Especially compared to earlier games in the series, many fans consider Animal Crossing: New Horizons lacking in content. The removal of furniture items from previous games – and the update-based introduction of standard holiday events, rather than significant gameplay changes – has left New Horizons feeling empty in the eyes of some players. But a recent alleged Animal Crossing datamine seems to indicate a coming size increase to the southern shore of player islands, which could mean a full-blown expansion is on the way.
Many elements of New Horizons make it a significant departure from other entries in the franchise. Its emphasis on crafting and DIY collection, in particular, stands out, but not always for the better. Some players have found New Horizons‘ crafting grows repetitive with time, and the game’s emphasis on freedom and customization resulted in the removal of shops like the hair salon. The museum café is also missing, meaning building upgrades and town progression aren’t as expansive as in previous games.
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The core of Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ single-player gameplay hasn’t changed in the year following its release. Interactions with villagers are limited, and players who have already achieved a five-star rating find it difficult to further customize their islands. This could be changing soon, as the New Horizons datamine revealed a possible increase to the camera’s southern movement limit on both mystery islands and player islands.
Why An Animal Crossing: New Horizons Island Expansion Is Likely
While no official word has been given regarding the leak and it’s possible the change is a mere test by Nintendo, an expansion of the camera’s limit seems to signal an expansion of the island. Since the code change is already in the game’s files, this expansion could reasonably be coming soon.
Though a simple island expansion might not seem like a monumental change, a bigger area could give players more ways to enjoy Animal Crossing. An expansion would increase the qualifications needed to achieve a five-star rating, giving players more to work towards and providing them with a new design challenge.
The space might also not even be a regular, empty building site. A larger island could mean new buildings, such as the café or additional shops. These elements would create more longevity by bringing fresh experiences into Animal Crossing: New Horizons and answer player demands for significant content updates to the game.
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