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Horizon Forbidden West Preview: Should You Be Excited

Horizon Zero Dawn is a surprise for a lot of people. The game’s open world and exploration is an incredible joy to play for PS4 users. And for a lot of people, the moment they finished the game was the end of their journey. The game’s over, all the lore’s found, it’s time to move on. However, Guerrilla Games thought that Aloy’s journey isn’t over yet. And now, she must embark on another journey. A journey that will take her from the various lands of post-apocalypse America and possibly beyond. A journey, to the Forbidden West. Let’s take a look now at Horizon Forbidden West.

 

What is Horizon Forbidden West?

Aloy
Photo from PlayStation.com

 

Horizon Forbidden West is another upcoming action RPG created by Guerrilla Games and published by Sony. The game is to be released in 2021 for the PS4 and PS5 and will continue the story of Horizon Zero Dawn (2017).

 

What Kind Of Game Is It?

As mentioned before, the game is an upcoming open-world action RPG that details Aloy’s journey west of her homeland. New mysteries will be discovered and new threats will arise, and it’s up to Aloy to find them.

In addition to these mysteries, Aloy will also have to fight against a new faction of humans that want to take control of the Forbidden West. A new corruptive influence also seeks to destroy all that she holds dear.

 

Release Date

The game is slated to release this 2021, maybe on the second to fourth quarter of this year. Though there’s no definite release date for the game right now, it’s safe to say that we might as well expect a delay due to the recent pandemic. We can even book this as more of a 2022 release.

 

Where Can You Play It?

Horizon Forbidden West is set to release on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles.

You can buy Horizon Forbidden West on retail when it becomes available. You can also buy the game on the PlayStation Store if you want a digital copy. Other than those places, Amazon and other online stores for people that want to ship them.

If you’re looking for games to play while waiting for Forbidden West here is our list of PS5 games and PS4 titles that you should consider.

 

Will It Be Available on PC?

There’s still no confirmation by Guerrilla Games if they’re going to make a PC port as well. So fingers crossed for the PC players. They eventually made a PC port for Horizon Zero Dawn, though. PC players might need to wait a bit more if they wish to play the sequel to Zero Dawn.

 

What’s New With Horizon Forbidden West?

Other than the gameplay, there seem to be a few new things in Horizon Forbidden West. Here are some of the things that are new to the game, and things that haven’t changed from the first game.

 

Gameplay

 

In terms of its gameplay, Horizon Forbidden West seems to follow its predecessor in this regard. It’s still an open-world, third-person action-adventure that puts players in Aloy’s shoes, discovering new things and killing giant robots. The main thing to take out of this is the developers’ plan to use the new adaptive triggers on the PS5 controller to the fullest. They say that this will make the various gadgets and weapons that Aloy can use more immersive and unique.

Other than that, the game still has the same Horizon flavor that people know and love. I think that’s a good thing because Horizon Zero Dawn was a great game. But what makes it great wasn’t really the gameplay. The graphics, story, and overall feel of the game itself made the gameplay stand out all the more. The story and setting is where the game shone the brightest.

Still, that doesn’t mean that the game won’t be fun to play. The combat is going to be as crisp and as cerebral as ever. The developers also revealed that Aloy will have more weapons and gadgets to use in the sequel. We unfortunately have no information on what these gadgets and weapons are yet, so we’re gonna have to wait and see before we can give a verdict.

 

Controls and Combat

Enemy
Photo from PlayStation.com

 

The game’s controls, like its gameplay, doesn’t seem to have changed. Guerrilla Games haven’t revealed anything new in Horizon Forbidden West’s control scheme, and we doubt that there will even be any major control changes when the game officially comes out. The game already has pretty great controls, and it’s not necessary to change something that already works beautifully.

In addition to this, the combat is still focused on weak points and gadgets. There’s still an emphasis on targeting weak spots of enemies to deal massive damage. However, hitting said weak spots takes a lot of time and preparation. That’s where the gadgets come in.

The previous game has a plethora of gadgets that Aloy can use to her advantage. She can create anything from the usual tripwires to EMPs to fire arrows that can burn normal humans and electric arrows that can short-circuit machines. There are a lot of things that Aloy can use to her advantage that she can get from the world around her. It also seems that this trend will persist on Forbidden West.

 

Weapons

Aloy’s main weapons are her bow as well as her staff. Her bow on Horizon Zero Dawn can be upgraded constantly, allowing her to improve it to deal more damage and other effects. She can also upgrade her quivers to hold more types of arrows as well as have a bigger capacity.

After her bow, she has her staff as her default melee weapon. Unfortunately, she can’t use any other weapon on Horizon Zero Dawn, something that we hope will change in Forbidden West. The spear, like the bow, can be upgraded to deal more damage. However, it can also be upgraded to take control of the machines that roam around the world after a story fight. This ability is known as Override, and it’s one of Aloy’s greatest tools. With enough upgrades on this path, she can control machines permanently, even the bigger ones that she finds in the world.

Other weapons that Aloy can use will be listed below.

 

Rattler

This is a ranged weapon that fires short-range stun projectiles in a large spread. It’s one of the more useful weapons in that you can use them against human enemies as well as machines depending on the ammo used. You can put in normal bolts, shock bolts, and freeze bolts in one of the Rattler’s four variants. These are the Basic, Carja, Shadow, and Adept. The Adept can only be obtained on New Game Plus.

 

Ropecaster

Next up on the list is the Ropecaster, one of the more essential tools on Aloy’s arsenal. It’s a denial tool that ensures an enemy is out of the fight long enough for you to take out a bigger enemy. You can also use it bind the bigger enemy, take out the smaller ones, then focus on the big one. It’s useful for those that struggle against multiple opponents or machines and want to make the fight easier.

 

Sling

Next is the Sling. Slings are slow firing weapons that Aloy uses to lob elemental projectiles at enemies. Mostly, these payloads are bombs of the elemental kind. You can make use of this by first lobbing the payload before going in, dealing pre-emptive damage even before the fight starts.

There are 4 types of ammo for the sling that Aloy can use. These are the ordinary impact ammo, the frost ammo, the shock ammo, and fire ammo. NPC’s in the world can use Blinding ammo, which is a bit of an annoyance as it could be useful. The Sling shouldn’t be confused with the Blast Sling, which looks the same but has a different function

 

Blast Sling

The Blast Sling is the more explosive brother of the Sling and is specialized for the explosive variety of payloads. Unlike the normal Sling, the Blast Sling has a different variety of ammunition. These range from normal explosives, landmines that explode when people get near them, to sticky bombs with a five-second delay. This is one of the most useful weapons to take down groups of enemies or to weaken machines with explosive ordnance.

 

Tearblaster

Next up on the list is the Tearblaster, one of the more situational weapons in Aloy’s arsenal. This is to the point that it’s more fitting to be called a utility tool. However, even this seemingly weak weapon has a great purpose: it’s used to remove armor plates on machines to reveal weak points. Yes, this is the weapon you use if you don’t want to waste ammo trying to take an enemy down. You can also use it to stagger human enemies as well.

 

Tripcaster

If you’re the kind of player that wants to set up traps and ambushes, then you might enjoy using the Tripcaster. This weapon is one of the best stealth weapons that a game has ever given to players hands down. The weapon is used to create tripwires for people or machines to stumble on. With a well-placed tripwire, you can ensure that a battle is won even before you fired a single shot.

The wires come in three varieties. These are Fire, Shock, and Blast wires, and they have different effects on your enemies. Overall, these are useful for those that want to sneak and kill.

 

Other Weapons

Overall, these weapons are just a sliver of the weapons that Aloy can use on Horizon Zero Dawn. We hope that she can still use them on Horizon Forbidden West. These are the other weapons she can also use:

  • Deathbringer GunDisc Launcher
  • Firespitter
  • Firestriker
  • Oseram Cannon
  • Ravager Cannon
  • Mine Launcher
  • Forgefire
  • Icerail
  • Stormslinger

 

Graphics

Graphics
Photo from PlayStation.com

 

As par for the course, Horizon Forbidden West looks great on the PS5. Don’t get us wrong; the game already looks magnificent on the PS4. However, the PS5’s upgrades in almost all aspects make the game look better overall. From better ray-tracing and reflections to the game’s models, the PS5 port is already looking better than the first game. If you’re looking for a graphical feast for the eyes, Horizon Forbidden West promises to be a treat.

 

Sound/Music

In terms of the game’s sound design and music, Horizon Zero Dawn’s pretty great. There are a lot of ambient sounds, and each of the game’s machine enemies sounds terrifying and majestic at the same time. In addition to this, the game’s music also lends itself to the game’s overall feel. The fight music also gets the blood pumping.

However, we don’t have any confirmation on how the music of Horizon Forbidden West would sound like. However, it’s early days yet, so we might need to wait a bit more before we can hear any word (or sound) about it.

 

Setting/Story

The game starts after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn. Aloy found out that there’s a new threat brewing west after finishing her duties in Colorado. Thus, she decides to explore westwards after her journey across Colorado, finding new enemies and things along the way.

The main danger you’re going against seems to be a corruption that’s taking over the rest of post-apocalyptic America. The corruption in question isn’t revealed yet. And there’s not that much information about it. However, it seems to be something that corrupts the area around it, as well as make the machines go berserk.

In addition to that, you also find a new faction taking advantage of this corruption for their gains. These individuals are featured quite prominently on the game’s announcement trailer. And boy howdy do they make an impression, riding elephant robots and armoring them with parts from other robots. In addition to this, this faction is also incredibly prominent in the west, so Aloy’s going to be encountering them frequently.

 

World/Environment

World
Photo from PlayStation.com

 

Horizon Forbidden West is said to take you from Colorado, all the way west towards familiar locales. That is familiar locales with a post-apocalyptic flavor. From Utah and Nevada towards California, the entire area is now called the Forbidden West. We don’t know why it’s called that, but what we do know is that it will feature dangerous mountain terrain, deep water areas, a crimson corrupted area, and a whole lot of plains.

The game is also one of the best looking games that will eventually come out on the PS5. If it’s similar to the trailer, the environment is set to look incredible. There’s also going to be underwater levels planned in the game if rumors are to be believed. In addition to this, the game will use an updated version of the Decima Game Engine. Which we hope is going to improve upon the game’s graphical quality even more, as well as add in a few things in terms of how the game runs overall.

 

How Does Horizon Forbidden West Compare To Horizon Zero Dawn?

 

Well, there seems to be a few things that Horizon Forbidden West will improve on when compared to Horizon Zero Dawn. For one, there’s going to be more underwater levels, if the Announcement Trailer is to be believed. In the trailer, there’s a new enemy machine that swims in the water while Aloy is hiding under some underwater plants.

This is something that we need to talk about, the fact that Aloy now has an underwater breathing apparatus. Back in the first game, there is no way for Aloy to check if there’s anything underwater. Any underwater segments are few and far in between. However, with the addition of this apparatus, the game’s world is going to open up in a big way. Players can now explore underwater ruins if they’re added, scour the ocean or river floors for loot, and a whole lot more.

 

What Was Changed?

As for what’s getting changed in the game, there’s nothing that’s being changed. Or to be more accurate, nothing that’s announced will be changed. Guerrilla Games haven’t said anything on any changes on Horizon Forbidden West yet. Thus, anything that’s going to be said here is gonna be mere guesswork.

However, what is confirmed are the new enemies and machines that Aloy will encounter along the way to the Forbidden West. There’s nothing new on the new faction that’s shown in the game other than their ability to control corrupted machines. However, there’s a whole slew of info about the new machines that Aloy will find in the game:

 

Bristlebacks

We’re talking about the beast of burden for the new enemy faction that comes with some wicked goring tusks. These machines look incredibly tough and seem to come with a ton of armor. Thus, taking out the armor first before dealing damage is going to be key when fighting it.

 

Clawstriders

There’s nothing more that could be said about Clawstriders other than Velociraptors with chainsaw jaws. Yes, that’s a thing, and we can’t wait to see them in action. Also, like their IRL and fleshy counterparts, they’re wicked fast and seem to hunt in groups. So if you spot one, prepare for a group of them to be close by.

 

Shellsnappers

Next on the list is the Shellsnapper, and if you first hear it, you’ll probably think of something along the lines of a crab. But nope, it’s a turtle. It’s a giant turtle that can camouflage in the terrain due to its back being entire sections of land. This is honestly one of the more terrifying machines that we’ve seen in the game. It’s not a danger because of its size but its ability to hide. You honestly won’t know if you’re stepping on them until they bite you to death.

Luckily for everyone, they’re only found on swamps and shores. They also hibernate for long periods of time.

 

Sunwings

Solar panel pterosaurs. That’s all you need to know about Sunwings. In addition to this, they go around the world of Horizon Forbidden West in groups like the Clawstriders. Expect a few of them to be around if you spot one.

 

Tremortusks

And last but most definitely not the least are the Tremortusks. These giant machines are incredibly huge mammoths that are very dangerous when you encounter them. They’re big, bulky, and have huge tusks to gore you with.

In addition to this already terrifying portfolio, they’re also one of the machines that the enemy tribe uses. Good luck fighting one of these things decked out in full armor. I do not envy you if you find yourself face to face with it in the West.

 

Should Gamers Be Excited About This Game?

Fans of the first game should be excited for the sequel for many reasons. One of them is that the game is now going to be on the PS5, so you can expect the next-gen gameplay out of it. The second is that the game will have better graphics and look better overall. Next, it’ll also have an expansion of the story of Aloy and this post-apocalyptic land full of warring tribes and robot animals.

If you’re a fan of Horizon Zero Dawn, you should play Horizon Forbidden West when it comes out.

Albert de Venecia

Albert de Venecia

I love playing video games on either console or mobile platforms. I also collect action figures of superheroes and robots.

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