Everything we know about Horizon Forbidden West

Everything we know about Horizon Forbidden West
NEWS Jan 14, 2022, 3:00 PM

While this year is packed with high-profile releases such as God of War and Elden Ring, Horizon Forbidden West certainly won't get lost in the shuffle. Fire-haired hunter Aloy returns, gaining new enemies, weapons, allies, and of course, world-ending threats. With Horizon Forbidden West's release coming this February, it's time to round up everything we know about this next chapter to Horizon Zero Dawn.

Here is the Game Awards trailer for Horizon Forbidden West, care of IGN. Welcome back to the world of robot dinosaurs!

 

 

Horizon Forbidden West Story

Guerilla Games released the original Horizon Zero Dawn in 2017, and despite its strange premise of robot dinosaurs, its open-world environment and rich, innovative combat quickly garnered critical acclaim. 

In Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy faces a new threat to all life when the Red Blight takes hold of the world, killing off plants, animals, and people. After spending six months in a futile attempt to stop it, Aloy and her companion Erend must travel to San Francisco to seek a possible cure among the ruins of the previous civilization. But they soon find they're not the only ones scouring the city for ancient tech.

Horizon Zero Dawn took place in Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. After the events of the first game, Aloy makes her way to the Pacific Coast to stop the Red Blight. California and Nevada will play significant roles in the story, with San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge figuring prominently in the game's marketing. 

Which character do you play as in Horizon Forbidden West?

Aloy, outcast hunter of the Nora tribe, returns as the game's protagonist and playable character. She's accompanied by Oseram tribesman Erend Vanguardsman from the previous game. 

Aloy will once again be played by veteran actor Ashly Burch, the voice behind Chloe Price  (Life is Strange), Viper (Valorant), and Tiny Tina (Borderlands 3). According to her, "The writing team took me through the arc of the story and it was like being a kid at a campfire."

There's been some discussion on the differences between Aloy's look between the two games. In Forbidden West, she has noticeably fuller cheeks and a more rugged, muscular build than in Zero Dawn, which fits her nature, given her background as a hunter.

 

horizon-zero-dawn-aloy-face

 

Horizon Forbidden West Gameplay

Horizon is well known for its innovative combat mechanics, and Horizon Forbidden West is set to make it even better. Aloy will still have her trusty bow, spear, and Ropecasters, but she'll also have new gadgets added to her arsenal.

Weapons of the West

The first of these is the Shieldwing, a specialized glider that Aloy can deploy for quick entrance and escapes. Aloy can use it to descend from high ground safely, or perhaps get the drop on an enemy from above. 

The Pullcaster is a grappling hook that Aloy can use on marked grappling spots. She can even use it in mid-air to help her out of a lethal fall or to quickly scale sheer cliffs and gain a height advantage on enemies. Grapple points will be plentiful in the environment, granting Aloy plenty of choices for approaches.

Next up is the Diving Mask, a critical piece of gear for exploring underwater. Which is excellent, because Forbidden West's vast underwater environments are an incredible sight to behold, as this gameplay video by Skill Games shows.

 

 

Aloy also gets a new Slingshot, which hurls adhesive grenades that can stick to enemies. 

She also gets a set of new outfits, with each one having an attached skill she can use. And if things start to get complicated, she can upgrade weapons at her own workbench to give her an edge in combat.

Finally, Aloy gets an upgrade to her Focus, allowing her to find climbable areas and take over machines to use as mounts. Free climbing is an essential new feature in the game, with Aloy being able to climb up more surfaces than allowed in the previous game. This will give players a wider choice of approaches and tactics for exploration and combat.

Horizon Forbidden West Encounters

The mech-dinosaurs and other robotic fauna return in Horizon Forbidden West, with trailers showing Aloy riding a robo-raptor. While bigger and more dangerous foes will be introduced in the game, it seems taming and using these creatures as mounts also figure significantly, and may help Aloy survive the dangers of the new land.

 

 

Throughout her journey, Aloy will meet familiar tribes and new clans who may aid or thwart her. There are at least five tribes that Aloy can interact with. The first two are the Oseram and the Carja, both of which players have previously met in Horizon Zero Dawn. Two more are the Utaru and the Tenakth, both of whom appeared briefly in Zero Dawn but will play a greater role in the sequel. Finally, there's a fifth tribe that's been alluded to in the trailer but has thus far not been introduced.

 

 

The Utaru have made it their mission to attempt to heal the land of the Red Blight. The Tenakth, however, are more concerned with their civil war. Two Tenakth sub-clans are attempting to quell a rebellious third faction led by a woman named Regalla, who will play an antagonist in the game. Regalla and her tribe have somehow managed to gain control of the living machines, an ability that makes them formidable indeed.

As for the mysterious fifth tribe, the only thing known about them is this ominous passage: "strangers pass the shore, searching for secrets on the very edge of the West." Rumor has it this tribe is even more powerful than Regalla and her Tenakth allies.  

Horizon Forbidden West Editions

Horizon Forbidden West comes in no less than five different versions, with some rewards for those who pre-order. Listed here are the differences. Note that the Standard edition only contains the digital version of the game. If you get the PS4 version, you can obtain a PS5 version if you decide to make the switch to PS5.

  • Pre-order bonuses. Order the game ahead of launch and get the following:
    • Nora Legacy outfit and spear
  • Digital Deluxe Edition
    • Horizon Forbidden West PS4 and PS5 digital versions 
    • Carja Behemoth Elite and Nora Thunder Elite outfits
    • Carja Behemoth Short Bow and Nora Thunder Sling
    • Resources Pack, with ammunition, potions, and travel packs
    • Apex Clawstrider Machine Strike Piece 
    • Photo Mode pose and face paint
    • Digital Art Book
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of Horizon Zero Dawn graphic novel, "The Sunhawk" 
  • Special Edition
    • SteelBook case (display only since you are getting digital copies of the game)
    • Exclusive cosmetics and weapons, 
    • Digital artbook 
    • Digital soundtrack
    • Horizon Forbidden West PS4 and PS5 versions of the game
  • Horizon Forbidden West Collector's Edition
    • SteelBook case 
    • Exclusive cosmetics and weapons
    • Digital artbook 
    • Digital soundtrack, 
    • Horizon Forbidden West PS5 and PS4 versions 
    • Custom-sculpted Tremortusk and Aloy statue 
  • Horizon Forbidden West Regalla Edition
    • Horizon Forbidden West PS5 and PS4 digital versions
    • SteelBook case
    • Custom-sculpted Tremortusk and Aloy statue
    • Digital art Book
    • Carja Behemoth Elite and Nora Thunder Elite outfits
    • Carja Behemoth Short Bow and Nora Thunder Sling
    • Resources Pack, with ammunition, potions, and travel packs
    • Apex Clawstrider Machine Strike Piece 
    • Photo Mode pose and face paint
    • Digital Art Book
    • Digital Soundtrack
    • Digital copy of Horizon Zero Dawn graphic novel, "The Sunhawk" 

 

horizon-forbidden-west-tribes

 

Horizon Forbidden West Platforms

Horizon Forbidden West is a PlayStation exclusive. As of now, no plans for a PC release have been announced despite Zero Dawn already having a PC port. Both Sony and Developers have stated that Forbidden West is committed to the PlayStation platform's hardware capabilities.

Game director Mathijs de Jonge states:

"With the PS5's SSD, there will be virtually no loading screens. In an open-world game like Horizon Forbidden West, if you open up the map and fast travel from one end to the other, or restart from a checkpoint, it will be super fast. When you boot up the game, you're right there in the action."

The PS5 version offers some fairly amazing features. The 4K visuals and HDR give sharp, crisp details of every character and object in the environment. Haptic feedback gives you a sense of impact depending on the direction of the attack, and even provides sensation as you move through the grass and other obstructions. Adaptive triggers let you feel the tension of a bowstring and the force of your Pullcaster. 

As shown in the Editions portion, if you happen to play the PS4 version of the game, you will be eligible for a free upgrade to the PS5 version if you ever buy the newer console. This comes after Sony backtracked on its announcement that they would not push through with the dual entitlement offer.

When does Horizon Forbidden West Release?

Horizon Forbidden West comes out on February 18, 2022, for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Note that all the game footage featured is from the PS5 version of the game, so your mileage may vary if you have a PS4. Eventually, the game might come to the PC as well. Get your Horizon Forbidden West PS5 or PS4 key today.

 

  • Sacha Loric

    I'm a part-time writer and a full-on tabletop/video gamer who belatedly realized he can combine those two passions. Every day, play is work and work is play.

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