For the longest time, we believed and hoped that the next game on our 2022 Most Wanted list was actually going to be coming out in 2021. Of course, we won’t begrudge Sony and Guerrilla Games wanting to take the time that they need to make Horizon Forbidden West the best sequel it could possibly be and a landmark release for the beginning of a new generation.
Launching a new IP is hard. For every Resistance there’s a The Order: 1866, for every Motorstorm there’s a DriveClub – creating a brand new world is incredibly hard, but looking back it’s obvious that Horizon Zero Dawn was going to be huge. It had everything gamers wanted, massive open worlds, stealth, tactics, fierce combat, a compelling (and at times incredibly dark) storyline, and most importantly, giant robot dinosaurs.
That’s it really, that’s all you need to say, and everyone on the planet is interested. Thankfully Guerrilla’s new IP was about more than just the robot dinos and they crafted an excellent game on top of that brilliant selling point, giving birth to a new PlayStation icon, quite literally in the game, with Aloy. A sequel was always on the cards and in February 2022 we will get to follow Aloy as she heads to new lands in the west and smack the tusks off giant robot mammoths.
Very little is known about the plot outside of the fact that there’s another world-ending threat, but we do expect Sylens, voiced by the ever excellent Lance Reddick, to be back. The Metal Devils, the giant dormant snake machines that are seen throughout the first game and also wrapped around the Golden Gate Bridge in promotional material for the sequel, may also come in to play. Aloy was an outcast in the first game, but is now seen as a saviour so she will have a very different journey through the second game and have some help along the way as Erend returns. She’ll need it when there’s plenty of new machines that she’ll have to face, including the Slitherfang, Rollerback and Sunwing. Oh, and now there’s a brand new trailer that dives into the human tribes that you’ll meet as well.
Some people were disappointment at the eventual confirmation that Horizon Forbidden West is a cross-generation release for both PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, but that’s given way to excitement. Since that time, Sony has released several game trailers each of which looks more and more spectacular than the last – screenshots of the PS4 version look pretty great too.
The game engine has been overhauled with a new facial animation system which will please those who thought the characters were rather expressionless in the first game, there’s a new crowd system and plenty of fancy new graphical features that will show off the power of the PlayStation 5. Guerrilla Games are also pushing the game design forward to give Aloy and players many new gameplay possibilities. Things like new attacks in combat, the new free climbing system, the Pullcaster grappling hook and Shieldwing to let Aloy glide down from vantage points she reaches – just check out the gameplay reveal from last summer.
There’s still a lot more to the game but Guerrilla are keeping things under wraps, but thankfully we don’t have too long to wait.
Horizon Forbidden West is due out on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on 18th February 2022.
Want to see what else is on our list? See out full set of Most Wanted Games of 2022 here.