Although Horizon: Zero Dawn will have a diverse and dynamic weather system, it seems that lightning strikes have been removed from the full, finished game.

With just over a week until the release of the highly-anticipated Horizon: Zero Dawn, game director Mathijs de Jonge speaks out about the title’s complex weather system and why the developers decided to remove naturalistic lightning strikes from the machine-inhabited open world.

Speaking in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, Mathijs de Jonge explained that the Horizon: Zero Dawn originally featured the possibility for randomized lightning strikes that could hit enemies or the player at any point. However, after much deliberation, the development team decided against including the rather dangerous hazard.

“It just felt unfair because you have no control over it, it just naturally happens and suddenly you have a lot of damage. So we took that out in the end.”


Now the weather system is more about atmosphere than acts of God, and it can affect the gameplay in several different ways. Carrying on with his explanation, de Jonge mentioned that players may find their vision impaired at certain points, such as during the night. When it’s dark, the game’s ferocious robotic enemies are much harder to see, but will also generate more light and sparks when shot to help balance visibility a bit more.

But that’s not all the weather can do, claims the director. In a region of the game that we’ve reportedly not seen yet, dust storms will be present and ready to near blind the players until they pass. It’s much less threatening than a lightning bolt, but probably just as inconvenient if the storm appears at a bad time. If we had to guess, we’d imagine that the vision-limiting storms will be present in the Sunfall region that was revealed alongside Horizon: Zero Dawn‘s full map.

In other, related news, Sony Interactive Entertainment product manager Jon Edwards has announced that the company is pleased with the reception to Horizon: Zero Dawn which has quickly become one of the most anticipated titles of 2017. While no plans for a sequel have been announced so far, it seems that Sony would be not be surprised if the game becomes a major franchise over the coming years.

If this is the first you’re hearing about the game, or if you’re not on-board the Horizon: Zero Dawn hype train already, be sure to check out the new theatrical trailer that gives a brief glimpse at what the world was like before it was “plunged into darkness” before the events of the story.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is set to release on February 28, 2017 in North America, and on March 1, 2017 in the UK as a PlayStation 4 exclusive.