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New 'Horizon: Zero Dawn' Mode Makes Combat Easy, So You Can Enjoy The Story

More games should embrace options like this. Combat’s not for everyone.

Patrick Klepek

Patrick Klepek

Image courtesy of Sony

People play games for different reasons and with different skill sets, making it entirely reasonable that someone might be attracted to the story, world, and characters of a game like Horizon: Zero Dawn, but lack the tools to play the game properly in order to experience those parts of it. In a new patch, Guerrilla Games has proposed a solution: a new "Story" difficulty setting that significantly reduces how much players will be challenged in combat. Here's how Guerrilla describes it:

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 into 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.

I can't help but hear echoes of the never-ending, always-present "What if Dark Souls had an easy mode?" argument in the back of my head, but with Horizon, a game where story is such an enormous focus, it feels fundamentally different. (Plus, honestly, I've never cared if the Souls games decided to offer an easier mode of play. I know how I want to play it. Who cares how others decide to?)

Guerrilla updated Horizon since its release earlier this year, adding changes both tiny and small, like this new difficulty mode. It's commendable, and puts the game squarely on my radar again, as we wait for the winter-themed expansion, The Frozen Wilds, coming November 7.

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