Horizon Forbidden West: 5 news that amazed us

Horizon Forbidden West: 5 news that amazed us

Horizon Forbidden West

During the State of Play held on May 27th, we had the opportunity to admire for the first time in action Horizon Forbidden West, the highly anticipated sequel to the acclaimed Zero Dawn. The fourteen minutes of gameplay, full of action and breathtaking views, have begun to give us a general idea of ​​what we can expect from the new open world of Guerrilla Games, while preventing us (even rightly) from making hasty sums on the exclusive PlayStation coming out. on PS5 and PS4</a> on a date yet to be defined. On this occasion, therefore, we want to unbalance ourselves regarding the elements that really struck us during the presentation of the game, the 5 novelties that amazed us about Horizon Forbidden West.

Underwater environments

Horizon Forbidden West: the underwater world seems to assume more importance than the terrestrial one Surely, the first moment we were breathless (literally) was when we were introduced to the underwater sections. As soon as Aloy dives, the game landscape changes completely, leaving room for a new color palette and a completely "discordant" structure from those that can be found in the hinterland, and then goes to harmonize with the latter near the beaches. Usually (unless he is the protagonist), the underwater environment is left a little on the sidelines, as the player will likely spend much more time on land than "soaking". In the case of Horizon, on the other hand, the impression is that the team wanted to dedicate the same attention to the smallest details to this further world, from coral fauna to the ruins smoothed by centuries of marine currents and now conquered by nature. Even Aloy's hair acquires new density and physicality, enhancing this condition of "suspension" and floating. It remains to be seen how this environment will be exploited and how thoroughly. From the presentation video you can see a couple of interesting details, including very strong currents that seem to direct the player in certain directions, and holds from which to throw oneself with force. Furthermore, the underwater flora, in addition to being extremely fascinating, will also serve to hide from machines that would undoubtedly have the best in that context. It remains to be seen if and which terrestrial enemies will be able to hunt us even in the water, but there is no doubt that in these cases we would be much more "prey" than at any other time in the game. In short, the one dedicated to underwater environments seems to have been truly painstaking work, carried out by Guerrilla as something more than a simple visual tinsel (or, at least, this is what we hope for).

L 'visual horizon

Horizon Forbidden West: the visual horizon as far as the eye can see seems to be one of the strengths of the game. The theme of underwater environments is also linked to that of the boundless visual horizon that the game offers, both above than below sea level (certainly the title remains faithful to the name it bears). In this gameplay we have seen, judging by the location of the Golden Gate Bridge, the one that can be identified with the eastern area of ​​the Presidio of San Francisco. And it is the Golden Gate (which, most likely, will be the most emphasized point of interest of this Horizon, given its iconicity and recognizability, especially for the American public) to take the scene and conclude it, given that the presentation ends on this total change of visual register, much darker and darker, against the backdrop of the San Francisco of the future. Even the "postcards" shown before the event, during the countdown, suggested a great environmental depth, with panoramas that stand out as far as the eye can see, between stunning atmospheric effects and a strong impact lighting system (on which we will return in little). We do not know how much of what we have seen on screen is possible to achieve and what are the environmental limitations, but what has been shown gives a much more impactful glance than the original episode.

Horizon Forbidden West: natural and artificial lighting mix into a highly scenographic whole From the first moments of the gameplay, a very marked attention is then shown to the lighting, between the rays of the sun filtering through the foliage, and the lights artificial emanating from the machines that populate the game world. During the cutscenes, something seemed to screech a little from this point of view, with some light points that were not exactly connected between one shot and the other, but they are really subtleties that you have to go and look for with the light and on the which you will need to evaluate the game once in stores. We were impressed, on the other hand, by the light sources coming from the machines, which seem to propagate in a realistic way according to the surface they encounter (which is also present in the first chapter, but here obviously taken to another level). Surely it will be the latter that define the artistic complexity of the various environments and add that extra touch that will differentiate them and, at the same time, bind them together.

The spectacular nature of the clashes

Horizon Forbidden West: the action seems to reach a new level of spectacularity If the first Horizon already had its exhilarating moments with fights against huge machines, Forbidden West seems to have raised the bar further, pitting us against even more powerful creatures and, for arrived, controlled and "customized" by humans. The absolute protagonist, in this respect, was undoubtedly the Tremorzanna, this gigantic mammoth with a wooden structure on which several enemies are positioned that attack Aloy without any respite. The combat showed that there is also a minimum of environmental destructibility, between the ruins that are demolished by the immense machine and the "saddle" of the creature that ends up in a thousand pieces in a short time. Certainly the Tremorzanna will not be the only automaton of this size that we will meet, so much so that already with the first trailer and some images we were able to admire a number of creatures of relatively imposing dimensions, such as that large turtle emerging from a quagmire .

Horizon Forbidden West: the mechanical turtle shown during the first trailer But not only spectacular in relation to size. Also at the level of the combat system it seems that a further milestone has been reached, with even special abilities (called "valiant impulses") with a high adrenaline and emphatic rate, achieved thanks to the use of animations and directorial dynamism that instill a tone " epic "to the scene.

The revenge of the gadgets

Horizon Forbidden West: new perspectives of movement thanks to the gadgets Undoubtedly, the mobility within the map has caught a bit of everyone surprise. While the former relied mainly on Aloy's limbs to let us explore the various game areas vertically, in this case the new Horizon aligns with other open worlds seen in recent years and introduces two gadgets well known to video game enthusiasts, the grappling hook and the "parachute". The first seems to be very classic, with the "linearity" of a Just Cause, but without the ability to cling anywhere. We do not know if it can be managed with a physicality similar to that seen in games like Uncharted 4, but, if this gameplay is a clue of what lies ahead, it would be said that it will live on a very "mechanical" use, with its grips. and little scope for movement other than forward momentum. The question changes, however, when you approach it with a gadget like the alascudo, that sort of holographic parachute, which we have seen on several occasions in the video: the two associated elements can prove to be very useful, especially in cases of encirclement. We are curious to find out if they will prove fundamental to the dynamism of the gameplay and the movement, or if they will be pleasant additions and nothing more.

Attention to detail

Horizon Forbidden West: the reaction of the ground in contact with foreign objects is truly impressive Another element that made us almost jump in our chair with excitement was the way in which the surrounding environment reacts to the passage of characters and machines. The most striking example is when the mechanical elephant starts firing purple pulses at Aloy. If you notice, the blows create a groove in the sand, which often also propagates in the water, moving it very realistically. We can only imagine what else will await us in biomes that are also very different from the sandy ones (even in the underwater one, just to name one that we have seen with a closer look).

Horizon Forbidden West: the quality of the objects borders on photorealism To conclude, we focus on the little things that are usually not noticed, but which, when you look at them, you can no longer help but admire . We are talking, in this case, about the quality of the equipment and accessories, not only of Aloy, but also of the enemies that inhabit the game world. Already that bottle at the beginning of the video, handcrafted with what nature can offer in the Horizon universe, is an example of an attention to materials that could truly surprise during the adventure in the forbidden west. Then the focus shifts to Aloy's equipment, from the "vegetable" armor to the spear with which he defends himself in close combat and is able to override the machines. Small details that, even from a compressed video published online, demonstrate a morbid attention to detail, although then, during the actual gameplay, our attention will certainly focus on something else.

In short, these are some elements that they particularly surprised us during the presentation of Horizon Forbidden West. Some are more canonical, others less, but in general the impression is that of finding yourself in front of an ambitious blockbuster, authentic to the DNA of the previous episode but able to refine the feeling of the game, set new technical standards on PlayStation 5 and leave again the sign in the open world action genre.

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