Guerrilla Games details depth of NPCs & world-building in Horizon Forbidden West

Horizon Forbidden West is set to bring a whole new level of immersion to the lands Aloy explores and Guerrilla Games recently detailed how.


Everything we’ve seen so far about the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West paints it as a much expanded and improved open-world game over even the impeccable Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games is working feverishly to breathe a wealth of life into the new lands Aloy will be journeying through. Recently, Guerrilla Games Community Lead Bo de Vries went into detail on how the team is going about this in terms of world-building and NPCs that inhabit Forbidden West.

Bo de Vries went into detail on Horizon Forbidden West’s world-building and NPC immersion in a PlayStation Blog post on November 22, 2021. A big part of it is not just filling out the world with characters, but giving them life and activity all their own whether Aloy is interacting with them or not.

Lead Living World Designer Espen Sogn said a large priority of Horizon Forbidden West is to boost NPCs from standing around or wandering about to doing activities that make sense within their environments.

“It then becomes all about the details, the animations, and the behaviors,” Sogn explains. “In Horizon Zero Dawn, there were a lot of assets and things in the background. In Horizon Forbidden West, they’re not just textures: they’ve been elevated into actual objects that are being used by people in-game. 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.”

We’ve seen a similar amount of detail poured into recent gameplay presentations in which Aloy fights, interacts, and engages with both human and machine encounters. Horizon Forbidden West is set to release in February 2022. As we await this much-anticipated title, stay tuned here at Shacknews for further reveals and updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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