Guerrilla Games worked hard to build a lush, interactive world in Horizon Forbidden West, Espen Sogn, lead living world designer on the game said in a recent PlayStation Blog post, but the challenge was creating that without overwhelming the player.
“When you walk through the Forbidden West, everything should feel like it belongs there," Sogn said. "The Living World team at Guerrilla works on aspects of the game that make the world feel authentic and alive: the tribes, the settlements, and the people within them. There’s an intention behind everything we place within the world.”
Guerilla Created an Intricate Living World for Horizon: Forbidden West
"We put a lot of thought into every tribe we’re going to encounter,” Annie Kitain, senior writer at Guerrilla, said “What their conflicts are, how they fit into the story, and how they interact with the world around them. Take the Tenakth, for instance. Many of their beliefs are influenced by the ancient ruins of the Forbidden West, and unlike other tribes, they’re comprised of three distinct clans."
Players will need to visit the towns to get access to craft better gear for Aloy, so you'll likely run into plenty of these tribes even outside the story. Some are preparing for war, others live closely with the land and tend their fields, but whatever their culture, Guerrilla wants you to see them and "think, ‘whoa, they nailed it.’ Now this tribe feels real.”
You'll find vendors and marketplaces, people who can help Aloy upgrade her equipment, and much more besides, including special outfits that help Aloy customize her approach to each challenge.