Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched over a week ago now and has received stellar reviews from both players and critics. Since its release, New Horizons has broken sales records in the UK and has proven to be hugely popular with players.
However, fans have pointed out that, compared to previous Animal Crossing iterations such as New Leaf, the new game is missing some key features as well as iconic special characters. This has led to some criticism, but what exactly is missing?
New Horizons has included several new mechanics to the Animal Crossing franchise and the game itself starts slower than previous iterations. As players move to Nook’s deserted island, users are required to slowly build the island up whereas previous games were based in an established town. As players progress day by day and week by week, new buildings and shops are unlocked and upgraded, transforming a deserted island into a small bustling town.
Unfortunately, players have noticed that New Horizons lacks in the number of shops and buildings available to build. Currently, the only buildings players can construct include Nook’s Cranny, Able Sisters, Town Hall/Residential Services, the Museum, the Airport, and a Campsite.
New Leaf, the previous instalment in the Animal Crossing franchise, included shops such as Nooklings Junction, Able Sister, as well as the Dream Suite where users can explore other towns, hairdressers Shampoodle, a Post Office, Nook’s Homes, the Happy Home Showcase, a Gardening Store, Club LOL, Kicks, the Fortune Shop. Users could also build a Café, a Campsite, a Police Station, a Reset Surveillance Center, and more.
Evidently, there a lot of content missing from New Horizons but it’s not just buildings and shops. Several special characters such as Brewster, Redd, Tortimer, Gracie, Resetti, and more are also missing, many of which have ties to some of the missing shops already mentioned. In addition, there are several missing mechanics and other features that haven’t been added to the game, including several tropical fruits, gyroids, deep-sea diving, and artwork. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why so many users have expressed disappointment or frustration with the game.
Unlike with previous games, Nintendo has stated that New Horizons will include frequent content upgrades for new events. Some of the updates that have been confirmed at the time of writing include Bunny Day and Earth Day. However, as indicated in Nintendo’s February 2020 Direct, other events will be based around real-life holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
Bunny Day is a fictional event that takes place around the end of March or the beginning of April. The event, which is loosely inspired by Easter, was first introduced in Animal Crossing City Folk and has appeared in all main Animal Crossing games since. The event is hosted by Zipper T. Bunny who sends players out to hunt for Eggs around their town to unlock special Bunny Day-themed furniture.
Although not much is known about New Horizons’ take on the event, Zipper T. Bunny will return to host the event between April 1st and 12th. In the event, players will be required to find eggs by digging them up, fishing them from the ocean, shooting down balloons, shaking trees, and hitting rocks. The eggs reward players with DIY cards to craft Bunny Day-themed furniture and other items.
Although you can time travel in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Bunny Day will only unlock when the real-world time reaches April 1st. In addition, a mini updated activating Bunny Day will need to be download to play the event.
Alongside Bunny Day, April will benefit from a second event; Earth Day. Revealed in Nintendo’s March 2020 Direct Mini, Earth Day will arrive in late April and bring back New Leaf NPC Leif, who ran a gardening store. It’s unclear what his role in the game will be and whether or not he will only return for the event or whether he’ll remain as a regular special character. Also in the Direct, Nintendo confirmed that the update will include “newly added features” although nothing has yet been confirmed.
Will More Missing Content Return?
With Leif returning for Earth Day, it’s been widely speculated that additional missing characters and possibly returning gameplay features. To support this, several users dug into New Horizons’ files and code the weekend of the game’s release and found several signs that some of the missing content may return in future updates.
Although Redd, artwork and the art wing of the museum are all currently missing in the current version of New Horizons, dataminers found several pieces of code suggesting an entrance to the art exhibition. Along with this, dataminers found references to a museum café and special character Brewster, both of which are currently missing from the game but remain staples within the Animal Crossing franchise.
This shouldn’t be taken as confirmation that missing characters and features may return in future updates. However, since Nintendo has reiterated that the game will include regular content updates and with the return of Leif later next month, it seems this is more than likely to be true. Unfortunately, game director Aya Kyogoku has stated that future updates may be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Even without the updates, there’s plenty for Animal Crossing: New Horizons fans to do in the new game. From the brand new crafting system to building up your deserted island, you’ll have plenty to do through to the end of April and beyond.
Image Credit: Nintendo YouTube.
Article written by Fabio Crispim.
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