Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

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Let’s travel again with Aloy thanks to Horizon Forbidden West, the new title created by Guerrilla Games for PS4 and PS5 that we tell you in our review

Going from the development of linear FPS to a truly massive open world action was certainly not an easy challenge for the guys at Guerrilla Games. Given, however, that today we are talking to you about Horizon Forbidden Westafter a Zero Dawn and a DLC, to which an episode for PSVR2 will be added, we can say that the result has been largely brought home.

Long awaited, after a sumptuous reveal, the new adventure of Aloy managed to keep us busy for a substantial number of hours, thanks to a world building as fascinating and successful as the first time, which is accompanied by a gameplay that, if still not completely oiled properly, managed to smooth out many of the edges that emerged in 2017. But no more chatter, and for the complete analysis let’s dive right into the our review di Horizon Forbidden West.

Salvific West

It’s been 6 months since battle of Meridianaa clash that led to the defeat of the crazed AI ADE from Aloy and his companions. The mysterious red plague that appeared in the world, however, still continues to scourge the Earth of the future sketched by the Dutch team, therefore our heroine will embark on the search for a copy of GAIA, the program charged with the survival of mankind. A short summary video will be enough, useful to refresh the memory of the veterans, and to easily introduce the neophytes, and we will find ourselves exploring ancient ruins under the command of Aloy, to find a backup of the program.

Returned empty-handed a Meridiana, will end up making a terrible discovery: ADE it has not definitively disappearedbut by means of a mysterious signallaunched by the capital Carjawas carried by Sylens (an enigmatic figure with undefined purposes) inLost West. With the ancient threat still lurking, and one GAIA to be recovered and put back together, Aloy will set out to discover this wild land, inhabited by tribes in the throes of a civil war, and where new and deadly machines corrupted by EFESTO, one of the primary functions of GAIA.

Certainly a bit slow to get going, especially for those who have not experienced the glories of Zero Dawnthe plot of Horizon Forbidden West it seems to want to leave with the handbrake on, and then open immediately once you have landed in that Forbidden West mentioned in the title. A compelling narrativecertainly more choral than in the past, characterized by well-written and outlined characters, who move within one of the most beautiful and fascinating dystopian futures ever seen in a video game, in which no detail seems to be left to chance: every glimpse, culture, car or rest, tells its own and very personal story, extremely credible once it is placed within the general context.

Guerrilla expands and improves the good that was glimpsed in the progenitor of the franchise, giving life to a container that, for once, is not a mere frame for the playful pace, but becomes an active part of the player’s 360 ° involvement.

Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

Living World – Horizon Forbidden West Review

This is also possible at the improved general direction that, if in Zero Dawn it had attracted well-deserved criticism in terms of digital acting (especially as regards the dialogues), now it has ended up presenting more credible and complex scenes. Movements and animations, even those of the more marginal secondary characters, have ceased to be mere puppets, but they appropriately appropriate the screen, nullifying the gap between action and fruition.

In addition to the actors, even the scenography itself was subject to a full-bodied (albeit subtle) restyling, which was able to give us back a world that, despite being boundless, manages to be filled with activity, without ever appearing overwhelming. Although question marks appear at a rapid pace on the game map, the way in which the various activities intertwine with each other within the general fabric of the lore fits perfectly.

This desire to refine similar aspects can be seen in the various side questsalmost never ends in themselves, but useful, as well as for the growth of Aloy, to let us take an ever deeper look at this futuristic Earth. And among cauldrons, racing aboard cars, fighting arenas, hunting grounds and much more, touching the hundred hours to reach the coveted 100% completion will not be that difficult. However, all this is never a simple expedient useful for lengthening the broth.

Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

Absolute Verticality – Horizon Forbidden West Review

As stated several times above, the world of Horizon Forbidden West it is not a simple aesthetic tinsel, useful only to make us squeeze the photo mode to the bone, but it also plays an active role in terms of gameplay. What emerges massively is the verticality of level design which, while re-proposing heights and structures to climb, by means of an even more fluid and refined climbing system than in the past, also by means of a grappling hookhas chosen to go even below the earth’s surface.

During the State of Play where the game was first shown, it was impossible not to notice how Aloy could dive and move in the aquatic depths. A feature that, while not offering us complex digressions, manages to partially modify the player’s perspective, throwing him alternative paths and exploitable possibilities even during fights: hiding under the surface of the water to escape threats, in fact, it could often prove to be an opportunity not to be underestimated.

This addition, however, did not take the breath away from the exploration of heights: accomplice a kind of glider and the possibility of riding, from a certain point on, flying creatures, plowing the heights takes on a new dimension, capable of making us appreciate even more the breathtaking beauty ofWest Forbidden.

Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

Lethal Dance – Horizon Forbidden West Review

The improvement process described above, as expected, also impacted on action component of Horizon Forbidden Westand especially as regards the fighting ability of Aloy. While not having been upset, the combat system is now more fluid and responsivealso thanks to the possibility of giving life to melee combos, which can be alternated at any time and situation with ranged attacks, making the clashes even more spectacular and tactical.

This combination gives life to deadly dances that are always fascinating and fun, whether we are talking about the excellent boss fights, or the most elementary threats. The machine AI review, now even more lethal and unpredictable than in the past, capable of changing their moveset in a sudden and unpredictable way. Just as the human opponents were more difficult who, although not able to compete with their mechanical counterparts, are now more reactive than the puppets faced in Zero Dawneven if the steps to be taken in this direction are still many.

Obviously, a rewrite of the Aloy’s skill treenow divided into 6 distinct categories, each characterized by peculiar perks (as we have illustrated in our guide). This will allow us to develop the attitudes more inclined to our way of playing, and although not going to touch the depth of a pure role-playing experience, it has given life to a deeper and more versatile mechanism than in the past. Furthermore, each specialization will allow you to unlock unique skills (Valiant offices), which we can activate via the weapon wheel once the indicator is loaded. There is also no shortage new weapons and elemental alterationscapable of greatly expanding the offensive capacity of ours Aloy.

Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

Futuristic Crunches – Horizon Forbidden West Review

In short, everything seems to be bigger and better than the brand’s debut, but is all that glitters really gold? After spending a substantial number of hours together with the title Guerrilla, we can say, albeit reluctantly, no. If it is true that progress is undeniable in every direction, it is also true that the amount of innovations introduced has not been accompanied by a perfect general amalgamation. There more evident distortion is linked to the way in which the elementary alterations: we will no longer have ammunition common to each weapon, but each device in the game will allow you to fire a certain type of projectile.

This will force us, depending on the enemy’s weaknesses, to bring duplicates of the same object with us, to be changed on the fly as needed. A choice that, in case of different threats, will lead us to break the flow to adapt our equipment to the target from time to time. The management mechanism of the assigned skills is also far-fetched and the creation and choice of objects and traps, which, given the frenzy of the clashes, would have needed a decisive revision.

And strangely, given that we are talking about a team that has always made technical expertise its strong point, even the aesthetic sector of Horizon Forbidden West lends its side to some criticism. To catch the eye is first and foremost a pop up of textures and elements which, although sporadic, is strange to see (especially on PS5, where we carried out the test). To this are added unpleasant interpenetrations, various glitches both audio and video, as well as animations which, although excellent, in some situations are slightly disconnected from each other. The picture that emerges is that of a title that is not perfectly optimized, which we hope will be able to undergo a fair revision through some patch.

Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

Straddling Two Worlds – Horizon Forbidden West Review

Once these critical issues have been overlooked, however, it is undeniable like the general glance is of the highest levelwith a splendid graphic detail, even if not as impressive as it was for Zero Dawn. To make the big voice, however, is the general artistic direction, simply surprising, with the machines, both old and new, that stand out for their care. And as with Forza Horizon 5, we can’t help but wonder what the game might have been if it didn’t have to come to terms with a cross-gen accomplishment.

Impeccable dubbing in Italian, even if some audio imbalances are recorded on certain occasions, just as the soundtrack turned out to be excellent, capable of alternating tribal rhythms with futuristic or relaxed sounds at the right moment. On PS5 it also records a discreet use of DualSensewith adaptive triggers that give us back the tension of the bowstring or the actions of forcing doors and the like. However, the haptic feedback stands outcapable of making us effectively perceive the various tactile sensations of terrains and objects.

Horizon Forbidden West review: the salvation of the world passes from the west

The long journey towards hope

We promised to be as concise as possible in examining Horizon Forbidden West in this review,…