Horizon Forbidden West embarks on exploration at the hands of its developers

The new production from Guerrilla Games continues to take shape. Horizon Forbidden West will ship early this year, but the Netherlands-based developer has provided new information on the exploration skills d’Aloy, the main protagonist of the two parts of the saga. It did so via the official PlayStation blog, where team members reviewed various aspects of 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 traverse 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 exploration possibilities – and soar with the Shieldwing to enjoy the best views of the beautiful world of Horizon Forbidden West… and descending quickly from a great height! ”.

Regarding travel, design decisions they 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 grappling hook” or to use the grapple point “to hover with the Shieldwing and strike from above. “. According to McMullen, what really excites them is that old and new mechanics interact “synergistically” to provide “dynamic and varied solutions in any scenario.”

Impact on level design

Think all of these new things were “a challenge” when designing the levels. “We want allow players to surpass us and use the new moves or tools to overcome challenges in smart and unpredictable ways. “For this reason, they designed the puzzles in such a way that they didn’t always have a binary solution, so that they could experiment with the resources.

PS5 version used the DualSense remote control to integrate game mechanics. Scratches in the gravel left by pushing a box are felt in the hands, as well as “the feeling of letting go of the grapple winch”. Adaptive triggers also let you sense resistance when you pull. “We added other tactile dimensions to improve both the mechanics and the feel of traveling the world of Aloy; They can be as subtle as the weed brush to indicate you’ve entered stealth or the adaptive trigger twitch when shooting a full bow. We’ve even implemented no adaptive voltage so you know when you’re out of ammo. “

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 grips. On the other hand, the high jump mechanism is built in, which allows Aloy to “propel herself to whatever object she jumps on to keep 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 grappling hook, a device attached to Aloy’s wrist that has two main functions, as David himself explains: “The first function is a gripping mechanism that allows the player to climb quickly and easily through the environment, adding to the resource set a dynamic option to move or flee. When the player catches a spike, they can fire the grappling hook to launch themselves into the air and grab onto a higher platform, shoot with the bow, hover, strike from above, or even grab onto a other point “.

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

Horizon Forbidden West goes on sale on February 18 2022 on PS4 and PS5.

Origin | PlayStation Blog

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