Animal Crossing: New Horizons will let you reshape the landscape of your island home more than any game the series has ever produced. This was clear today during the Nintendo Direct presentation about the upcoming game as it explained all the new ways you can get around and make getting around easier all the time. It all started with a simple ladder but grew from there to be a truly franchise shaking change.
Getting around the world of Animal Crossing has always been a bit of a chore. With a procedurally generated map that’s created right when you first boot up, players were left with little choice in regard to how to get from point A to point B, and the overall look of their village. The first part of that is still true, but once the island is created you have many more choices not only for traversal but also the actual landscape of the village.
Remember those cliffs that blocked your path and forced you to walk all the way to the nearest slope? Now you have a ton of choices, with the carryable ladder looking like the quickest and simplest. Pop this out and you can climb up or down any cliff in your village. Not enough? Well now you can totally change the landscape of the map, expanding rivers, building your own slopes, or placing stairs in the overworld. It’s not clear just how far you can take this feature, but the presentation showed how you can change the flow of rivers and build large stairs all around the island.
Quality of life improvements like this are exactly what the Animal Crossing series has needed. The games have a lot of filler content sometimes that leave less patient players feeling annoyed. With this much freedom already shown off before release, Animal Crossing: New Horizons really does look to be delivering on a lot of what fans want out of the jump to Switch.