In 2017, Guerrilla Games surprised the world by veering out of their comfort zone and releasing a third-person open world game. That game was Horizon Zero Dawn and, since its release, it has become one of the best-selling PS4 exclusives (and has earned a special place in my heart). Its success has led to a PC port of the game, which is due to be released in 2020. Thankfully, Horizon Zero Dawn is not the end of the franchise and all evidence points to the fact that a sequel is on the horizon (pun intended). Here is what we know so far about Horizon Forbidden West, the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn.
1. The Game Is Called Horizon Forbidden West
On the 11th of June 2020, Sony graced the world with a live-stream, which promised to divulge more information about the upcoming PlayStation 5. In addition to revealing the console, several PS5 games were also showcased. Standout titles that made an appearance include Spider-Man: Miles Morales and a new entry in the Resident Evil series, which will see the continuation of Resident Evil 7’s story. The event ended with the reveal of the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel.
The sequel is titled Horizon Forbidden West. While it does not make me giggle as much as fan-made titles as ‘Horizon Zero Dusk’ and ‘Horizon One Dawn’, it is still an exciting title as it suggests that the game will feature all new environments to explore. One of the strongest aspects of Horizon Zero Dawn was the open world environments that were as immersive as they were beautiful. It will be thrilling to see what new landscapes Guerrilla Games creates. Best of all, they will all look even better thanks to the next-gen technology of the PS5.
What machines dwell in the Forbidden West? Why is it forbidden? For the answers to these questions, we will have to wait until the game releases.
2. It Will Feature Industry-Benchmark Graphics
Horizon Zero Dawn had some of the best visuals the PS4 has to offer. Each segment of the map had its own personality and every aspect of the world was incredibly detailed. The foliage-filled jungle portion of Horizon Zero Dawn’s map, for instance, had thick vegetation and realistic beams of sunlight that poured through leaves while the frosty regions were white with twinkling snow. The settlements inhabited by the different tribes also demonstrated intricate and unique architecture.
There is reason to believe that Guerrilla Games intends to outdo themselves for Horizon Zero Dawn’s sequel. Evidence for this comes in the form of a job listing calling for technical vegetation artists to apply. According to the advert, Guerrilla Games are looking for talented individuals to help them to produce “industry-benchmark graphics”. The fact that Horizon: Zero Dawn is mentioned in the advert suggests that this position might be for the upcoming sequel.
From the little shown of the game in the trailer, it is clear that Horizon Forbidden West will be a visual treat. Have you ever seen crabs so beautifully rendered?
3. Horizon Forbidden West Will Continue Aloy’s Story
Aloy is the protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn. She is cast out of her tribe, the Nora, and is raised by a man named Rost, who is also an outcast. Aloy wishes to become a member of the Nora tribe and undergoes an initiation ritual known as the Proving. However, the event is cut short when cultists attack and kill many of the Nora. Aloy learns that the cultists have gained control of corrupted machines, and this sends her on a quest to discover her origins and learn about what happened to the human civilizations that once stood triumphantly.
Aloy is a very confident and capable woman who helps everybody she comes across, and runs into every battle bravely. She demonstrates the power of determination, and deserves to stand tall among other iconic PlayStation protagonists such as Nathan Drake and Kratos.
Fortunately, she will be making a return in Horizon Forbidden West. One of the most exciting parts of the Horizon Forbidden West reveal was the appearance of Aloy. Her adventures in the sequel will see her exploring Western America, where she will face fierce storms and new machines.
As a fan of Horizon Zero Dawn, one of the most captivating aspects of the game was the way it was able to present a post-apocalyptic world that had a tragic beauty to it, thanks to its bright colors and its depiction of nature’s victory over the urban sprawls where humans once lived. It merged primitive themes with science fiction dinosaur robots that offered engaging battles. The product was a game that felt as awe-inspiring as a national geographic nature documentary while still offering a sobering cautionary tale of how the tools we rely on can quickly become our enemies if misused.
If Horizon Forbidden West can recapture the lightning in a bottle of Horizon Zero Dawn, it is sure to be a masterpiece of a sequel.