Horizon Forbidden West Review

With the success of “Horizon Zero Dawn,” developer Guerrilla Games has proved to be one of the best development studios. Now, with the release of their sequel, “Horizon Forbidden West,” that has been proven once again. It’s safe to say that Guerrilla has taken Zero Dawn’s success and continued it in tremendous fashion. 

A Gorgeous Adventure Awaits

 With five years of development behind them, Guerrilla Games has taken advantage of time spent working on their newest title, and it shows. “Horizon Forbidden West” is without a doubt one of the best-looking games on PS5. From characters’ clothes and improved facial animations, the visuals in this game never disappoint. Aloy, the series protagonist, grimaces realistically when sprinting, using weapons, and taking damage. Characters throughout the world are just as detailed as Aloy too. When conversing in hot areas, sweat forms all over their faces. This impressive detail is seen on Aloy’s face and arms during regular gameplay as well.

 In “Horizon Zero Dawn”, conversations with characters weren’t the game’s strong point. Facial animations looked robotic and were plagued with bad lip sync issues. That is no longer the case in “Horizon Forbidden West” on PS5. Faces look dramatically more lifelike, and every word that comes out of a character’s mouth matches their lip movements. 

On top of this, the gorgeous open world consistently wows with its incredible visuals. It is also massive, with no loading times from each area to the next. Each biome was created with so much beauty that it becomes its own distraction. Never mind doing actual activities, staring at the screen in awe is another activity players can add to the checklist. 

Epic Enemies Rule the Land

While there are tons of things to see and do, nothing compares to the game’s main attraction. Hunting and taking down various types of machines. In “Horizon Zero Dawn,” there are more than 20 kinds of machines to discover. That number has now been doubled to more than 40 in the sequel! As a result, the thrill of fighting these awe-inspiring creations has never felt better. 

The huge cast of machines are the stars of the show. Each machine type comes with its own set of moves and abilities. With the return of Aloy’s trustee focus, figuring out a machine’s strengths and weaknesses is easier than ever. Using the focus is crucial in order to know how to best machines. 

Vastly Improved Combat

Thanks to a much bigger skill tree separated into six different branches, combat is a lot more visceral. Aloy’s spear attacks can now be chained into combos that give her the upper hand in battle. A new ability called resonator blast allows Aloy to charge up her spear with energy. When fully charged, that energy will transfer to enemies after a heavy attack. Once applied to an enemy, the energy can then be shot with an arrow. This will result in an explosion that deals massive damage. These new combat techniques make for one of the best combat experiences available in gaming. 

A Near Perfect Game

The game is not without its faults, however. Climbing has been improved from the previous installment but still feels awkward at times. With a quick press of the R3 button, Aloy’s focus will scan the environment for points of interest. This scan also highlights climbable areas in the world. This feature helps make climbing feel more fluid, but Aloy still gets stuck in place on certain spots sometimes. This can become annoying when trying to scale a wall quickly.

Despite how beautiful the game looks, there are some graphical hiccups as well. In certain cutscenes, things in the background look blurry and a little grainy. Understandably, this may have been on purpose to keep a focus on the incredibly detailed character models. Still, it would have been nice to see those same details applied to the entire display. Although present, these shortcomings are not detrimental to the game, and are only minor inconveniences in an otherwise flawless experience. 


This amazing game has a fantastic story, excellent writing, wonderful characters, incredible graphics and exciting combat. It is also an incredible achievement in gaming. One that needs to be used as an example by other studios. Simply put, “Horizon Forbidden West” is nothing short of a masterpiece that must be experienced by everyone. 

Final Score