Horizon Zero Dawn introduced players to a new, wholly original science fiction title set 1,000 years in the Earth’s future after a global catastrophe decimated life as we know it. Humanity has rebuilt since then, forming tribes and pockets of civilization amidst a world full of robotic lifeforms that rose to prominence in the wake of mankind’s fall. The original was praised for its storytelling, creative combat, and stunning world.
Today, Guerilla Games took players in for a new State of Play reveal for the sequel: Horizon Forbidden West, featuring 40 minutes of gameplay on Playstation 5. Check out the video below if you missed it, or read on for our summary of the event.
The land is dying. Vicious storms and an unstoppable blight ravage the scattered remnants of humanity, while fearsome new machines prowl their borders. Life on Earth is hurtling towards another extinction, and no one knows why. It’s up to Aloy to uncover the secrets behind these threats and restore order and balance to the world.
– Official Playstation game overview
The State of Play gameplay footage revolves around a quest in which Aloy sets out to save Erend – one of her companions from the first game – who was seeking lost technology in the ruins of San Francisco. Captured by a group of rebels from the Tenakth Tribe, Aloy must find where he’s been taken and confront their foes. Thankfully, our protagonist has been empowered with additional tools and weapons to help her navigate the dangerous lands of the Forbidden West.
Aloy’s Focus Scanner will now highlight spots that allow freeclimbing anywhere in the open world to better help her scale dazzling vistas and make daring escapes. Her Pullcaster speeds up climbing and can get her out of trouble, much like a high dexterity grappling hook. The Shieldwing is able to pop into an electrical parachute and glide down from great heights or to surprise enemies from above. Of particular note is the addition of the Diving Mask, which enables Aloy to remain indefinitely underwater, avoid amphibian machines, and travel through underwater currents that would otherwise sweep her away.
Thanks to these tools, Aloy is now able to explore the vibrant world around her with more freedom than ever, but amidst unfamiliar lands, conflict will inevitably brew with rebels and wild creatures. Though the threats she faces may be greater than any before, Aloy’s new weapons and capabilities will aid her when she has no choice but to fight.
The familiar Spear has new features coming in Horizon Forbidden West. Excelling at close range combat, the Spear has a range of combos and can now be enhanced using Valor Surges. Shown as a cartridge Aloy loaded into her weapon prior to using, these enhancements will allow you to use special abilities like the aoe knockback showcased in the footage and can also be charged to take down stronger enemies.
In addition, Aloy’s new slingshot can toss adhesive grenades to slow machines, while her bow and arrows work to strip armor and expose weakspots. Her Launcher fires spikes that explode on impact, and smoke bombs enable her to flee the field or strike unknowing foes. As with the previous game, weapons can also be dislodged from enemies and picked up to turn against them. These weapons were confirmed to be upgradable on workbenches, but further details will be revealed at a later date in regards to what those upgrades may have in store.
Additional enemy and robot types are also on the way. The enormous elephantine robot pictured earlier is known as a Tremortusk and sports cannons, lasers, and a turret full of enemies mounted on its back. Pterosaur inspired Sunwings wheel overhead and dive through the skies. Clawstriders are shown as mounts both for Aloy’s enemies and for herself, and appear to be raptor-like creatures sporting metal feathers. Snapmaws and Burrowers will join the aquatic lineup of past creatures and pose a unique challenge in navigating underwater environments.
With the new features, landscapes, and mechanics, the game is looking to be even more polished and dynamic than the original. Prior to the beginning of the broadcast, various environments were shown and included beautiful oceanic coasts, mountains, desertous expanses, forests, and jungles. The musical score intermingled the unique blend of technology and nature Horizon is known for and perfectly punctuated the game’s action.
There’s no release date as of yet, but Horizon Forbidden West will be available exclusively on Playstation 4 and 5 at launch. After the unforgettable experience I had with the first, I’ll be looking forward to exploring what Aloy’s journey has in store, and I hope this new gameplay from the sequel has others just as excited.
Images via PlayStation Blog