Horizon Forbidden West plunges into exploration at the hands of its developers

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The new Guerrilla Games production continues to take shape. Horizon Forbidden West will ship at the beginning of the year, but the Netherlands-based developer has provided new information on the exploration skills of Aloy, the main protagonist of the two installments of the saga. He has done so through the official PlayStation blog, where team members have reviewed different aspects related to the game, in this case, exploration.

“Building on the foundations of Horizon Zero Dawn, we’ve added new ways for you to move around the world,” said David McMullen, Guerrilla’s chief systems designer. “Aloy can freely cross or climb large sections of rocky terrain, use even more machines as mounts, find grip points all over the map to move vertically with agility, swim underwater – which opens up a whole new range of possibilities for exploration – and glide with the Shieldwing to enjoy the best views of the beautiful world of Horizon Forbidden West… and descending rapidly from great heights! ”.

Regarding displacement, design decisions they have tried to “foster dynamic interactivity” with the world. This opens the door for players to have “the ability to manipulate and destroy the environment with a tool such as the grapple” or use grapple point “to glide with the Shieldwing and strike from above.” According to McMullen, what they are really passionate about is that old and new mechanics interact “in a synergistic way”, in order to offer “dynamic and varied solutions in any scenario”.

Impact on level design

Think that all these novelties were “a challenge” when designing the levels. “We want allow players to outsmart us and use the new moves or tools to overcome challenges in clever and unpredictable ways. ” For this reason, they have designed the puzzles so that they do not always have a binary solution, so that they can experiment with the resources.

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The PS5 version has used the DualSense remote to integrate game mechanics. Scratches in the gravel left while pushing a box are felt in the hands, as well as “the sensation of releasing the winch from the grapple.” Adaptive triggers also allow you to sense resistance when you pull. “We have added other tactile dimensions to enhance both the mechanics and the feeling of traveling the world of Aloy; They can be as subtle as the brush of grass to indicate that you’ve entered stealth or the jolt of the adaptive trigger when you draw a bow fully. We have even implemented the absence of adaptive tension so you know when you run out of ammunition. “

They call it the immersive exploration And it has a lot to do with the free climbing that is implemented in Horizon Forbidden West, without the need for tribal handholds. On the other hand, the high jump mechanic is incorporated, which allows Aloy to “propel herself towards any object that she jumps to to continue climbing.” This is combined with free climbing and the ability to add grip points on stage.

The grapple, one of the new tools

Exploration is enhanced by the grapple, a device attached to Aloy’s wrist that has two main functions, as David himself explains: “The first function is a grip mechanic that allows the player to ascend quickly and easily through the environment, adding to the set of resources a dynamic option to move or flee. When the player grabs a point, he can actuate the grapple to launch himself into the air and grab onto a higher platform, shoot with the bow, glide, hit from above or even hook onto another point ”.

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The second functionality is that of a winch that allows the player “Manipulate, move and destroy objects” the stage dynamically. He cites a very specific example: “You can use it to pull a chest that has hidden a platform or open a chute and create a new climbing route.” The Alaescudo classifies it as an essential tool “to achieve a much greater verticality”.

Horizon Forbidden West will go on sale on 18th of February 2022 on PS4 and PS5.

Source | PlayStation Blog

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