Horizon Zero Dawn rolls out new ‘Story Mode’ difficulty

It makes combat easier

Horizon Zero Dawn is no slouch, difficulty-wise. I tend to come into big releases with certain expectations about how challenging it will or won’t be, and I was off the mark on this one.

There’s a definite learning curve to kitting yourself out, getting a lay of the land, coming up with a battle plan (and changing it on the fly when shit inevitably goes awry), and knowing everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. Horizon Zero Dawn is not the type of game I can hope to play well while drowsy.

Guerrilla Games is continuing its commendable post-release support with a new update, out now, that debuts a “Story Mode” difficulty option. It’s meant for players who are struggling or would otherwise like a breezier experience while they take in the sights and sounds of Horizon.

“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,” says community manager Jeroen Roding. “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.”

Out of curiosity, I glanced at the game’s Trophy completion data. 80% of players reached level 10, 52.3% got to level 25, and 20% leveled up to 50. Also, 8.3% earned the platinum. That seems high!

Patch 1.32

New Features

  • Added ‘Story Mode’ difficulty. An easier difficulty setting for people that mainly want to experience the story of Horizon Zero Dawn.

General Fixes

  • Fixed an issue for some players where human melee attackers could change their rotation and warp towards the player after jump attacking giving them an unfair advantage.
  • Fixed an issue in New Game+ where some players were not allowed to fast travel to Sunfall campfires with the Shadow Stalwart Adept armor equipped.
  • Fixed an issue where certain players were not able to abandon a job for a job created to buy items at a merchant.
  • Fixed an issue that some players encountered where some animation events would not work properly when the player has a lot of resources.
  • Fixed an issue in “Revenge of the Nora” where for some players the Nora would not help Aloy fight off the enemy during the ‘Clear the Camps’ objective.

Progression fixes

  • Fixed an issue in “The Point of the Spear” where some players were not able to continue the quest if they dropped their Tripcaster on NG+ before talking to Rost.
  • Fixed an issue in “The Sun Shall Fall” where some players were not able to get back in the palace to talk to Blameless Marad as the gates were closed.

Crash fixes

  • Fixed an issue where the game would crash for certain players if they switched difficulty while Aloy is dead with an Errand active.
  • Fixed an issue where for some players the game would crash if a player continuously makes ‘Jobs’ and then changes difficulty continuously.

Miscellaneous fixes

  • Minor text fixes.

Horizon Zero Dawn Patch 1.32 Introduces ‘Story’ Difficulty [PlayStation Blog]

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Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.
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