As predicted, Horizon Forbidden West is going to miss it’s 2021 release date and will now be out on February 18th 2022. The news was announced during the Gamescom Opening Night Live presentation. Last month Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier and Venture Beat’s Jeff Grubb (who was speaking on the GrubbSnax news program for Giant Bomb) leaked that the game was going to be delayed.
The sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn had been expected for release in late 2021, with Sony executives repeatedly stating that the Horizon Forbidden West was on target for a launch this year, but also consistently hedging their bets by not giving a firm release date and also leaving the door open to a possible delay. Most recently, PlayStation Studio boss Hermen Hulst said “For Horizon, we think we are on track to release this holiday season. But that isn’t quite certain yet, and we’re working as hard as we can to confirm that to you as soon as we can.”
That statement came shortly after the May State of Play and sweeping gameplay reveal, showcasing the game on PlayStation 5 – it will also be coming to PlayStation 4 as a cross-gen exclusive – and new gameplay for swimming, traversal, combat and more.
The game will start six months after the end of the first game during which Aloy has been on a mission. She has spotted the red light which is signalling the “end of the biosphere” and the death of the planet, and to save the day she heads to the Forbidden West. She will hook up with some old friends such as Erend and Sylens, but also meet new characters. “One of the things we wanted to do is increase the amount of time that Aloy spends with her companions,” explained Guerrilla, perhaps a hint that AI characters may join Aloy?
Guerrilla also said that that there are “many, many more locations” other than San Francisco, the only area we saw in the trailer, “and some of them you will recognise.” There will be many different terrain types, from jungles to Frozen Wild type landscapes.
Sony’s plans for the first year of the PlayStation 5 have been particularly hard hit, with God of War: Ragnarok (or whatever they end up calling the sequel) and Gran Turismo 7 both pushed back to 2022 – let’s not forget that they are secret cross-gen games, which could be another factor in the development process. The exclusives that they had secured from Bethesda have also been delayed, with Deathloop originally expected at launch and now coming out in September, and Ghostwire: Tokyo now set for 2022.