San Francisco The trailer opens on buildings drowned by the ocean and covered in greenery. Horizon Zero Dawn’s world-building has shuffled around the ecology of the world. Even if the plants and animals are different, some remnants of cities are still recognizable. Several San Francisco locations can be seen in the trailer, including the Golden Gate Bridge. Chinatown has also survived in the form of signage and a holographic dragon, similar to the holographic animals seen in the series’ Yellowstone Park. A New Threat Some kind of red vine is causing animals and plants to sicken and die. In the trailer, we see as a woman digs up a dead, gray carrot. The first game’s threats were primarily mechanical, with nanobot “corruption” infecting robotic animals. The new threat, which could be organic or more machine manipulation, gets right to the heart of the “save the environment” story by threatening animal life. There are two possible culprits who come to mind right away: Artemis or Demeter, two subfunctions of the world-spanning AI GAIA who re-seeded the Earth after total extinction. Artemis was the part responsible for organic animal life and Demeter handled plant life. Both disappeared after the parts of GAIA were scattered. Artemis has been sending messages to humanity in the form of poetry, but other than these collectibles, they’re both rogue agents. Could one or both be creating this new rot? New Machines Of course, new Horizon means new machines. In the game’s lore, each kind of machine has a function intended to help foster Earth’s natural life: cleaning the water, aerating soil, etc. But they become dangerous when corrupted, or when the factories that make them are turned to making weapons instead of gardeners. The new trailer gives us an enormous turtle living in swampy water, robot pterodactyls with solar panel wings, and a behemoth mammoth harnessed by some new cultists. Hopefully, we’ll get to ride some of these, but so far the only mount machines confirmed are the original ones. Swimming! Aloy could swim in the first game, including some especially fun dips in Yellowstone Park hot pools. But swimming was mostly a traversal mechanic, with occasional machine fights dipping into the water. Navigation was basic. Forbidden West seems to dive deeper by giving Aloy a far-future rebreather. This implies a lot more goings-on in the oceans swelled by climate change, and maybe new underwater machines to fight. I just hope they’re more fun to fight than Assassin’s Creed Odyssey‘s sharks. Trailer meerdere malen gezien, ik blijf nieuwe details zien. Dat onderwaterstuk is voor mij een reden om dit op dag 1 te willen spelen. Helaas is er op dit moment nog geen release date bekend.