Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Direct has voice chat but no cloud saves
The latest Nintendo Direct has revealed all about Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s online features and the return of Isabelle.
The third Nintendo Direct of the year has just finished, but like the other two (for Pokémon and Smash Bros.) it only focused on the one game and there was no clue as to what else Nintendo has scheduled for the rest of the year.
That was as expected though, and given Animal Crossing is very much a known quantity there weren’t really any major surprises – although New Horizons does look very good anyway.
Animal Crossing games have seen little real evolution since the N64 and GameCube originals, but New Horizons does feature some important innovations, most notably crafting and a more complex, desert island environment.
There also seems to be an attempt to add a little more direction and structure to the otherwise aimless life sim, with a series of what are essentially Achievements that grant you the game’s equivalent of mileage points that can be swapped for in-game items.
You’re able to choose a randomised map of your choice, in either the northern or southern hemisphere, and then live there along with whatever anthropomorphic neighbours you can tempt to move in with you.
You can visit other people’s islands online but the Direct revealed that you can also have up to eight human players on the same island as you, so the whole family can join in without having to buy a separate copy – although there’s no split screen so you’ll all have to follow around whoever’s nominated as the leader.
When visiting other people’s islands the game will support text and voice chat, but only via a Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app.
The Direct also confirmed that, despite fans calling for the feature, New Horizons will not allow cloud saves, for fear of people trying to hack their save and change the in-game clock.
Instead they’ve promised to restore your save from the server if your console is lost or damaged, although no doubt that will be a bit of a rigmarole.
There was no hint in the Direct as to why New Horizons is listed as having in-game purchases but it does promise a constant series of updates, much like the previous games, with new characters and facilities turning up on the island over time.
You’re best to watch the Direct yourself but while a lot of locations, like the museum and Nook’s Cranny, do seem near identical to the previous games you do appear to have more control over customising your house, with an interface that’s closer to The Sims and doesn’t require your in-game character to physically move furniture around.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be released on 20 March, alongside a special Animal Crossing-themed Switch (the OG kind, not the Lite).
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