Helping us cope throughout the pandemic and ready for more, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and its content train continue chugging well into its second year of service. The deserted island getaway has come a long way since its launch back in March 2020, with the game being expanded in many different ways. From swimming, diving, art collecting, and many events to look forward to, New Horizons is constantly expanding its horizons for players, veterans, and newcomers alike.
The upcoming Animal Crossing Direct on Oct. 15 has our hopes up for some island getaway adventures, but we hope the November update will bring content New Horizons is still sorely lacking.
Brewster is Here!
Let’s address the elephant (or in this case, pigeon) in the room. The Roost’s lovable owner Brewster has been teased to appear in the Direct but this information has been known to keen fans for quite some time.
Dataminers went through New Horizons’ code back in April of 2020 (barely a month after the game had been released) and found a treasure trove of potential features to be added in subsequent updates and patches. Among them, most prominently, was Animal Crossing’s mustachioed coffee savant and his cafe, which was to be incorporated into the already-expanding museum facility. Along with his cafe, Brewster would also introduce the Gyroids to New Horizons, a sorely missing collectible feature for which he has a penchant for.
Within the datamined code, dataminers were also able to find lines that alluded to specific NPCs that could visit the museum cafe in their downtime. This was a feature in New Leaf where certain characters would visit at certain times of the day should the player be in the Roost at a specific time interval. It would certainly be a nice change of pace to have the nonstop working NPCs take a break once in a while and be seen outside for a breather.
Beyond this and a screenshot displaying the cafe residing on the second floor of the museum (left of the art gallery) being open 24/7, the cafe’s and Brewster’s other features aren’t explicitly fleshed out. It is also possible that some of the aforementioned information and features aren’t taking place, given that it is possible that some of the datamined lines of code could be leftover scraps that were not removed. However, that is rather unlikely given that the dataminers track record has been spot on with the updates that came afterward.
It is our hope that Brewster’s arrival will bring with it the many charms and activities he and his quaint shop are renowned for. Like in previous games, we hope we can establish a rapport and friendship with Brewster, giving us fun banter and activities we can engage in. Being able to work in the Roost and serve drinks to our fellow islanders (like how it was in New Leaf) would be a fantastic addition and give players something new to do. More interactions with the island inhabitants are always a treat and we hope Brewster and the Roost can further expand and deliver on that front.
Facility Expansions in Animal Crossing
Given that the Direct will most likely focus on the cafe expansion to the museum, we hope New Horizons will allude or tease expansions to other buildings as well. New Leaf allowed the Nookling Store to be upgraded a total of three times with each upgrade expanding the store’s wares and offerings to players (as well as giving the store a sleek new look).
The previously mentioned datamine does mention a third-tier upgrade to New Horizons’ Nook’s Cranny but there are no details on how this expansion will be achieved. Since this occurrence is in line with previously established features present in Animal Crossing, it will most likely return and be featured in a future update. Whether it will be a part of the upcoming Direct or not is still up in the air but we hope that is the case.
In the spirit of facility expansions, we also hope this extends to the Able Sisters’ clothing shop as well. Having a separate section dedicated for the traveling sister Label to sell her wares in a more consistent way would be a great way for players to get their hands on the more “boutique” fashion items and garments. Not only this, but it would also be a neat way to further expand upon the player’s interactions and relationships with the Able sisters, with Label now included. Given that the sisters made up their past differences, it would be heartwarming to see them working together.
Making the island town larger, more alive, and intertwined is exactly what New Horizons needs and what it feels like it’s lacking compared to previous titles. With how immersive New Horizons can be in its method of player self-expression (clothes, island decor, designs, etc), players can often feel burnt out being too focused on building up the island rather than living in it. Animal Crossing may be a chore marathon but it is also a social sim. Improving on that aspect with new facility expansion (and therefore subsequent character expansions) would be a logical next step in integrating a more sim aspect to New Horizons’ current formula.
Quality-of-Life Changes (Please?)
This hope is a shot in the dark but considering that the Direct is at least 20 minutes long, it gives the broadcast enough time to touch base on new features being added as well as possible improvements to already implemented ones.
New Horizons is bloated with lots of unnecessary steps in practically almost every aspect of its gameplay. From dialogue, crafting, and terraforming, there are always one too many dialogue boxes, command prompts, or tool switches in between Point A and Point C. After playing for more than a year, it can wear on the nerves and become a tedious endeavor to go through mundane tasks and pointless fluff.
As unlikely as it might seem to be featured in the coming Direct, we hope New Horizons touches base (or eventually does) with streamlining some of the more tedious aspects of its gameplay. We should be able to skip unimportant dialogue, craft more than one item at a time, terraform without having to physically maneuver around the space we are currently working on, and so much more.
With the spirit of the Direct seemingly focused on “expansion”, we hope this expansion includes player quality-of-life as well. New Horizons is in a much better place than it was when it first launched and we hope it continues to push in the direction of constant improvement.
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