Here’s How Animal Crossing: New Horizons Will Differ From Previous Games in the Series

As many of us expected, we got a new trailer for the new Animal Crossing during Nintendo’s E3 Direct.

Perhaps the announcement of the delay to 20th March 2020 may have dampened some spirits at first, but the new footage shows that there is nothing to be disappointed about!

With over one and a half minutes of new footage, Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks to bring back the classic formula of the franchise, but will also switch it up a bit (pardon the pun). It’s a fresh coat of paint that wasn’t necessarily needed, but we certainly aren’t complaining.

The trailer for Animal Crossing: New Horizons may not have revealed too much that we weren’t already expecting, but we still managed to pick up on a few things that seem to be new for the franchise.

Starting from Scratch

It’s a classic formula in the Animal Crossing franchise to begin with little, but with the ability to work hard to earn more bells. Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks to take this one step further by starting the player off with nothing apart from a tent and a space to pitch it. Courtesy of Nook Inc. Chartered Flights, the player appears to be dropped off in a completely new setting.

It’s unclear yet whether the island will be inhabited by anyone else before the player starts to build their camp, but what is clear is that the first goal of the game will be to pay off Tom Nook’s hefty 48,800 Bell bill. It seems the player won’t even begin in a house, but will start off from scratch and work their way up to a lavish mansion.

Designing the Island

Animal Crossing games have never allowed the player to design their own island, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks like it’ll give the player more design power than ever before. The trailer showed how the player can create paths on their island, and how they can be used to connect all the houses together.

Seeing as Animal Crossing: New Leaf gave the player more control than ever in terms of adding parts to the island, it seems like a logical next step to provide even more customisation choices in New Horizons.

Crafting

The trailer also showed off the ability to craft in Tom Nook’s shop. It sets a very intriguing precedent, implying that other objects could also be crafted. Tools are the most obvious item to be crafted, but there is the possibility that other items could be crafted too.

After the crafting is completed the player is informed they have a ‘flimsy axe’. Of course, previous Animal Crossing games have had different tools of different levels, but crafting adds even more potential to this. It could indicate that there is a type of levelling up system, or that better materials are required for crafting better equipment. Either of these options would require the player to spend more time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is always great – not that we really need more reason to, mind.

More players together

In the trailer, we saw eight different players within the same area. This is a very exciting indication that it could be easier than ever to invite new people to a specific area. The NPCs in Animal Crossing are always brilliant, but nothing quite matches the joy of having real people enjoy your island.

It also sets up the possibility to make events bigger than ever. Plus, if there’s nothing happening in your town on that day (some days are slow in your town, after all) then there’s the chance to visit somewhere else. And eight different people participating (it could be higher, we don’t know for certain yet) the events become more exciting and meaningful.

More exploration

It was only shown very briefly, but at one point the player was able to pole-vault from one side of the river to the other. This may seem like a minor addition, but it can be a real chore to have to walk around a different part of the island just because the river cuts it off.

But, it also implies that exploration of the island may be more important – maybe because of the player’s ability to change so much of it. Hopefully the area available within the game will be bigger, and provide more opportunities for areas to be explored and customised.

The Nook Phone

At the end of the trailer, when Tom Nook announces how much the payment will be, he also mentions the ‘Nook Phone’. It’s unclear what this is, but it could well indicate that there will be a connection between Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

This connectivity between phone and Switch would not be a new concept; Pokemon Sword and Shield will also have this connectivity included. Despite the fact that nothing has been confirmed, it seems likely that Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp could tie into Animal Crossing: New Horizons somehow.

Improved graphics

Animal Crossing has never had realistic graphics, and nor should it. But Animal Crossing: New Horizons looks like it’ll have the most dazzling graphics of any game in the series so far. The art style hasn’t changed much, but it all looks that much more pretty.

The visual of the player staring out to the sunset looks incredible, and the sky looks awe-inspiring. But arguably what stands out most are the water and the features included at night. From the waterfall to the sprawling river, it looks gorgeous, and the tiny additions to the nature seen at night make Animal Crossing: New Horizons look like an absolute visual dream.