscape filled with ancient ruins, forced to live from what she can find. At the start of the game few of the tribesmen will be willing to talk, let alone trade, with her and as a result she, in the words of Hulst, is “a very down-to-earth girl who questions and puts everything into her own perspective.”

Aloy looks like she will be a particularly well-rounded character who will clearly mark the player’s place in the world of Horizon: Zero Dawn as well as define the entire game through her strength of character. Not that she’s the only attraction: Horizon‘s graphics promise to be amazing and the gameplay combines agility and stealth as you navigate a world populated by savage tribesmen, crumbling ruins and giant robots.

Horizon: Zero Dawn launches on February 28, 2017 (and March 1 in Europe and the UK) exclusively for the PlayStation 4.