Horizon Forbidden West has done the impossible and made fans across the globe excited for underwater levels, but there’s a lot more depth than you might have expected. It’s not just swimming.
“Exploration is really the theme,” narrative director Benjamin McCaw said, “And it’s not enough for us to just show underwater. We wanted to make sure that it’s every bit as beautiful as what you see in the natural world above it.
“But it wasn’t just enough that you could swim around underwater. We wanted to do some things that are really surprising and interesting. And I think that’s where some of the story stuff comes in, and we just absolutely can’t wait for players to see what they’re going to experience.”
Naturally, there’s not a lot known about the narrative, but we can expect at least some of it to take us into the perilous waters with Aloy’s nifty breathing contraption. What we have seen is that when in the water, you play a game of “cat and mouse” to fight back enemies while there are dangerous underwater currents and “stealth kelp” that Aloy can hide in to avoid detection. The PS5 version of the game also uses a different water rendering technique than the PS4.
There are also water-based machinations just as there are on the surface, dwelling among the luscious flora. You can find Snapmaws and Burrowers which are best avoided like the currents that can wash you away and cause you to lose yourself in the depths.
Whether she can spit out fireballs like a certain plumber isn’t yet known, but it’s a safe bet to hedge that she can’t. Breathing isn’t an issue, though, as mentioned prior. She has a mask that helps her with that, not unlike the one that Ratchet got pretty late on in the original Ratchet & Clank. Maybe PlayStation’s in-house IP mascots are meeting up behind the scenes to trade tricks.
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