There's still a lot of time left to the release of Horizon: Forbidden West, but that doesn't stop the developers from reminding us about their title. In the latest post, Guerrilla Games focuses on the main character Aloy, known from Zero Dawn. NOTE: the devs did not shy away from spoilers, so read the original post at your own risk!
In the text posted on the official PlayStation blog, the developers wrote about the lonely robot hunter, her story, and the surprises prepared by the writers, which will not remain without impact on Aloy and her mission. However, the devs did not stop there. The post also mentions visual enhancements that will make the character look even more realistic. This includes better smoothing of contours and mapping of materials and more detailed textures, but also a much greater number of "joints" in Aloy's 3D model. Thanks to them we can expect a much more precise representation of facial expressions, among other things.
A lot of these changes is due to the power of the console, on which the new Horizon will be released. However, this doesn't mean that the release for older PlayStation has been forgotten. On the contrary, Bastien Ramisse (lead character designer) has revealed that Horizon: Forbidden West is being developed and tested simultaneously on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.
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It's not just about ensuring adequate performance on a platform that is becoming a thing of the past (let's leave the issue of PS5's availability aside). Bastien assures there were PS4 "resources" unused in Zero Dawn, which will enable the devs to beautify Aloy also on the older console. Unfortunately, he didn't provide details, instead reminding about... tips for cosplayers wishing to impersonate Aloy from recent videos. The post also assured of the team's efforts put into the new, more detailed protagonist:
“Multiple teams have invested countless hours in her every aspect: her combat moves, her animations, her gear, her hair, and her dialogue. Not to mention Ashly Burch’s inspired voice performance. All of this effort makes Aloy feel real. It also makes her a great fit for all kinds of players: those who want to fight, to explore, to engage with tribes and NPCs, or simply to just take in her presence in a beautiful world. So many people work hard to make all this possible.”
These efforts also include a more robust combat system and new movement options, including the use of gadgets shown in the May video. Aloy's new outfit is also mentioned in passing, as she'll be able to upgrade her skills via a revamped (as yet undisclosed) development tree.
Horizon: Forbidden West will be released on February 22, 2022 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5. Perhaps the title will also make its way to PC, because while Sony hasn't said a word about it as of yet, the company has revealed the plans to expand into the PC (and mobile) market.
- Horizon: Forbidden West - official website