Horizon Zero Dawn introduces a low difficulty ‘Story’ mode, out today

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Horizon Zero Dawn introduces a low difficulty ‘Story’ mode, out today

New mode introduces easier combat encounters for those who prefer story over action beats in Guerrilla’s adventure epic

While development on the Horizon Zero Dawn expansion The Frozen Wilds is in full swing, we’re still finding time to add improvements to the main game. Last month’s Patch 1.30 added a new difficulty setting called ‘Ultra Hard’ which, as the name suggests, provides a greater challenge for hardcore Horizon Zero Dawn players. Today’s patch adds a difficulty level that does quite the opposite: ‘Story’ difficulty allows you to immerse yourself in the narrative of Horizon Zero Dawn and the exploration of Aloy’s world without having to worry too much about combat.

Among the most noticeable changes, ‘Story’ difficulty boosts the player-inflicted damage and reduces the player-received damage considerably, making the combat encounters manageable for less experienced players. It is our hope that the new difficulty setting will help us welcome more players onto Aloy’s quest to discover her identity and the mysteries of the world she inhabits. In addition to the ‘Story’ difficulty, Patch 1.32 includes several fixes as outlined in the patch notes.

If you have a chance to try out ‘Story’ difficulty, we’d love to hear your thoughts! We’ll have more information on The Frozen Wilds soon, but in the meantime, keep an eye on the official Guerrilla Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest Horizon Zero Dawn related news and developments.

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  • This will be useful for me I just couldn’t get into this game back on launch. I just found it to difficult and stopped playing I will have to pick up another copy I traded mine in.

  • Come on, guys. This game wasn’t that hard, even on Hard-difficulty. I get that you want to squeeze out more sales, but anything easier than ‘Easy’ is a walk in the park by anyone who’s even remotely interested and hasn’t picked it up yet.

    This is reminiscent of the ME3 ‘Story Mode’ difficulty. In a ecosystem where you can let go of the controller or just smash X-to-win, you shouldn’t coddle gamers more than you need to.

    Stellar work on the game though-and I’m looking forward to expansion later this year.

    • I see your point but I’m torn about this. On one hand, as someone who has been gaming for 36 years, I feel like a lower difficulty is a weak cop out. But as a Real Estate Broker who runs his own business and barely has any time to play, I can understand just popping in a game on very low difficulty to get through it and at least be able to get a taste of what the game is. I “beat” maybe one game a year now a days. These options may work for some people.

    • Believe me, this mode is very useful. My disabled wife basically plays everything with one hand so she chooses story difficulty whenever she is allowed to do so.

    • If you don’t like “easy” mode then don’t play it. Simple. Let people enjoy the game they want to. The more options, the better. Video games aren’t a zero-sum game where only one person is allowed to enjoy it…

    • @Guggzen one of the things gamers forget is that not everyone is as physically capable or as skilled as what the ‘average gamer’ is portrayed to be.

      One day this blog had a post about the PS4 having customized button mapping options & I really didn’t get the big deal about it. Actually, I still have not used that function to this day.

      Then I read a comment from one gamer who was disabled. The comment stated that having the ability to pick his/her own button setup was the greatest thing Sony had ever done. That actually moved me, because I never looked at it from an alternate perspective.

      From that day, I learned gaming is not just about ‘us’. Its about everyone.

  • Sigh…….still waiting for an enhancement/fix that turns off the menu/inventory music and allows whatever music was playing ingame to continue playing in the menu/inventory instead. :/

  • I hope Frozen Wilds doesn’t have the menu music thing again that ruins the tone of whatever it is you are doing. OMG, what if it is the SAME tune from the main game again. I have to listen to it for another 10 to 20 hours of gaming every time I go to the inventory???

  • This is a great addition to the game – my friend just got PS4 as her first console ever and this game, this option is great to just learn to operate the controller. Why would anyone whine about this update is beyond me, this opens up the game for more people and that’s fantastic. I will never use it but not everything is about me! Jeez.

  • This is a beautiful game to look at, shame that it is just boring to play.

    • How so? Its pretty much the same thing as The Witcher 3 in many aspects and nobody ever called it boring. Even the presentation is excellent unlike The Witcher 3 with pretty much zero load times from when you start the game except if you die (and you still don’t have to wait over a minute for it to load back in when you do die like in The Witcher 3). If loading times were heavily criticised in The Witcher 3, then praise needs to be given when there ARE great loading times in another game.

      The only thing was it was a bit shorter than The Witcher 3. Took me about 200 hours to platinum The Witcher 3 (not including the expansions) and about 125 hours for Horizon. I also had to wait a year for The Witcher 3 to be acceptable to play like Horizon Zero Dawn pretty much was since day one launch.

      I’m sure it is “boring to play” in the context of somebody who only plays cod games and just doesn’t get it or something but if you play a lot of diverse games (which I think you do) I don’t know how you call it “boring”.

    • You can’t be serious comparing robotic dinosaurs to witcher’s storyline.

    • The main character is just annoying and dull too. If only they’d had a character maker so you could make your own character instead of a generic “strong female” stereotype dullard made from a board room bullet list.

      To be honest, the story isn’t exactly good either.

    • I’ve put about 10 hours into it and I’m loving it, but you know, different strokes for different folks.

    • Play one of the hundreds of games with a character maker then, plenty of people like Horizon Zero Dawn as is.

    • It is annoying to read people comparing 1 game to the other without any prior insight if the opposing game influenced the other.

  • Big thanks to the devs for this. I’ll never use the easy mode but I’m glad the game can now be enjoyed by even more people, it’s probably my PS4 game of the year. Can’t wait for expansion!

  • How will this affect trophy hunting?

  • This is perfect. As I have been thinking about recommending this to someone I know for ages as its a great game. But some parts can be quite challenging and he most likely wouldn’t be able to finish it. Maybe now he can.

  • I have no problems with this to be honest. It’s not Dark Souls (I’d be pee’d if they did this for that) so let people enjoy the story.

    The thing that does pee me off though is the fact I can’t just get in from work anymore and play a game. I have to constantly keep updating them with patches and considering the internet download speeds where I live are terrible, it’s a ball ache.

    • You can set up your PS4 to update games in rest mode when you’re not using it. And if it’s a single player game like Horizon you don’t have to play it patched, you can be downloading the latest patch while you’re playing the game.

  • I think this is a great idea for any game developer. I love playing games but with work don’t truly have time to engage with the game as too busy learning how best to play the game. This is great for people that may only get 30 min on a game if they are lucky because of life ties, great work and certainly will be giving it a play

  • My opinion – nice idea. But poorly implemented. The difficulty itself was not so high anyway. And keeping some challenge to the fights was actually what made them interesting.

    If you wanted to provide “story mode” you should imho significantly reduce respawns of the enemies. So players needs to fight them, but once they defeat them, they are not bothered to do it again and again. And then provide some way to quick travel “forward” to even undiscovered mission destinations. So players who wish to just experience the story can cut from one interesting moment to another story moment without hours running around the map gathering the collectibles.

    But if you just reduce the difficulty for people who wants to experience the story, but you still ask them to spent hours running around the map, it wont make it more fun for them.

  • I don’t find the game hard, it’s just the lack of resources I have when I encounter a tough enemy. I always run out of ammo.

  • Anyone know why the US PSN store is offering a 25% discount for pre-ordering the upcoming DLC but the EU Store is only offering 10% discount?

    Or is this just a case of Sony screwing Europe over once again?

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