Horizon Forbidden West Game Review – A solid sequel to Guerrilla’s open-world gem

A great sequel to Guerrilla’s open-world gem

Guerrilla Games sure know when they will release their games. The moment Horizon Zero Dawn dropped back in 2017, it introduced an open-world, unique game to consoles. With a fascinating setting, incredible lore, and good gameplay Zero Dawn felt like fresh air. However, it was not until the other breath came in and ruined Playstation’s original. Sure, Breath of the Wild came out a few weeks later and made waves across the globe in the process, leaving Guerrilla Games’ title in the dust.

In 2022, after an entire year of delays and cancellations, Guerrilla Games finally release their long-awaited sequel, Horizon: Forbidden West… just in time to wait for Elden Ring to be released and completely change the face of open-world games.

This time, I’ll attempt not to make a comparison between the two games, since I’ve played about for about 10 hours in Elden Ring before jumping into Forbidden West, however, Forbidden West does have some fundamental issues that are difficult to ignore. But, they’re not the only issue, however, and Forbidden West is absolutely worth the 30-50 hours of gameplay you’ll experience from the sequel.

With fresh moves a larger story and some amazing graphics, It’s an excellent sequel that’s more about finishing off the open-world formula than tearing it to pieces like. Elden Ring. (That’s my last comparison to make, I swear!)

If you’re a bit rusty on the background story that led to this point, there’s an overview at the beginning of the game. We do have a recap of the game here at TheReviewGeek that is available on their website which will explain exactly what’s going on.

The story begins shortly following the events that occurred at the conclusion of Zero Dawn. Styles has obtained Hephaestus to flee West at the same time that the mysterious and mysterious plague starts to spread throughout the country. Returned Aloy is at the forefront of the investigation and soon discovers that she has to go to the Forbidden West to discover the cause of the issue and stop the problem before it becomes too to late.

I won’t reveal too the plot until you’ve reached the halfway point of the story, Forbidden West seems to take a lot of the techniques and concepts that were used in Mass Effect 2, complete with the base of operations and a myriad of quests that you must complete, as well as a diverse group of friends gathered to take on the final battle.

Although there’s a resolution to the storyline, be aware of plenty of sequel bait as well to set the ground for a greater and larger third game that will follow. The entire final battle seems rushed in following events and, without getting into spoilers too much the game has a plot with the new character which doesn’t work and leads to an uninspiring final boss.

The story of the game is decent but when you consider the elaborate design and presentation that go into this game – such as the stunning opening sequence featuring Aloy traveling West the characters seem like archetypal. There are some moments of surprise and two interesting new characters however, the game’s primary villains seem just…bland.

It’s gone is the intense, character-driven adventure of discovery, and then in its wake, it’s a typical “end of the world” scenario. It’s not a problem obviously, but Forbidden West doesn’t quite hit the highs of narrative that the original game had by establishing a strong relationship with Aloy and Rost by putting Aloy’s inner conflict on as the main focus while putting the world and the issues more in the peripheral view.

While the story is excellent, however, the gameplay is likely to take you in one direction or the other. In this regard, Forbidden West has both progressed but is in need of major improvements at the same time.

Combating with machines is thrilling with an array of innovative designs, movements, and AI-related nuances that make every encounter fresh and exciting. This isn’t the case for interactions with human beings. The typical suspects – archers, heavy gunners, and swordsmen of them are here, with only minor improvements to AI.

There’s a hero of sorts, leading small groups of rebels, wearing an energy shield and a few specific moves however that is insufficient to create these encounters feel anything other than an opportunity to break away from fighting machines.

There’s plenty of platforming also, and using your attention (by pressing or pressing R3) will open a variety of handheld areas in yellow that you can explore. This is the norm for these open-world games, but the platforms are awkward slow, awkward and more sluggish than games such as Uncharted and Infamous that came out some time back.

The controls don’t always respond and small movements – like moving backward with a restricted handheld – may cause the camera to move in a wildly sweeping manner or interfere with the action you’re taking. This is before we mention the small delay between platforming and launching which prevents you from leaping across obstacles in a flash.

Additionally, the overall layout of these sections is rather sloppy – which is made worse by a novel rope-casting technique to slam the light blue steel base… that blend in with the greyish-blue rock structures. However, it’s difficult to know exactly which direction to take even with the hand-helds that are bright yellow. This is before we mention Aloy always talking to herself. But we’ll get back to that later .

The world that is open to exploration is absolute, amazing. The diversity of biomes and the degree of detail into the moving around are absolutely stunning. While there are some grumbles about the flying (something that you unlock near the end of the game) Everything here is stunning to behold.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Aloy skimming through snow, exploring the mountains, or the jungles while sunlight filters through the glistening spots of the ground The Forbidden West is a stunning living, breathing space. The world is brimming with things to do as the typical open-world tick-box manner however, the Forbidden West never feels particularly shocking in that regard.

In comparison to Dying Light 2, which copies and pastes the content of its side quests, Forbidden West at least puts in the effort to provide the narrative structure or at least a different level of design to the content you’re creating.

Outposts and rebel camps have strategic aspects to them and the latter is incorporated into a plot that directly impacts the rebel tribes, in an adventure of its own. Outposts have their own leader and the decision to eliminate them or go full-on and slaughter everyone is completely dependent on you.

There are also challenges in the arena that give you decent rewards, as well as a return of the gauntlet runs(mini-races on horses) and salvage contracts (which give you precious parts and good rewards), and the most recent update to the roster – melee pits. The best way to explain this is to compare it to the death-related practices of Mortal Kombat.

You basically enter an arena and must perform a variety of different combinations to please the pit master, and get some reward. This is the most difficult aspect of the online experience and, logically, the most criticized online as well because of the inefficient melee controls.

Yes, melee is uninspiring even despite attempts to combat it with these combinations. It’s a problem, however, when the bow you can do 3 times more damage than your spear, why do you need to get close to attack? This issue is just made worse by some of the creatures that have devastating moves.

They are awe-inspiring creatures, and even the largest Forebears and Thunderjaws can cover the battlefield at a staggering speed. While all that’s nice and good but it feels unjust given that Aloy’s knock-down animation goes for a couple of minutes.

While it’s not too bad, when you’re being surrounded by enemies who are pounding your location with bombs, projectiles, and deadly attacks, those moments can result in some very inexpensive and unjust deaths.

It is almost mandatory in this regard, with XP given for nearly every action you take. The completion of cauldrons (which are re-introduced with new variations and sometimes difficult-to-understand puzzles) as well as clearing out bandit camps or killing machines, all net points contribute to Aloy becoming stronger and more agile on the battlefield.

The game also features a brand new and improved skill tree which is a lot like the one used within Final Fantasy X’s systems. Each field of study is divided into its own grid system and allows you to allocate the points (gained through leveling up or accomplishing tasks) according to your own style of play. If you’re looking to stealth and get through the games, there’s a specific section specifically for this. In the same way, the Warrior skill tree allows for more powerful combat (but not as strong as bows in a way) and Trapper is about laying down bombs and taking advantage of opponents.

In the final game however you’ll be able to accumulate numerous skill points, and you’ll either max them or concentrate on a couple of skill trees. Once you’ve maxed them out, you’ll never return.

While the entire world is stunning, actually moving through this area can be a bit of a mess. The platforming can be plain annoying at times The constant chatter from Aloy about herself could be bordering on psychosis.

In the story of Uncharted, Drake would know when to keep his mouth shut and when to drop an unintentional line or a few lines of banter. In this game, however, Aloy is constantly muttering on. Are you listening to an audio log discovered in an office that was abandoned? She’ll be talking about the recording. Are you trying to solve a problem? Let Aloy solve the problem for you. In the midst of your hiding or exploring without fear, while listening to the stunning soundtrack, she’ll show up to comment on the world around her.

Aloy isn’t quite as shocking a narrator as the one from Biomutant however it’s an impressive second. As with Biomutant, there’s no way to cut down on the amount of time she chats. What you get is what you get this is a bit surprising considering the game’s huge range of accessibility choices. It’s true, Guerrilla Games deserve a big amount of praise for this.

Horizon: Forbidden West is undoubtedly beautiful, and comes with expanded lore as well as a decent story (minus an unsatisfactory sequel-baiting 3rd act.) The gameplay isn’t great but some designs are a bit questionable and the constant chatter of Aloy is borderline dangerous for gamers.

There’s been an abundance of advancement and attention in the creation of fighting machines, that’s still the most popular attraction. There’s nothing like intense fights against the bigger beasts of this world. Forbidden West is not perfect There’s certainly some room for improvement, however, it’s a solid sufficient sequel to one of the best open worlds of recent times.


So empty here ... leave a comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *