Along with a host of other new details, Guerrilla Games also discussed the revamped melee combat in Horizon Forbidden West. With the skill tree being completely overhauled to accommodate different kinds of playstyles, melee-focused builds will now have more chances to shine. As revealed by game director Mathijs de Jonge in an interview with Game Informer, melee combat has been “greatly expanded” and different combos can be unlocked from the skill tree.
Each combo has a unique purpose – the one seen in the State of Play showcase doled out multiple hits with one dealing exceptional damage. There’s another called Resonator Blast where attacking a foe will build up charge in the spear. Upon fully charging, it can be pasted onto an enemy and targeted to explode, causing massive damage (which makes it ideal for larger foes).
The Workbench is a new addition to the experience with the weapon and armor upgrade system seeing some changes. It will be present in various settlements and, upon acquiring different resources from animals, plants and machines, you can upgrade Aloy’s gear. Upgrades are done over multiple steps for improved attributes and damage but instead of slotting mods, this time players will unlock new skills and damage/ammo types. This gives a bit of a Monster Hunter-esque vibe to the system though we’ll need to see it in more detail.
Horizon Forbidden West is planned to release in holiday 2021 for PS4 and PS5. Development is on track but Guerrilla Games requires a bit more time to finalize a release date. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.