Home Gaming Horizon Forbidden West features an entirely new skill tree and “free-climbing” system

Horizon Forbidden West features an entirely new skill tree and “free-climbing” system

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Ah, the ability to free climb. Where as Nathan Drake and Ezio Auditore look at a wall that’s not covered with ledges and handholds and sigh in frustration, modern characters chuckle. Why be railroaded into a climbing path when you can magnetise to the wall itself? That’s what Aloy’s doing in Horizon Forbidden West, the follow up to Horizon Zero Dawn. In an interview with Game Informer, game director Mathijs de Jonge revealed a little more about the game’s new climbing system as well as the new skill tree set up that players will be able to explore.

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“Compared to the previous game, you are now completely free to climb anywhere,” said de Jonge. “On any rocks, mountains or cliffs. We’ve really opened up the world and made it more inviting to explore.” This was a sentiment that originally confused me considering that in the recently revealed gameplay trailer, Aloy looks to be climbing up fairly signposted routes, but this might have just been for the set-piece that was shown off. Based on de Jonge’s description, the climbing mechanics sound like they largely pull from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the game that pioneered the system.

As for the overhauled skill tree, de Jonge explains that plenty of work was done on the system. Guerrilla Games has made “a whole new skill tree. Also visually, everything is new. We spent a lot of time making that more… giving more options to players… more cool options to play with. Which playstyles and how exactly it works, I think that’s something we go into later when we can actually show it to you…”

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On the plus side, it sounds like Guerrilla Games is still on track to release Horizon Forbidden West in 2021… if everything continues to go smoothly. “The development is on track,” he explained. “The thing is, these are just strange times that we’re all in and we have never finalized and shipped a game under these kinds of circumstances,” said de Jonge. “We just want to be super confident when we announce the release date, that we’re actually going to hit it. So we just need a little bit more time, and then we can come back with a final release date.”

Horizon Forbidden West should hopefully launch in 2021 for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.

Last Updated: June 4, 2021

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