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Horizon Call of the Mountain will immerse players in machine-filled wilds

The PlayStation VR2 launch title takes advantage of Sony’s new technology

Nicole Clark (she/her) is a culture editor at Polygon, and a critic covering internet culture, video games, books, and TV, with work in the NY Times, Vice, and Catapult.

During Thursday’s State of Play presentation, Sony shared new gameplay footage for Horizon Call of the Mountain, a virtual reality adaptation of the critically acclaimed Horizon series, being developed by Guerilla and Firesprite. Call of the Mountain will be a launch title for PlayStation VR2, Sony’s next generation virtual reality headset. A release window wasn’t given for the title.

The new State of Play footage showed off Call of the Mountain’s beautiful worlds in first person, as a player climbed up steep peaks, ziplined across sweeping planes, and of course, fought off immense and intimidating machine foes that Horizon fans know so well. Players will take the reins of a new character named Ryas, using a bow and arrow to survive. He is a former Shadow Carja Warrior who “hopes to redeem himself by investigating a grave new threat to the Sundom,” Guerrilla narrative director Ben McCaw said in a PlayStation blog post. Ryas is a master climber and archer, and his story will introduce “characters new and old, including Aloy herself.”

In addition to the main story, Call of the Mountain will also include a “River Ride” experience, which will let players “take a seat and enjoy the gorgeous views of the world of Horizon,” though machines may try to “come aboard!”

PlayStation VR2 will provide a more immersive gaming experience. It won’t require use of the PlayStation Camera, swapping it out for headset-based tracking — which means embedded cameras will reflect a player’s field of vision and head movements in-game.

The headset will also have “new sensory features” that create a tactile experience, along with 3D audio to create a more realistic soundscape. This includes the ability to “feel a character’s elevated pulse during tense moments,” PlayStation executive Hideaki Nishino said in a blog post in January. PlayStation VR2 will also utilize eye tracking, which “allows players to interact more intuitively in new and lifelike ways,” Nishino said.

Horizon’s gorgeous natural environments and intimidating machine enemies have always been some of the series’ greatest strengths. A teaser trailer for Call of the Mountain from January showed off a brief clip of a Tallneck walking overhead, the first-person perspective giving it a larger-than-life appearance.

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