I bloody love the world of Horizon.
Joining Aloy as she ran across the flora filled ruins of our Earth, we rushed across its wilds to end the doomsday event set in motion by HADES; One of nine subordinate functions to GAIA, the artificial intelligence leading Project Zero Dawn. Succeeding in doing so, with one grand battle to end it all, Aloy rejoined her tribe, the Nora, to celebrate.
Forbidden West pretty much picks up from there.
A deadly blight is starting to scorch the Earth, eating into the ecosystem healed by GAIA. Allowing a minor time skip for some plot development, Aloy (Ashly Burch) is already back out seeking. If, like me, you played the first title to the point of unlocking everything, then you’ll know about the Shield-Weaver. The end game for armor in Zero Dawn, it shielded Aloy and made life a bit easier in the wilds! Well it’s run out of power and the rest of your cool stuff has been taken!
Forbidden West then wastes no time in throwing you into new mechanics and ways to traverse this world. Yup, you’ll have the Pushcaster before you know it to live out all your grappling hook dreams.
Following the tried and trued method of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, Forbidden West feels like a refined Zero Dawn. Taking the opportunity to build upon a very solid foundation has seen it feel familiar but new. For any players who replayed Zero Dawn in preparation for this, it will definitely handover well between.
Visually the Decima engine is still an absolute beast, and Forbidden West is no slouch. In fact, it’s running on the latest updated version of it. This means the game is a delectable morsel of visuals to ingest. Stunning flora, with the clearest waters running alongside it. The machines jumping out, as their RGB lighting peers through tall grass. It is a feast. Interestingly though, I personally switched to Performance mode (favours frames over resolution) quickly, as Fidelity had some weird “jank” to it or me. While not only pleasing my friend Alex who quips “frames over reso”, it played much better for me in this mode.
At the end of the day, if you wanted more Horizon you will absolutely get it. While I may not be far into the game, the sense of enormity from the get-go is staggering. Deliriously beautiful in both fidelity and performance, Aloy’s adventure is one to behold once more. Building on its own fundamentals and attaching some of the new features with the PlayStation 5, it is one you will want to take the journey for.
And I really want to know how Carrie-Anne Moss fits into all of it.
ALOY IS BACK WITH A BRAND NEW BAG
And it is STUNNING
You've been waiting, and Guerrilla do not disappoint with their follow-up to one of the biggest original IP's from the PlayStation 4 era. Filled with new wonder and things to discover, Aloy's adventure continues to grow across the world of Horizon.
With my only minor issues found in seeing the sheer size of the world, and a first time switching to Performance over Fidelity, I'm looking forward to striving further into the Forbidden West.
XENOJAY.COM was supplied with a digital copy for review by PlayStation NZ, and this was played on the Playstation 5 console. But I also bought the Regalla Edition cause I wanted a Focus for myself.