Leaks are common in the game business these days, with corporations regularly rushing to reclaim control of the narrative when different pieces of information are made public before their time. Guerrilla Games, located in the Netherlands, was the most recent victim of the phenomena, when some early alpha video of its planned multiplayer game centered in the Horizon world was leaked to hungry fans.
User BirdonWheels released a 12-minute video on Reddit reddthat purported to show off a very early alpha build of Guerrilla’s multiplayer Horizon spin-off. The video shows numerous character models as well as mobility and fighting mechanics, as well as no-clipping across the planet to show off some of the many settings. The video is from a very early build of the game, purportedly from the summer of 2020, so there isn’t much more happening in the game’s universe yet, but it still looks to be a strong skeleton of a game. Of course, the majority of admirers in the comments focused only on the art style.
In this video, the as-yet-unnamed multiplayer Horizon game showed off a more stylised character design, more comparable to Fortnite than Aloy’s earlier escapades. Many Reddit and Twitter users slammed the art direction choice, calling it “hideous” and “simply not right,” among other less-than-kind words. Some pointed out that because the video was taken from a build that was more than two years old, the aesthetics may have altered dramatically in the interim, while original poster BirdonWheels uploaded a piece of concept art that looked to double down on the more cartoony design.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Horizon’s multiplayer branch kept the more stylized style. The success of Fortnite has demonstrated that a more cartoony graphic style is not a barrier to success, and that it is simpler for a game to display hundreds of characters in this fashion rather than the more photo-realistic approach of the main games. In any event, Guerrilla is keeping quiet for the time being.