Horizon Zero Dawn may seem like it takes place in an entirely foreign land when you first start playing. However, shortly into it, you’ll start figuring out where you are, and realize that the game is located on Earth, even if it’s a very unfamiliar landscape. As you proceed through Horizon, it becomes clearer exactly where the game takes place. We’ll go into detail below on where both Horizon Zero Dawn, and its upcoming sequel Horizon Forbidden West, take place.
Warning: Spoilers below for Horizon Zero Dawn
Where does Horizon Zero Dawn take place?
Horizon Zero Dawn gives the players small clues throughout the first third of the game that it takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth. You’ll eventually learn that the game’s map is located in the United States. As time goes on, data will be revealed that allows you to localize the area even further.
By the end of the game, it comes fairly clear that the game takes place predominately in Colorado and Utah and small parts of Arizona. The DLC, The Frozen Wilds, adds the Banuk’s homeland, which is located in Wyoming and a small piece of Montana.
The Nora reside in Colorado, and the Carja are spread across Utah and part of Arizona. Besides the Old Ones’ logs, there are a few clues that help identify the area:
- All-Mother Mountain is the former NORAD facility.
- The Ring of Metal is Denver Stadium.
- Devil’s Grief is the ruins of Denver, CO.
Most ruins correspond to real-life locations, even if they’re not placed precisely as they would be in real life. The game’s map is to scale, so some creative liberty is taken.
Where does Horizon Forbidden West take place?
We don’t know a ton about Horizon Forbidden West yet. However, the developers have given us a rough idea of where it’ll take place. The sequel to Zero Dawn will take allow across parts of Utah, Nevada, and California.
The map for Forbidden West is said to be larger than that found in its predecessor, and underwater exploration is being added. We’re not sure exactly what’s waiting for Aloy, but it’ll likely be more extensive in scale than what we saw in Horizon Zero Dawn.