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Horizon Zero Dawn PC code is marked as a debug build

The Horizon Zero Dawn PC port came out a few days ago, and fans were wondering why it crashed so often – one took a closer look and was not satisfied with what they found.

The news came from Reddit, where an anonymous programmer shared their findings after investigating the game’s “dump file”.

“So as a programmer, I have the freedom to investigate the dump files,” they wrote. “Let’s say the results are not very … promising.”

PC Horizon Zero Dawn

The poster goes on to include an image of a line from the game’s code, screened at the exact point it crashed.

“This piece of code means the computer is trying to write the value on the right into the memory address on the left, the problem is that the specified memory doesn’t exist,” they wrote. “The program is trying to go directly to address 0, which ALWAYS crashes the game, and this is also a big NO.”

“I don’t know how this happened, the program with hard code 0 makes the memory address clear how bad this is, no well-generated (or just really average) code will try trying to access 0 as a memory address, it might “have been a compiler error, but I highly doubt it,” they added.

They continued to make a few edits after others started interacting with the post, both coming to the same conclusion.

“After some time investigating in a debugger, I found 166 lines of the same tutorial,” the edited post writes. “They are mainly used in memory handling and some debug functions are not moved (for some reason).”

“I removed these instructions (recorded them) and well, the game crashed less,” it continued. “It’s far from an actual fix, I can’t fix graphics issues, but at least it still crashes every 30 minutes, not 5”.

The post ends by saying that this is clearly a debug build and should not be shipped. If you’re curious, you can check out some Horizon Zero Dawn games for yourself.

While fans were excited at first about how beautiful the game looks, persistent crashes and performance issues quickly replaced that enthusiasm. These issues, as the Reddit post pointed out, are relatively well explained by the fact that the portal can still have aspects of a debug build attached to it.

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