‘Horizon Forbidden West’ Review Roundup: Near-Perfect Scores for the ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’ Sequel
The critics have spoken. Reviews for Horizon Forbidden West, Guerilla Games’ highly-anticipated sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, started rolling in on Feb. 14. The responses to the PlayStation game have been overwhelmingly positive; reviews have given it 4.5/5 and 8 or 9/10 ratings all over the board. However, some critics have had mixed reactions to the storytelling, gameplay, and open-world format. Here’s our Horizon Forbidden West review roundup.
‘Horizon Forbidden West’ continues Aloy’s journey through a post-apocalyptic U.S.
For the uninitiated, Horizon Forbidden West picks up after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn. The game follows Aloy, a young huntress, as she and her companions traverse a post-apocalyptic version of the western U.S. called the Forbidden West. Aloy must search for the source of a plague as she fights her way through dangerous territories. Horizon Forbidden West features a vast, open world, with gameplay including heavy exploration, melee combat, climbing, and more.
Many critics have lauded ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ for its storytelling and mechanics
Early reviews of Horizon Forbidden West gave the game near-perfect scores in every aspect, especially its storytelling. Many critics consider it to be even better than Horizon Zero Dawn, which also received overwhelmingly favorable reviews. GamesRadar called Horizon Forbidden West “nothing short of phenomenal”:
Story, gameplay, mechanics, and the world itself are all such an improvement on the original game–which in itself is a feat alone. The climbing, ironically, is the only thing that really holds it back from utter perfection, but it’s not enough to make Aloy’s latest story go without anything bar the highest recommendation. You know a game is good when the robot dinosaurs aren’t the thing you want to talk to your friends about first.
Meanwhile, IGN praised the characters and combat, giving the game a 9.3 out of 10:
A triumphant combination of enthralling combat, top-tier creature and character design, and a captivating open world, Horizon Forbidden West is an absolute blast and fantastic showcase for the power of the PS5.
GamingBolt awarded Horizon Forbidden West with a perfect score, praising the combination of its combat, graphics, and narrative:
Horizon Forbidden West‘s captivating story, gorgeous open world, and thrilling combat make for one of the most uniquely memorable games I’ve played in recent memory.
Others found the sequel to be repetitive and unoriginal in its open-world format
On the other hand, some critics found the open-world nature of Horizon Forbidden West to be lacking in originality. Opposing reviews haven’t quite trashed the game, but they have given more mixed responses to elements like storytelling and combat. For example, Stevivor called Horizon Forbidden West “a game of contrasts”:
A game about robot dinosaurs where you spend far too much time fighting robot meerkats and boars instead for some reason. One with brilliant voice acting that you begin to hate because some characters won’t shut up. Where the side quests are great, but they’re so simple as to feel pointless. Where the combat features a complex balance between elemental strengths and weaknesses but you can ignore all that via a rain of explosive spearheads.
Eurogamer criticized the game’s level design and main story:
The sense is of a game where Guerrilla has cobbled together RPG building blocks often without making them work within the context of its own game, and in some cases actively worsening Horizon Forbidden West as a result. I don’t expect groundbreaking innovation, but with using well-established elements there’s always the danger of them having been done better elsewhere.
Horizon Forbidden West launches on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on Feb. 18.