HERE. WE. GO!!!
In a separate IGN interview, de Jonge said that free climbing is somewhat limited inside settlements. “There is more hand-placed, controlled exploration going on there. But outside of the settlements, in the open world, you can climb anywhere.
My biggest gripe with the first game was how much climbing was limited. If I hadn’t dropped 100+ hours into Breath of the Wild before touching Horizon, I probably wouldn’t have minded as much.
February 18, 2022
I guess I can wait if I have to.
Yes to all of this. It all sounds great and I can’t wait.
Ugh, this is definitely the game that is going to give me the largest case of FOMO yet. We’ll have to see if it’s a $500 prescription (or hopefully over-the-counter by then), or if it can be subdued from natural home remedies.
Garbage, looks like pure garbage. I don’t want to play it at all. Not one bit…
February 2022 is proving to be a packed month for big-budget adventure games. There aren’t enough hours in the week for anyone with a career, family, or life to beat the uneven-but-interesting Dying Light 2, the promising Souls-like adventure of Elden Ring, and the many, many hours of H:FW.
I can’t tell you to pick one of these games over the other, let alone whether you should leave your kids stranded after soccer practice because you have one more side quest to complete in any or all of them.
But if you forced me to pick only one February game to recommend, I’d point to H:FW as the month’s best testament to how beautiful, thrilling, and emotional video games can be. It also gets bonus points on the recommendation matrix for its healthy accessibility sliders, which, among other things, let anyone downgrade the combat to either “simple” or “cakewalk” difficulty levels. I still think H:FW is more fun with difficulty cranked up, so that players can’t stupidly melee their way through some of gaming’s most thrilling herd combat. But that’s your choice to make, not mine.
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Horizon Forbidden West marks a very unfortunate flawed experience and with video games being priced as it is now it’s going to be tough to recommend playing this game at the moment without a huge BUT accompanying it. If the issues and bugs were non-existent, I can even see myself scoring Horizon Forbidden West as high as a 9/10 and it could very well be adjusted there if it’s fixed and improved in the near future. I very much enjoyed my time with Horizon Forbidden West and look forward to what comes next. Hopefully, that will be a much more polished and unforgettable experience.
While it’s undoubtedly another accomplished game in terms of technical achievement and sheer visual spectacle - I’m reminded again of those incredible faces, and one particularly outstanding underwater level - I’ve enjoyed Forbidden West less than Zero Dawn. The main story has major issues, and the level design made it difficult for me to play the way I had previously enjoyed, while making a lot of the newer systems feel redundant. Beyond that, the sense is of a game where Guerrilla has cobbled together RPG building blocks often without making them work within the context of its own game, and in some cases actively worsening Horizon Forbidden West as a result. I don’t expect groundbreaking innovation, but with using well-established elements there’s always the danger of them having been done better elsewhere. Unfortunately, with Horizon Forbidden West that’s often the case.
Horizon Forbidden West reaches a new high bar for Guerrilla Games. It does more than surpass its predecessor; it takes Horizon’s fiction to captivating places and builds a rich world that rewards you for the effort you put into it. Mostly, it’s an entertaining experience, complete with jaw-dropping moments and unforgettable fights.
I’ve been having a great time with Horizon Forbidden West. It improves upon everything from Horizon: Zero Dawn. Both the world and characters are jaw-dropping, the combat far more fluid and engaging, traversal faster and more intuitive and there are a ton of different things to do. My main problem is that it ends up being fairly generic for those of us who’ve played similar open world games because it barely does anything new besides the story and setting. Those of you who aren’t as fatigued by or used to these will probably have an amazing time, as Guerrilla still know exactly what we want.
Horizon Forbidden West does a lot more right than it does wrong. It might be jam-packed with stuff to see, do, know, and remember, but when its many systems come together, it can be a beautiful, exciting, and delightful open-world experience. The story that drives you through the frontier is often well-told and does well to center actual characters rather than audio logs, and while the map is littered with icons, it’s much more often that they’re fun, skillfully crafted diversions than random busywork to fill a checklist. There’s a huge amount to do and see in Horizon Forbidden West, and the great majority of it is worth doing and seeing thanks to strong writing, great visuals, and some marked improvements to the series’ underlying ideas.
A triumphant combination of enthralling combat, top-tier creature and character design, and a captivating open world, Horizon Forbidden West is an absolute blast and fantastic showcase for the power of the PS5. Although the return of a couple of familiar series trappings and a noticeable lack of freeform climbing never threatens to derail the enjoyment, it does leave it falling frustratingly short of something revolutionary. Major evolutionary steps have firmly been placed in the right direction, however, and there’s no doubting the many, many hours of fun to have with Aloy, who stakes her claim further to be one of this generation of gaming’s greatest characters. Guerrilla has outdone itself yet again with Forbidden West, and at this trajectory, neither the horizon nor the sky’s the limit for what could come next.
Another magnificent visual showpiece for the PS5, that runs surprisingly well on the PS4 too, Horizon Forbidden West is a great new chapter in Aloy’s story. If you liked Zero Dawn, you’ll absolutely love this, making it a must-play.
There are other minor bugs that won’t be fixed in the day one patch either. The PS5’s loading times are incredibly quick, even when fast traveling all the way across the map, but the game will occasionally cut to black for a couple of seconds while loading takes place in the background. Machines have been known to fall through the floor or disappear completely, leading to a save restart for those that were mission requirements.
But while some of these visual issues are still waiting to be rectified with an update, Horizon Forbidden West improves on Zero Dawn in so many different ways. The story and combat remain high points for the series, with the latter getting even better with increased diversity of machines and looting providing another complex layer to think about. Side quests have improved and there are new side activities to suit all types of players. Added to all this, the world of the Forbidden West remains beautiful despite its hostility and it’s been a long time since I’ve lost hours in a game without once getting bored. Those who enjoyed Aloy’s previous adventures should definitely consider adding this one to the collection.
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Do not mistake me here; with additional patching, Horizon: Forbidden West is still a top-tier game that’s well worth emptying one’s pouch of metal shards to purchase. In no time, I fell back in love with the hunter-gather loop and the methodical nature of its machine murdering – I have no doubt you will, too. Those epic, sometimes 20 minute long fights I had with the 40 odd cast of megafauna machines…man, I’ll be telling my grandkids about some of those one day.
Basically, I still think the emergent battles you stumble across in Horizon: Forbidden West are the end boss fights that lesser games wished they had. If you hold gameplay to be your chiefest concern, as I do, then this safer than expected sequel still absolutely hunts.
That’s the crux of it, really. In almost every way, Guerrilla has re-thought, refined and redoubled on everything that was good or bad about Horizon Zero Dawn while pushing nearly every boundary imaginable in how an open world video game can look and feel. Above all else, this is a game that consistently surprised me. Whether it was the escalating story beats that had me thinking “surely this is as wild as it gets” before getting even more wild or the frequent unexpected finds when I was out exploring the Forbidden West, from opening to end credits I simply never felt like I’d seen it all. Even after playing for 60-odd hours and getting the platinum trophy there is still so much out there for me to do, so much beauty to witness and so many more mysteries to uncover.
Overall, Horizon Forbidden West is a huge improvement on its predecessor. The map is diverse and full of stunning sights; characters and conversations are so much better; and the already great gameplay is enhanced with new weapons, more options, and better melee. The story doesn’t have quite the same element of surprise as the first game, but it still builds upon things with some daring twists of its own. Any minor quibbles we have melt away when the game’s firing on all cylinders. It’s a gorgeous, wildly fun action RPG, and there’s nothing else quite like it.
But that’s how it is at the end of the day. It’s a game of contrasts. A game about robot dinosaurs where you spend far too much time fighting robot meerkats and boars instead for some reason. One with brilliant voice acting that you begin to hate because some characters won’t shut up. Where the side quests are great, but they’re so simple as to feel pointless. Where the combat features a complex balance between elemental strengths and weaknesses but you can ignore all that via a rain of explosive spearheads.
If you look at it from that perspective, it almost makes sense that Horizon Forbidden West is the most linear open world game I’ve ever played.
Whenever a highly anticipated sequel comes out, there’s the inevitable question of how it stacks up to the original. “Horizon Zero Dawn,” Guerrilla Games’ award-winning, 2017 open-world RPG, set a high bar with its compelling story and gorgeous environments. I can definitively say after rolling credits on “Forbidden West” that it not only meets that bar, it parkours over it and soars off on a robo-bird into the sunset.
For me personally, open-world games have lost a lot of their allure. Too often they present meaningless swags of content to slog through with no real reason for completing any of it outside of a sense of gamer duty. I feel they very often don’t respect my time, at a point in my middle-aged gamer career where time is a dwindling resource. But much like Zero Dawn, Forbidden West reminds me just how awesome open-world games can be if all the elements of the equation are there. It may present a crazy amount of content to wade through, but the bulk of that content is of a high quality, and the benefits of completing it are almost always tangible, empowering you to tackle the growing challenge. I spent 45 hours seeing the story to its end with significant meandering, and I feel like I could spend another 45 and still struggle to see all of the world’s wonders. My 10 or so hours post credits have done nothing to dim my spirits, and while my Aloy is now a fully-levelled force of nature, I will continue to scour the West. The difference with Forbidden West is that I return to its world not because of a compulsion to tick off some checklists, but because I can’t stay away.
I’m guessing you already know by now, Smurf, that Sony still hasn’t figured out how to handle cross-gen games, and is selling the PS4 version for $60 with a free upgrade to the PS5 version…which is $70…
Yeah. I canceled my PS5 preorder months ago and re-preorderd the PS4 one. But thanks.
I’ve played for 3 days and if this isn’t my Game of the Year for 2022… then… um… I have no conclusion to this sentence. Here’s a picture of my new Orange Lantern ring.
I can’t believe I haven’t written my review of this game here yet after beating it on Friday. I have a lot to say and will type something up tomorrow.
Here’s my review.
This is my Game of the Year hands down and looking at the release calendar for the rest of 2022, it won’t even be close. This game improves on EVERY aspect of the first game except one (why no permanent overrides except mounts?). The most improved: Combat.
I had MAJOR issues with the combat in HZD, as every battle was a challenge and I’d plan every encounter out with traps and tripwires and making sure I was fully stocked and plotting which machine I’d override to help out and cheesing the battles I could. In this game, I felt virtually invincible. Maybe it was because I did SO MANY side quests that by the time I returned to the Golden Path I was overleveled, but also, the weapons and weapon techniques in this game are just so much better in general. I took Erik out with 3 arrows and one valor move. So satisfying.
When this game was announced, I wondered how they’d top the story from HZD. They did. This game at times feels like Mass Effect 2 in the best ways. There’s a moment near the end that just gave me chills the entire time it was happening. Side missions all feel important, not only because they are well done, but because ALL of the NPCs are fully animated and professionally voiced unlike the first game where half of them moved like Chuck E Cheese robots.
I Platinum’d the game at 102 hours and had it planned out so that the final trophy would pop immediately after the credits rolled. And if I turned the game on right now, I’d still have 10+ hours of content that still needs to be completed (side quests, collectibles, rebel outposts), but I got to a point where I just NEEDED to see the ending.
10 Tremortusks out of 10