How do you improve upon one of the better sci-fi stories in recent video game memory? You go off-the-rails, of course! Dutch developer Guerrilla Games clearly hit Amsterdam’s finest pot shops while rolling up the plot for Aloy’s sophomore outing in Horizon Forbidden West, as – spoiler alert – this narrative involves clones, off-screen ancient monstrosities, and even a giant planet munching AI. Did we get your attention yet?
Alright, so it’s all a bit silly, but the PlayStation first-party made improvements in the right areas, too. The side-quests, generally involving the contemporary tribes that occupy the Earth, provide interesting insight into how they view the world around them; regardless of whether they worship or fear the machines, it’s genuinely fascinating to see how nature shapes the perspectives of the various clans.
It also plays like a high-quality action game, which isn’t all that common for an open world RPG – well, it certainly never used to be, anyway. The exploration could still use a better climbing mechanic, but the feel of laying traps and shooting off elemental arrows is fantastic, and there’s a lot of depth to the combat system that expands as you add more skills and armaments to your arsenal.
And it’s all wrapped up in a package that, frankly, looks outstanding. With subsequent patches, Guerrilla Games managed to get this sequel running at 60 frames-per-second in reconstructed 4K, and it’s a feast for the eyes. All of the locales sing, but a special shout out must be reserved for the sandy shores of San Francisco – honestly, if it wasn’t for the deadly, man-eating robots we’d want to visit for ourselves.
Push Square's Game of the Year list is primarily decided by an internal staff vote. Our community Game of the Year poll is also taken into account. Feel free to agree or disagree with our list in the comments section below.
You can check out all of our Game of the Year coverage by clicking the link.
I'm still in the middle of it. A good game to be sure but it's not as engaging story wise as the first.
God of War is my number 1, but I couldn't choose between Elden Ring and Horizon for number 2.
I picked "It should be higher on the list" here, but I'd struggle to put Elden Ring at 3 too. They're both joined at 2nd for me.
Well, we all know who the top 2 are. Be ready for all the anger at whoever is #2
Just right for me! This game was fantastic and while the beginning was a little slow to build, I was completely addicted by the halfway point.
I'd rate both Elden Ring(#2) and Ragnarok(#1) ahead of this. Tough competition this year. Any other year and this could easily be my top choice.
forbidden west massive disappointment for me story was ok ish with a poor ending. a world full of quests that were uninteresting
@Pathfinder3497 Ragnarok will be coming 2nd. I'd bet money on it. I think it's fair to choose either one as your top game though as both were amazing. I'd pick GoW for number 1 myself.
Between this and elden ring for my number one game of this year, such a great game, plot twists, beautiful open world to explore and the combat is one of the best.
Yah I went with higher on the list as well. Horizon is my number 2.
It just has far More detail and far better art direction and is league's above in polish than elden ring without all the ruesed location assets Ala elden ring dungeons.
If it had chosen to also limit the hand holding and embrace its own stunning world, like elden rings one differentiator from it just just Dark Souls open world, it would have been even more.
While some think the story was bonkers which I don't, it was just less focused, however, at least it had a story and a finished back third of the game.
I LOVED GoW:R but Horizon somehow takes the cake for me.. The first ones story was better only because we were learning how it all started.. still very into the story line knowing it’s a continuance.. 40hrs in and I’m having a blast so far.. i like the HUD and markers and don’t really know why others hate on it (you can turn it off completely).. Elden Ring was boring to me but I also never could get into any Demon Souls game.. I can’t even get into The Witcher 3 after trying for the 3rd time on the 3rd different console 🤦♂️
Forbidden West is my GOTY
@PlayStationGamer3919 you need to stop listening to your friends lol
It's weird to think that one of the most well made, critically acclaimed and commercially successful games of the year can also be one of the most underrated. It's really hard to overstate how hard Guerrilla knocked it out of the park with this one, and it deserved so much better than getting overshadowed by Dark Souls with a horse.
It's a shinier version of the much reviled Ubisoft copy and paste open world icon chaser game. And the story is just several shades of stupid. I loved the first installment but this was the most disappointing game of the year for me by a country mile.
It is my 2nd game of the year, losing only to GOW R. I don't know why some people have grips with this game, it's amazing, a true next-gen experience, in storytelling, graphics, performance, the sound, oh the sound... It resonates deep, the best auditory experience I had this year!! This game was worth the (high) investment I did in the PS5 + 4K TV. I love this world Aloy lives, and I want more.
@trev666 I loved the sidequests, particularly the ones that changed the environment and you got to spend time with your companions.
I just finished this one last weekend. Absolutely had a blast from start to finish; it's been a couple years since I played the original, so I actually had to watch a refresher video before diving in.
Overall, an improvement on the first game. The story was lesser than the first game, but at the same time a good continuation of the characters and their relationships. The new antagonists were a nice touch, and props to the... interesting ending. I'm curious to see what the DLC brings, or the potential Horizon 3.
it's a REALLY good game, but there was ER, GT7 and GOT too
HFW looks and plays so good. It’s just a shame the story really drags it down. I hope they hire a better team of writers for the next one.
Horizon FW is my GOTY....a beautiful spectacle I lost myself in for more than 120+ hours. I can't wait for Horizon 3. I wish I liked God of War Ragnarok, but it was the ultimate disappointment for me. Abandoned it after 17 hours, a dull and meandering story with middling visuals. A true definition of an over hyped slog.
Besides graphics I thought it was a step down to HZD in almost everything else, it was pretty fun though but I hope after the VR game they put the series on hold for a while.
Looking forward to playing this, but the more I see of Hogwarts Legacy, the more I want that to be my next open world game, weirdly, so Horizon feels like it's going to slip down my backlog. Then there's Jedi Survivor soon too. And god knows how much Witcher 3 I'll play to bridge the gap between now and those 2023 releases 😅
Good to see all the positives as well as a few of the negatives. I liked the first one a lot, but it took me a couple of goes to see it through as I got a bit burned out, and ended up just fast travelling everywhere as it seemed to lose the excitement of exploration quite fast. Hopefully exploration is improved in HFW? Less empty wide open spaces?
Second only on my most disappointing list of the year to the equally franchise killing Bayonetta 3.
Boring story wrapped around Ubisoft-lite design that regressed from the original in almost every way. Playing HFW was as fun as chewing glass.
Time to leave Aloy behind, Guerilla, and put your incredible technical team to better use. Hire some better writers, though, because the dialogue and narrative make the latest Saint's Row look good.
''It should be lower on the list''
Such chore to play.
Its around 9 or 10 on my list, despite its faults its a really good game and easily visually one of the best out there. Hopefully the expansion gives it a good send off.
I really enjoyed HFW, personally thought it was a better sequel than GOW:R. I felt the sidequests added a lot to the world building more so than the first. The story is pretty tame for sci-fi but interested to see where it goes.
I understand why this game is at #3, but, for me, I felt the game was a disappointment. It started fine, with wonderful visuals and gameplay, bustling cities and familiar characters having grown up, but then you find GAIA and its fetch quest after fetch quest and I started struggling to stay interested. The quests were bland and repetitive and every time the story started to get interesting, it was like the developers said, “Nope!” Without spoiling anything, there were about four instances where I got really invested, only to be like, “Oh… uh… I wish they would’ve expanded on that,” especially toward the end where it was twist after twist. That final stretch was maybe the most silly too and honestly sort of deflated my interest in the series going forward. The side characters were ignored throughout the game too, despite Aloy having some actually solid character development. I really enjoyed HZD, but HFW left me disappointed. Visuals and gameplay remained solid, but it’s hard to praise the archaic quest design and inconsistent narrative.
Earned the platinum a few days ago, pre ordered the game, but struggled to get into it, I was a bit harsh with my opinion of it at the time. I liked the characters, story and side quest's. Basically, I struggle with aiming and I'm getting worse with age, got frustrated at time's, but that's not a fault of the game. My opinion having finished it is, it's a very good game, but probably not a game for me.
@jrt87 God i hated Bayo 3, the first two are two of my favourite games but Bayo 3 felt like an insult wrapped up in endless rubbish gimmicks and an annoying new character and a dire ending.
@LN78 it just didn’t have anything interesting to say sadly (and went in a ridiculously absurd direction with the story), which is why it’s been largely overlooked at the game awards this year. Story is so important in a game like this, especially when the story in the first game was so good. Expectations were high.
Guerrilla are a very talented studio but they just can’t undo those terrible story decisions in the next game - they’re stuck with them now - and this instantly kills any hype I have for a third game. It’s a real shame honestly.
Massive improvements to human combat and is a technical marvel in how it looks. Alloys running inner monologue is annoying, the writing is so flat with every character being pretty 1 dimensional, the grind for loot gets tedious and importantly the main quest narrative was nowhere near as engaging as the first game. Glad people liked it. After I beat the last boss, i uninstalled it and had posted it off for a trade in never to be thought of again. Here's to horizon 3 coming out, so I can play whatever genre defining open world game launches in the same window!
Loved it. Looking forward to Burning Shores a lot.
Probably my PlayStation GOTY. I've never seen anything like it from a visuals perspective.
I’ve put this on ice twice now and it’s a bit of an odd thing as I’ve enjoyed my time with it. I do plan to finish it but something about this instalment keeps reminding me that the greatest draw of the first for me was unraveling the overarching mystery of what happened to the world and without that thread, it all feels a little less interesting. With that said, this is still an excellent game on many levels.
I'd say either here or #2 are pretty good spots for Forbidden West.
While I think the human combat is still absolutely horrid, the glider and the underwater exploration make up for it to me.
Man I loved the underwater exploration. It was so good.
It's alright. Hard to argue against certain qualities it has, but it came at a time where I'd recently finished the first and can only take one Ubisoft formula mindless open world game every 3-5 years.
I'm glad it turned out well for those that get their kicks from it though. It's been a pretty stella year as a PS5 / Switch owner.
Fully deserves its place in the top 3. Great gameplay loop and enemy variation throughout and of course looks a beauty on PS5 almost like a proper next gen game at times. A shame Stray and GT7 won't be in the 10 although it's always gonna be slightly harder for racing games to make it in
I wouldn't have it that high, I don't feel it really improved upon the original, the open world aspects are still mediocre and the main story wasn't as engaging for me. On the plus side the core combat is still fun and it looks really pretty. I got the platinum on the first but grew tired of this about 20 hours in
It's a good game. Miserable opening hours but once you get the actual Forbidden West it gets better. I actually like the sci-fi bits of the story but find the tribes almost entirely just uninteresting.
Human combat is a little better than the original but not much. Machine combat is still great. The gear leveling system is really bad though and good lord please make Aloy talk way less in Burning Shores and beyond. Those two things were my main issues.
I'd probably put Horizon at like #7 for me personally. A shame Plague Tale isn't going to get a spot though. Can't win them all I guess.
@jrt87 @WallyWest I wouldn't dismiss bayo 3 too soon. I was up and down on it until I started replaying the levels for high scores and ignoring all the story nonsense.
Like most Platinum games, it really shines when you start to master the mechanics and achieve high scores. It's a great podcast game to play while listening to other stuff too.
Same. Bought a Wii U simply to play the second one back when it when came out. Played both again when released as Switch remasters.
Couldn't believe what I was playing at times with the third, especially as the reviews showered it in 9s and 10s (a lot like Forbidden West, actually).
My upset at the impending exclusion of GT7 from the PushSquare Top 10 is real...
As for HFW - an exceptional achievement from Guerrilla that iterated and improved on every aspect of the original for me.
@Old-Red I repeat play arcade shmups and pinball games for high scores, not single playthrough hack and slash titles. Although I take your point: there is potentially more to take from it if you approach it a different way.
Story aside (and that's a BIG aside), I'd had enough with the ugly green goo monsters, Viola's witch time mechanics, painfully slow demon slaves, boring Godzilla giant monster battles, fighting the same Werewolf boss fifty times, the gimmicky on-rails sections and Jeanne's Elevator Action knock-offs. Oh, and 540p-900p @ an erratic 18-57fps.
Shorelines do look spectacular. @Deadlyblack oh I hate the hand to hand combat, don’t get me started.
It must have been an outstanding year for gaming on ps5, for gran turismo (which doesn't come around very often) to not even make the top ten....
The game was better than the first in every way. I think people are mistaking story with lore. Both games have the same lore so its impossible to criticize fw for that. This game did its job beautifully well in getting the gang together and I can't wait for the big battles of part 3.
@Loftimus I think the big criticism is that the story in this one went off the rails into some ludicrous territory.
Because, y'know, post-apocalyptic warring tribes hunting mechanical dinobots was perfectly within the bounds of reality.
My GOTY hands down.
@Loftimus that’s like saying all the Star Wars movies are the same because it’s the same lore. When we all know some Star Wars movies are better than others (because they have better stories and the writing isn’t appallingly bad).
Anyone have any idea which 2 games will be 2 and 1 or 1 and 2? Wrong guesses only?
In terms of AAA absolutely #3 but there were so many great little indies this year I would personally put higher. But this is often primarily a popularity contest.
@bozz Game of Thrones was a brilliant show with Dragons and and army of undead zombie-like creatures, until the writing fell off a cliff. Same applies to Horizon. None of the characters in Horizon Forbidden West behave like real people would. The writing is shockingly bad.
@AhmadSumadi God of War Ragnarok at #2 and Elden Ring at #1. I would switch their positions though personally.
@ItsBritneyB_tch Ragnarok my #1. I’ve only played 5 games this year and Elden would be my #5.
@themightyant I hear you. But they have to bring in the fact of how many people played the games. It’s like how Vibe Magazine would do “Best Hip-Hop Album of The Year” then do “Best Hip-Hop Album That Nobody Listened To”. To be honest, this way rarely leave anything I love as the winners of “ the year” but it is what it is.
@MrMeeeseeeks That... screams of an exaggeration. It might be award-winning writing but it's hardly shockingly bad.
"should be lower on the list"
One of the most overrated series in recent memory. There's a reason Horizon gets overshadowed by better games every time it comes out.
@bozz the first game was way more grounded though - it was well-written sci-fi. The story in Forbidden West could have worked but it was badly written. The bad guys are too silly to be taken seriously, like villains from an Austin Powers movie or something, flying around like Avengers in their space suits. I could overlook the super eloquent tribespeople but it reached a point where I just couldn’t take it seriously anymore. It jumped the shark and they can’t undo it.
I loved this game. The story went a little too far off the rails for my taste in the back half. But everything else (combat, side characters, side quests, visuals and sound) were like the first but improved. It was an absolute blast to play.
The story was always going to suffer in comparison to the first game, because uncovering the mystery of what happened to our world was the most interesting part. But the sequel was still great, even if the conclusion got messy.
Guerrilla moving forward desperately needs to search for good profesional writers to bring in, they have the tech down to perfection but it's like they had some new interns write all the story for HFW.
I think anybody can guess PushSquare's #1 & 2.
#2 Elden Ring.
#1 God of War Ragnarok.
@TheArt hopefully that way round 👍
@Old-Red Yeah but most of the levels are bogged down with awful gimmicky stuff and the awful demon summoning stuff. I can excuse a bad story if the gameplay is great but i didn't like the gameplay and it felt like a massive step back from the previous 2 games.
@MrMeeeseeeks yeah and if forbidden wests story wasnt better than the first, then youd have a point.
@Loftimus and yet the overwhelming consensus is that the story in Forbidden West isn’t as good as the first game. It’s the weakest element of an otherwise great game. We’re all entitled to our own opinions though I guess.
@bozz Yeah the set up for Horizon is pretty out there but it worked because the first game done a fantastic job of selling you the idea and the lore and background made sure to explain the details so it all made sense. The sequel though just jumps the shark and does that annoying thing where writers feel this need to keep upping the ante instead working with what they already have, the first game never set up this new conflict and it feels like they never had a story plan in place.
@WallyWest That's fine, I can admit if the writing of the sequel isn't up to the level of the first. What gets at me is the wild hyperbole about it, and a couple of the other bigger games in contention for the top spots. It's like they either have to be the best or the worst at what they do. It's tiring.
Spent 32 hours with GoWR (100%), spent 110 hours with HFW (110%). HFW is a game I want to replay. GoWR I might not touch again. So yeah, for me, HFW should be higher, on my list it's #1.
@Thenewguy I haven't played GoWR but yeah I always felt to replay HZD multiple times than GoW18. Looking to start my 2nd run of HFW which to me improves upon HZD in all aspects.
@MrMeeeseeeks the first story was just a basic origins affair. And i dont know anybody in the real world that agrees with the " overwhelming consensus" of yours. Even this article says otherwise.
@Loftimus well if all you took away from the first game is that it was a ‘basic origin story’ I’m not surprised you preferred the story in the second game. You have to pay attention to the details, baby. Did you read the artefacts and listen to the audio logs in the first game? Forbidden West was amateur hour compared to the first. The article in question even states ‘it’s all a bit silly’ and it was. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Forbidden West but the story was awful.
@MrMeeeseeeks youve just proven my point darling. All of the artifacts and audio logs describe the lore aka the setting (which is just as fantastic in the second game). The story mechanics are what drive the game forward.
Plus if everyone is entitled to their opinion maybe you should have stfu and left me to mine, sweetness x
@Loftimus “youve just proved my point darling.”
“All of the artifacts and audio logs describe the lore aka the setting (which is just as fantastic in the second game).”
“The story mechanics are what drive the game forward.”
Look, I can see I’ve hurt your delicate sensibilities. You’re absolutely right, baby - the story in Forbidden West is amazing. Couldn’t have written it better myself lol it’s not silly, or absurd, it’s wonderful… really… 👀
@MrMeeeseeeks how can a random hurt my feelings? How does you saying wrong without a counter explanation make you look like anything other than a fool? Silens and the beacon were the story mechanics. What happened before aloy is lore
@Loftimus you’re absolutely right. Don’t dwell on it, baby 👍
Yes, i know, sugar t*+s
If it’s anything like the first it I won’t touch it
You mean you didn't like the kung-fu space wizards who looked and acted like a cross between the Nouveau Riche from Yakuza 0 and Albert Wesker? 🤣
It’s boring. Shouldn’t be on the list. Average at best
@jrt87 I loved it, I did… “kung-fu space wizards” … goood. “cross between the Nouveau Riche from Yakuza 0 and Albert Wesker?” … gooooooood! 🤣
@trev666 totally agree
It’s bit bizarre that Gran Turismo 7 is nowhere to be found in this top 10. Apparently not many racing fans in Push Square Towers. Enough remasters on the list though.. 🤔
@jrt87 just because you say HFW is bad doesn't officially mean it's bad and you certainly dont speak for every PS gamer when it comes to HFW. Putting Saints Row in the same sentence as HFW for comparison doesn't make any sense not even close and also HFW is like chewing glass wow really. I mean fair enough you didn't like the story on this one but none of what you said about HFW makes any sense
This was my clearcut Game of the Year. Like others have said, it is a shame it gets overshadowed in almost every category it would be up for, as it was quite an accomplishment in several areas. Graphics, facial animations for an open world game (a few small issues, but still, it was amazing work), the 3D audio, the score, etc. Some of the best side quests of an open world game of this size as well, with each area getting their own set of them, giving each area their own little story.
It getting overlooked doesn't change how amazing of an experience it was for, pretty much living up to my lofty expectations. It just would have been awesome if it got at least some recognition in even just technical areas. Oh well I guess.
It's almost as if this little box below articles we write in is for the expression of personal opinions.
@PlayStationGamer3919 crazy because besides story which is subjective the sequel is better in every way compared to the first
@Tecinthebrain please explain this because that’s wild to say. HFW had infinitely better sidequests,a world actually worth exploring with armor,weapons,hidden sidequests to find,characters who names you can actually remember and a way better modern day story,improved melee which could still be better but still improved,a skill tree that actually let you make builds somewhat with cool abilities unlike zero dawns bog standard skill tree,better machines,better and deeper combat,way better towns that are lively and feel like real settlements and hugely improved lip syncing,animations and cutscene direction. So how was the first better in every way besides graphics according to you.
@MrMeeeseeeks lol you serious what characters don’t behave like real people give some examples. The story is in no way awful you want an awful story play plague tale requiem or heck even elden ring which was a massive disappointment in story and lore. Bloodborne still rains supreme for fromsoft games for me.
@Cloud39472 yeah so overshadowed it’s in the top ten best selling games of the year in the UK and US,second most nominated game at the game awards and showing up on tons of top ten of the year lists for gaming sites you’re right so overshadowed smh
@Juanalf no they had John González of Fallout New Vegas fame has the narrative director for horizon 1 and 2 and the man knows how to write def better than some random on the internet I can tell you that
@dark_knightmare2 oh please, HFW is some privileged interns idea of how horrific the world can be (i.e. not very). Whoever wrote these characters does not live in the real world, has never stepped foot in the real world and lives an extremely sheltered existence. They need to hire someone with real world experience to write the next one. Unless, ‘Disney version’ of post-apocalyptic world is what Guerrilla are going for?
Don’t care about any of those examples you gave, if you’re trying to incite some kind of reaction. The writing in HFW was weak. Weak.
@jrt87 it doesn't make your opinions about HFW spot on or fact though does it just like it doesn't make mine either
I mean if HFW is as bad as you say it is then it wouldn't have got 3rd place goty position here on Push Square
I mean if HFW is as bad as you say it is then it wouldn't have got nominated at all for The Game Awards 2022 goty
I mean if HFW is as bad as you say it is then why is HFW on 88 metacritic review score and 80 gamer review score
Guys we all have opinions but this is a GOOD game. May not be your cup of tea or rub you the wrong way but they really delivered. Currently playing and having a blast. Much better than the first one gameplay wise and visually stunning .
I really don't understand the hate this game gets. I liked it a lot even if I think HZD is better overall.
@MrMeeeseeeks good response really top shelf stuff smh. You obviously don’t live in the real world if you see power hungry tech CEO’s who only care about power and profit as unrealistic lol
@Mr_B021 fully agree. GT7 has it’s flaws but nevertheless it’s one of the best racing games of all time. I’m literally addicted to it since release. Beautiful game and so much fun to collect and drive all these cars.
@dark_knightmare2 I'm glad you agree, it'd be hard not to, considering Elden Ring caused its sales to drop 80% when it released and Horizon's sales afterwards are largely due to it being shoved into nearly every bundle PS5 like it was wii sports. It didn't win a single award it was nominated for because it was overshadowed by everything else. So yes overshadowed is correct.
@trev666 Couldn’t agree more!
Last night I wanted to revisit the game to finish all the quests left after getting the platinum and holy *****, I got soooo bored I don’t think I’ll ever be able to 100% complete it, the same thing happened with Zero Dawn but I find the main story and side-quests to be much more engaging than Forbidden West’s.
In contrast to Ragnarök where I’m already thinking about getting a second platinum from the PS4 version of the game lol
@MrMeeeseeeks Your criticisms don't become any more serious the more you exaggerate them.
It was a good game that unfortunately did not reach the same level as Zero Dawn. The story was really terrible, its still buggy and glitchy, aloy is so annoying and the human combat and climbing is still awful. But it's still a fun enough ubisoft style game if you enjoy clearing icons off a map. I got the Platinum and I would give if a 7 out of 10.
haven't been this disappointed in a game since mass effect andromeda or fallout 4
@Cloud39472 first off the npd doesn’t count bundles so you’re wrong there for the US and the ps5 stock especially in the UK was abysmal for most of the year so it being in the top ten for the year there wasnt because of bundles. You parrot what you’ve seen fanboys and console warriors say like a sheep and just like them people laugh and you look like a fool because by every metric HFW was a success and wasn’t forgotten but hey you do you. It’s also cute how you ignored the rest of my comment just so you can talk about a launch week drop which goes to show you really have no argument here.
You can get a cream that'll help with Burning Shores.
In the first game, Aloy really grew on me to be a very likeable protagonist. In Forbidden West it was the total opposite. I really didn't like her much in this one. A bloody shame. Story was a bit rubbish too, I thought.
It's fitting you should mention fanboys and console warriors because that definitely influences the fervid pushback against criticism of this game, often from users with Aloy avatars.
If this was a multiplat release it would be rightly considered a middling AAA title like Dying Light or Metro. Make it a console exclusive and some consider it untouchable, regardless of its naff writing, boring story and Ubisoft lite tick box setup.
Dunking on this game has gotten me into a lot of hot water in the past but oh well, I don't think Forbidden West belongs anywhere near the top 10. It's not a good game, and its especially not a good sequel to Zero Dawn. Story complaints aside (of which I have many), It follows a "what if we made it bigger" design philosophy when it should have followed a "How can we make it better" one.
It should have focused on making a smaller, more dense world filled with unique side content and more significant gameplay improvements. Being able to climb on more sections of the environment is a step in the right direction. Adding the hanglider from Breath of the Wild is a step in the right direction. Adding a flying mount is a step in the right direction. These are all additions that are good in a vaccum but they don't solve the core root of the problem. Guerrilla is still playing catchup with a genre that has evolved and left them behind. It's not 2015 anymore. We need more than endless map markers and fetch quests to make our open worlds interesting. We need fun and engaging traversal options and some actual player choice.
It's clear most of the effort went into making a vast open world that was nice to look at and not enough into the content that actually inhabits that world. The Ubisoft-style copy and paste objectives just aren't good enough in 2022. Not when we have games like Breath of the Wild and Elden Ring. Horizon Forbidden West is an open world game of a bygone era, an era that Guerrilla Games doesn't seem to realize has left the station. It's a shame to see such a clearly talented studio go to waste making such bland, and boring games. Hopefully that talent ends up going to better use in the future
@jrt87 or people simply have a different opinion and don't go on a personal crusade against this game.
@jrt87 no bro it wouldn’t be middling it’s got an 88 on metacritic,tons of top ten finishes on gaming websites and is in top ten best selling of the year for both US and UK and all that has nothing to do with being a console exclusive since plenty of console exclusives don’t sell or review that well. You find the writing naff and story boring hey that’s cool it’s your opinion doesn’t mean people have to agree with it and can we please stop with this Ubisoft meme. It isn’t any kind of legit criticism when every open world out there employs it to some extent even BOTW and Elden Ring like get some new material instead of parroting what fanboys and console warriors say like a sheep. The game sold,reviewed and was remembered very well so either deal with it and move on or continue to whine about it as if that’s going to change anything.
@dschons exactly it was Zelda fanboys for the first one and fromsoft fanboys for the second because of the releases being in close proximity it’s so childish and annoying
@roadhog that’s the thing though it’s all open world games even the two you mentioned use the Ubisoft formula to a degree so when people act all high and mighty about their favorite game not being like that I can’t help but side eye them
@Tchunga yeah because HFW had so many fetch quests oh wait it didn’t. I swear when people say things like you did it makes me believe you didn’t even play the game and are instead just parroting what you see fanboys say. You say their open world is from a bygone era when almost every open world is designed the same exact way to this day lol even Elden and BOTW to a lesser extent use some of the Ubisoft blueprint but I guess all those copy pasted dungeons from Elden with the exact same boss except sometimes there’s two wow aren’t filler or the numerous enemy camps or erd trees with the same exact boss.
@Tchunga Fantastic post.
HZD's open world formula was outdated by a game that released the same week as it in 2017. They then repeated the feat five years later by releasing it within weeks of a further evolution of the genre. Quite remarkable, really.
As we can see from many of the comments under this article this game was hugely divisive and that's reflected in it being largely overlooked this awards season.
I thought i was in a small minority that found this game to be disappointing but by reading this comments section many others seem to feel the same
@dark_knightmare2 Lol, your one man crusade against everybody who says anything negative is amusing. Calling people fanboys and whiners is the peak of irony.
Saying HFW is a bad game would be dishonest. It is a visual marvel and the gameplay was as fun as I remember it in HZD. HZD is one of my favorite games of all time. I had to stop playing HFW after 25 hours. The writing, especially the dialog was the cringiest thing I have ever heard. I could not stand it. I really hope they improve on the writing for the third game.
@Cloud39472 nah it’s called having dialogue against people who most you can tell never even played the game. I can state my complaints with it if it would make you feel better since your comments haven’t refuted any of my points so they have amounted to nothing but a waste of time.
@Korgon Miserable open hours? It took me 9 hours to get to the actual Forbidden West and I've been loving the game so far! Easily a 9/10 if it stays this good for rhe entire game and would easily be my #2 GOTY, but that's only because ER is by far and away my game of the century let alone year and I thought that GoW R was just pretty good.
It's Guerillas first and second attempt at open world and was a brand new IP only 5 years ago. Guerrillas done open world for the first time and wrongly get Ubisoft criticised for it by a few and if they stick to making Killzone linear they'd get even more criticism for it. If Ubisoft made any open world of the same quality as HZD and HFW they'd be a little more respected now for such a high quality open world experience and new refreshing unique ideas. There's no way Ubisoft could ever do an open world like Guerrilla Horizon or SuckerPunch Ghost of Tsushima. Ubisoft have a tired formula like they're now on their 8th or 9th Far Cry if include the bigger expansions, Assassins Creed on their 12th or 13th tired open world. Meanwhile its Guerrillas 2nd open world, Bend Studios 1st open world and SuckerPunch 1st open world attempt. And now because Ubisoft do so many open worlds for the past 15 years some PS studios incorrectly now get compared to just because there's an icon on the open world map. Open world type games ain't exclusive to only Ubisoft and not every open world game should be compared to some of Ubisofts tired and boring old formula just because there's an icon on a map. Because Elden Ring has far less icons on a map and you lose all your gear if you die and has some brutal punishing bosses, it won't get compared to Ubisoft open worlds but it's still an open world none the less with the same old Demon, Bloodborne Dark Souls tired old formula theyve been churning out for the past 15 years. The only thing new with Elden Ring is the open world and newly different named weapons
EDIT SuckerPunch on their 2nd type open World, Infamous escaped my mind but that's besides my point
Even before Elden Ring launched, I knew it was going to get sidelined by God of War: Ragnarök but now that Elden Ring is a phenomenon, it's really sad to see Guerrilla didn't get the recognition they truly deserved.
I liked Zero Dawn's story better but Forbidden West easily surpasses the OG in every other aspect. This game is definitely my #1!
@Pathfinder3497 it is sad that people get so angry over opinions about games lol
If you gonna wrongly call out a PS studios game Ubisoft for being open world with an icon on the map then why not call out all the others that have been doing open world long before PS 1st party. Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077 are Ubisoft too. Zelda have been doing open World Zelda for almost 25 years oh because Breath of the Wild is on Switch it gets away with it not being an Ubisoft icons on the map. GTA have been doing the same old open world since 2001. Batman ever since Arkham City has been Ubisoft open world icons on the map
Really? Well I'm glad you liked it. I thought everything leading up to actually getting to the Forbidden West was extremely boring. Characters acting like they were super memorable from 1st game just talking and talking away while I'm sitting there thinking "Uh...who are you again?"
The quests available were just bland and the environment while pretty didn't really have much else going on.
Funny thing is i like JRPGs which are notorious for slow starts but Forbidden West really tested my patience for some reason. I was actually on the verge of dropping it for a while there. I'm glad I didn't of course because like I said I thought it started getting better once you actually reach the West but yeah for like the opening 7 or 8 hours I was really pulling myself along with it.
One of the most beautiful, yet boring games I've ever played. Sony need to pull their finger out, all their games this gen are about as fresh as a moudly cabbage!
@Ichiban if PS 1st party output this gen is as fresh as a mouldy cabbage then what does that say about Nintendo and Microsofts more recent output. Another open world Zelda game which they've been doing since 1998. And then there's zero from Microsoft other than another Forza Horizon game which is about as fresh as my socks and boxers before going into the washing machine. And then comes another potentially overrated boring open world Bethesda game coming next year which cost 7.5 billion for it to be exclusive. PS mouldy cabbage as you put it is sounding a lot fresher in comparison
@Korgon I didn't like the first 2 or so hours when it felt really hand holdy and yeah I agree that the characters were acting as if I remembered anyone other than just Aloy and Sylens. After I went down that lift thing and actually entered the canyon part of the open world I began loving it. Adore the underwater exploration already and the grapple hook is really cool. Will probably continue playing it soon as it's next in my backlog.
It's strange that you mention liking JRPGs as I'm usually averse to traditional JRPGs, such as Tales franchise due to the start being really slow to get into.
i'm in the middle of it but I am definitely enjoying this story alot...more than the first game which I believe in execution hasn't aged well but it still good.
@PlayStationGamer3919 stop listening to friends and have a mind of your own and play it. I think it's fantastic
@WolfyTn like if that's what some people are so hung up about the first game's story? like it was good but this is the sequel...obviously we ain't gonna learn about the world for the first time but this is a great natural progression. I don't get it...the only thing that was a shock was how the world came to be.
@middyone 60hrs in and the story is just getting better and better for me.. gamers are just a hard/picky bunch sometimes
@PlayStationGamer3919 just because a couple of people find it a disappointment doesn't mean it is. they had high expectations going in and that's what made them be disappointed. happens for anything and people never learn. give it a chance imo it's way better than the first game.
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