Horizon Forbidden West Preview: Trailer, Release Date, and More

Horizon Forbidden West is one of the most highly anticipated exclusives coming to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 sometime this year.

Horizon Forbidden West is still expected to release in 2021.
Horizon Forbidden West is still expected to release in 2021.

Forbidden West is the sequel to Guerilla Games' critically-acclaimed open-world action-adventure title from 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn. The game was first announced in mid-2020 as part of Sony's first-ever PS5 showcase. However, it wasn't until nearly a year later that Sony provided fans a much more detailed glimpse of what to expect from Forbidden West as part of the May 27 State of Play showcase.

While Sony and Guerilla Games haven't really talked much about Forbidden West, trying to follow the game's development, release date, and other related news, can be exhausting for the casual fan.

Below, in our Horizon Forbidden West preview, you'll find everything that there is to know about the game. This includes information such as platforms, what the story is going to be, as well as a potential release window, among others.

What Is Horizon Forbidden West?

The end of Zero Dawn hinted at a potentially bigger threat than HADES.
The end of Zero Dawn hinted at a potentially bigger threat than HADES.

Forbidden West is the latest game in Guerilla Games' Horizon series of action-adventure titles. Both Horizon games so far have and will be set in a post-apocalyptic Earth. In this alternate reality, human-made self-replicating robots hunted humanity into near extinction by consuming so much biomass that it eventually rendered the planet inhabitable.

The events of the Horizon games themselves happen during the 31st century. During this time, robots have become the dominant species on earth. Meanwhile, the few remaining humans have been forced to live in relatively primitive tribes.

In both Zero Dawn and Forbidden West, players will take on the role of Aloy, who is the genetic clone of Dr. Elizabeth Sorbeck, the woman mainly responsible for saving the world by way of creating the artificial intelligence known as GAIA that was designed to help make Earth livable again for human beings, regardless of how long it took.

A series of events happen and players find out that GAIA's numerous subordinate functions had gone rogue. The main one, in particular, was HADES. Its main responsibility was to carry out a controlled extinction of the human race should GAIA fail in its goal of reestablishing human society so that the cycle could begin again.

However, despite the success of GAIA's efforts, HADES continued to follow its initial directive. To help it with its sinister goals, HADES sough to reactive the since-dormant Faro swarm that was responsible for humanity's demise.

Aloy ultimately faces off against HADES by the end of Zero Dawn and defeats it. But, as players learn during the final scene, HADES manages to escape. The dark entity shoots out and flies into an apparatus towards Sylens. Up to that point, the secondary character in Zero Dawn had aided Aloy throughout her adventures.

It's currently unknown if Forbidden West will put Sylens in a villainous role or if he will be manipulated so that he can set off the events of the sequel. At the moment, the only story information that we know is that, despite the success of GAIA and Aloy, Earth still looks like it's headed straight for another cataclysmic event.

To get to the root of this, Aloy travels to the titular Forbidden West. The forbidden stretch of land will reportedly stretch across a post-apocalyptic reimagining of California, Utah, and Nevada.

When is the Horizon Forbidden West Release Date?

All that we know about Forbidden West is that it will release in 2021. Just when exactly in 2021 is the question on everyone's mind. Guerilla Games nor Sony has released information about a release date for Forbidden West. However, since Forbidden West hasn't been confirmed to be delayed yet, we can expect to play as Aloy sometime this 2021.

If it's any consolation, you'll find many games like Forbidden West to keep you busy until its release.

How Do I Watch the Horizon Forbidden West Trailer?

After an announcement trailer in mid-2020, Sony provided an extensive look at Forbidden West via its May 27 State of Play presentation.

The latest footage of Forbidden West includes details about the game's story, mechanics, and more.

Is Horizon Forbidden West a PS5-Exclusive?

The State of Play showcase showed off just how good Forbidden West will look on the PlayStation 5. But, even though it will look best on the PS5, Sony just isn't ready to alienate the majority of PlayStation owners just yet.

Both Guerilla Games and Sony have confirmed that Forbidden West will also release on the PlayStation 4.

Will Horizon Forbidden West Support Multiplayer?

If there's one thing that studios have proven in recent years is that not every game needs to have a multiplayer component. There is a long list of games that have successfully sold millions despite not having multiplayer. Then again, just because a game doesn't need multiplayer doesn't mean that wouldn't help.

A good example of this is is Legends, the multiplayer mode for Ghost of Tsushima that added two-player story missions and four-player survival co-op missions, as well as an additional raid mode, to Sucker Punch's single-player title.

Unfortunately, outside of rumors and speculations, there's no word about a multiplayer mode for Forbidden West yet.

Everything New in Horizon Forbbiden West

Forbidden West will introduce a brand-new diving mechanic.
Forbidden West will introduce a brand-new diving mechanic.
  • Compared to the Assassin's Creed and Middle-Earth games, Zero Dawn's climbing mechanics were subpar. It's not that they were bad, but they weren't great either. However, it seems like this is going to be one of the areas that Forbidden West will focus on improving on.
  • Forbidden West lets Aloy use the Pullcaster. This is a brand-new gadget that lets Aloy grapple and zip away to other places faster than before.
  • Another new tool at Aloy's disposal is the Shieldwing, which is a glider that helps reduce if not remove fall damage when jumping from heights and allows you to drop in on your enemies without getting noticed.
  • One of the weirdest exclusions from Zero Dawn is that the game didn't let you dive underwater. Forbidden West fixes this by letting Aloy dive indefinitely and swim underwater with the aid of a diving mask.
  • It looks like Forbidden West will let Aloy override more enemy machines than before.
  • Forbidden West will also take advantage of DualSense-specific features. In particular, the adaptive triggers. This change will reportedly make weapons feel more different from each other.
  • The Tempest 3D AudioTech will also let PS5 owners locate machines better by the unique sound that each one makes in Forbidden West.

Ray Ampoloquio
Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter.