Horizon Forbidden West is one of our most anticipated games and after a solid showing from PlayStation last week, more details are beginning to emerge about what players can expect.
We’ve gathered these from a range of sources including interviews with the Game’s Director (Mathijs de Jonge) and Narrative Director (Benjamin McCaw), sites such as IGN, and social media posts.
Game World and Exploration
- The world is larger than Horizon Zero Dawn but only slightly. The focus is more on density and providing players with more to find and interact with.
- Free-climbing is now enabled in nearly all areas of the world (outside of some combat scenarios or settlements).
“So now the entire world, everything is automatically annotated. That means you can climb anywhere,” he continued, noting that this will be somewhat limited inside settlements, where players also shouldn’t expect to fight, either.
“There is more hand-placed, controlled exploration going on there. But outside of the settlements, in the open world, you can climb anywhere.”
- There are many different biomes to uncover – more than Zero Dawn.
- The underwater areas are larger and more dense than people may expect.
“Exploration is really the theme. And it’s not enough for us to just show underwater. We wanted to make sure that it’s every bit as beautiful as what you see in the natural world above it,” McCaw said.
“But it wasn’t just enough that you could swim around underwater. We wanted to do some things that are really surprising and interesting. And I think that’s where some of the story stuff comes in, and we just absolutely can’t wait for players to see what they’re going to experience.”
Character Development and Combat
- You can now focus on human enemies as well as they also wear armor.
“With the machines, the combat is pretty tactical. And there’s always multiple ways you can take them down. With the Focus scan, you can scan the machine, check out what are the weaknesses and what are the interactive components… So for this game, we [thought] with the humans, what if we Focus scan them? What kind of things could we see, and what kind of extra things can we put on them to evoke this tactical play around them,” de Jonge explained.
- Entirely new melee system with combos.
- New workbench system for upgrades.
- New skill-tree, completely overhauled from Zero Dawn.