Fans of Guerilla Games' open-world RPG Horizon Zero Dawn will be happy to hear more news about its upcoming sequel, Forbidden West. It seems the team is committed to making its vast world feel as alive as possible, with an entire team of developers dedicated solely to ensuring the world feels alive.
"When you walk through the Forbidden West, everything should feel like it belongs there," Espen Sogn, lead living world designer at Guerrilla says in an interview posted to the PlayStation Blog. "The tribes, the settlements, and the people within them. There’s an intention behind everything we place within the world."
Forbidden West will feature various tribes, just as its predecessor did, and senior writer Annie Kitain said, "Each tribe starts as a bunch of ideas," which are then iterated on and implemented by collaboration between animation, writing, and the living world team.
"Every non-combat NPC in Horizon Forbidden West is part of a crowd system,” says Sogn. “Within that system, you can create rules such as reactions, walking paths, and other animations. We then also have the attitude system, which determines a personality. This means we can create unique people who behave like individuals within the world."
The aim is to create a world so real and characters who are so vivid that "you should be able to identify from a distance which tribe you’re looking at," says Sogn.
The blog post also revealed what one of the first areas of the game will be: Chainscape. This is an Oeseram settlement on the border of the lands Aloy has come to know in the claim and the forbidden west itself.
"Chainscrape was a place where we could demonstrate many new systems and animations that make the world and its people feel much more alive," says Sogn. "Where you previously saw a person standing in front of a forge, they will now actively engage with what’s around them: moving materials, leaning on walls, drinking from cups, talking to friends, and just living their daily lives. They move and exist with purpose."
Guerilla's latest world looks set to be even more alive than its previous one. Horizon Forbidden West is due to launch February 18, 2022. There's also a podcast on the game launching tomorrow.
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