Shown in the most crystal clear footage yet, Animal Crossing New Horizons was the subject of today’s Nintendo Direct. The Nintendo Switch exclusive releases March 20, 2020 and transports players to a deserted island where they will take advantage of nature and try to live in harmony with the other residents of the island. The genre-changing series is best known as a life simulator with social elements and its newest installation will add a ton of features, too – there’s also a variety of landscapes on the new island, and even the northern lights (depending which hemisphere you choose for your island). Players will also get a choice of landscape splines as well.
Nintendo revealed today that Save Data can be backed up in case of emergency, but that restoring that data will only be allowed once per save file! So it’d better be a real emergency. This addressed players’ number one concern – that they wouldn’t be able to transfer save data between Switch systems.
8 Player co-op has been added to the game as well, which answers a second big question fans had for the game – how to play with one island per Switch console. If everyone is playing together at the same time (using one Switch or multiple Switch devices) they can work on the island of the host.
However, if folks are sharing a Switch console, then that means everyone on the console will live on that original Switch owner’s island, and every different profile will simply be a resident which is contributing to that island. Players can also visit each others’ islands if multiple Switch units are involved, but there can only be one island per Nintendo Switch. Seasonal changes and new events will take place in the game but are delivered through free downloads in the form of updates rather than being contained in the base game. This will mean that the new game requires an internet connection every so often, whereas the older titles did not.
The Nintendo Switch Online App has been updated with a ton of cool features for Animal Crossing New Horizons including the ability to import design work from Nintendo 3DS titles Animal Crossing New Leaf and Animal Crossing Happy Home.
Working through the seasons is still a major concept in the game. Nature offers a lot to players and they can learn how to efficiently run their island whichever way they decide. There is also a great deal of item creation which takes place using a DIY Workbench.
In addition to these new changes to the game, players will get a different seasonal calendar based on the part of the world they choose to locate their island in. Land and Water can be controlled and carved up into rivers, forest, pathways, etc. before launching. And when new residents move in, the player controls where they set up their home this time around, rather than just randomly appearing – settled – in the middle of your masterpiece. This is the first time ever players have had this degree of control over their islands.
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Editor’s Note: While Animal Crossing New Horizons certainly looks to be shaping up rather nicely, it’s worth noting that many enthusiasts and fans are upset with Nintendo not holding a general Direct today to show off their plans for the Switch in 2020. This comes at a time of uncertainty for fans as Animal Crossing is the only major exclusive with a solid release date and rumors have surfaced that Breath of the Wild 2 might not be ready this year.
Currently, there is an unfortunate industry-wide trend of broken communication is with Sony announcing just yesterday that they will not be part of PAX EAST, cancelling The Last Of Us 2 and Final Fantasy VII Remake time with Press, and blaming the potential for the Coronavirus to spread at the event as their reason. We hope to see improved communication as our highly affected industry attempts to cope with and recover from the impact this tragic outbreak is causing.