One of the biggest games revealed at the June 2020 PS5 showcase was Horizon Forbidden West. Developed by Guerrilla Games, this PlayStation title is bringing the custom Decima engine and everything it's capable of to next-generation hardware.
Aloy returns as a protagonist, heading into the former western U.S. There are new threats, new machines, and new lush lands to explore. It's currently set to release at some point in 2021. Here's everything we know about Horizon Forbidden West on PS5 so far.
What is Horizon Forbidden West?
Horizon Forbidden West is a sequel to Guerrilla Games' Horizon Zero Dawn, released in 2017. It's an action role-playing game that takes place in the 31st century, in a world where humanity now exists in tribes and gigantic mechanical lifeforms roam the earth. Players play as Aloy, a young woman cast out of the Nora tribe who works to uncover the mysteries of the machines, what happened to the previous humans, and the current threat set to destroy the world.
Horizon Forbidden West follows the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, as Aloy travels west and seeks to discover who sent a signal that activated HADES, an AI attempting to destroy all life. Given how the first game was a major critical and commercial success, it's very possible that Horizon Forbidden West will end up being one of the best PS5 games.
Can I check out some Horizon Forbidden West trailers?
You can see the Horizon Forbidden West reveal trailer from The Future of Gaming PS5 event below:
Horizon Forbidden West Story, gameplay and features
Horizon Zero Dawn was an action-RPG and Horizon Forbidden West will be as well. The story appears to be taking place in what was formerly the Western U.S., with the ruins of the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco clearly visible in the trailer. Aloy is seeking to understand a mysterious corruption damaging the environment. At the same time, Sylens is in possession of HADES, seeking to understand the signal that first reactivated the AI. Aloy is again being performed by Ashly Burch, just like in Horizon Zero Dawn.
While gameplay in this sequel will likely be similar to its predecessor, the scope of the game is almost certainly larger. We also see Aloy traveling along a beach and diving underwater with a breathing apparatus, suggesting underwater exploration will be a large focus in-game. The soundtrack is being done at least partially by Joris de Man, with Julie Elven providing vocals. The song from the reveal trailer, Promise of the West, has been released on digital storefronts.
We've also seen some new machines:
- Shellsnappers, a turtle-like creature resting in a swamp.
- Tremortusks, mammoth-esque machines being used as beasts of war by an unknown tribe.
- Sunwings, pterosaurs-styled machines searching the skies.
- Clawstriders, a machine seen in the artwork that looks like a velociraptor.
We're keeping track of every machine in the game in an ever-updated bestiary, keeping track of the list of all machines, both new and returning in Horizon Forbidden West.
Horizon Forbidden West will take advantage of the new PS5 DualSense controller, using haptic feedback and adaptive triggers to enhance how different weapons feel. Guerrilla Games director Mathijs de Jonge has shared more information on the game in a video you can watch below.
Guerrilla Games, the development studio working on the game, are a part of Sony Worldwide Studios and the creators of the in-house Decima engine.
Will Horizon Forbidden West have multiplayer ?
According to a rumor from VGC, Horizon Zero Dawn was the start of a trilogy. VGC also claims that the second title (now revealed to be Horizon Forbidden West) would have co-op of some kind. Nothing has been officially confirmed as of yet though.
Is Horizon Forbidden West coming to PS4?
Despite previously saying that Horizon Forbidden West would not be available on PS4, Sony confirmed after a September 2020 PS5 games showcase that it will in fact come to PS4 as well as PS5.
Is Horizon Forbidden West coming to PC?
As of right now, Horizon Forbidden West has only been announced for PS5. With that said, the complete edition of the first game, Horizon Zero Dawn, came to PC in August 2020. Other PS4 games are also being ported to PC, including Days Gone later in Spring 2021. As such, we wouldn't rule out the possibility that Horizon Forbidden West arrives on PC sometime after its release on PS4 and PS5.
What's the release date?
Like most PS5 games at The Future of Gaming showcase, Horizon Forbidden West was not announced with a release date or even a release window. Fortunately, Guerrilla provided a dedicated update, confirming that the team is aiming to release Horizon Forbidden West in 2021.
Both the original Horizon Zero Dawn and its expansion The Frozen Wilds were released in 2017, so Guerrilla has had over three years of development time. As such, despite many games being delayed due to the worldwide pandemic, there's no reason to believe the team at Guerrilla can't make the targeted release date of sometime in 2021. Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan reiterated in Feb. 2021 that Horizon Forbidden West was slated to release later in 2021.
With Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart releasing on June 11, Horizon Forbidden West is almost certainly further out as a Q3 or Q4 release. We'll be sure to update you when we learn more information.
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