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Five Things To Know Before Playing ‘Horizon Forbidden West’

James Daly

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| Last updated 

Five Things To Know Before Playing ‘Horizon Forbidden West’

Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment / the author

The long-awaited Horizon Forbidden West is finally out and ready to play on PlayStation 5 and PS4. You can check out our review of Guerrilla Games’ sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn here, but I’m assuming you’re already interested in playing through Aloy’s new adventure. I mean, why else would you be reading this?

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Well, before you override a Charger and gallop over the diverse biomes of the Forbidden West, take a minute to read through the list below so that you’re fully prepared for what lies in store.

Watch the story trailer for Horizon Forbidden West below...

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Story Recap

Whether you’re a complete newcomer to the world of Horizon Forbidden West, or you’ve forgotten what happened in Horizon Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games have got you covered with a short, informative recap video which plays at the start of the game’s campaign. 

Narrated by Sylens (portrayed by the incomparable Lance Reddick), Aloy’s tale thus far is so quickly covered that you almost feel like your work in the previous game wasn’t as impressive as the amount of time taken to beat it would suggest. 

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Bruised ego aside, this brief explainer is a handy way to get up to speed before taking control of our beloved protagonist. 

Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author
Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author

Aloy’s Stash

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There is an abundance of resources in the world of Horizon Forbidden West. Whether you’re after ridgewood for crafting arrows, medicinal plants, or something else entirely, the Forbidden West has got you covered. In fact, the land is so plentiful that the game has introduced a new storage facility. 

Aloy’s stash can be found throughout the robo-ravaged world, usually located at easy-to-spot areas in towns and camps. Appearing as a huge storage chest, this handy item box holds all of your surplus materials.

What’s best of all is you don’t even need to deposit resources yourself. Instead, anything you gather that you can’t hold at the moment is instantly teleported there. Aloy continues to do the seemingly impossible, huh?

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Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author
Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author

Skill Points

As your Aloy develops in Horizon Forbidden West, you’ll be rewarded with skill points. This valuable currency can be used in the menu to unlock different bonuses and abilities, from a range of charts.

For instance, you can learn new moves for fighting enemies, or increase your strength when your health is low. These are just for combat scenarios though, and there are other options for different ways of playing, be it stealth or hunting, although they can be one and the same. 

The main point here is to spend your skill points regularly, because they make a real difference, especially if you find the Forbidden West to be a punishing place. Speaking of which…

Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author
Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author

Accessibility Options

Horizon Forbidden West has a wide array of accessibility options to allow you to adapt the game to your needs and preferences. In addition to a traditional set of difficulty options, there are more advanced settings to help you get the best of your experience. 

There’s the choice between ‘Guided’ and ‘Explorer’ modes which change how destinations are signposted for you. The former is particularly helpful if you’re keen to crack on with missions instead of getting wrapped up in the immersive world of the Forbidden West. Then there are options to tweak your HUD, letting you remove your compass and health bar to show more of the gorgeous scenery. 

Most impressively, there are ample options for affecting gameplay, such as contextual reminders, aim assist and a fully customisable control layout for the PlayStation 5’s DualSense. These inclusions make Horizon Forbidden West much easier to get on with for many of us.

Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author
Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author

Side Quests

This will come as no surprise to players of the previous game, but Horizon Forbidden West is not short of things to do. In addition to a main campaign that will take you over 20 hours to beat, there is a wealth of optional missions to take on.

From investigating machine activity to proving a wrongly convicted man’s innocence, there is plenty of extra content to invest your time in. If all that sounds too heavy, then you can hunt down ingredients for the local cook.

Whatever your mood, the Forbidden West will cater for you. Just try not to get too distracted out there. After all, there is a world to save. 

Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author
Horizon Forbidden West / Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment, the author

There you have it, our five things to know before you go diving into Horizon Forbidden West. I hope you feel prepared for the grand adventure that lies ahead of you, and I hope you have as much fun journeying with Aloy as I did.

Topics: Horizon Forbidden West, List, PlayStation

James Daly
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