Have you ever dreamed of being surrounded by enemies - monsters and humans alike? As you prepare for combat you assess the landscape, check to see where important resources are, double check you have enough ammo, etc. You then assess your enemy movements and as they are about to pounce your arrow is ready to go. Suddenly you are attacked, you dodge-roll out the way, just as a massive dinosaur-like machine jumps towards you. You slide out of the way and take aim, time slows down, you focus just that little bit more and you identify the weak spot. If you can just make this shot, you will be in the clear.
You fire off, the enemy catches fire and runs the opposite direction, you take a few moments to assess where the rest are, you fire a number of arrows into the air just before moving off to the side to attack the next oncomers. The arrows land and hit, they are acid tipped and it burns the human attackers. Two more are running at you. You take out your trusty (powered up) javelin spear and launch it at them, it hits both at the same time. Bullseye. The enemies are thinning out now, you set some explosive traps, and lead them straight into it before turning on a sixpence and throwing a slicing disc at the remaining beasts. All around you are mangled bodies of your enemies. It’s time to restock.
The above doesn’t quite do it justice, but it’s a glimpse of what Horizon Forbidden West’s combat feels like. Similar to Horizon Zero Dawn, the combat is a definite selling point for the game, with so many techniques and options that you can’t help but smile through every combat encounter. With a number of new weapons and improvement to the UI and flow of the combat, Forbidden West definitely surpasses the original in this regard. Throw in the DualSense’s haptic feedback ability and you will find yourself feeling more immersed than ever before. There really is something special about the combination of the DualSense and shooting a bow and arrow - more so than anything else I have experienced with the PS5 controller.
The story in Forbidden West is far more streamlined too. (SPOILERS for the first game ahead) The events take place just a short while after the completion of Zero Dawn, where Aloy, equipped with knowledge of how she came into being and what needs to be done to prevent another world destruction, travels to the Forbidden West in search of her enemies and more information on Gaia. Having defeated Helis in the previous game, Aloy is now revered across the world as being the “Savior” - a title she is not overly comfortable with.
Similar to Horizon Zero Dawn, the combat is a definite selling point for the game.
The expanded world and requirements of Aloy truly add a lot of value and playability to the game, and do not feel as lazy as in Zero Dawn.
There’s an odd disconnect when moving through certain terrains where it feels a bit glitchy and the movement feels a bit rigid.
Sarcasm and irony are his greatest tools, sport, adventure and shooting all the fools. Platformers =admiration, horror games = contempt, plans to live forever or die in the attempt.
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Sony Interactive Entertainment
PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5
18 February 2022
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