Horizon Forbidden West developer Guerrilla Games is continuing to drop more about the new game and its world, leading up to the game’s release in February 2022. A new blog post by Guerilla developers focuses this time on the game’s living world, including its cultures, settlements, and the technology that brings it all to life.
The post by Guerrilla’s community lead Bo de Vries quotes the game’s lead living world designer, Espen Sogn, about how his team brings Horizon’s world to life. Sogn says, “When you walk through The Forbidden West everything should feel as if it belongs there.” Guerrilla’s Living World team focuses on areas of the game that make it feel real and alive, such as the tribes, settlements and people living there. Everything we do in the world has an intention. “
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While most of the post apocalyptic setting’s tribes were introduced by name in Horizon Zero Dawn, the sequel will properly introduce factions like the warlike Tenakth and the agrarian Utaru as Aloy explores their settlements and interacts with their people.
“Within their settlements, you’ll see the Tenakth working out, readying themselves for battle,” said Espen, discussing how the living world team adapts details given to them by the game’s writers. They are often younger, because they have to be skilled warriors. Their base is an old ruin from which they have learned Old World gestures, such as using the military salute to greet you. “
The flavor of these distinct cultures is the result of collaboration between a number of different teams, comprising both artistic and technical aspects. Espen also explains how the crowd system in the game creates these realistic-feeling cultures through the definition of NPC animations.
“When members of a tribe are in their settlement, their safe spaces, they can act like themselves,” Espen elaborated. Espen explained that the Oseram, a historically patriarchal and social tribe, are known for their animated shoulder punches and high-fives. Utaru are more laid-back, so they often sit together and are more touchy-feely. These are subconscious clues that can help you see where you are in the world as you move around. This all happens within the game’s narrative framework. It should be possible to see the tribes from afar. “
These different cultures each have their own settlements scattered across the Forbidden West, which Aloy will be able to visit in the game. Chainscrape is the first Oseram frontier outpost Aloy will come across. It is designed to immerse you in the game’s setting and the characters. Aloy will also find other settlements that can provide safe havens while he explores the open land. These settlements offer opportunities to purchase supplies, weapons and outfits and to upgrade gear.
A previous Horizon blog post went into some detail about weapons and items in the sequel, and this one expands on the outfits that will be available to Aloy as well. Aloy will have the opportunity to use new outfits made by the Forbidden Wild tribes. The sequel will also allow for more ways to modify outfits than the original game.
“Aloy can forge the machine parts she’s harvested into her weapons and outfits, upgrading them to be even stronger,” said senior designer Steven Lumpkin. Look out for machines with visible horns or claws as you travel through the Forbidden Wild. Although early upgrades might only require a little bit of braided or strong hardplate, you will need to remove the Tremortusk from the scene if you are looking for more mod slots, the strongest resistances, or the most powerful perks. “
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