As February’s release of Horizon: Forbidden West draws nearer, Guerrilla has updated fans on some of the new abilities that players will be able to utilize across combat and exploration in the game, including a grapple and glider, as well as some fun new combat techniques.
In a post focusing on traversal published on the PlayStation Blog, Guerrilla spoke further about some of the new tools that players will have, as well as factors that have influenced Forbidden West’s new combat decisions. Lead Systems Designer David McMullen explained that a new high vault mechanic “essentially allows Aloy to hoist herself on top of any object of jumpable height with room to pull up. Combined with the ability to free climb and adding grapples to our environment, the potential for exploration is greatly increased.”
He also explained more about the Pullcaster and Shieldwing, two new tools shown off back in June. The Pullcaster is multi-function, and primarily works much like you’d expect a grapplehook in a game to function. However, it has a second function as a winch, which means “the player can dynamically manipulate, move and destroy the objects in the environments,” according to McMullen. “Think about pulling a hidden loot chest from a ledge, or tearing open a vent to create a new climb path,” he adds.
McMullen also explained that the additions to climbing and traversal mechanics can be mixed up with Aloy’s new Shieldwing glider. “The Shieldwing combines well with numerous other mechanics both in and out of combat, such as landing on your mount, ziplining, the strike from above skill, and more…”
Elsewhere in the blog post, the studio discussed the changes it’s making to combat. Guerrilla has completely redesigned Horizon’s skill tree and included workbenches that allow players a greater degree of customization when upgrading weapons.
As well as changing the way that players modify their weapons to suit a given playstyle, the studio is also bringing melee and ranged combat closer together. Guerrilla’s Lead Combat Designer, Dennis Zopfi, offered an example of how the two aspects worth together in Forbidden West’s combat system: “A new example of a skill that does this is the Resonator Blast, where you charge up the spear with melee hits and when fully powered up, the energy can be placed on enemies (humans and machines alike) and followed up with a projectile – resulting in a big damaging explosion!’”
In Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy will have a number of her old weapons back to fight off the various enemies and machines that the game throws at her. Zopfi states that Forbidden West will look to give these weapons a “stronger personality” allowing players to players to draw upon their strengths in given situations. New weapons will be added, too, such as the Spike Thrower, which was teased by Zopfi as being a “new, high damage weapon which, when thrown at the right moment, makes it easier to hit larger targets.”
For more on Horizon Forbidden West, make sure to check out this article discussing how Aloy’s new gear will provide the character with a range of new skills.
Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.