If you want to make a sequel bigger and better, Horizon Forbidden West is exactly how to do it. The follow-up to Horizon Zero Dawn (2017) introduces a new map, more machine monsters, a huge skill tree, and new movement tricks. Best of all, it addresses issues with the original game, and makes exploring a lot more fun. After all, if you have to save the future world again, you'll want it to be spectacular.
- Great voice acting
- PS5 DualSense controller makes it incredibly immersive
- No instant load compared to Ghost of Tsushima
- Fighting huge machines for parts is super fun
I'll be honest, I didn't quite like Horizon Zero Dawn, but the story was great. The field of view was just too narrow in cities, and made me nauseous. I hated melee combat, too. That's not the case in Forbidden West, as towns now aren't cramped and locked away through a narrow gate. The game also introduces underwater exploration, and you can now glide through the air like in Breath of the Wild, too. The game looks incredible — the sunken cities, deserts, mountains and jungles will amaze you with their details. Photo-mode lovers will enjoy just how beautiful Forbidden West is.
Gameplay-wise, it's pretty similar to the original. You hunt machine herds with a bow and arrow, or melee them. There are also new trick arrows and new weapons. I didn't quite find the weapons that good apart from one, but maybe I need more practice. Now, I still hate melee combat, which feels disjointed even with tweaks. Shooting at stuff with a bow is still my preference. The new tools add another dimension for exploring, and introduce new puzzles for you to solve while exploring. The sequel features new skill trees with tons of choices, as well as new ultimate skills called Valor Surges. They really change up the combat and make you feel powerful.
I've had the game for nearly two weeks, and I'm not even close to finishing the main quest of saving the world. That's because there are really a lot of things to do, and they don't feel pointless. The side stories make the world feel alive, and the rewards, matter. Because there's a huge skill tree now, you need a ton of skill points, and levelling up (max 50) doesn't give you enough. Clearing these side stories will. And because they don't feel like a grind, I've actually just been spending time exploring this vast new world. You'll meet new and old friends along the way, too.
That does mean I haven't made much progress with the main quest, but I'm far enough ahead to know the set up will be amazing. However, there's just that lack of urgency to save the world despite how dire things are supposed to be, which is really the only criticism I have of the game. At S$98 for the PS5, Horizon Forbidden West is an epic sequel with just so much to offer, and you shouldn't skip this when it launches on Feb 18. Get it from the PlayStation online store, or order it from Shopee and Lazada. You can also get the PS4 version at $80.
Note: Review copy provided by Sony PlayStation.
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