All eyes are on Sony as the tech giant prepares to launch its first AAA exclusive this year in Horizon Forbidden West. The Guerilla Games-developed title picks up after the events of Horizon Zero Dawn, which was released in 2017. Due to the first game's success, Sony and Guerilla are doubling down on the series with a virtual reality game, Call of the Mountain, currently in development for the PlayStation VR 2.
As always, reviewers and critics got first dibs at Forbidden West ahead of its February 18 launch. To no one's surprise, everyone appears to be loving the post-apocalyptic Earth landscape. But, what's interesting is how all critics appear to agree that Forbidden West manages to meet all expectations if not exceed them.
Sam Loveridge of GamesRadar gave Forbidden West a 4.5 out of 5, referring to Forbidden West as "nothing short of phenomenal." Sam points out that Forbidden West is "such an improvement on the original game," with a strong story. Jason Fanelli, a writer for MMORPG.com, agrees as Forbidden West is everything that he wanted in a sequel.
However, not everyone agrees that Forbidden West is close to perfection. Case in point, Joab Gilroy from Stevivor, who thinks that Forbidden West is a "game of contrasts" with excellent side questions that are "so simple as to feel pointless" as well as a combat system that "features a complex balance between elemental strengths and weaknesses but you can ignore all that via a rain of explosive spearheads."
It appears that the main point of contention with Forbidden West between critics so far is that they saw the game differently in that it was more or less the same as Zero Dawn. Whereas some critics loved how Forbidden West improved upon its predecessor, some argue that the story and general structure don't stray too much from Zero Dawn.
The criticism is a valid point. At the same time, the similarity in structure and story was expected. Forbidden West is a continuation of Aloy's journey from Zero Dawn. After finding out how the end of the world came to be by the end of Zero Dawn, Aloy ventures into the titular Forbidden West to find out more about a potentially catastrophic event and how to stop it. For better or for worse, Forbidden West was always going to be a "bigger and better" Zero Dawn.
Having said that, here's a round-up of what other critics are saying about Forbidden West:
Ultimately, the choice to purchase Forbidden West is yours to make - it shouldn't hinge on what a bunch of strangers over the internet have to say about the game. But, if you were a fan of Zero Dawn, we don't think that Forbidden West going to disappoint you at any point. However, just like every other open-world game, Forbidden West suffers from the same problems that other titles in the genre do, so things can quickly get a bit overwhelming for little to no reason at all.