Horizon Forbidden West will see players pick up the bow and spear of hunter Aloy as she explores further into an Earth ruined then semi-recovered from a post-apocalyptic event caused by biomass eating robots.
Sony revealed the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn last June, showcasing what looked to be very impressive game footage and revealed the game will make its debut this year.
We don’t know a great deal yet about the Horizon Forbidden West, but here’s what we can glean from the footage thus far.
Horizon Forbidden West trailer
Horizon Forbidden West release date
Horizon Forbidden West is currently slated for a 2021 release. Given we're already in the Spring of the year, it doesn't look like it'll arrive until at least the Fall of 2021.
Furthermore, it could even end up getting pushed back to 2022 if the game’s scale proves the need for extra levels of polish.
In a new PS5 advert detailing incoming PS5 games, Horizon Forbidden West is "anticipated second half of 2021" which could mean it might arrive around the summertime of this year. But that might just be wishful thining on our part.
Horizon Forbidden West gameplay
We know from Horizon Zero Dawn that the Forbidden West is an area of North America that lies beyond the land of the Carja people and is a dangerous part of the land full of murderous machines. From this and the footage of glistening beaches and mountainous terrain, as well as glimpses of a ruined Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco landmarks like the Ferry Building and the Transamerica Pyramid, Horizon Forbidden West takes place on the West Coast of a post-apocalyptic USA.
De Jonge noted that the overall size of Horizon Forbidden West will be “a bit larger” than its predecessor but will take advantage of the PS5 SSD tech and avoid the need for virtually any loading screens.
Speaking of beaches, the trailer showed Aloy in some form of cobbled together scuba gear to drive beneath the sea and explore submerged buildings while avoiding crocodile-like robots. But the game also seems to involve climbing snow-capped mountains and exploring caverns filled with long-lost technology.
And alongside killing robot dinosaurs you’ll also once again be able to take them over and use them as a mount to navigate the open world.
Horizon Forbidden West story
As mentioned, Horizon Forbidden West will see you fill the boots of Nora hunter Aloy and appears to follow on from the ending of Horizon Zero Dawn. We know that by the appearance of Sylens, a somewhat enigmatic character from the first game who had intimate knowledge of the Hades AI that was the intent of wiping out life on Earth.
The AI caused the spread of corruption that not only turned the robots dinosaurs and creatures more violent but also poisoned the land around it. That corruption looks to be back in Horizon Forbidden West, with Aloy noting that it needs to be stopped before it wreaks havoc on a world that’s recovering from the first apocalypse.
A new fanatical adversarial cult looks like it’ll also present a hurdle that Aloy will have to overcome. And she’ll be in for a fight as a robotic woolly mammoth was shown off in the thrall of said cult, which will likely require some smart tactics to take down.
That’s all we know, but we’d forecast a few plot twists to take place as well as there being hidden items, quests, and locations that provide more insight into the world before it met its doom from what was essentially a bit of stupid programming.
Horizon Forbidden West outlook
All Horizon Forbidden West really needs to do is build upon the critically-acclaimed Horizon Zero Dawn.
With the power of the PS5, the DualSense controller, and the 3D Audio capabilities, Horizon Forbidden West should look, feel and sound very impressive; going by the footage so far it looks rather beautiful.
Ideally, some more RPG elements and the ability to better shape the story and interact with the world wouldn’t go amiss.
But Horizon Zero Dawn still feels fresh to play today, so if Gurrila Games can simply evolve that formula with Horizon Forbidden West it’s likely to be onto a winner.