The Nintendo E3 Direct Presentation was full of HUGE surprises, reveals, game play and more! If the folks over at Nintendo had an Infinity Gauntlet, I think it would be safe to say that they had fully assembled it with all of the stones – as the presentation was a pure powerhouse of a showcase!
Probably the most notable reveal from the Direct itself, would most certainly have to be Nintendo finally pulling back the curtain on the long-awaited Animal Crossing title for the Nintendo Switch. The game was originally announced to be in development back in September of 2018, as part of another Nintendo Direct presentation that was held. The announcement was brief, and was also tied into the reveal of Isabelle joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster.
Now, fast forward to Nintendo’s E3 Direct Presentation, we were finally able to see the next Animal Crossing game in all of it’s full glory, while also learning a bit about the games settings, new features, and of course the official title!
The next entry within the Animal Crossing franchise is entitled “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” where players will be sent off to a deserted island as part of a special “Nook Inc” getaway package, (sounds like Nook either owns his own flight company now, or maybe just a bunch of deserted islands for some reason) either way, players are here on the island to stay it seems, and your goal will be to shape the island into your image, ultimately making it more appealing and habitual for other new villagers to eventually visit and permanently move in as well!
At the start, the island is quite bare, there are little to no NPC’s at all outside of perhaps a villager or two, as well as the Nook’s – and you’ll be given a Tent, once more, as your only means of shelter until you’ve gathered enough money to upgrade to an actual house.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the flexibility of how you want to live your life, as well as design the island is much more free-flowing than it has ever been. The ability to create paths with actual cement has been added to the game, meaning players will no longer have to rely solely on pattern design to make a proper walk-way for visitors; players will also be able to place furniture outdoors – which is something that debuted in Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. Exterior design for houses also see’s a return and an upgrade – allowing players houses to stand-out even more!
One of the newest features in the game however, and the one that has a lot of heads turning – is the focus on crafting. While we don’t know if players will be given the ability to craft if not all – most of the furniture we’ve all come to know and love in Animal Crossing, or if it is exclusive to wooden items/furniture only, we do know that in the E3 demo, there were already a handful of items you could obtain by crafting alone, which ultimately gives players a bit more flexibility as to how to obtain furniture and items in the early game, when making bells may be a bit difficult.
Multiplayer has always been a major focus for the Animal Crossing franchise. While the GameCube version really did not see much of any sort of multiplayer support, Animal Crossing Wild World, City Folk, and New Leaf definitely helped push the franchise to new heights with the evolving multiplayer functions – and new Horizons takes things even further as expected! In New Horizons, for the first time ever in an Animal Crossing game, players will be able to play with up to 8 players locally on the same Switch system! As up to 8 players can have a house on an island. While there won’t be any split-screen support, Nintendo did design the local co-op play in a way where playing on the same screen works as for the most part, the camera follows the “player 1”. It was also revealed that online multiplayer would of course make a return, with players being able to connect with up to 7 other players online as you’ll be able to visit their islands and vice versa, hang out together and more!
Animal Crossing: New Horizons is without a doubt, the largest and more ambitious entry within the Animal Crossing franchise! Players have been waiting for a new mainline entry for well over 6 years now, and despite the game being knocked out of it’s initially announced “2019” release window, we at the very least will not have to wait much longer to get our hands on what was most likely originally going to be a very late 2019 title.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons officially launches on the Nintendo Switch on March 20th, 2020.