Horizon Forbidden West is was one of my most wanted (probably top three) games of 2022. Like many people who have a PS5, I purchased the PS4 version to save myself £20 and took advantage of the free PS5 upgrade. I have put around 50 hours into the game, exploring every nook and cranny and now I am ready to share my thoughts.
How to Download Horizon Forbidden West
You can download the game from the PlayStation Store. To proceed, click on the Download button at the end of the review.
The Game Review
I am going to try and keep this review spoiler-free. The reason I say that is the story actually goes in a direction I did not see coming. Aloy is trying to stop a blight that is happening in the world due to the terraforming system going crazy. It does follow on the events from Horizon Zero Dawn, but this has a far more sci-fi story in my opinion.
We have people in outer space, people being treated like gods, lots of tribes with their own lore and beliefs. It is pretty amazing how much larger the world-building in Forbidden West is over Zero Dawn. By all means, watch the trailer, but the less you know about the plot of the game, the more fun you are going to have with it.
I will say that the main plot is the real star here. Some of the side missions are not that exciting and even Aloy feels that way as it is like she rolls her eyes at some people who need her help. I am not sure if this was intentional, but I must admit, I did find it pretty amusing. To be fair, she is trying to save the world so dealing with these “smaller problems must seem like a waste of her time.
The presentation of Horizon Forbidden West is tremendous. The leap in visuals from Zero Dawn is huge and I played through it a month or so before this came out so I am in a good position to say that. The “West” region in the game is awesome, no spoilers here, but when you do get to the far West, it is truly awesome stuff, first time I did, I came across a huge mechanical Spinosaurus on the beach!
The facial animations in this game are just incredible. Last generation, facial animations in many games were the final missing piece. Games like Horizon Forbidden West here have shown that this generation’s life-like facial animations are now something that is here and it does make a huge difference.
The gameplay is very, very similar to what Zero Dawn offered, but on a much larger scale. To be honest, I am ok with this, I loved the first game so more of the same, but expanded is fine by me. However, if you did not like the first game, I am not sure there is enough here to win you over.
Aloy controls great and she has a large selection of weapons that she can obtain and upgrade. I tended to stick with just the same couple of weapons, but it was fun to play around with the others that I had collected. There are multiple skill trees in the game and this was something I found a lot of fun. I ended up maxing out the warrior and survivor ones and then started on the rest as this suited my playstyle best.
You always have the main quest to be doing. However, there are many other things to do such as side quests, hunts, fight pits, rumors, caldrons, and more. I liked how you had to be strategic when fighting the stronger machines and found the combat system in general to be a whole lot of fun.
I am very impressed with Horizon Forbidden West and am pretty sure it will make my game of the year list. I think that it is a great follow-up to Zero Dawn, even if it does have a real sense of familiarity about it. I put around 50 hours into my first playthrough and I enjoyed it so much I am jumping straight back in for another!
- The story is awesome and has an epic sci-fi fantasy feel to it
- Aloy is just a really awesome character to play as
- The whole presentation from the visuals to the voice acting is stunning
- There is tons of content in this game
- The gameplay may not have evolved enough over the first game for some people
- One of the side quests did glitch for me and there was no way to complete it! Hopefully, it will work on my second playthrough!