When the gameplay of Horizon Zero Dawn was revealed in E3 2016, it immediately captured the collective awe of anticipation of gamers.

Fans of the open world games, the likes of which are popularized by Ubisoft with games like Far Cry and Assassin's Creed, eagerly waited for this game. It looked like a breath of fresh air for the already stale genre.

The premise is intriguing: a vast unspoiled world set thousands of years into the future and humanity has reverted to hunter-gatherer tribal societies. The kicker? The world is filled with sentient robotic beasts. It is a post-apocalyptic future with nature and machines coexisting.

The story trailer released earlier offered more mysteries than answers. How does Aloy — the main heroine — navigate, fight, survive, and ultimately unravel the mystery that had befallen her world?

Thankfully, the developers shared another gameplay video that showed more details.

Aloy And Her Focus

One feature that stood out was Aloy's "Focus." When she was a kid, she got this future-ancient artifact that allows her to see the beasts' tracks, which is appropriate for the (neo) hunter theme. Think of it as the "Witcher Sense" of Geralt from The Witcher 3. But her Focus also lets her see the enemies' type and weaknesses.

Experience And Skill Tree

Another feature that was fleshed out was the game's role playing elements such as leveling up and earning skill points. Aloy has access to three skill trees, namely: Prowler, Brave and Forager. The Prowler improves her stealth skills; the Brave boosts her active and passive battle skills; and the Forager gives her survival and navigational abilities.

Combat Strategy And Tactics

Guerilla Games, who developed the Killzone shooter franchise, wanted to incorporate more strategy into the game. So it designed the game in such a way that the player can take different approaches. Stealth is encouraged when dealing with "Watchers," velociraptor-like machines that have sharp senses and alert nearby beasts if they detect your presence. On the other hand, a full-frontal assault can be taken to ambush the enemy. A beast called "Bellowback" has flammable fuel tanks behind it that the player can shoot to explode and kill it easily.

Weapon And Item Crafting

Crafting and item gathering were also highlighted in the video. The players can craft weapons such as bows, spears, rope launchers and slingshots. Different types of arrows like fire and shock arrows can be crafted depending on the situation. And one can create armors for Aloy that will boost her defenses and also change her looks. The items for crafting can be gathered from fallen enemies and harvest points around the world.

Horizon Zero Dawn is slated for a Feb. 28 release exclusively for PlayStation 4. For more information, visit the official website.

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