Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next.
Sequels tend to dominate gaming. I’ve never had a problem with that because, unlike films, game sequels often feature fundamental changes compared to their predecessors. But that means a game of the year list doesn’t always have a ton of room for something truly new, which is why we have the Freshest Gaming Universe award category as part of our GamesBeat Rewind year-end event.
The Freshest Gaming Universe of 2017 is …
Horizon: Zero Dawn
Other finalists: Gorogoa, Torment: Tides of Numenera
Listen to us discuss this category in the audio version of the podcast right here:
Before it came out, I thought I could dismiss Horizon: Zero Dawn. It was a new property from Killzone developer Guerrilla Games, which had spent the last decade failing to make a “Halo killer.” But once you spend any time in its distant future world, you will quickly notice the work Guerrilla did to make Horizon: Zero Dawn special.
Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.
On the surface, Horizon’s sci-fi, 31st-century postapocalyptic setting seems pretty standard — even if robot dinosaurs rule the Earth. But Guerrilla didn’t just rely on a cool setup. The studio filled in the gaps of the world with fleshed out characters and a complicated political and religious landscape.
While you start your adventure with Aloy, an excellent hero, as an outcast to a matriarch-worshiping society, you’ll discover that Horizon’s world has a variety of tribes with varied beliefs and cultures.
Everyone you meet is aware of Aloy’s tribe and their beliefs. In particular, they know that your group is fearful of the city remnants buried underground. Aloy, once an outcast, doesn’t share that belief. That puts her into situations where someone is saying something dismissive about her people that she agrees with, but you can see her bristle at this outsider’s criticisms. You’ll find a lot of characterization like this as the cultures bump up against one another, and it brings Horizon’s world to life.
GamesBeatGamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
- Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
- The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
- Networking opportunities
- Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
- Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
- And maybe even a fun prize or two
- Introductions to like-minded parties