Horizon: Zero Dawn Dev Explains Why Players Can't Control Machines


Horizon: Zero Dawn drops players into a pretty terrifying landscape, but it doesn't take long before Aloy starts building up the strength and strategy to take down massive machines. One of the few complaints that gamers have had about Horizon: Zero Dawn is that Aloy doesn't have more control over the machine's actions after she learns to hack them. The producers insists that this was an intentional choice and have some solid reasoning behind the decision.

Aloy is able to manipulate machines to convert them to her side of the fight, but there aren't features like a "move to command." The producers oh the new incredibly successful IP explain that this limitation makes sense in the game's world, because each machine was built to complete a specific task and hacking them does not change that primary objective. Instead, it only changes who they will complete that primary objective for.

Kotaku recently caught up with Horizon: Zero Dawn producer Samrat Sharma to get a better understanding of these limitations...

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“If you look at the function of the machines, they all have a certain purpose within the game... You hacking them doesn't change what they exist for, it just changes their allegiance. They stop looking at you as a threat and they look at the others who attack you as a threat. That's the override. You haven't changed their essential function: if they're a watcher, they watch out; if they're a steed they'll run fast and if you're on their back, so be it.”

“She's still discovering the idea of being able to override these machines and she's the only one who can do it up till [later]. I think that flows directly from what we wanted to tell. She's more careful about what she can and cannot do and what she wants to do, and hopefully that comes across in these decisions as well.”

The explanation may be frustrating for players who want full control over the machines so that they can wreak havoc on the world, but it does may sense in the context of the game. There is clearly a demand for this type of feature, so perhaps there will be more opportunities for that sort of hacking if the game receives a sequel.

What do you think of the explanation? Let us know in the comments.

Horizon: Zero Dawn is available now on PS4.

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