I came late to the next-gen wave of video games. The last console I owned was a Playstation 2 and it wasn’t until late last year that a buddy of mine lent his Playstation 4 to me. The first game I played right out of the gate was Final Fantasy 15. As a lifelong Final Fantasy fan, the game was mostly ok for me. Didn’t really hit the right spots for me unlike some of its superior predecessors like Final Fantasy 9. I thought to myself if this was next-gen gaming, I guess I’m not missing out that much.
That was until I played Horizon Zero Dawn. Boy, what an experience. Never has a video game mesmerized me since maybe, Chrono Cross on the PS1. From start to finish, I was immersed in this intriguing and beautiful world inhabited by cults, tribes, and cybernetic beasts. The lengths one would go through to single-handedly take down a Behemoth or a Frostclaw was nothing short of breathtaking. The story, for all its sci-fi clunkiness, manages to find its heart with Aloy, an outcast warrior seeking a place to belong to and her quest to find the answers behind this crazy post-apocalyptic, primitive, hi-tech world she lives in.
DLC included, I clocked in about 90+ hours by the time I finished the game and I’m ready to clock in more than that seeing this brand new reveal for the game’s sequel, HORIZON: FORBIDDEN WEST.
Good Lord does this look fantastic. As if the first game wasn’t mesmerizing enough to look at, they went ahead ad made it look crazier. There’s so much to pick up here as a fan. The swimming mechanic which I thought was oddly missing from the first game is finally being introduced here. The cyborg crocs or Snapmaw’s as they call them in the game, are back. Lance Reddick as the mysterious Sylens is back and he’s leading a tribe seemingly hellbent on overriding these beasts with some unseen tech.
But by far the biggest talking points here are the new creatures. The giant-ass tortoise, the pterodactlys, and those fucking mammoths at the very end. I’ve always imagined Aloy as Legolas every time I tried taking down a Thunderjaw in the first game and it looks like this sequel will finally make that fantasy come true as you take down these monstrosities.
The idea of venturing further out into this world is super exciting. One of my favorite aspects of the first game was figuring out just where exactly this whole story was set. I was more than surprised to find out via an in-game collectible that the story takes place around Colorado. So to move further west means to head to California, which I’m sure will be very interesting. Some people have figured out that the Chinese references are in San Francisco’s Chinatown and that the sand dunes are what remains of Nevada.
I never buy any product at launch but man is this game tempting me to get a PS5 as soon as it’s out.