|February 18, 2022
|PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows
Hey guys, welcome to Electronic First and it’s great to be here today! Developed by Guerrilla Games and released back in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn is already considered a classic in the open-world genre for its clever combat mechanics, great exploration and mystifying story-line. With its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West just around the corner, there’s a great number of things we can look forward to, especially considering its much larger production value and world size. Oh, I’m sure there are many of you who haven’t played the first game, so I’ll try not to reveal any big spoilers as much as possible. The story and world-building is truly spectacular.
I recommend playing Zero Dawn and experiencing everything it has to offer. You can purchase Horizon Zero Dawn on our website at a great discount. Let’s take a look at the 10 things to look forward to in Horizon Zero Dawn: Forbidden West
Horizon takes place in the 31st century, in a post-apocalyptic North America dominated by enormous machines, who for the most part, harmoniously coexist with human civilization. However, humanity has greatly declined, with limited technological access. They now live in vast mountain ranges, forests and the mysterious ruins of The Old Ones. In the Horizon series, you play as Aloy, a huntress from the Nora tribe, which is a matriarchal society of isolationists. As a seeker, Aloy is given the privilege to traverse beyond the sacred lands and explore mysterious ancient ruins scattered around the world for lost Old World technology.
It is believed that Horizon Forbidden West follows 6 months after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, where a great pestilence plagues the land in the form of a strange red blight. What events will meet Aloy and her brave companions? We’ll all just all have to wait and see!
It’s likely you’ll begin the game around the states of Colorado and Utah. Due to the aforementioned plague, Aloy and her friends make their way toward the uncharted Forbidden West, which consists of some areas in Nevada, Utah, San Francisco and other areas of California in order to search for answers. Its name, The Forbidden West, was prescribed by the Carja, a tribe situated in Utah, as the region is fraught with danger and few people who ventured there have ever returned alive, or of sane mind.
You’ll find entire ecosystems in the ruined buildings in the city of San Francisco, as well as submerged ones with many secrets abound. We’ve also seen Aloy climb a mountain around what was once the Yosemite National Park. Overall, the setting is very immersive, memorable and is a true gem among open-world enthusiasts. Not to mention, it’s also quite stunning, which brings us to
Visually, Forbidden West is also a lot better than its predecessor, with increased geometry, superior water physics, sand physics and improved vegetation. What’s more, Forbidden West will feature better cinematics, better facial animations, full motion capture and a top-tier cast. Unfortunately, the game is evidently down-scaled in the PS4 version, but is still quite stunning and can easily be mistaken for a PS5 game. As Zero Dawn was already a graphical masterpiece, it’s no surprise that its sequel looks even better. What’s surprising is the sheer degree of their improvements. An amazing feat for an intergenerational release. This is all possible thanks to their amazing proprietary engine, Decima. Suffice to say, the world of Horizon Forbidden West may just set the gold standard for what the PS5 is capable of.
Machine mounts also make a return here in Forbidden West, as Aloy can be seen riding a Charger in the trailer. New mounts have not yet been confirmed, but it’s highly likely that more mounts will be introduced. Horizon Forbidden West has made other new improvements in the mobility aspect. Free climbing, for example, is a great feature, as it lets Aloy climb basically anywhere with a latch in the surrounding geometry.
The grappling hook, dubbed the Pullcaster, is another amazing addition that should significantly improve the game’s verticality. It works similarly to the Dying Light 1 Grappling Hook and the Grapnel Gun from the Arkham series. Now of course, I saved the best for last. After all, Forbidden West is an open-world game, and what’s a new open-world game without the much beloved and realistically, gravity-defying staple. You’ve guessed it! The hand glider makes its appearance here in the form of a… hand-glider. Dubbed the Shield Wing, this allows Aloy to safely descend from point a to point b. You know, standard hand-glider stuff. Don’t get me wrong though, this is nonetheless a very welcome addition and will make traversal all the more engaging.
5. Skill Tree
Forbidden West has a much more expansive skill tree than its predecessor, giving the player great possibilities to forge their own unique builds, as seen from other hit open-world games. There are a total of 6 paths in the skill tree. These include the Hunter tree, which focuses on Aloy’s ranged abilities; the Warrior tree, which focuses on her melee abilities; the Survivor Tree, which focuses on health and resource-based skills; the Machine Master tree, which focuses on technology-based abilities; the Trap Master, which focuses on Trap-oriented abilities; and finally, the Stealth Tree, focused on… stealth-based skills and abilities.
The great thing about the skill tree is that you can mix and match skills to best suit your playstyle. It doesn’t force you to commit to one class, not to mention there are between 20 to 30 skills per tree. Each tree also has its own Valor Surge, powerful abilities that can only be activated when Aloy’s “energy gauge” is full. One such Valor Surge was revealed in the trailer, where Aloy stabbed a spear into the ground, creating a powerful shockwave. Each Valor Surge compliments different play-styles, so players should keep this in mind and use the Valor Surge that best suits their build.
In Zero Dawn, outfits are mainly used for protection. However, in Forbidden West, this is not the only purpose outfits fulfill, as they can make a huge impact in battle and can reportedly even modify Aloy’s skills. Of course, with new outfits, comes new weapons, ripe with interesting mechanics to creatively dispose of the many enemies you can face in Forbidden West.
A number of weapons are confirmed to make a return here in Forbidden West though, like Aloy’s Spear, which was shown in the trailer. Other weapons returning include the Ropecaster, a ranged weapon designed by the Nora tribe to disable and pin down targets, Slings, a ranged weapon that can launch bombs at enemies, dealing damage in an area of effect, as well as three bow-types; the Hunter, Sharpshot and Warbows, with each type possessing different firing speeds. So far, two new weapon-types have been announced, the Smoke Bomb and Spike Thrower. As you’ve probably guessed, the Smoke Bomb is used to impair your enemies’ vision in its radius. This lets Aloy use stealth takedowns to dispose of enemies while remaining undetected. Finally, we have the Spike Thrower. This weapon launches javelins toward opponents, impaling enemies with incredible force.
The world of Horizon is filled with giant mechanical monsters, known simply as Machines. They take the shape of various animals and other entities, such as avians, mammals, dinosaurs and even plants. In Forbidden West, Machine hunting is a key gameplay element and there are many new machines introduced, like the Clawstrider, who seem to be modeled after velociraptors. They move in packs and have jaws equipped with chainsaws, the Shellsnappers, turtle-like machines who guard swamps and shores. They have vegetation growing on their backs, suggesting that they remain dormant for quite some time. There’s also an armadillo-like machine known as the Rollerbacks, who quite fittingly, roll over their enemies.
Other new machines include the Clamberjaws, who resemble monkeys, the Sunwings; pterosaur sentinels of the skies in the Forbidden West; the Tidalrippers, Nessie-like aquatic machines who dwell underwater; the Burrowers, who let out a high-pitch screech that alerts other machines and can attack both on land underwater; the Bristle backs, warthog-like machines equipped with deadly tusks; Slitherfangs, giant robot cobras who can spit out venom; and finally, we have the Tremortusks. Equipped with various weaponry, like a flamethrower in its trunk, these mammoth-like machines are quite dangerous when encountered out in the wild. However, a hostile tribe known as the Tenakth have taken control over a number of them and use these machines for warfare.
Now, keep in mind, these are only the new machines we know of so far; Guerrilla has promised dozens more new machines and some have already been confirmed to return. Fighting these mechanical monsters is tricky. Conveniently, their eyes flash before they strike, giving the player enough time to dodge their attacks. Regardless, we’re getting a lot of variety and I personally can’t wait to fight them with the cool new weapons and skills introduced.
8. Human Enemies
Human combat has seen many improvements, with more intelligent AI and impressive animations. They are also more dangerous here in the Forbidden West. Just like Aloy, the rebel Tenakht tribe can also override and mount machines, such as the Tremortusks. There are also new human enemies, like the Rebel Tenakht Infantry, who are extremely aggressive and like to attack in groups. One interesting enemy type is the Champions. They wield a large hammer and seem to have a lot of combat experience, as they are seen giving Aloy a hard time in the trailer.
9. Side Quests
The Forbidden West is a massive open-world, filled with danger, opportunity, adventure… and a great many side quests. Guerrilla has stated that they have spent a significant amount of their time in creating side quests that actually offer worthwhile rewards. They include outfits, weapons and other things that will help Aloy in her journey. Aloy cannot do everything alone, so Guerrilla is putting a much larger focus on character development. Key characters like Errend and Vari, who have been confirmed to play a major role in Forbidden West, will also be appearing in side quests and not just the main story.
Of course, tribes from Zero Dawn, like the Oseram, Carja, Utaru and Tenakht will be returning here in the Forbidden West. Each tribe has its own unique culture. For example, the Oseram are an advanced technologically-inclined tribe known for their excellent weaponry. The Carja worship the sun. It is not only the foundation of their religion, but also their government structure. Their ruler is known as the Sun King. The Utaru are a more peaceful faction, whose society centers on agriculture. Their home, plainsong, is situated somewhere in the Forbidden West.
Sometime after the events of Zero Dawn, Plainsong is devastated by a Red Blight. They infect much of their crops and killing many animals in the area. The Tenakht will be playing a larger role in this game. They are a militaristic force in the Forbidden West and believe the strong take from the weak, and in the taking, are made stronger. As such, they value strength above all else and demonstrate this through violent means. The 3 major clans, the Sky, Desert and Lowland clans of that tribe have been at war for generations. That is, until a a rebel group of Tenakht, led by Regalla, acquire the ability to override machines. They aim to destroy the Carja tribe and all who dare to oppose them. Now unified, the Tenakht are an even more dangerous threat.
These are only some of the things we’ve learned from the recent trailers, and there’s definitely a lot of things to look forward to. What are you most looking forward to in Horizon Forbidden West? Let us know in the comment section below! We really wanna hear from you! Thanks for watching everyone! And before you go, be sure to visit out website to get games and deals at amazing prices. At Electronic First, we give you info on the latest games releasing. I’ll be seeing you guys in the next guide!
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