On Thursday, May 27, gamers worldwide got a first glimpse at the gameplay for the highly anticipated Horizon Forbidden WestHorizon Forbidden West is the sequel to Guerrilla Games‘ 2017 hit, Horizon Zero DawnWithin the 19-minute presentation, we got an idea of what gameplay to expect in this next title. From combat to plot, here is the breakdown of what we saw during the Horizon Forbidden West PlayStation State of Play

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Throughout the showcased gameplay, we got to see Aloy taking down several machines and human foes with a variety of weapons. If you have played Horizon Zero Dawn, then Aloy’s Bow and Spear will appear very familiar. But in this sequel, they’ve been given some fun improvements.

Aloy can now activate charged, or Valor Surge attacks with her spear, creating powerful takedowns and damaging enemies. Players will still be able to override machines with the spear as well. Once Aloy overrides a machine, players can use it to travel the vast distances of the Western landscape. Or take the mount into combat for an advantage. 

Horizon Forbidden West features a refreshed weapons wheel as well. One new weapon players can try out is the Spike Thrower. This allows Aloy to hurl explosive javelins towards enemies for some extra damage. The Slingshot makes a return with sticky bombs that can help trap enemies.

And if you’re a stealthier player, Smoke Bombs can be used to disarm enemies or provide an escape from a difficult battle. Finally, just like in Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy can pick up and utilize any heavy weapons that fall off an enemy. All of these tools provide a creative variety of combat options for players to use. 

Aloy facing a Tremortusk

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games)


Along with combat, we got a glimpse of the world we’ll get to explore with Aloy. The West, specifically the ruins of San Francisco, is half-submerged under the sea, so players can look forward to some underwater exploration. Thankfully, Guerrilla Games has built the Diving Mask to have no air limits.

This means Aloy can stay underwater for as long as you’d like! The water proves a creative hiding spot from land enemies as well. But don’t get too comfortable. The sea promises its own unique dangers, including terrifying water machines like Snapmaws. 

Aloy has a few new additions to her exploration arsenal for tackling this new landscape. The Focus Scanner now highlights climbing spots that allow players to free climb the unique dystopian terrain. Aloy can also use the Pullcaster, a grappling hook, to cross vast areas or get out of tricky situations.

And to help players descend from great heights, Aloy now has a Shieldwing that acts both as a shield and glider. Each of these tools will not only allow players to navigate the world of Horizon Forbidden West easily, but they can also prove handy in getting the upper hand in combat. 

Aloy and a Snapmaw underwater

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games)

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Game Director Mathijs De Jonge and Narrative Director Ben McCaw provided a bit more information on the story of Horizon Forbidden West. During this gameplay segment, we see Aloy saving returning character Erend Vanguardsman from a band of raiders. But these aren’t your average raiders. They have learned how to control machines for themselves.

Likewise, what has lead Aloy to the West Coast is a mysterious red blight that is harming organic life AND machines. To stop this disaster and save the world, Aloy must use her brains and brawn to uncover the mysteries of the West.

Aloy sneaking up on some Raiders

Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games)

Hopefully, Erend won’t be the only character from Horizon Zero Dawn who will return in this sequel (I’m crossing my fingers for a Nil appearance). The showcase concluded without the announcement of a release date, which disheartened fans.

However, this detailed presentation of captured gameplay confirms that it will most likely still release sometime later this year. Maybe this jam-packed summer of video game showcases will include a Horizon Forbidden West launch date? We’ll just have to wait and SEA. (Get it? West? Oceans?)

Horizon Forbidden West will release in 2021 on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Will you be pre-ordering this title? Let us know in the comments below or on social media!  



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Emily Rose Jacobson
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