When looking back at the original Horizon Zero Dawn, it was good; it just missed a few things, or maybe they could not execute appropriately for it to be truly great, because overall, it just seemed like Assassin’s Creed but with robots.
Horizon Forbidden West is the game that Horizon Zero Dawn wanted to be, and there are a lot of improvements, but sometimes some things never change, and this game is a good example of that, as even the UI looks nearly the same as Horizon Zero Dawn, and yes this will be a trend.
The Prologue was one of the worst parts of the game for me. A good way to describe it would be with the German word “Scheiße,” it was just painfully boring to go through, and the number of glitches I had to endure there from crashes, my character is frozen in animation, and enemies I shouldn’t even be introduced yet be stuck in walls which made me get items I shouldn’t even have at this point after killing them, but after this long prologue, the game truly starts.
The gameplay was a huge improvement over Horizon 1, where you just mash R1 to attack with your melee weapon and some upgrades to your bow; here, they expanded on both of them with a lot of combos you can use on your spear from breaking enemy guards or jumping off enemies, and the list goes on, same for the bow with a lot of the new special abilities like raining down arrows on your enemies, there are also the new Valor abilities which give you a boost on any of the many new skill trees of your choosing, from going invisible to getting extra damage, to getting continuous healing for a period of time, or getting extra damage to specific machine parts to take out.
The enemy variety is very good too, there are many new machines like the first boss and many new machines in the forbidden west all with their own attacks and weak spots, and flying is now a thing, so that’s great it’s own; unfortunately, the human enemy variety isn’t that wide except for the bosses and but the main focus was the machines anyway, which is very big, and the bosses are just excellent.
But honestly, it just felt too similar that if you went to replay Horizon Zero Dawn to get ready for this game, you’d honestly feel as if this game was DLC just because of how similar it is with the same mechanics and weapons; it’s just a shame.
The story is great, as usual of PlayStation exclusives, it tells such a good and consistent story that it would be a shame to spoil it, it did its job in introducing a new world for the series, and the characters were amazing, a lot of effort was put into them and including the voice acting where even the most irrelevant characters have something to say in their own cutscenes where some other game just give you some text with characters standing and staring at each other and just call it a day.
As I said, the story is great, and I also said that even the most irrelevant characters have cutscenes, and it really overdid it with the cutscenes, because honestly, the prologue has more cutscenes than gameplay; it’s really insane how long the cutscenes in this game are, even Detroit: Become Human would be proud.
The world is amazing. It has so much detail and locations full of interesting lore, it’s very big as well, but that didn’t stop it from looking breathtaking, especially with the PS5’s power; it’s a shame as well that it’s cross-platform.
The side quests have great detail too, with their own cutscenes and great voice acting, they’re all great as well, some have the same quality as the main story, an example of the detail would be at the early game you’d be in a town called Chainscrape, and there would be a quest there to take care of corrupt guy by proving he’s guilty, and you can do 3 or 4 quests that tie around him but don’t matter to his quest, if you do them before his trial then they’ll all be brought up against him, it’s just great detail that doesn’t matter overall as it’s just a bunch of dialogue but still great detail overall.
The other side activities are varied like fighting pits, ruins, minigames, and more so it doesn’t seem repetitive, which is good, it’s just much better than Horizon Zero Dawn overall, the world here is much better than it too; it just has more detail and effort put into it since the focus of the game is the Forbidden West, and Horizon Zero Dawn didn’t have that kind of great narrative focus on the world.
The game is good, but it just feels like DLC for Horizon Zero Dawn no matter how you look at it, it does expand on HZD, and it does a lot, but still, the prologue, the extremely long cutscenes, the UI, which looks nearly if not exactly the same, and the gameplay which was improved but it doesn’t offer anything crazy.
For all of the reasons above, I’m giving this game a 6/10, maybe a 7, but that’s being extremely generous; hopefully, their next Horizon game or maybe a new Killzone game would be better in the future.
Leave a Comment