- The next Animal Crossing game should include more robust content at launch to avoid the criticism of being light on content like New Horizons.
- Pascal, a minor NPC in New Horizons, could play a major role in expanding the swimming mechanic in a future entry, allowing players to explore underwater environments.
- Deepsea diving in the game could introduce new gameplay features, such as discovering sunken ships with unique items, avoiding dangerous creatures, and uncovering secret NPCs of new species.
The Animal Crossing series has many NPCs that govern different activities players can participate in, such as Flick for the Bug-Off, C.J. for the Fishing Tourney, and Daisy Mae for the Stalk Market. However, there are some NPCs that have been sidelined in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or have had their potential squandered, such as Resetti or Porter, who could be used to introduce new mechanics in a future entry. One NPC with a minor role in Animal Crossing: New Horizons is Pascal, but this role could be expanded with a major new mechanic in the next game.
While the direction the next Animal Crossing game could head in is still unknown, there are a lot of possibilities for new features the entry could add based on what other games in the genre have done themselves. One of the main criticisms of Animal Crossing: New Horizons was that it was light on content at launch, with new features slowly added via updates over time. The next Animal Crossing needs to sidestep this issue and include more robust content at launch, and Pascal might be a character who could help facilitate this.
Why The Next Animal Crossing May Not Fix New Horizons’ Biggest Flaw
Though there is one major issue Animal Crossing players would like to see the next game solve, there is reason to believe it might not do so.
The Next Animal Crossing Should Let Players Explore Underwater with Pascal
Pascal is a red sea otter who first debuted in Animal Crossing: Wild World and can appear near the mouth of the town river, offering players philosophy to ponder and ship-themed furniture. Animal Crossing: Wild World players can also receive a golden axe or photo of Pascal by trading him a scallop obtained through an in-game trading event. He appears again in Animal Crossing: City Folk, this time desiring a scallop in exchange for a piece of ship-themed furniture, but otherwise his appearance is largely unchanged.
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is where Pascal’s role changes a bit, as the 3DS title introduced diving and allowed players to swim in the ocean and collect deep-sea creatures. In this title and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players have a chance to encounter Pascal while swimming in the ocean, and he will once again ask for a scallop in exchange for a piece of pirate furniture in New Leaf, or mermaid-themed clothing and DIY recipes in New Horizons. This role for Pascal puts him in a prime position to help expand the swimming mechanic in a future entry and allow Animal Crossing players to explore underwater environments around their town.
How Undersea Exploration in Animal Crossing Could Work
Before players can start swimming in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, they first need to obtain a Wet Suit from the island shop in New Leaf, and either Nook Shopping or Nook’s Cranny in New Horizons. To build on this feature, perhaps players will need to obtain a full diving suit before they can explore underwater, which could be given by Pascal after the player has traded him enough scallops. Managing undersea exploration in this way allows the game to gradually introduce the mechanic to players, familiarizing them with swimming first before giving them access to a more complex mechanic like deepsea diving.
There could also be a lot of advantages to deepsea diving beyond finding more sea creatures to collect. Players could discover sunken ships with the potential to hold unique items, like the ship furniture set Pascal used to give out, which has since been relegated to Gulliver, and possibly even have to avoid dangerous creatures like sharks or risk getting sent back to the surface, similar to how scorpions and tarantulas will attack the player on land. Exploring deep enough could even uncover a secret NPC of a new species to the Animal Crossing series, like a fish-person or sea monster.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
- March 20, 2020
- Nintendo EPD
- Online Multiplayer , Local Multiplayer
- E for Everyone: Comic Mischief
- Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Happy Home Paradise
- How Long To Beat
- 61 Hours