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Horizon Forbidden West Dev Showcases Aloy’s New Skills, Weapons & DualSense Mechanics

October 25, 2021

A new blog by Guerrilla Games highlights Aloy’s survival in the upcoming fierce world of Horizon Forbidden West.

Anyone who has rolled credits on Horizon Zero Dawn will have instantly wanted to dive straight back into its lush dystopian world. Packed with captivating storylines and fantastic machine battles, Horizon Zero Dawn lured gamers in with its mesmerizing environments, action-packed combat and memorable narrative.

In this year’s Sony State of Play, the eagerly anticipated title received a much needed 14 minutes of intense gameplay in which we saw Aloy’s abilities that featured the grappling hook, diving mask for underwater exploration and that awesome looking shield glider. This time, Guerrilla Games laid out more details in a PlayStation blog that unearths more of Aloys survival and traversal abilities as well as what’s in store for PS5 owners.

Horizon Forbidden West | Pre-order Announcement

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Horizon Forbidden West | Pre-order Announcement
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David McMullen, Lead Systems Designer at Guerrilla said in the blog when discussing Aloy’s weapons and how the Pullcaster especially is a useful tool to have “The Pullcaster is a mechanical wrist-mounted device with two separate functions. The first function is a grapple mechanic, allowing the player to swiftly and easily ascend the environment and providing a dynamic traversal/escape option to the player toolkit.”

David also went into detail on how the studio wanted the player to feel like they always had the power of freedom as they made their way around Horizon Forbidden West. “Our traversal design decisions were always in service of increasing dynamic interactivity with the world around you. This could be to empower the player to manipulate and destroy their environment with a tool like the Pullcaster; or grapple-launching into a glide with the Shieldwing to set yourself up for a strike from above. What excites us most is how our mechanics, new and old, synergistically interact with each other to provide varied and dynamic approaches to any scenario.”

Wanting to highlight that no matter what your skill level is or your experience previously with Horizon Zero Dawn was, Guerrilla wants to hit home that a “variety of challenges” lays in wait for players when they enter the world of Forbidden West.

“We need to allow for players to outsmart us, using new moves or tools to bypass some of our challenges in clever and unpredictable ways.” said David “Traversal puzzles won’t always have a binary solution; we encourage players to experiment and have fun with the new tools. 

Even though the title will be made available on the PS4 and PS5, there will be some advantages for those who pick the game up on the PS5 and how the console’s DualSense will be implemented.

“The DualSense wireless controller is heavily featured throughout our mechanics,” David says. “From the scrape of rubble as you push a crate, to the sensation of an unravelling winch as you use the Pullcaster — with the increased adaptive trigger tension as you pull! We’ve also added extra tactile dimensions to increase both the gameplay value and the feeling of being part of the world Aloy is moving around in; these can be subtle as the sensation of grass brushing around you to indicate you are entering stealth grass, or the pop of the adaptive trigger as you reach maximum draw with a bow. We even use the absence of adaptive tension to help communicate when you’re out of ammo.”

The blog also goes into interesting details regarding how the Pullcaster can be used as a winch “to move and destroy objects in the environments”, how the Shieldwing can be combined with other mechanics and Horizon Forbidden West‘s workbench which can be used to “upgrade and strengthen weapons and outfits.”

Guerrilla’s Lead Combat Designer, Dennis Zopfi inserts some cool facts regarding how they redesigned Aloy’s abilities through the skill tree system. “In Horizon Zero Dawn, skills were bought and unlocked as you levelled up,” Dennis explains. “While that principle remains in the sequel, we completely redesigned the skill tree with additional tracks and skills; within the skill tree, skills also synergize with those that are either already present on outfits or need to be unlocked on them.”

“The world has changed in Horizon Forbidden West, with more danger, more enemy factions, and more machines – and they can now fight together in groups, which poses a real challenge for our hero, and the player.” said Zopfi.

You can read the entirety of the blog right here which contains some fantastic short clips of Aloy in action to get you really excited for the game.

Horizon Forbidden West will release date on February 18, 2022, after a delay from Sony.

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Rachael Fiddis
@Irish_Soulful

Rachael, who is Deputy Editor & Head of Stakeholder Relations, has been gaming for many years. Some of her favourite video games include The Witcher 3 and The Last of Us but also loves a good indie title. Gaming Culture is where her heart lies and spends many hours sieving through gaming fan art and cosplay displays. Other than gaming, Rachael is a book nerd and music lover.

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