Guerrilla Games has explained how they have changed both the environments and the tools Aloy makes available Horizon: Forbidden West to bring a range of new skills to players in the upcoming game. While there will be a similar level of freedom as in Horizon: Zero Dawn, the developer wanted to offer more opportunities to explore and experience the world.
There are many new ways Aloy can reach the world. New is the ability to scale “huge stretches of rocky terrain” without the need for tribal holds. Aloy can pull the high-vault traversal mechanism onto any object from a bouncy height, as long as there is space for it. In combination with wall jumps, the ability to jump off a climbing surface, and the additional gripping points that allow vertical traversal in more areas, there are many ways to put the photo mode through its paces.
When not climbing, players can use even more mechanical creatures as mounts than in the first game to cover greater distances at higher speeds. Aloy can now swim too and is no longer limited to just hiding underwater. This, of course, means that Guerrilla Games has rethought the level design to give players more options, as explained by Lead Systems Designer David McMullen:
This wide range of new options also challenged our way of thinking about level design. We need to allow players to outsmart us using new moves or tools to circumvent some of our challenges in clever and unpredictable ways. Traversal puzzles don’t always have a binary solution; We encourage players to experiment and have fun with the new tools. We’ll be offering a variety of challenges regardless of play style, skill level, or previous experience in Horizon Zero Dawn.
There are also new tools that you can use. The pullcaster is the mechanical device Aloy has attached to her wrist. This allows it to cling to rock faces and throw them into the air to hit enemies from above. The device can also be used as a winch to move or destroy various objects in the area, such as pulling a chest off a ledge or opening a vent. Meanwhile, the shield wing enables Aloy to slide down from great heights and be used in combat.
To take out enemies, players get new combat mechanics, enemy types, and weapon variations. One thing for players to keep in mind now is that humans and machines are fighting together and they are no longer separate battles. Some enemy factions can also use machines as mounts and players will have to decide which ones to take out first. Melee and ranged combat are also more closely related. For example, the Resonator Blast means that a spear can be charged with any melee hit, and when fully charged, a powerful projectile can be sent to cause large explosive damage. There are also a total of 12 Surge of Valor abilities with specific approaches to combat. These can be unlocked and improved via the skill tree, which now has more routes and skills, as well as the ability to work too synergistically with Aloy’s outfits.
Horizon Forbidden West brings new weapons like the Spike Thrower, which does a lot of damage and can hit large targets easily if thrown at the right moment. Other well-known weapons are returning, such as the Hunter Bow, Sharpshot Bow, and the Blast Sling. Weapons and outfits can be upgraded and enhanced at the new workbench, where perks, mod slots, and skills provide the ability to customize weapons to a player’s play style.
Finally the ones who play Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 5 can use a variety of DualSense functions:
The DualSense wireless controller has a strong presence throughout our mechanics. From scraping rubble when pushing a box to the feeling of a wind loosening when using the pullcaster – with the increased adaptive pull-off tension when pulling! We have also added additional tactile dimensions to increase both play value and the feeling of being part of the world Aloy moves in. These can be subtle, like the feel of grass grazing around you to indicate you’re stepping into stealth grass or the pop of the adaptive trigger when you hit maximum pull with an arc. We even take advantage of the lack of adaptive voltage to communicate when you’re out of ammo.
Gamers can try out all of these features, though Horizon: Forbidden West Releases on PS5 and PS4 on February 18, 2022.[Source: PlayStation Blog]