Horizon Forbidden West Review

A detailed review of the new Sony game Horizon Forbidden West, in which we discuss the story, graphics, performance, design, music, localization and much more.

I have always been more interested in the intellectual worldview of Horizon Zero Dawn than any other exclusive experience from the Sony publisher, and this interest is due to the unique direction that this game adopts in particular, without the rest of the games, which is a sea of ​​sci-fi full of endless revolutionary ideas.

Scientist Isaac Asimov, one of the pioneering founders of science fiction literature says that this type of literature serves the interest of humanity, and can reflect all the topics that touch our empty reality and imagine its future with extreme accuracy, and when I finally got the opportunity to look at the future of this dark world in Horizon Forbidden West I made sure the lens I’m looking at was never wrong.

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There are many character names that are obvious projections or touches of appreciation to the sci-fi legacy left by Asimov and all the influencers in the field, chief among them Gaia, a super-powerful artificial intelligence capable of storing an awful amount of information and energy in its collective memory, a direct projection onto the planet. Of the same name and abilities in the author’s Foundation’s Edge, as well as the main antagonist Nemesis, which is a stark indication of the direction of the new part, also of Asimov’s novel of the same name, hidden in the folds of its pages is a great indication of the structure of the news story, and perhaps some important glimpses of The future of the series as we’ll discuss in today’s review.

Horizon Forbidden West is now available on PS5 and PS4. (Tested on PS5).

Impressive harmony, a new spirit

The main plot of the aforementioned Nemesis novel is set in an era when humans can travel across the stars. Use techniques such as super assist to travel at near the speed of light, until they reach a planet inhabited by a bacterium that has a Gaia-like collective intelligence in Asimov’s other novels, as well as the events in The first game. Still, these bacteria quickly evolve to form a conscious and dangerous community, which threatens to destabilize the path of the star Nemesis that would fall to Earth and cause the mass extinction of humanity.

Humanity is the centrepiece of the foundation

Horizon Forbidden West takes a direction very close to the basic idea, and we can’t say it’s another adventure in the post-apocalyptic world of New Humanity, but rather a story that actually complements where the events of the previous game ended, and in fact, Horizon was never a story about robotic dinosaurs, Rather, it has always been and will always be a story about humanity, about analytical and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, and the potential consequences of scientific, social and technological innovations in any potential literary framework, and although this point remained a source of contention for a while among authors, critics and readers, everyone agreed that the basis is the same Which is that after reading such works, you can see their reflection in your current reality almost immediately.

This is most evident in the choice of the team of heroes and the way they are used within the story. Yes, this time Aloy is no longer the owner of the total power and influence in the world as it was before or in most video games, but all the old and new characters have an active role and opinion in everything the heroine does and the state of the planet in general.

The residents in the new areas do not suffer silently from ignorance and illusions, but rather get used to things in their own way, and have developed many intellectual and social techniques that do not necessarily agree with you or your view of things, and even if you know the best solutions, the land, in the end, is not yours. You are the only one to act on it as you wish.

Restructuring the story in this way to become more lively and interactive, in turn, requires a kind of radical refinement of the heroine’s character, and transforming her into a person who thinks for herself, meditates and reviews her previous choices, learns from them and adopts her own point of view, which in turn will blend with the rest of the world’s characters, positively or negatively, and I can say that This is one of Horizon Forbidden West’s greatest achievements in general.

Aloy has a soul that didn’t exist before, and the visuals not only follow her conversations and inner monologues but delve deeper into her soul and her deepest emotional secrets, showing you how she personally struggles to accept everything she knew and went through in the first part.

To make our story short, Horizon Zero Dawn is a completely different experience from the first part. The game still has the same characters and looks, but it works on a completely different set of values ​​and ideas, and the story itself is no longer a journey of self-discovery as before, but rather direct comments on ideas and social problems that can only be employed in this charming way within the framework of science fiction stories.

Through many eyes, the story can no longer be evaluated in the often unified view of video games, but instead has become our story, and it is possible for each of us to see ourselves in the characters, ideas, challenges and sermons that the game offers.

You are the master of the game

The only game that comes close to this collective notion of action and character is Death Stranding, which is kind of poetic since both games use the same great Decima engine.

The engine does a great job at breaking the monotony that overwhelms most open-world games, making you really feel like you’re in this world and worth exploring through a series of events and exploration points that absorb narrative elements and link them to secondary missions and distinct topographical formations that have more than just scenic effects on the environment. . Even during the adventure, the morphological and ecological nature of some settlements changes to reflect this emotional nature in the visual narrative.

The Horizon Forbidden West theatre is almost limitless in terms of cinematography. Every shot and every action becomes more complex and detailed as you delve into the action and all the technical mechanics such as lights, colours and shadows work together with exquisite precision to create an experience that truly expresses for the first time the coming of the new generation of video games on the scene.

Even the classic faces and characters now interact with the world as much as you interact with them and practice their own side activities such as chess, racing and battle arenas with robots without your intervention, and when you talk to them, they reveal to you the most important resources and places of interest in the area around you, whatever and wherever you are.

Players often forget that they are able to shape their gaming experience as they want, so this game is one of the few games where opinions may vary and vary depending on the access data that the player has entered from the setting menu.

There are many, many details that can be customized, such as guide points, aiming aids, and even the sounds of monsters and weapons. Their height can be customized according to the player’s desire, and even another joystick can be inserted to help the player in some game points, and this option may be useful if the player is young or Does not tolerate or dislike certain parts of the game. The accessibility options can make you play a completely different game than any other player.

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It is worth noting that the game takes an average of 30 hours to finish its main story, but this number is not accurate if we factor in a lot of accounts for side activities, assistance systems, customization and access, and the idea of ​​​​playing the game in Explore or Guide mode.

All this increases the time and direction of playing in general to double these hours or more, and although the game contains many means of fast travel, riding and driving, most of the time in fact is spent walking and exploring side missions, rocky blocks, bodies of water, and everything that is Strange, strange, and different, he hid many secrets that were worth spending time with.

Access systems and the new geographic nature of the game work seamlessly together as mentioned. With gameplay difficulties and guidance levels, you can transform your open-world experience from the usual point-to-point setting, into a truly exploratory journey into the unknown.

It encourages you to look into every corner and climb over every place in order to discover the secrets that lie within. The difference between it and games like Ghost of Tsushima The latter helped make the exploration element effective in some, but not all, aspects of gameplay or side missions, but Horizon Forbidden West is built from the ground up for that purpose.

Horizon Forbidden West game story

As mentioned at the beginning, science fiction novels are able to reflect the truth, and like Kojima’s game, this time the game reflects the future of the United States after years of destruction and devastation. Most of the iconic places in the American West have been wonderfully reproduced, quoting the realism of places and instilling in them a new and distinctive spirit such as California, Las Vegas, etc., adding to them many frills of new civilizations that have formed over the years and changing beliefs, cultures and religions. There is also an awful amount of levels that every part of the world contains, whether on the horizontal or vertical planes, on top of buildings or even under water.

In the past, it was effortless to use guide bots to direct you to the side areas and go right there like short arithmetic equations with fixed results, and also it was easy to know at first sight everything you wanted about the bot and its uses or weaknesses, but now it is completely different Accessing a robot to either ride on it or destroy it requires a lot of advance preparation and awareness of the surroundings to use in the process of attacking the robot. The surroundings have become an integral part of the battles, and it’s hard to talk about either of them separately when we talk about Horizon Forbidden West.

Aloy has not only been expanded from the written side, but also from the technical side, as it has more than ten types of weapons, three classes of armour, and many, many traps of all shapes, and each of them can be customized and developed using minerals and resources, and it has been Customizing the use of each weapon to respond to certain types of robotic dinosaurs, and also the weapons themselves were employed to be compatible with certain types of terrain and geographical natures, but on the other hand, this made the available capabilities systems (which are six branches of abilities) unimportant, and many of them In our opinion, it would have been better if it had been available from the start.

We don’t want to burn off the new types of robots that the player will encounter in Horizon Forbidden West, but from all the details we mentioned it can now be imagined that the battles no longer depend only on the type of dinosaur you are facing, but all the elements of the surroundings and heights will work to make the confrontations not only rougher and depth, and even encounters with the same dinosaur can vary depending on where you encounter him, above or below ground, in mountainous areas or plains. All this now makes a difference in the battles with machines and also with humans, so in this particular game there are no two opponents alike at all, no two battles that happen the same way and there is no sense of the word monotony here.

Performance of Horizon Forbidden West

On PlayStation 5, Horizon Forbidden West can be played in two different graphics modes: Performance and Resolution. In the first, at the expense of fewer graphic details and fewer sharp edges, the game maintains a frame rate of 60 frames per second, while choosing the other mode, the difference in terms of visual clarity becomes large, especially when looking at far distances, but on the other hand, the frame rate drops It is halved, and some buildings and facilities take time to appear on the screen in full quality, so the only drawback in the new generation version is that so far there is no game that really can handle the amount of resolution that video game consoles want to reach at all times.

But even if you play the game in performance mode, your experience will not be affected in terms of quality because the richness of colours, terrain designs, and accessibility settings that control the speed of play is able to compensate for the lack of extra detail. The Dual Sense arm also not only supports the game in terms of sensory sensors, but even on the PlayStation 4 the game takes advantage of the device’s audio output to further immerse the player with a range of different sounds of lakes and rivers, arrow pulls, and of course confrontations with dinosaurs and hostile opponents. In general, you can switch between the two modes at any time, so you don’t need to worry about when to use the best mode.

And speaking of the new generation, and the re-use of the visual scenes to appear in a spirit full of life, the same can be said about the method of Arabic subtitles and dubbing, which has always been monotonous in many of these games because Arabic is not a tonal language in the first place, so the dubbing must make every effort An extra effort to get the tones and sensations right, but even with the extra effort the graphics quality in the previous game (which was devoid of any sensations) didn’t get the energy of the performers and translators right, but now, everything works smoothly and I don’t feel for a moment This game is actually made by foreign developers.

My personal opinion

In the end, I want to express my personal feeling that Horizon Forbidden West is one of the stories we need in these trying days. When I remember the hero Hari Seldon, the icon of Asimov in his historical series The Foundation, his desperate attempts to study theories that would predict the fate of humanity, and his deep sadness that he knew the end of humanity before others and that he is alone because of this knowledge, I can only compare his position with that of Aloy who She possesses an equal amount of knowledge, which makes her face multiple difficulties in relating to others and searching for her origin, herself, and being in the midst of a strange world that does not recognize her and her circumstances.

In my opinion, the story of the game and the novels largely reflect the conditions of life in isolation that we are going through now. Each of us lives individually and maintains as much as possible social distancing, and greatly economizes in providing emotional support outside designated places and similarly obtaining it, and undoubtedly, this new situation affected our lives and thinking greatly, and each of us was forced to make many life changes in A short period of time, and this is what really happened with the heroine Aloy, whose life continues to be turned upside down due to circumstances beyond her control, making her in this particular part more vulnerable and emotionally fragile than before, as she needs more than just side talks, and goals Specific to get rid of these psychological difficulties.

I am confident that the current circumstances had a significant impact on the style of writing the game, which turns out to want to convey a specific message of support, communication, cooperation and contact with nature around us in the darkest possible circumstances. Of course, building a complete experience around these ideas and mixing them incomparably with Sony’s quality in releasing its games and making the most of the new generation platform in a way that no other game has done so far, and on top of that launching the game in a way that parallels the same technical quality on the PS4 platform, all of these things make Horizon Forbidden West is one of the best life experiences I’ve ever had, and I recommend it to all players even those who still own the old generation platform.

Summary: Horizon Forbidden West review

Horizon Forbidden West represents a paradigm shift in the individual narrative style of Sony games, taking advantage of all previous releases of the publisher and surpassing them all in technical visual quality, to create an unprecedented intertwined and homogeneous journey for video games, especially open-world games, and it carries a meaningful message that fits our time And our current situation at the global level.

Game Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Significant development and enrichment in the fundamentals of the world of Horizon.
  • Additions and improvements to all aspects of gameplay to create a cohesive and cohesive structure.
  • The new technical trend highlights all the features of the PlayStation 5 platform, audio and video.
  • The gaming experience can be customized with many different modes and difficulties.
  • Arabic subtitles and dubbing represent a qualitative leap in the quality of Arabization elements in video games.

Cons

  • The visual system has a frame rate of no more than 30 frames per second
  • Special abilities are not essential and important despite their number, along with other factors that govern the difficulty of battles

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