Aloy get some new moves in this Horizon Forbidden West gameplay breakdown

Guerrilla Games has given us a fresh peak behind the curtain of Horizon Forbidden West‘s development, detailing some new abilities and traversal techniques that Aloy will have for her upcoming adventure.

Referring to the gameplay trailer that was released earlier this year, Lead Systems Designer David McMullen explained “Aloy can climb freely on and across huge sections of rocky terrain; even more machine types can be used as mounts; grapple points can be found throughout the environment which allows agile vertical traversal; swimming underwater has opened up a whole new aspect of exploration; and gliding with the Shieldwing provides the ultimate view of the beautiful world of Horizon Forbidden West – not to mention a quick way down from great heights!”

She gets all of this done using some new tech gadgets that have been unearthed for her. There’s new tools like the Pullcaster, which lets her pull down on parts of the environment to manipulate or destroy, there’s the grapple hook which will let Aloy launch into the sky, where she can now glide down with the Shieldwing or even attack enemies from above.

“The Pullcaster is a mechanical wrist-mounted device with two separate functions,” David explains. “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. When grappling, the player can activate the launch — throwing them into the air, where they can grab a higher ledge, fire their bow, glide, strike-from-above or even grapple to a further point.

“The second function of the Pullcaster is a winch, meaning the player can dynamically manipulate, move and destroy the objects in the environments. Think about pulling a hidden loot chest from a ledge, or tearing open a vent to create a new climb path.

“The Shieldwing was always a team favorite, it provides not only the most exhilarating way to return from an epic climb but also the most picturesque! This tool is invaluable with having so much more verticality, where backtracking down the same trail holds less of an appeal as on the way up.”

Horizon Forbidden West Shieldwing

The game world has been designed to enable the use of these tools, also featuring a new free climbing system, so everything that looks like you should be able to climb it, such as rocky surfaces, can be clambered up. Aloy’s movement is enhanced by the ‘high vault traversal mechanic’, which basically means Aloy can pul herself up onto any object that she can jump up to reach. She can also wall jump for the first time.

Guerrilla are aiming to embrace this flexibility through the game’s puzzle design. “Traversal puzzles won’t always have a binary solution,” David writes. “We encourage players to experiment and have fun with the new tools. We will offer a variety of challenges, regardless of playstyle or skill or previous experience in Horizon Zero Dawn.”

Turning to the combat side of the game, Guerrilla’s Lead Combat Designer, Dennis Zopfi states that “One of the focus points that influenced all our combat decisions was increased player choice. […] One entirely new concept in Horizon Forbidden West is the workbench, where you can upgrade and strengthen weapons and outfits. This unlocks new perks, mod slots, skills, and offers a bigger degree of customisation, resistances, and new abilities for players!”

The skill tree has been redesigned so that there’s different “tracks” to follow, as opposed to straight upgrades. On example of a new skill is the Resonator Blast. This lets you charge up the speer through melee, take that energy and place it on enemies, and then explode it with a projectile.

Valor Surges are a new concept, with each of the 12 representing a different playstyle, These are unlocked through the skill tree, with a risk and reward system as higher level Valor Surges take longer to charge up, but also deal much more damage.

You might turn to new weapons while playing. The Spike Thrower is a new high damage weapon, there’s also the Blast Sling for elemental damage.

There’s a lot to take in, but mostly the team are digging into and explaining elements from the gameplay reveal.

Horizon Forbidden West will release on February 18th 2022, failed to meet its intended 2021 release target. As a cross-gen release for both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, Sony caused a stink with their upgrade plans (or lack thereof), quickly U-turning to stick to the spirit of previous statements they had made to now offer free upgrades from PS4 to PS5.

Source: PS Blog

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