Aloy’s journey continues next week when Horizon: Forbidden West releases on the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, so we thought it would be a good time to talk about five reasons why we’re HYPED to play the game.

We’ll get answers to the questions that Horizon: Zero Dawn left unanswered

Whilst smashing up robotic creatures and exploring luscious landscapes is great, one of Horizon: Zero Dawn’s strongest points came with its narrative. I was completely absorbed in finding out how the world found itself in the situation it was in, where the machines came from, and what exactly Aloy’s origin was, with the engaging storytelling offering a satisfying and deep conclusion to the first chapter of the story.

Still, there were plenty of questions left unanswered, with the biggest being what exactly was Sylen’s role in the events that played out, why did HADES come back to him in that peculiar lantern, and who the hell sent the signal that awoke it in the first place? I can’t wait to find out the answers to these questions and learn more about the world along the way, especially since there are new threats causing havoc. Where did they come from and how can Aloy stop them? I guess we’ll have to find out when we play Horizon: Forbidden West.

Horizon: Forbidden West

There are some insane new machines to face off against (including a giant snake!)

Horizon: Zero Dawn features some outrageous enemies to face off against, with the Thunderjaw standing out as my favourite. Come on, who doesn’t want to battle a giant robotic T-Rex?

Well, Horizon: Forbidden West has REALLY upped the ante with its selection of machines. Whilst there are new smaller varieties to face off against (including one that looks like a monkey which I love), there’s also the Slitherfang which is an acid-spitting giant snake, the Shellsnapper which is a giant turtle, and the Tremortusk which is a mammoth-like machine that’ll tear Aloy apart with its tusks, just to name a few. There are some genuinely insane machines to encounter – you can check out the trailer below to see them in action:

It has also been confirmed that some old favourites will be returning too, so you can expect to encounter some familiar faces along the way. Just imagine battling a Thunderjaw and Tremortusk at the same time… madness.

The game looks absolutely stunning, especially on the PlayStation 5

You’ve only got to look at Horizon: Forbidden West’s trailers and screenshots to see it’s a thing of beauty, with the environmental detail, realistic character models, and breath-taking lighting effects truly making it stand out as one of the most visually impressive games to ever release. The original game was already stunning, especially when played on the PlayStation 5, but this really ups the ante.

It helps that there’s such a rich variety of locales to explore, with beautiful vistas seen across jungle-like areas, snowy terrain, and sandy beaches, whilst there seems to be a bigger emphasis on interior exploration too. Whilst the vast majority of interior exploration came in futuristic-style locales in the first game, it looks like players will explore more of the remnants of the ‘old world’ this time around. And we haven’t even mentioned how good the underwater sequences look yet…

It is worth mentioning that the game is coming to both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, so some gamers have been a bit wary that it won’t have the visual prowess of a current-gen exclusive title. Thankfully, that won’t be the case, with developer Guerrilla confirming that whilst the game will look and run well on the PlayStation 4, the PlayStation 5 version will bring with it so much more visual pizzazz that will make it look extra impressive on the new hardware. Better lighting, better detail, a better resolution, and the option to play at 60fps – these are all features that will only come to the PlayStation 5.

Horizon: Forbidden West

The new underwater exploration offers a fresh way to experience the world

One of the big new features of Horizon: Forbidden West are the underwater sequences. Sure, Aloy could swim in the first game, but she couldn’t dive underwater, explore its exotic beauties, and face off against aquatic machines (which can look surprisingly cute with their little paddling legs). Admittedly, we don’t know much about how combat will play out underwater or if it’ll focus mainly on stealth sections, but I’m excited to see what Guerrilla come up with. Some machines will even chase you into the water if you try to escape them – if you thought the Snapmaws were dangerous on land, I dread to think how terrifying they’ll be underwater.

It adds a whole new way to embrace the game world and I’m intrigued to see what’s hidden beneath the waters. Early footage has suggested there are whole buildings to explore, so you can expect to trawl through the highest mountains AND the lowest depths of the world. It brings an additional ecosystem to the game that won’t only hide secrets and offer new ways to explore but also looks luscious too.

Horizon: Forbidden West

Aloy has new abilities that will make her even more fun to play as

Whilst I have no doubt that Horizon: Forbidden West will play very similarly to its predecessor, it’s also going to bring with it an array of new abilities for Aloy that’ll make her more versatile to play as – both in and out of combat.

For one, she now has a lot more freedom when climbing across terrain, with her no longer having to rely solely on yellow climbing markers to get around. Whilst I didn’t find this an issue when I played the first game, it will allow more flexibility when trying to reach those tricky areas or even evade some stalking machines. She’s also able to use a grappling hook to quickly bolt her way around vertically or pull objects in the environment, whilst her new Shieldwing allows her to glide across staggering heights. She’s nimbler than ever and it’s going to make traversing the world a real treat.

There are also all-new weapons, special abilities and re-defined skill trees that offer more variety. The Resonator Blast is a good example of this, which when charged allows players to unleash a burst of energy upon foes that erupts when hit with a ranged attack – I have no doubt that this will be a gamechanger, especially when fighting multiple enemies at once.

Whilst Aloy is going to face off against new and formidable foes, it’s clear that’s she’s going to be more than capable of looking after herself. I can’t wait to play as her.

More about Horizon: Forbidden West

Join Aloy as she braves the Forbidden West – a majestic but dangerous frontier that conceals mysterious new threats.

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.

Horizon: Forbidden West is coming to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on February 18th 2022. Find out more on the official website through this link.