Horizon Forbidden West is set to be the next major release for Sony, but there’s still so many questions about the game. While we’ve seen first looks at gameplay and early trailers showing off the title’s stunning, post-apocalyptic world, we still don’t know much about where Aloy’s journey will take her in this long-awaited sequel.
But between its absolutely gorgeous-looking open world and eye-popping ‘next gen’ graphics, there’s plenty of reasons to get excited about the game regardless.
Here’s everything we know about Horizon Forbidden West so far, and when we can expect the game to release.
Horizon Forbidden West: Release Date
While Horizon Forbidden West was initially announced with a late 2021 release date, the game will now launch on February 18, 2022. The revised date was revealed during Gamescom Opening Night Live, with the developers citing the difficulties of development during the coronavirus pandemic.
Horizon Forbidden West isn’t a PS5 exclusive
While talk around the initial reveal indicated Horizon Forbidden West would be an exclusive game for the PlayStation 5, that’s not the case. Instead, the game will release simultaneously on PS4 and PS5.
If you’ve yet to nab a PS5, it’s fantastic news. And even if you do own one, it shouldn’t dampen your enthusiasm.
While the game isn’t exclusive, it’ll likely come with PS5-exclusive features including haptic feedback for the DualSense controller, improved graphics and faster loading times. These benefits have yet to be detailed, but we’ll likely hear more as we get closer to release.
Horizon Forbidden West: Trailer
The first trailer for Horizon Forbidden West launched way back in June 2020, and it’s still a real beauty to behold. While it’s more on the cinematic side and doesn’t show much of actual gameplay, it’s still a gorgeous, world-hopping tour through the wild lands that’ll be shown off in the game.
Here, you can see the Forbidden West‘s new focus on wetlands, beaches and coral forests not seen in the original, which largely featured grassy habitats. You can also spot the snowy mountains and deep, gloomy forests which will round out the game’s more lively, diverse environs.
Between Aloy’s epic narration and those soft, sandy beaches, the first trailer for the game makes a whopping good impression.
Horizon Forbidden West’s story is a direct sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn
Horizon Forbidden West will continue the story established in Zero Dawn and follow Aloy as she works to stave off the extinction of her world following the rise of the machines. New environmental disasters and beasts will block her way as she attempts to unite the disparate corners of her world to (once again) save the day almost single-handedly.
Here’s the game’s official description from PlayStation:
“Explore distant lands, fight bigger and more awe-inspiring machines, and encounter astonishing new tribes as you return to the far-future, post-apocalyptic world of Horizon.
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. Along the way, she must reunite with old friends, forge alliances with warring new factions and unravel the legacy of the ancient past – all the while trying to stay one step ahead of a seemingly undefeatable new enemy.”
In a blog post, Guerilla’s Ben McCaw confirmed Forbidden West was set six months after Zero Dawn‘s story. Most of the game will take place in the Forbidden West, although there’s a possibility that the game might actually start in the post-apocalyptic land of Colorado — where Zero Dawn is set — before Aloy travels west.
Horizon Forbidden West: Latest gameplay
If you’ve played Horizon Zero Dawn, the action of this game will be familiar. But like any good sequel, Forbidden West will also expand on the original game’s formula with new tricks and tools.
Most of the original’s weapons and accessories are returning here (including Aloy’s AR earpiece) but the first gameplay trailer also showed off a bunch of new additions to combat including longer attack combos and the ability to reuse enemy weapons.
You’ll face off against new and returning monsters
In Horizon Forbidden West you’ll encounter a number of beasts in the wild, including frightening newcomers like the Clawstriders (pictured above). These creatures strongly resemble velociraptors, and look set to be a massive challenge for Aloy in her quest to save her world. But they’re not the only scary monsters waiting in the woods.
Aloy is also set to go head-to-head with turtle-like creatures called Shellsnappers, mammoth Tremortusks, warthog Bristlebacks and the flying, pterodactyl-like Sunwings in Forbidden West. And she’ll also have to contest with returning terrors like the Snapmaws and bull Chargers.
Horizon Forbidden West’s weapons
While most of Aloy’s usual tricks will return from Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West will come with a new set of toys for dealing with the machines and the Tenakth tribe.
The first is the Shieldwing, which basically lets Aloy safely glide from distances above. There’s a Diving Mask that allows underwater exploration, while the Pullcaster is the equivalent of a grappling hook, letting Aloy quickly scale heights or evade charging beasts.
“If there are no handholds [in a mountain], you can just go over it in a straight line, which is great,” Guerilla’s McCaw said in an interview. “And then combining that of course with the glider that you can glide back down.”
Aloy’s Focus has been upgraded as well, letting her take control of a great amount of machines than in the first game. It’ll also reveal areas for free-climbing according to the PlayStation Blog.
There’s plenty more to come…
Outside of those two initial trailers, we haven’t seen much of Horizon Forbidden West so far. As one of PlayStation’s most hyped up games, we’re likely to hear more about it in the coming months.
Horizon Forbidden West does not currently have a confirmed release date, but you can stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for more on the game and future PlayStation releases.