Horizon Zero Dawn Explained: What Does The Ending Really Mean?

1. A Huge Amount Of Potential For Sequels

horizon zero dawn
Sony

Timeline-wise, we've got around 1000 years between the creation of the Zero Dawn program - closely followed by the extinction of mankind - and the beginning of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Firstly, any number of sequels could delve into that 15 month period, elaborating on what it was like to take on the never-ending machine hordes on the surface, alongside evacuating as many civilians as possible who weren't helping fight the cause. What if an individual or family managed to find a way to survive? A way to enter one of the Cradle Facilities where the cryo-stasis chambers are, only to emerge at any point across the ensuing 1000 years?

Keep in mind, these 1000 years are a constant cycle of GAIA attempting to create the 'perfect' ecosystem and atmosphere for Earth, only for something to go wrong and HADES to hit the metaphorical reset button.

There's a HUGE amount of scope for all sorts of weird-looking, experimental robot designs as GAIA gets closer to perfecting the ones we face in Horizon, and any number of human tribes or populaces could've risen up and been completely wiped out across that time, too.

Aloy's story has a very definitive end, and an A.I.-focused plan that can only happen at its point in the timeline. Everything else - from Operation: Enduring Victory to whatever that first 'attempt' at repopulating Earth even looked like - is fair game.

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What did you make of Horizon's ending, and were there any big takeaways I missed? Let us know in the comments!

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Gaming Editor
Gaming Editor

Gaming Editor at WhatCulture. Wields shovels, rests at bonfires, fights evil clones, brews decoctions. Will have your lunch on Rocket League.