Not too much has yet been revealed about the follow up DLC to Horizon Zero Dawn outside of the trailer reveal we saw at E3. However that’s not stopped the speculation machine from grinding its gears into motion as fans try to decipher every frame, attempting to solve the mysterious questions raised.
So what can we glean from the minute-and-a-half video? There are a few quite exciting clues, to be sure. Clues that hint at the location, the continuing story of Aloy and some pretty terrifying-looking machines.
The Banuk and Ban-Ur
The most obvious reveal in the trailer is that Aloy is heading north out of what was once Colorado into the territory of the hardy, frost-loving Banuk tribe. Aloy did meet a few Banuk travellers who had ventured south and what we learned was that they were a tough race of people, keen hunters used to living in the frozen wilderness. We also learned they had a spiritual connection to high places as one of the more fiddly collection quests was to find the Banuk figurines hidden high up in the mountains.
We are told by a Carja scholar that Ban-Ur, the capital of the Banuk, is ‘one of the most uncomfortable places in the world’ and is filled with with mists and geysers. This seems to be confirmed by what we see early in the trailer where Banuk tribesmen are overlooking what seems to be the Grand Prismatic Spring, which you can find today in Yellowstone National Park.
So it would seem that Aloy is certainly heading towards the glaciers and geysers of Yellowstone at least in the first instance.
The Smoking Mountain
There is a bit more debate though surrounding the smoke-shrouded mountain that is also heavily featured in the trailer as a major location. It is shown as possibly Aloy’s primary objective as she says, “I’m here for the mountain. For answers.” Is this the mountain she seeks? It does certainly have the look of being heavily corrupted and potentially some kind of cauldron. It could even be the location of one of the other Gaia’s AI’s.
Some have theorised that the mountain in the trailer bears some resemblance to the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. But the Devil’s Tower is over 300 miles away from Yellowstone Park in real life. So either the devs will be playing a bit fast and loose with distances between locations, or potentially the DLC map will be enormous! Or, of course, it could just turn out to be another mountain altogether. Only time will tell.
What is the New Hidden Machine?
Just before the shot of the smoking mountain a new, massive machine is seen chasing three hunters to what looks like their demise. Not much of the creature is revealed except it is clearly huge with glowing red eyes and, if you look closely, it appears to have what looks like fingers on its left paw/hand. Most speculation suggests this could be some kind of large bear machine which would fit well with the northern wilderness setting and the shape of the head. But what about those fingers? It seems more likely that if those are digit-like appendages hidden in the mist then this could actually be more like a large gorilla-based machine. Not such a great fit with the setting but then we do already have dinosaurs, and giant gorilla machines sound pretty awesome. Hopefully they won’t be arrow sponges as well!
Either way, it will no doubt prove to be a challenging foe for Aloy. Luckily, it seems that she is still wearing her Shield Weaver armour which you can unlock in the main game for finding all the power cells. She’s going to need it!
Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds DLC will be available at the end of the year, exclusively on Playstation 4 and will cost $20.