Eloy vs Beaters: Sony has revealed the new Horizon Forbidden West gameplay for PlayStation 5

Guerrilla Games studio spoke in detail on the PlayStation blog about a number of new abilities, weapons and techniques that will appear at Eloy's disposal in the upcoming Horizon: Forbidden West role-playing action.

The two main innovations will be the hook and shield-wing, first shown in the 14-minute gameplay in June this year. New gadgets in the arsenal of the main character will make her more flexible both during travel and battles:

"The hook is a manual mechanical device with two functions. The first is the hook mechanics, a new means of transportation / escape in the heroine's arsenal, thanks to which she will be able to quickly and easily climb the objects of the environment. Once hooked, the player will be able to fly into the air and grab a higher ledge, shoot a bow, fly on a shield-wing, hit from above or throw a hook even further," explained David McMullen, lead system designer.

"The second function of the hook is a winch, with which players will be able to influence the objects of the environment, move and destroy them. For example, pull up a hidden chest or release a ledge to climb higher."

McMullen called the shield-wing a favorite innovation of the team:

"There is no price for this device at new heights, because it would be much less interesting to go down the same road. I hope the players enjoy the new level of freedom, as well as the new possibilities of gameplay, battles and travel. The shield-wing goes well with other mechanics both in and out of combat: you can land on a steed, quickly descend a rope, strike from the air and much more."

In another part of the blog, Guerrilla also recalled new opportunities for free climbing, a workbench function and a redesigned skill tree:

"The climbing system in Horizon: Forbidden West causes us great elation, because thanks to it we can create huge territories accessible to players (if there is a sense in terms of beauty and plot), which was impossible in Horizon: Zero Dawn. Now it is possible to climb on rocky surfaces and outside the paths laid by the tribes."

"Another innovation is the mechanics of movement along the ledges, which will allow Eloy to climb on any object, to the edge of which she can jump and pull herself up. Now that the mechanics of free climbing and hook points have appeared in the game, there are much more opportunities to explore the world."

"Another new concept in Horizon: Forbidden West will be a workbench where you can upgrade weapons and attire. With it, you can unlock new power-ups, modification cells, skills, and the scope of personalization, selection of resistances and new abilities will become even greater."

"It will also be possible to develop Eloy's abilities through the skill tree. In Horizon: Zero Dawn, skills were unlocked when the player leveled up. Although we have kept this approach in the sequel, we have also added new branches and skills. In this tree, skills are also combined with those that have already been obtained or with those that have yet to be unlocked."

In addition to new opportunities for movement and leveling, new types of weapons will appear at Eloy's disposal, for example, a spike gun - a weapon with high damage that allows you to hit larger targets if you shoot them at the right moment.

According to Dennis Zopfi, the lead designer of the combat system, the developers wanted the players to alternate between close and long-range battles more actively than in the original Horizon:

"Eloy is not a character who relies on strength, so we were looking for ways to force players to switch from short-range to long-range attacks so that accurate archery shots could ensure her victory. Take, for example, the new skill "Resonator Explosion": you fully charge a spear in hand-to-hand combat, and then hit enemies (people or cars) with a discharge and finish them off with a remote attack - the result is a powerful explosion."

Another mechanic that the creators refreshed the sequel's combat scenarios with was the ability of some enemies to drive cars:

"In Horizon: Zero Dawn, fights with cars and people were very different, they never worked as a team against Eloy. However, in Horizon: Forbidden West, the world has changed, it has become more dangerous, there are more factions of enemies and machines - now they are fighting together, which will be a serious test for our heroine and the player."

"As for the riders, the players will have to decide who to clean up first and how to do it quickly. Humans have weapons, attacks, and abilities that machines don't have, and vice versa. So they complement each other in these fights and won't let you relax."

Horizon: Forbidden West will be released on February 18, 2022.