Game Reveiw: Horizon: Forbidden West

Title: Horizon: Forbidden West
Developer/Publisher: Guerrilla Games; Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date: February 18 2022
Platform: PS4 / PS5
Source/ format: Purchased, Disc
Other: Played on PS4

What I Thought:
I tried my best to keep this review vague, but there may be minor spoilers since I talk about specific parts of gameplay. 

I played Horizon: Forbidden West. Some of  what I said and felt in my review for Zero Dawn applies here, but it's done even better. All of this culminated to an enjoyable and dynamic playing experience.

The main plot was a wild ride with many expected and some unexpected twists. Needless to say, I’m glad that it didn’t hesitate to go in a more fantastical direction. Plot aside, like Zero Dawn, the side missions colored and expanded on the world, environments, and the plethora of characters both new and old. Each character felt super individualistic in their personality and in the way they spoke, moved, etc. Besides Aloy's interactions with different characters, it was nice being able to hear more of her personal feelings via periodically examining objects. Also nice was seeing more self realization developments for Aloy, especially by the end. The environments were straight up gorgeous, colorful, and felt broader. Finally, I have to mention Cauldrons. I enjoyed playing through them since, in a way, they seemed darker and more menacing. It's the same ambience I loved from the Frozen Wilds DLC.

To list my favorite new additions: the weapons (especially Spike Throwers),  different ways to get collectables, the ability to climb in countless areas, face paints, and armor dyes. Then there were others like a board game (Strike), racing, Melee Pits, additional mounts, and swimming. Swimming, sadly, ended up being frustrating during one of my favorite main missions. It felt a little awkward at times, even later when it was a lot easier. I enjoyed the added complexity to some of the puzzles like the Relic Ruins that used multiple Datapoints. Or how Tallnecks take additional and varied steps before being able to override them. The custom difficulty –where players can adjust a handful of options like the damage Aloy deals to or is dealt to for a truly customized experience. Last but not least, my absolute favorite and most important on my list –that I didn’t know I wanted –is none other than the Infinite Stash! With the Workbench based crafting system, it worked out great. Though, I definitely had to get in the habit of stopping by a bench to find out what was required for said upgrades.

My less enjoyed parts were mainly the later Melee Pits and combo chaining. The earlier ones, as well as the Pit Master and Enduring, were fine. But the instructions for the advanced combos weren’t as clear. After figuring those out, I then had to face the timing.  With that being said, I appreciated the combos in that they added more variety rather than a plain heavy or light attack.

Well, I loved how vibrant it got at times. And something I forgot to mention was, after going back to Zero Dawn, the controls felt smoother. Honestly, I want to see more. Overall, I had a swell time playing.

Thanks for reading.
*I originally published this on Our Thoughts Precisely under I Played Horizon: Forbidden West