Horizon Zero Dawn Producer Explains Why Aloy Can’t Control Machines

Horizon Zero Dawn Producer Explains Why Aloy Can’t Control Machines

Horizon Zero Dawn's vision never included an expansion of the Override ability. One of the game's producers says it would have fundamentally changed Aloy's role in the world.

In Horizon Zero Dawn, players are able to utilize an Override ability that renders machine harmless to Aloy and turns them into her allies. However, some players have registered complaints against the game, noting that they are unable to command the machines further.

In an interview with Kotaku, producer Samrat Sharma responded to this criticism, explaining that the decision preventing players from this action was made to further establish the game’s setting.

“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.”

Apparently, the team at Guerrilla Games never really considered any expansion to the Override ability. In fact, Sharma argues that if players were allowed to control the machines any further, the game might lose some of its thematic impact.

“I don’t think there was a time when we thought here’s a bigger system here, where you can point to stuff and give commands. Everything that made sense within the lore of the world, within the story we were trying to tell, we kept. Anything that distracted from it we put to the side…it would distract from the ethos of what we’re trying to tell you in the story, it wouldn’t add to the story–it would take away from it.

Horizon Zero Dawn for us is about discovery, and Aloy is about discovering the world around her and finding out her story. She wants to help people, she’s empathetic to people, which I hope comes across in the narrative, and she’s genuinely curious in this world and she’s curious about where she comes from. Her interaction with the world is informed through that lens. She’s not a chaos agent, in this game, at least. She’s not here to sow discord, to create chaos, see what happens, and benefit from that. She’s here to find her way in the world.”

John Carpenter, director of Escape From New York, recently took to Twitter to praise Horizon Zero Dawn for its “Epic vision of the future.”

If you still haven’t gotten your Horizon fix, the game’s entire soundtrack is also on Spotify.