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Horizon Forbidden West trailer, release date, gameplay, and more

Horizon Forbidden West
(Image credit: YouTube/PlayStation)

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. 

While we knew a sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn was almost certainly in the works, Sony’s June 11 PS5 games took the covers off the game. Sadly, there was no word on when exactly Horizon Forbidden West will be released, but it looks like it’s a decent way into its development. 

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 

We have some bad news for Horizon Zero Dawn fans: Horizon Forbidden West won’t be a launch title for the PS5. A new video from the game’s director Mathijs de Jonge said Guerilla Games “aims” to have Horizon Forbidden West released in 2021, meaning it won’t make the PS5’s “Holiday 2020” launch window. 

When exactly in 2021 Horizon Forbidden West will arrive has yet to be revealed, but we’d suspect it could potentially arrive in the later part of 2021. It could even end up getting pushed back to 2022 if the game’s scale proves the need for extra levels of polish. 

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. 

Horizon Forbidden West

(Image credit: YouTube)

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  

Whether its a launch title for the PS5 or a game that we have to wait a couple of years for, all Horizon Forbidden West needs to do is build upon the critically-acclaimed Horizon Zero Dawn.

Horizon Forbidden West

(Image credit: Sony)

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. 

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