Hey there! We are back with yet another game review. Now, we know that we are a teeny bit late to the party but hey it’s better than never (or however that phrase goes), right? Anyways, today we will give you all the deets about the epic gaming adventure I had as Aloy in Guerrilla studios’ latest- the Horizon Forbidden West.
It’s been a while since the last time I played Horizon Zero Dawn and I still remember the awe moments and breath-taking visuals the game offered. With Zero Dawn, Guerrilla studios tapped into a world full of possibilities. The post-apocalyptic world paired with futuristic elements had a refreshing effect that the gaming world hungrily took in. It gave a respite from all the car racing simulators and zombie killing sprees that the gaming community was into that time.
With Horizon Forbidden West, we are back with our strong and fiery Aloy, one of the most remarkable and iconic characters in this generation of gaming. Before, hopping into the sequel I wondered if Zero Dawn needed a sequel? And to my surprise, my inner Aloy fangirl yelled a huge, ‘YES!’. I definitely needed more of Aloy content and her story after her last feat. And Horizon Forbidden World explains the exact need of knowing Aloy and her adventure more.
Horizon Forbidden West is a powerful sequel that adds to the already impressive foundation that Zero Dawn built in 2017.
The latest instalment brings in exciting missions to add depth to the overall game, new gameplay that is incredibly put together and a series of development characters with their heartfelt engaging stories.
So, let’s get right into it.
A quick 5-minute recap of Horizon Zero Dawn and you are thrown into the newest chapter in Aloy’s life. I feel like the short revisit was more than enough to push me where I need to be, however, it wouldn’t be enough for newcomers as a lot of references and jargon regarding the past has been made throughout the game. Therefore, it is advisable that you first experience the origins and previous achievements of Aloy and then come here for more.
Set six months after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy is a huge figure and a hero hailed throughout the Meridian. Our protagonist, however, still feels a bit awkward and is adamant about doing everything by herself, thanks to being a social outcast all her life. This view changes gradually over the course of the game as she goes on to socialise and form bonds that changes her views on companionship and cherish them.
Ashly Burch, the voice actress of Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn is back and has made us fall in love with Aloy even more (if that was even possible). She conveyed the transition in Aloy and her nature brilliantly through her voice and made us believe in her. Amid the game, I realised how much Aloy had grown as a person. She became wiser, stronger and bolder among many things and I couldn’t have been prouder.
Anyways, back to the story of the game, Aloy jumps into another quest to save the world this time from a deadly red plague that destroys all flora and fauna it comes in contact with. For this, she has to travel to the Forbidden West, a name given to highlight the violent nature of the residents of the area, the Tanakth. However, it isn’t as easy as it seems due to a treaty and her companions from the previous game- Varl and Erend come into the picture. They help her travel there. However, Aloy feels way too burdened and leave them to fight all the foes alone. However, it is short-lived as she comes across amazing characters further in her journey.
One thing that I wished to point out was the way of storytelling in Horizon Forbidden West and how different it was from its former part. Instead of throwing chunks of information altogether, this instalment treated every story every emotion with absolute care which gave me a Hollywood movie experience.
Aloy meets a lot of people throughout her journey in Horizon Forbidden West. Therefore, you will be meeting a lot of characters in your adventure. Some of the many characters from the game are:
As our main protagonist, Aloy is a spear-headed huntress from the Nora tribe. She grew up an outcast and made a name for herself through her adventure in Horizon Zero Dawn.
Our favourite huntress continues to grow as a human and once again sets out to uncover some deadly truths and save the world.
Son of a war-general in the Nora tribe, Varl has been a faithful companion to Aloy. They have worked together in Horizon Forbidden Dawn and he makes a return in the sequel.
Another one of Aloy’s trusted companions, Erend left a mark on everyone in the last adventure. He continues to be a part of the squad in defeating the bad guys.
A mysterious and rather curious Banuk warrior, Sylens joins hands with Aloy to know more about the wretched machines and the history of the earth they live in now.
This mysterious character makes her debut in the Horizon series, with this instalment. Manipulative at her core, Tilda could either be an ally or a foe. Only time will tell.
Firstly, let’s talk about the climbing from Horizon Zero Dawn. There were a lot of complaints regarding the same. It was way too restrictive and completely ignored the prospect of exploration and in turn immersion.
That has been taken care of to a certain degree in Horizon Forbidden West, as a new feature of scanning the structure and spotting jutted out rocks or crevices to climb has been added. Even though it doesn’t ensure extensive exploration, it does open gates for development later.
The world is brimming with crawling, walking and flying machines that are detailed and well-thought. They are found in a specific environment with features and weakness of their own that makes it even more amazing.
The clothing and weaponry have also been diversified in this instalment. You acquire skills and equipment in every part of the game that rewards you better and bigger later on.
The combat returns from Horizon Zero Dawn and we couldn’t be more thrilled. This mechanic combat-focused video game has ticked all the right boxes in levelling up the intensity of fights between our protagonist and her foes.
Somehow the combats with the machines feel even more thrilling and exciting that goes beyond just using your weapons. Quick thinking coupled with the right use of proper equipment is the key to mastering and getting out alive in every fight.
The world itself and the Graphics
Horizon Zero Dawn introduced us to a world brimming with fantasy and realism at its finest. Horizon Forbidden West continues the legacy with additions to the astounding world that amalgamate the post-apocalyptic future with everything beautiful the earth has to offer. There is never a dull moment in the game, as every location offers something to explore and indulge in.
The world in the game represents snow-clad mountains, lush forests, barren deserts, mysterious underwaters and so much more all with equal opportunities for combat and exploration
The game developers took their time creating all the different biomes of the world to highlight details making the game a visual treat for gamers and non-gamers alike.
Truly the game seems like a big-budget Hollywood movie with all the epic combat sequences and the cut-scenes with marvellous voice-overs.
Just like every other element in the game, the 3D audio of the game ensures complete immersion and entertainment. Right from the start, the game introduces a soundtrack that feels quite connected to its predecessor. Joris de Man, the composer along with geniuses ‘The Flight’ is back with this instalment to create magic in the game.
The soundtrack of the game beautifully combines the tropical beats with classical music matching the vibes of the game perfectly.
Horizon Forbidden West is an experience that I would recommend to everyone. The video game offers a world full of possibilities with fantasy and realism brimming at its seams. And trust me, you won’t regret it.
I played the game on my brand new PS5 and boy it was amazing. The DualSense took it to a different level. The rustling, the thumping, the hits basically every movement Aloy made rumbled my controller in the most satisfying way possible. Overall, PS5 gave me maximum immersion while playing Horizon Forbidden West.