New details for Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Forbidden West have been revealed via the PlayStation Blog. The development team still hasn’t outlined the new skill tree that Aloy will experiment with, aside from it having “additional tracks and skills” which “synergize with those that are either already present on outfits or need to be unlocked on them.” But it did provide a lot of other interesting new bits of information.
The DualSense controller, for instance, will see its adaptive trigger pop when reaching maximum draw with a bow. There’s also the “absence” of adaptive tension to convey when one is out of ammo. Other sensations include “The scrape of rubble as you push a crate, to the sensation of an unraveling winch as you use the Pullcaster — with the increased adaptive trigger tension as you pull.” Additional “tactile dimensions” like the grass brushing against Aloy as she sneaks about can also be expected.
We already know about the Pullcaster which functions as a grappling hook and allows the player to launch into the air. However, it can also “dynamically manipulate, move and destroy the objects in the environments.” So if you see a loot chest hidden on a ledge or need to tear a vent off to climb, the Pullcaster will come in handy. As for Valor Surges, which were seen in the last gameplay trailer, there are 12 confirmed. These can be unlocked through the skill tree and each has three levels of charge (with the highest taking longer to charge but delivering more damage).
For all these different techniques that Aloy can employ, her enemies are also becoming smarter and more resourceful. This time around, you’ll encounter enemy factions that can mount Machines. Lead combat designer Dennis Zopfi notes, “In Horizon Zero Dawn, machine and humanoid encounters were very separate; they never really operated as a group against Aloy. 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.’
“When it comes to mounted combat, the player will have to adapt and decide whom to take out first and in what most effective way; human enemies have weapons, attacks, and abilities that machines don’t and vice versa, so they complement each other in these encounters; keeping you on your toes!”
Finally, along with the Hunter Bow, Sharpshot Bow and Blast Sling returning, the player also has a new weapon, the Spike Thrower. This is described as a “high damage weapon” which makes it easier to hit larger targets “when thrown at the right moment.” Different perks, weapon coil slots and ammo types can be expected for each weapon.
Horizon Forbidden West launches on February 18th 2022 for PS4 and PS5. A short clip showcasing the various traversal mechanics and how they change up combat can also be seen below.