Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Forbidden West was one of the real highlights of the PlayStation 5 reveal event, but if you were hoping that meant the game would be a PS5 launch title, then prepare to be disappointed. The game director Mathijs de Jonge has given the sequel to the 2017 hit Horizon Zero Dawn a hopeful sounding release window or 2021 in a new video that dives into the game’s setting and new features.
“We have been working very hard in order to create a worthy sequel,” de Jonge says in the video, “one that will hopefully appeal to all the fans, but also newcomers to the franchise. We’re aiming to release the game next year in 2021.”
The phrasing certainly suggests that it’s not targeting the start of the year, but could be planned as a summer blockbuster. Sony have had a knack over the last few years of releasing at least one big budget first party exclusive between April to June, and that would certainly help spur on sales of their upcoming next-gen console.
The video also explores some of the world that Guerrilla are building. In it, de Jonge explains that they are making the world “wider and deeper”, so the map is only “a bit bigger” than that found in Horizon Zero Dawn, representing North America from Utah to the Pacific coast and filled with landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge. However, there’s added depth through being able to head underwater and explore rivers and lakes. That ties into the game’s story, with Aloy heading West and encountering new tribes, one of which has learnt how to corrupt the game’s robotic beasts, a red blight the is strangling the land, and out of control weather with massive supercell storms that flood canyons and fields.
All of that will, of course, load in the blink of an eye – well, maybe a few seconds, but you can blink really slowly. De Jonge says “With the PS5’s SSD there will be virtually no loading screens, so in an open world game like Horizon Forbidden West, if you open up the map and fast travel from one end of the world to the other, restarting from a checkpoint will be super fast, and when you boot up the game, you’ll be right there in the action.”
We’re certainly looking forward to Guerrilla’s follow up. I gave the original a great 8/10 score, writing for our Horizon Zero Dawn review:
“There’s more to Guerrilla Games’ latest than just its staggeringly pretty graphics. The story surprises as it takes several twists and turns and explores the past, but the game’s beating heart is with its excellently tense and engaging robotic monster hunting.”
This was then further enhanced by the Frozen Wilds expansion, for which Tuffcub said “enhances an already excellent game.”