Horizon Forbidden West developer explains how improved NPCs bring Aloy's world to life

Horizon Forbidden West
(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

The team behind Horizon Forbidden West has shared an insight into the upcoming sequel and revealed what has gone into making its NPCs so lifelike. 

In a post on the official PlayStation blog (opens in new tab), a number of developers working on Horizon Forbidden West at Guerrilla Games have revealed the lengths the team has gone to to make the NPCs Aloy will encounter not just authentic, but better than they were in Horizon Zero Dawn. 

Speaking of the tribes found in the game, Annie Kitain - who works as a senior writer at Guerilla - explains: "At the start of a project, we put a lot of thought into every tribe we’re going to encounter," Kitain continues, "what their conflicts are, how they fit into the story, and how they interact with the world around them."

Comparing the NPC to how they appear in Horizon Zero Dawn, lead living world designer Espen Sogn explains "where you previously saw a person standing in front of a forge, they will now actively engage with what’s around them: moving materials, leaning on walls, drinking from cups, talking to friends, and just living their daily lives. They move and exist with purpose."

Steven Lumpkin, senior designer on Horizon Forbidden West echoed these statements adding: "We’ve built an ecosystem that rewards the player for engaging deeply with the whole world of Horizon Forbidden West while remaining friendly for those who want to stay focused on the core narrative."

Horizon Forbidden West will release exclusively on the PS4 and PS5 on February 18, 2022 - after Guerrilla was forced to delay the title earlier this year

Want to know more about Guerrilla’s upcoming game? Find out everything you need to know about the new official Horizon Zero Dawn podcast

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.