Horizon Forbidden West – Review
Follow Genre: ARPG
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Platform: PS4, PS5
Tested on: PS5

Horizon Forbidden West – Review

Site Score
Good: Fun world to explore, Still solid gameplay
Bad: Somewhat lazy introduction, Many bugs, Wonky controls
User Score
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)

It took a moment to sink in that Horizon Zero Dawn is already five years old. This great open-world action RPG won us over years ago, and we revisited the original game many times during those five years. When the sequel was finally announced, we were absolutely stoked to take Aloy on new adventures. Now, the second title in the franchise, Horizon Forbidden West has finally been released, and before our eyes, a massive world opened up. We were quite impressed with the overall package, but all in all, it was more of the same and the game does still have quite a few kinks to iron out. That being said, we had a blast with this one.


Even though Aloy was able to defeat HADES, she sadly had no time to celebrate saving Meridian. The biosphere has started to deteriorate and the only thing that might be able to save the world is the backup of GAIA, which would allow the world the heal. Sadly, her first lead dries up when she learns that the so-called backup of GAIA was only a decoy. She soon uncovers she has to travel to the so-called Forbidden West, where she will hopefully find a way to save the world; once again.

The story is mainly presented via dialogues, and we quite enjoyed this way of delivering the narrative. That being said, for an epic tale such as this, we would have loved to see some more impressive cinematics thrown in the mix as well. We sometimes miss the days when developers would go all out in the cinematics department for key story scenes.


It’s clear that Horizon Forbidden West is a game that was designed for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The game looks absolutely great, but it never reaches that true next-gen level, like games such as the newest Ratchet & Clank. We very much enjoyed exploring the game’s world, but we did see a lot of reused assets, as well as many clipping issues. Other than that, the character models left us with mixed feelings. Some key characters looked extremely detailed, while others didn’t evolve further than a base model with a face slapped on the head. Nonetheless, as a whole, this is a beautiful game that could easily be dubbed a late PS4 title, with the benefit of running extremely smooth on a PS5 console.


The sound design of the game is superbly handled. We loved the cinematic backdrop for nearly every event in the game. Horizon Forbidden West also has a lot of spoken dialogues, which are voiced by a very experienced cast. This alone motivated us to pick the optional conversation options to simply immerse ourselves in the story. The sound department is probably the most polished part of the game, and we can only commend the team on producing such a high-quality soundscape.


Horizon Forbidden West follows the typical Action RPG formula of its predecessor to the letter. We once again get to explore a big open world with Aloy, and her arsenal of weapons. The overall offset is simple, as the game pretty much consists of climbing big structures or cliffs, collecting items, battling mechanic beasts, and solving some minor puzzles. As a whole, the gameplay still holds up quite nicely, but we did feel a bit weak when fighting the same monsters as we did in the original game, especially considering Aloy should have plenty of experience disposing of most of the mechanical monsters by now. The game starts with a clean slate, and you’ll start from level 1 again, and you’ll also have to make do with solely your trusty bow and arrow at the beginning of the game. Luckily new weapons are unlocked at a fairly rapid pace.

As a whole, things are quite clear, and you have the option to play with visual aids or to have a minimum of information on your screen at all times. You can opt to kills enemies in a stealthy fashion, or you can go all out and blow some of your mechanic foes to smithereens. We did very much enjoy the swappable gear, as this allows the player to cater their setup to their own playing style. Sometimes the differences between different items are so little it becomes quite hard to ‘guess’ which item would be best to use. Outside of the main content, there are a lot of side quests you can undertake, and these often end up being quite rewarding.

Sadly, the game suffers from a few issues that detract from the overall fun. We found the controls to be a bit wonky in this newest installment of the series, especially during climbing segments in smaller spaces, where not only the climbing mechanics sometimes felt awkward, but also the camera kept interfering with our experience. Add the fact that the game has a lot of minor bugs, and you might find yourself annoyed from time to time. We experienced monsters knocking us back, even though their attacks did not connect with Aloy. Other than that, we have seen lootable items spawn in walls or rough terrain, making it impossible to collect them. Sadly, we sometimes also got stuck in fallen trees or other random clutter, which might get tedious for players who like to explore every nook and cranny.


Horizon Forbidden West is a great continuation of the series. We enjoyed the overall story, we did have a lot of fun exploring the new world, and we loved the many monsters we had to overcome. That being said, the game felt a bit lazy at the beginning in terms of Aloy’s ‘lost gear’, and the current build still has many (minor) bugs that detract from an otherwise outstanding experience. Fans of the first game will easily enjoy this second part of the series, but we do hope the game will receive a few updates and patches during the coming months. That being said, with a lot of side content still unexplored by us, we will certainly be picking up this title in the near future again.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Horizon Forbidden West - Review, 7.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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