Esquire Middle East

When robots roar

Sony’s Playstatio­n exclusive—horizon Forbidden West—will see you take on robot dinosaurs. Need we say more?

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The first Horizon game was something truly rare for the genre. It presented a totally unique take on the typical dystopian future shoot-em-up type experience, offering a truly fantastic storyline, great controls, top-notch graphics and frickin’ robot dinosaurs.

When it hit virtual shelves back in 2017, it became an immediate classic and a huge win for Sony and developers Guerilla Games—which offered the game solely on its Playstatio­n console—and the studio is hungry for more.

Forbidden West is the second installmen­t of the

Horizon franchise, and sees the game’s hero Aloy explore strange new worlds and get to grips with all new robot dinosaurs. Now, we could go into exactly how and why metal beasts roam the lands in the future, but if you don’t know already you’ll have far more fun finding out yourself (the first game is currently on offer). What we can say is that Forbidden West is packed with ideas that never made it into the first game.

For starters your Focus— the future version of a supersmart Bluetooth headset—is much improved; highlighti­ng resources to pick up and the many climbable parts of the world. It also lets you scan enemies and said robot dinosaurs, of which there are some dangerous new editions.

The Clawstride­r is the game’s take on a meched-out velocirapt­or, the Sunwing attacks from the skies, and

We could go into exactly how and why metal beasts roam the lands in the future, but if you don’t know already you’ll have far more fun finding out yourself

the Tremortusk is a metal mammoth, complete with battle station that let its human masters fire down on you from its back. The original game’s Snapmaw—basically, a massive robot crocodile—also returns, but is far more threatenin­g this time around as you’ll be spending a considerab­le amount of time in the water. Yes, Forbidden West finally opens up proper underwater exploratio­n thanks to a handy re-breather for Aloy.

Being a Horizon game, there is far more beyond running, hiding and shooting robot dinos. The story involves warring tribes and guilds, and a cast of characters including

Black Panther’s Angela Bassett, and The Matrix veteran Carrieanne Moss.

Forbidden West will no doubt be another actionpack­ed addition to the Horizon franchise, and provided it stays true to the original, another classic to boot. But more importantl­y, this is one of the first Playstatio­n exclusives developed to take full advantage of the recent launch of the Ps5—making it a must-buy for anyone who was lucky enough to snap up the next-gen console at launch. Horizon Forbidden West is available on February 18.

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