The highlight of the State of PlayStation a few years ago, Horizon: Forbidden West had enthralled me with its visuals and the new setting. Being a big fan of Horizon: Zero Dawn, I was really look forward to explore Aloy's new chapter. But when the game released in early 2022, I had too little time to spend on gaming. It was a major downtime from my end with respect to exploring virtual worlds. So, apart from a few launch gameplay videos and twitch streams showcasing early gameplay, the game just dropped off my radar.
It was only recently when I browsing through the annals of PlayStation: Extra catalog that I discovered Horizon: Forbidden West again and I made to install the game instantly. My original plan did involve getting a PS5 to experience the game in its full 60fps glory, that being one of the other reasons I put off getting the game. But now, I chose to settle with trying it out on the PS4. And man, I shouldn't have to tell, but I am always amazed at what the developers pulled off with the 7 year old rig.
Aloy is back!
It was good to see Aloy back after the adventures of Horizon Zero Dawn. Leaving behind the celebration after the battle, she is quick to find the next world threatening problem to solve for. The opening quest seemed to be a tutorial in lines of the first game, where we get a chance to relearn the controls. I found myself enjoying the photo mode a bit here. Considering the HZD was the game that got me into Gametography, I was glad to get back into playing around with the mode.
It is 6 months since the end of the first game and Aloy is out looking for a backup version for Gaia so that she can bring an end to the blight that seems to be threatening her region. But it turns out that there isn't a copy in the ruins, where she is hunting for and she makes her way back to Meridian.
It was strange to see the aftermath of the site of battle in Meridian and to find that the people had created a sculpture of Aloy there. We get to meet the Sun King, Avad and understand the state of the world in the past 6 months.
When will I get to the West?
After completing the opening of the game, I couldn't wait to get to the West. I wanted a chance to explore the new regions in the game, but there was so much of what seemed like an unnecessary detour, which was highlighted by the fact that Aloy discovers that Sylens did not destroy but stole HADES. Since that was the ending of the first game, one would expect events to pick up from there or perhaps right in the middle of things in the West. But what we end up with is a dragged out opening that overstays its welcome.
When Sylens contacts Aloy and asks her to continue her search in the region known as the Forbidden West, I was more than happy to oblige. Finally, we could get started with the game.
But after getting to the West, we are faced with another challenge, another wall to cross before we can actually get in to the area. When will we actually get into the Forbidden West?! I was exasperated by this point, but I pushed through the fetch missions and the side quests to get to where I wanted to go.
When I did finally get the ball rolling and get to the West, the real plot kicks off and we are introduced to one of the antagonists of the game. But by this point, I was tired and vexed by the game. Soon after the opening battle in the West, after I was given the glider, where I should have been excited to continue, I left Aloy by the campfire and quit the game.
Someday, when I was back in the zone, I would return to the west...
Originally published on December 31st, 2023. It has been more than 6 months, but I have not fully got back into the game.