The last few weeks I’ve been playing through Horizon: Forbidden West, the long-awaited sequel to 2017’s Horizon: Zero Dawn, which introduced gamers around the world to Aloy, the young girl who in that original game set out to her discover her past in a world overrun by machines.
Horizon: Zero Dawn was a great looking title when it first arrived on the PlayStation 4 (you can read my review here) and was pretty much beloved by the entire gaming community (case in point, our Gabriel Marcoccia, who raved about Horizon‘s DLC content here). It’s safe to say that nobody should be disappointed with the arrival of Horizon: Forbidden West on PlayStation 5. It looks absolutely phenomenal.
Explore distant lands, fight bigger and more awe-inspiring machines, and encounter astonishing new tribes as you return to the far-future, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon.
The land is dying. Vicious storms and an unstoppable blight ravage the scattered remnants of humanity, while fearsome new machines prowl their borders. Life on Earth is hurtling towards another extinction, and no one knows why.
It’s up to Aloy to uncover the secrets behind these threats and restore order and balance to the world. Along the way, she must reunite with old friends, forge alliances with warring new factions and unravel the legacy of the ancient past – all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a seemingly undefeatable new enemy.
Now, it’s been years since I played the original title and, frankly, I forgot the main story beats, but that’s ok – Horizon: Forbidden West does an excellent job of reminding you of the past, so even if you’re a newcomer to the world, the opening cinematic explains where you are and what’s happened before. As Aloy, you’re thrown into the action relatively quickly though, with the previous story a significant aspect of this new one, so I’d say it helps to have played before.
However, whether you’re new or not, I feel quite certain you’ll be blown away by the visual quality of Horizon: Forbidden West. It does a fantastic job or melding the world of man and machine in a lush setting, a quality that feels exclusive to this particular world. When I’m playing, I tend to spend a lot of time admiring my surroundings and thinking about just how much goes into designing a video game.
Equally as impressive is the voice acting in Horizon: Forbidden West, anchored by the great work of Ashly Burch. It’s no grand revelation that you need to feel invested and connected to your lead character for any game to succeed, and the combination of Horizon: Forbidden West’s story and Burch’s emphatic delivery delivers that nicely.
I’m still making my way throught the game, so I can’t say how it all ultimately turns out, but I feel comfortable suggesting that, if you have a PS5, then Horizon: Forbidden West is the sort of game you want to add to your collection, and another example of what a next-gen console can deliver.