Horizon Forbidden West Review - Gameplay is More Meaningful and Alive

Horizon Zero Dawn has successfully attracted the attention of AAA game players. Equipped with a very beautiful visual, challenging gameplay, as well as an interesting storyline to be followed. Not surprisingly his success as one of the exclusive games on the Playstation initially, finally headed to the PC to answer the wishes of fans and PC gamers. After four years since the release of Zero Dawn was the first time, Guerrilla as Developer finally launched the sequel in February 2022, entitled Horizon Forbidden West.

Horizon Forbidden West Review - Gameplay is More Meaningful and Alive

Horizon Forbidden West became a sequel to his first game, which was released exclusively for PS4 and PS5. This game comes with new stories and concepts and gets a variety of improvements and additions such as levels of lighting, graphics, gameplay, audio, and much more. This time, we get the opportunity to try Horizon Forbidden West while reviewing it deeper. Curious about the review? Listen to reviews below.

The return of Aloy's adventure to investigate mysterious outbreaks

Horizon Forbidden West continued Aloy's adventure story half a year later after the incident at Horizon Zero Dawn. The young female hunter from Nora who was known to be brave was assigned to the mysterious border area that stretched Utah to the Pacific coast, to investigate the mysterious outbreak of deadly. Many infected living things die, and hunger continues to hit. Along the way, Aloy will cross various areas that have not been touched, facing threats from new machinery enemies to deadly natural ecosystems that seem like poisons.

Life on earth has approached extinction. Not only viruses that carry diseases and decays for nature, but machines are back on their borders. Only Aloy can reveal the secret behind the mysterious disaster outbreak, and restore the world's balance. What's more, he will also meet again with his old friends, trace stunning biomes such as tropical beaches, deserts, snowy mountains, and cities that have been destroyed.

However, to avoid spoilers or maybe from the players who wonder about the storyline in the Horizon Forbidden West, we suggest playing the Zero Dawn horizon first. Especially considering this series is a sequel to Zero Dawn, which can certainly provide an overview of the players about what the concept and purpose mean of the Horizon game.

Additional features full of action

Those who have played Horizon Zero Dawn will certainly feel familiar with the gameplay offered at Forbidden West. However, with a much-refined version and added. That way, new players don't need to worry about gameplay, if they have never played the previous series. But there is one thing in which the previous climbing-climbing mechanism made it frustrated, now in Forbidden West, it is a great concern.

The world is so beautiful, making Forbidden West rich in exploration free. Featuring many rocky fields built, that's where Aloy can run his ascent into the intended area. Or meet with more ferocious monster machines, but combined with a more agile tree-climbing action. Talking about the climbing mechanism, Guerrilla seemed to have worked well to update it.

Pullcaster is one of the mechanisms that have been added at Horizon Forbidden West. Having a form like the grappling hook, Pullcaster allows Aloy to climb faster to a more difficult point to reach quickly, and attract hard objects that blend with rocks. Not a matter of climbing, this tool can also help Aloy avoid obstacles or enemy attacks. Pullcaster can be used along with other tools such as Shieldwing.

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If the pullcaster is in the form of a grappling hook, Shieldwing is a glider of the holographic that is capable of attracting Aloy to the closest cliffs. Or can also make it down from altitude safely, and surprise the enemy from above. Utilizing the two tools both during exploration and battle, making the Gameplay Horizon Forbidden West becomes more useful and should be welcomed by the players.

Climbing inter-dependent tree roots or roots is not a fear of players. Because players will easily find many grapple points throughout the place. So Aloy can be free to climb or move in a wide-open environment. In addition, the Horizon Forbidden West provides a free climbing system option, which combines grapple, swimming, and other actions to make Aloy's battle and exploration more strategic. This system is also a plus that we like because it can combine various kinds of actions that have never been done at Zero Dawn.

Putting aside the climbing-climbing mechanism, do not forget the Focus Tool is certainly back in the Forbidden West with an enhanced version. For information, Focus is an augmented reality device in the world of Horizon, which allows Aloy to learn while detecting machine movements, and can respond to its users' attitudes and voices. Focus can be activated by pressing R3 for scanning around Aloy, displaying resources to be collected, and highlighting climbable areas with yellow lines and markings.

Then what is the increase from Aloy's Focus Tool? Players can still scan the enemy of the robot and find out elements that can be removed but can now use D-Pad to focus more on these elements. What's more, players can also mark certain parts of the robot, not just overall.

Combat looks more smooth

In terms of Combat, Horizon Forbidden West also gets improvements from the previous version and is coupled with new tools and capabilities. Like Zero Dawn, players can use workbenches to increase weapons and costumes by opening perk, slot mod, and new skills of course. Horizon Forbidden West also offers a higher customization level and new ability to open. In addition, the Skill Tree system is still back, which also gets an increase from Zero Dawn. The skill can still be purchased and opened when the level-up player, but Guerrilla redesigned the Skill Tree with additional tracks and skills.

Valor Surge became one of the attractions of Combat present at Horizon Forbidden West. There are several types of Valor Surge that Aloy can use, and open through the Tree Skill by issuing skill points. Please note, each Valor Surge has different effects. To activate it, the player must fill the full Energy Bar through Battle. When the bar is fully charged, the player can launch the ability of the extraordinarily awesome Valor Surge.

Guerrilla pays attention to almost some of the details of the previous game, which is then implemented close to Perfect in Forbidden West. Like the Melee Combat has increased, especially in terms of animation when Aloy launched his attack. No longer there is a rigid and broken movement, the appearance of his animation looks smooth and stable.

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Or if the player wants to see his proof, you can try the ability of the Blast resonator. This ability demands Aloy to charge on his spear with successive attacks in a row. And when it starts to shine, then it can launch a very strong attack. Blast resonators can also cause energy transfer to the enemy, shoot them with arc arrows, and large explosions with high damage levels.

Pretty visual and good dual sense beneficiaries

Although visually not much different from its predecessor, Forbidden West deserves a thumbs up for the matter of presenting a scene that truly spoils the eye. We play it on PS5, and the landscape offered is far more detailed. Especially when in every different biome, we admit this amazingly beautiful and amazing game. What's more, Guerrilla presents two setting options for visuals. Among them are Favor Resolution and Favor Performance. This returns to the tastes of each player. More prioritizing performance in better games, or high resolution but with the lowest frame rate.

Not only the beautiful visuals, but animation inside Forbidden West also became one of the points of advantage. The animation in the sequel works is more refined and smooth, both when exploration and at the time of the battle begin. When each character shows its expression also does not look stiff, where their movements and faces have been better animated. One more thing that makes us impressed is the texture details on objects such as clothing worn by every character, water, and much more.

Like the PS5 game in general, Horizon Forbidden West has utilized the haptic feedback feature and adaptive trigger well. We feel tension with a pretty good vibration controller when you want to pull the arrow for firing objects and enemies. We also felt the vibration feature at Dualsense when Aloy held his spear to launch a larger attack power. The use of weapons and tools in this game mostly utilize adaptive trigger and haptic feedback, without any interference and not too excessive. Not only that. Dualsense is also more immersive every time the machines are around Aloy.

Besides the stunning visuals and graphics, we recognize that 3D audio at Horizon Forbidden West is satisfying. 3D audio feels immersive during exploration and fight, where players can hear the chat of other characters, the sound of weapons movements or equipment, and the environment around it. When in battle, spatial audio features can help players detect enemies or machines nearby. So that players can be more alert to the movement of the enemy and do not feel surprised by him.


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Horizon Forbidden West is present as a horizon sequel that is neatly designed. Guerrilla has worked well to present a variety of improvements, which is the answer to the weakness of the previous series. Gameplay is not much different and still displays a mechanism full of action. But who would have thought, the developer was moved to innovate in working on a new action mechanism for Aloy, which made Gameplay Forbidden West more meaningful and alive. One of them deserves a thumbs up of course the climbing-climbing and pullcaster tools, as a useful tool to break down obstacles along the way.

We also assess Horizon Forbidden West in terms of visual and performance. Two graphical setting options such as Favor Performance and Favor Resolution, which we can say that both are equally good at presenting a balance between high-resolution performance and graphics. The character animation looks smoother and more detailed where we can see the movement of the face or the character's expression doesn't look stiff. Not only that, Horizon Forbidden West utilizes the benefits of the features owned by PS5. Starting from the use of haptic feedback and adaptrive trigger which is appropriate and does not interfere with the game, 3D audio that makes the game feel real, until load times that seems almost no loading at all when experiencing a transition from scene to gameplay and fight.