Horizon: Forbidden West Test

We’ll never forget that its visual excellence helped make Horizon: Zero Dawn a draw for the then-new PS4 Pro when it was launched in 2017, and even if it was overshadowed by Breath of the Wild, Breath of the Wild remains a legend in the world of adventure games and Horizon is just a noteworthy entry in the genre. It’s now a year before the launch of the Nintendo rival and is packed with the same elements that made its predecessor stand out in the first place: more exploration, dangers for machine animals, and more stories. Do you think this puts Horizon: Forbidden West at the top of the food chain?

What you’re expecting from an action-packed adventure that has an open-world theme. Puzzles with clever riddles and engaging puzzles? But you cannot solve them using Aloy, the main character Aloy. Combats that are fierce and have a strong atmosphere? That’s how we get closer to the goal. As far as gameplay goes, Guerrilla’s action-adventure only weighs the amount it has to for the sake of delivering a captivating storyline that is a part of the undergarment. It is, at least in quality, since there’s no lack of mass. It is a fantastic experience. Forbidden West is full of adventures, fascinating locations, and combat challenges. Overall you’ll experience more of what was what made Zero Dawn a great experience and a few new features that make The PS5 edition into the most stunning open-world game to the present.

Your eyes will break.

In no way is it exaggerating; Horizon: Forbidden West surpasses everything else the competition offers, not only in its specific genre. Unfortunately, in terms of visuals, the game is bored. The glitz and glamour come with a price which we’ll cover later. Even with this cost to consider, the newest blockbuster has no competition. Switch? Xbox? PC? Forget it. It’s impossible to find an open space with this abundant flora and fauna in any other location, where grasses, flowers, and trees dance in the breeze to picturesque perfection and where mountains sink their sharp edges into an absorptive cotton ocean of atmospheric mist as well as fluffy cloud, bathed in pink by morning sunlight.

In general, lighting is a significant element in the picture. The sun is so radiant in its stunning high-contrast HDR outfit that one could feel it is warm upon your body. Every corner you explore with Aloy appears to be planned from the bottom to the top, and every five seconds, you find yourself in a rush to turn on photo mode and snap a multitude of images. Wow!

The PS5, Forbidden West is an absolute work of art and brings everything that the next-gen console offers, except for the ray tracer. It even has super-fast load times for your internal storage device. The speedy journeys can take less than three minutes. The screenshots we chose that we took in the performance mode, as we like smooth 60 FPS rather than native 4K, were problematic. Take a look. Your eyes will be sucked out, and we won’t even begin to explain the full scope of this software. There are too many things to see.

Adventurers from the last generation using PS4 and PS4 Pro can expect an equally stunning adventure; however, it has a drastic reduction in lighting. Poor detail shadows are caused by the reduced ambient occlusion, making the world appear less real. It appears more fake, even a little plastic. Unfortunately, at least the overall design is the same.

Aloy’s travels take him through all kinds of the biome. Through the frigid chill of snow-covered cliffs through scorching hot desert sands and tropical rainforest with crystal clear water and massive trees. It is incredible how dense and interwoven all of these places are. The way they form a cohesive natural-looking world with seamless transitions. There’s something natural about all constructed by humans, including the crumbling concrete remains of ancient cities to underground, high-tech structures that are bathed in the cold sunlight. It doesn’t require an expert to realize that Sony’s first-party studio poured the most significant amount of time and effort into creating this striking graphic painting.

Some naivete might say that Horizon: Forbidden West thereby places design ahead of content. It’s not accurate, but there’s some truth to this theory; as with the first chapter,, the spectacular visuals keep the viewer entertained. The world of open space may be vast and provide an endless amount of hunting areas, towns, or paths; however, in terms of content, it’s remarkably consistent and constantly returns to the same structure. Aloy must go to a quest site that drives her to gather and match objects or fight. Sometimes, she fights fierce machines or the abrasive tribal members of alien-human tribes.

This leads us to the cost of graphic splendor. In the forbidden West, things are unmoving and not very lively. Stones and plants can be collected, and if the plot calls for it, a tree could be crushed (Really small Aloy knocks down 20-meter trees, like Obelix?). The other options are limited to finding permanently erected boxes and equipment and moving boxes common to the genre that you utilize to climb on. Even the rhythm of daily life doesn’t change between day and night—the moon and the sun shift positions at regular intervals.

It’s true that, with the amount of the fauna and flora in the wild, a live-time day-to-day timer with dynamic shadows would cause a hole in the graphics chips of the hardware. It’s undoubtedly somewhat alarming. Guerilla might be more cost-effective with two available graphics modes. Resolution mode aims at 4K, but 30 FPS is a bit unnatural, particularly in the fight mode and quick aiming using a bow. The game then switches to sixty FPS when in the performance setting. This is great, as it makes the game more fun in combat; however, we have always come to a sobering resolution of 1080p in analyzing the quality of the images.

This is only evident when you take screenshots. Motion blur and an inconspicuous edge smoothing process blend edge so that it appears pretty acceptable in motion, even on TVs with 4K resolution; however, the effects of transparency cause the rough edges and pixelated edges. The textures appear more spongy, and shadow rendering is a little sluggish. So too with these factors, the lack of interaction is not a surprise. Forbidden West is a fantastic location, but it’s not exactly an actual sandbox, but it offers many ways to pass the time.

“In Search of Gaia

Based on this information, it’s easy to see why fans of the first game will find the gameplay techniques of the second to be seamless. Other than it is true that Aloy isn’t entirely new about talent and equipment, the game feels like something you’ve played before. The heroine is constantly analyzing and killing robots – also known as machines – in the same manner as before and relying on the standard methods and lists. In simple terms, it means she either goes full Sam Fisher and sneaks up at them beneath tall grasses to set traps or launch an espionage-style surprise attack, or she throws a direct attack using a bow and bow and arrow.

In close combat, she fights with a spear, which has an element of technology in addition to its sharp blade. This means she can hack robotic animals if required. It’s all very familiar, isn’t it? Do you think it’s good or bad? It’s a matter of opinions. In any event, Guerrilla designers spend time getting you going. They start from where you left off in part one and simultaneously provided newcomers with the opportunity to learn about the basics of Guerrilla.

It was a welcome in and of itself, If only the game weren’t as slow. Like Zero Dawn, Forbidden West begins only slowly. When the story reaches its core and exposes the motivations of everyone involved, it drags through the day, weaving up a few braids from the beginning until the very end and being cautious with the new elements of the game. It’s fine. It is a way to get to know what has happened during the story, but we must admit that this could have been handled more quickly.

For the past six months, Aloy was unsuccessfully searching for a replacement for the AI known as Gaia that was designed to supervise the restoration of Earth’s living conditions before the massive Faro Swarm catastrophe. Finally, her adversary Sylens, among all others, discovers a clue and can lure Aloy into the uncharted West region, in which she meets a variety of tribes who are hostile to the point of blood on the one hand and discovers the plot to be much bigger and more terrifying than she ever thought of in the second. The race against time gets underway with her finding just a tiny fraction of Gaia and her family, with whom many subroutines have to be imposed to stop the worst from occurring.

New information: the primary goal of the game is to locate these subroutines. That is, there are three. You’re all shocked at this point, right? Nope? Even a tiny bit? Will we just say? It’s Horizon just like it was before. We’re not going to make any negative comments about it, particularly not given the cinematic experience that includes a lot of multi-choice dialogues, action-packed scenes, and occasionally excellent music. It will shine in the final third, but it gets you engaged. We want to emphasize this: Horizon: Forbidden West won’t be awarded any awards for innovation. It’s a tried and true recipe with beautiful packaging.

You’ll be able to guess the other. The location of three subroutines is well-known; however, just hopping around and collecting them isn’t going to suffice since other players are dipping their fingers into the pie. Because of the possibility of spoilers, we’ll stay away from going into specifics. It’s enough to be mentioned: Aloy has to find new companions and new, superpowered enemies along her journey before she can deliver at least one subroutine she has to Gaia. The unexpected twists and turns, the painful losses, and a variety of abilities that are buried within Aloy weave together a captivating story that has its maximum potential in the third (i.e., that it coincides with the music score)

Newcomers aren’t left to dry. The person who only begins the story in part two can learn everything important through conversation and certain records. For example, what is the relationship between Aloy and the scientist who was once working on Gaia, and what is it regarding Hades, the “evil” AI Hades, and much more?

The Warrior’s Way

The same thing, but just maybe a bit more? As we’ve already said, Horizon: Forbidden West builds upon the foundation of the first game and eschews experimentation; however, certain subtleties have been altered. We chose to compare the game to the previously mentioned Zelda: Breath of the Wild in this instance; however, not without ulterior motives because a few elements could be considered a response to Nintendo’s idea.

Check out their spruced-up climbing skills of Aloy. Her climbing skills are still limited to predetermined surfaces, mainly marked with yellow – but out in the open, she’s now able to climb steep rock faces more often than she was previously, which gives her more mobility. When she must climb, a grappling hook will help out and pull chests and wooden crates. An excellent innovation, but that has a tiny drawback the rock wall Aloy is carrying remains a guessing exercise until you can scan them with her holographic focus device that can create markers.

Another analogy is in an energy shield Aloy grasps when she enters The Forbidden West. It functions as a parachute, allowing her to float lightly down to the ground and expands her reach by moving. However, there’s an extra feature in the way she moves across the sky; something is something we do not want to be anticipating. The warrior can also dive afterward with the help of a breathing device and the (sometimes risky) trips to the sea bed can be among the more stunning features that the sport has to provide. The other modifications could be classified as weight shifts which provide the game with a distinct balance. Some aspects of the game have been enhanced in how mini-dungeons are played (the hatcheries) and the more strategically located arsenal of weapons.

In Zero Dawn, combat was the mainstay of Aloy’s abilities. Forbidden West expands on that aspect by introducing a more extensive skill tree, more upgrades and craft options available for traps, weapons, and potions, and an improvement in general ability. The adventure of Aloy is based on large chunks of the joy of fighting with animals and humans; however, it may seem a bit asymmetrical because you get bored of fighting, mainly because not everything is improved.

So Guerilla addresses the critique that the machine combats in the first game were simple. They’re not too difficult, particularly as you can measure the power of the adversaries yourself by defining five difficulty levels. The only problem is that developers chose what we think is the most sloppy method to make the battles more intense.

In their way, only a few machines are powerful enough to cause lasting harm for the victim. However, when several animals are together, the game could quickly change. Animals tend to shield one another. For instance, they’ll step into action when Aloy is preparing to make a crucial strike or even attack from behind when you’re focused on achieving the perfect strike. These are legitimate defense tactics that require vigilance and caution blind shooting.

Instead of supplying every robot with the same technology, which is many of all sizes imaginable equipped with more brilliant attack strategies, to make them more dangerous, even when they are doing on their own, they move faster and more brutally. If Aloy is struck down and falls to the ground, a vast enemy may come at her with additional six or five missiles, in which case her stand-up performance can be interrupted. It is not uncommon for frustration to arise during these moments. This is not because Aloy has lost vitality and must be replenished by the help of potions and berries; however, you’re diminished to an undefended target for at least ten seconds.

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