‘Horizon Forbidden West’ game review: A thrilling sci-fi adventure with breathtaking visuals

Horizon Forbidden West
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The gaming industry this decade has seen an exciting turn as Playstation releases its premier games on PC. Despite a shaky start, PC gamers armed with the right equipment are treated to a spectacular gaming experience. Titles such as Spider-Man, Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Helldivers 2, and The Last of Us perform remarkably well on PC, tapping into the platform’s visual capabilities. The latest game to join this roster is Horizon Forbidden West, a follow-up to the acclaimed Horizon Zero Dawn. It comes with the beautiful tropical add-on content of the Burning Shores DLC and boasts a flawless PC port that showcases smooth gameplay and eye-catching visuals, particularly on a Steam Deck.

The narrative of Horizon Forbidden West picks up shortly after the prior installment, driving the protagonist Aloy to track down GAIA, an artificial backup of Earth’s ecosystem, to save the world. Her quest leads her to the dangers of the Forbidden West, entangled with a tribe on the brink of civil war. In the middle of this turmoil, a mysterious faction with objectives mirroring those of Aloy adds complexity to her challenges, as she confronts both their advanced tech and a wilderness of feral machine dinosaurs.

The Horizon franchise excels in world-building, depicting a civilization that has returned to primitive ways amidst colossal mechanical beasts that dominate the land. If you’re new to the Horizon games, it’s recommended to start with Zero Dawn, allowing you to unravel the lore organically. Forbidden West continues to reveal more about the enigmatic visitors. The immersion offered by engaging with this universe firsthand is far more compelling than catching up through a summary. Along your journey, the stunning visuals and intricate design will leave you in wonder.

While Aloy may initially come across as dour, her character complexity evolves over time. Carrying the weight of her exile status and the duty to save her world, her serious demeanor reflects her upbringing. Yet, it is this commitment to her cause that resonates with players, making her journey an engaging narrative to follow alongside the companions she encounters.

Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition

Developer: Guerrilla, Nixxes Software

Publisher: Playstation PC

Price: ₹3999 on Steam, Epic Games

Crafted with evident care, every landscape in the game is beautiful, with awe-inspiring creatures to encounter both as allies and adversaries, featuring intricate designs that invite strategic combat through the removal of parts. The gameplay, where you must strategically use traps and elemental arrows, is well-suited for both mouse and keyboard users. For those who prefer immersive play, the use of a DualSense 5 controller with haptic feedback enhances the experience.

Gamers equipped with a Steam Deck or a high-quality PC setup are in for a treat with numerous settings available to balance performance, visuals, and battery life, allowing the game to be enjoyed on the go or at home. Moreover, those with advanced graphics cards will be stunned by the game’s performance on widescreen monitors, giving an expanded view of the world’s beauty. The port is meticulously optimised; and performs well even on less advanced systems when graphics settings are adjusted. The attention to detail in every scene of Forbidden West creates a vivid and immersive world for players to explore.

With the release of Horizon Forbidden West, fully optimised and ready to play, there’s no reason to hesitate delving into the entire adventure. This modern epic is meant to be cherished, offering a deep and engrossing experience for all who venture into its world.

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