Horizon Zero is noted for its extremely gorily atmosphere and its high usage of blood and guts, and its overall violent gameplay, including head tearing, chainsaw usage, and several guns. This, combined with the game's usage of story writing, has given it the rating of "M" from the ESRB.
The game has many tie-ins to Brawl of the Fandraxonians: Constellation Warfare, having gameplay similarities and shared plot elements, although the game's plots do not coincide with another; as Horizon Zero is not canon to the timeline of the Zaxinian Lifts.
Gameplay seems to take note of mostly Super Smash Bros., but mixes in elements of Street Fighter. Your objective is to drain your opponents of their health and be the last survivor, while using Street Fighter-inspired combos and Smash-like special moves to damage opponents. Unlike those series though, once you lose all your health, you'll gain another health bar and become a moving skeleton, but with lower statistics and half your original health.
In battle, you charge up this meter known as the Death Mark. By fully charging it up, you're able to use a move unlike any other in your movepool. This move is extremely powerful and has a variety of different effects, depending on the character you're playing as. With some characters, it can even be an OHKO move, although it's extremely unlikely that you will face a character with the Death Mark fufilled while they're at full health. To charge up the meter, you need to hold either of the back triggers.
As characters fight, they also level up a Devil's Bar. It can go up three levels, and the more levels the bar is filled up to, the more powerful the special attacks that come out of it become, or the longer they last. Max charged bars have extremely high power and can even OHKO certain characters.
You can also engage in conversations with characters before you battle them. You can choose to be nice, rude, naughty, selfish, boastful, etc, and sometimes your actions will change the upcoming battle, or even stop it from happening. Angered characters are very aggressive, emotional ones are half as aggressive. Conversations can also be done outside battle purposes - these can be used to just horse around in the game.
In designer mode, you can create up to thirty battlefields and share them online, and you'll also be able to make your own home and living space. Think of it as one of the game's extra modes.
- The directional pad has the player inputting movement, and it's used to get around the stage. Unless the option is disabled, one can jump tapping upward on the stick. In menus, it's used to navigate.
- One of two normal attack buttons, alongside the green action button. This one in particular is most often used for punches or projectiles.
- The other normal attack button. It's used mainly for kicking or using miscellaneous other attacks.
- The jump button. By pressing this, your player will jump into the air. Pressing it again allows you to double jump!
- The special attack button. Enables you to use some of your more powerful attacks in this game.
- For more information, see here.
The Perplex is the story mode of Horizon Zero and functions as an Adventure mode very similar to that found in Super Smash Bros. Melee. Your objective is to race through the provided levels, participate in matches against others of the game, and be the one to fight the final boss of this route; Black Doom. Defeating Black Doom on Normal or higher difficulty awards you with the Devil Doom boss, which offers the true ending.
In Perplex mode, the characters you defeat join you, and you can use any of them to fight the final boss. If any of them lose though, they're erased from your team. If everyone is lost, the game is over and Black Doom rules all.
Perplex allows you to play with a second player as well, but it requires that you unlock at least one of these characters first. There is no support for more players, at least not at the moment.
Survival just means being the last one or the last team to survive on the battlefield. Drain your opponent's health bars to win, that is pretty much the only goal. If you lose all your health in both forms, you're down for the count.
Survival can be played with up to four players, split into two or three teams if team settings are turned on.
Warfront is a more advanced Survival with a three dimensional look and the usage of many weapons. Use guns to attack from a distance, chainsaws to attack up close...use any of the weapons you can find on the battlefields and shred your opponents to death.
Warfront can be played with up to twenty four players, split into two or more teams if team settings are turned on.
Hunger is perhaps the most brutal of the modes. In this, you're hungry and you must chew up and destroy your opponents, and collect any food on the stage. If you go too long without even a bite, you're gonna die from starvation. Like in Survival, last one standing wins.
Hunger can be played with up to four players, there are no team settings allowed in this mode.
You can unlock Hunger mode by unlocking 50% of the game's roster.
Unavoidable Battle is a unique mode where you fight against the forces of Black Doom, but the goal is to avoid Black Doom himself and fight off other foes while dodging his attacks, and becoming strong enough to actually defeat him. You can recruit other fighters in this story mode.
You can play this mode with up to four players, no team settings allowed as you're all on the same team.
You can unlock Unavoidable Battle by unlocking 80% of the game's roster.
There are a large quantity of characters in Horizon Zero. Each fighter is locked until you beat them in story mode, the "Perplex". So how do you even play as any of these? You play as the bloody protagonist, Sheddane to get them. So how do you play the other modes? You'll be playing this one first.
Barring Sheddane, there are a hundred and four characters, eight characters being downloadable content. Each character has different statistics and plays differently from the others.
The DLC characters are free and don't require any money to be bought.
There are a total of seventy stages in this game, and all of which are required to be unlockable, like the majority of the game's characters, but in this case scenario, you have Hynau by default. The rest are unlocked by coming across them in Perplex mode.
Each stage in the game comes with its own gimmicks, its own obstacles, and its own individual platforms. Some stages are relatively safe to play on, like Gangplank Galleon and Marble, but others, like the Ghost Zone and Intimidation, aren't quite so safe.
Horizon Zero is home to many bosses, but they are only fought in the game's story mode and nowhere outside of that except for, rather obviously, Boss Beatdown. Each boss has a high amount of health and powerful attacks, sometimes even OHKO ones. The way you play the Perplex mode, how many lives you have, and the difficulty change who you end up fighting.
Each boss has their own opening segment in story mode.
The Zodiac Stones are the game's items. Upon breaking open a Zodiac Stone, one of three possible summons will come from it, and there's three summons per stone. The person you summon will help you immensely in battle - but be careful! Some can be quite full of betrayal.
Like almost every video game in existence, Horizon Zero is home to its own soundtrack. Mostly, it is composed of original music, but some of its music is from existing songs. Here they are.
- Horizon Zero tries to be the fighting game that Sanguine Bloodshed and Uprising (both from Fantendo) have tried to be, and replaces them both here on Lapis.
- Horizon Zero refers to the name of the game, its location, and the fact that everything is at ground zero.
- The Perplex's concepts are extremely similar to the Classic and Adventure modes from Super Smash Bros. Melee.
- HexaZure (read it!) has inspired Horizon Zero's existence, as well as a variety of other umbrellas, like the Fighters of Lapis series as a whole.