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Horizon Forbidden West tribes and NPC system

Horizon Forbidden West tribes and NPC system

We're not short of information to prepare players for the launch of Horizon Forbidden West as Sony keeps talking about the game. The sequel to Aloy's adventure was announced in July 2020, earned a PS4 version along the way, and unfortunately was delayed to February 2022.

Horizon Zero Dawn was no stranger to a vivid and expansive open world. Forbidden West wants to double down on that sprawling world by delivering NPCs that essentially live their lives independently of the player while abiding by a set of predetermined characteristics to their tribes.

As you visit a settlement, the game wants you to identify which tribe the resident belongs to based on their personality and traits. Espen Sogn, Lead Living World Designer at Guerrilla, explains this better than me.


"You should be able to identify from a distance which tribe you're looking at. The way that different tribes hold or transport water: the strong Tenakth will carry it on their shoulders; the peaceful Utaru will hug it closely; and the crafty Oseram will carry it with their hands."


This is a phenomenal mechanic that will immerse the player within the world of Horizon Forbidden West and expand the universe's lore as a whole. Apart from the general cultural characteristics of a tribe, individuals within the same tribe can also have their own behavior.


"Every non-combat NPC in Horizon Forbidden West is part of a crowd system. 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." 


Image of a settlement in Horizon Forbidden West

New experience in every settlement

Aloy relies heavily on settlements to recharge supplies, buy new weaponry, change her outfit, arm herself with potions, and even indulge in meals that give our machine hunter a boost. Therefore, diversifying each settlement so it doesn't turn into an obligatory repetitive chore is essential to expand the player experience in Horizon Forbbiden West.

Another example of cultural individuals is that when you meet an Oseram Cook, he emphasizes how food tastes. Later, you meet a stern Tenakth Cook who mainly focuses on how a well-fed warrior is better prepared for a battle.

With so much dynamism scattered around, it will be hard not to lose track of the main story and spend countless hours exploring, trying to identify which tribes reside in which settlement, or even dilly-dally just observing the daily life of the NPCs, as many did in Skyrim. 

We still have a few months until its release, so be sure to check our Horizon Forbidden West deals constantly for fabulous prices. If you haven't played Horizon Zero Dawn yet - or didn't manage to grab one of the hundreds of free offerings available to date-, jump on the bandwagon and check out the best bargains.

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