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Guerrilla reveal new details on Horizon Forbidden West machines

Beasts on the horizon.

Guerrilla has revealed new details on the metal beasts of Horizon Forbidden West.

In a new PlayStation Blog post, principal machine designer (what a title!) Blake Politeski explains the process of designing some new beasts that will feature alongside the existing designs from the previous game.

The aim is to create an authentic world with a believable ecosystem. For example, one new machine will be the giant flying Sunwing.

Politeski explains: "we knew we wanted a slightly bigger flying machine than the Glinthawk, which resulted in the Sunwing - but it needed a place and a role in the world.

"We studied various flying reptiles and primitive birds for inspiration, and came up with the concept of their wings collecting solar energy during sunny weather. This in turn created an interesting gameplay dynamic: Sunwings will be vulnerable when they are harvesting solar power, but are also more alert to potential predators when they are idle."

Another new beast is the Tremortusk, as shown in the initial gameplay trailer.

"The Tremortusk is based on a mammoth with a nod to the historic and cinematic examples of the great war elephants. It has many different attacks and a body covered in various guns. Apart from using its tusks to attack up close, it also has different elemental weapons it can use. The one we see in the trailer is controlled by a rebel faction of the Tenakth, but you can also find them wandering the wilds," explains Asset Art Lead Maxim Fleury.

Says Blake: "To circle back to the machine (eco-)system, it was created to keep balance on Earth and ensure that humans cannot wipe out life again. Tremortusks were created as combat machines - protecting other machine species so they can do what they were designed to do without human interference."

A major element to the machine designs is ensuring they fit with Aloy's expanded skillset.

"Without spoiling anything, every machine has multiple ways to be defeated," says Fleury. "We tried to make it clear for players through the machine design, and added textures to show the weak points or interactive components. You'll need to study each machine closely to find different ways to approach it."

Blake adds: "The machines in Horizon Forbidden West are more mobile in almost every way you can imagine - jumping, swimming, clinging to surfaces... Because of this, Aloy will need to keep up with them, so there's new movement mechanics to help her out. We're also focusing more on Aloy's ability to survey and plan an encounter before engaging, as well as her ability to escape if things don't go as planned."

Override is also back, allowing Aloy to use various machines as mounts. She'll additionally be able to shift between aggressive or defensive states.

Horizon Forbidden West is due out on PS4 and PS5 on 18th February 2022. Last month we got a full rundown on the game's new abilities.

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Ed Nightingale

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Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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