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Horizon Forbidden West release date, gameplay, and more

Here's everything you need to know about Horizon Forbidden West, the acclaimed sequel in the already beloved PlayStation franchise.

Aloy swims underwater with breathing apparatus over her mouth and nose

Horizon Forbidden West was the highly-anticipated follow-up to the 2017 science fiction RPG Horizon Zero Dawn. Developed by Guerrilla Games, the first instalment was a blend of the natural world and robot dinosaurs – and the sequel took that to new heights.

With lush jungles, underwater coral reefs (that you can swim through), and a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, Horizon Forbidden West was stunning, especially at 60 FPS.

Horizon Forbidden West release date

The Horizon Forbidden West release date was Friday, February 18, 2022, on PS5 and PS4 after having been delayed from its initial 2021 launch window due to the development issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horizon Forbidden West trailer

If you’re curious to dive in and are cautious of spoilers even all the years on from its release, then we recommend you check out the announcement trailer for a quick look:

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The Horizon Forbidden West trailer showed off everything it needed to about the game’s themes, ideas, and general vibes. Protagonist Aloy was on a quest to stop the rot that was killing her country and perverting the natural beauty of post-apocalyptic America.

The story put the environment front and center, which made perfect sense as the open world looked stunning. You can’t forget the robot dinosaurs, of course, but it’s safe to say the natural world was the focus here.

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Horizon Forbidden West gameplay

The official gameplay showcase gave us a glimpse at a bunch of new additions for the sequel, most noticeably the underwater section. Swimming was somewhat limited in Zero Dawn, but the addition of a proper diving mechanic in Forbidden West allowed Guerrilla Games to add a whole new beautiful environment for you to explore.

Aloy could also grapple and the climbing was significantly improved to allow her to free climb. She also had a technological glider for when she was jumping from great heights (think Breath of the Wild).

Horizon Forbidden West also took full advantage of 3D audio and DualSense support on PS5 to provide unparalleled immersion in its breathtaking and unique world. Likewise, Horizon Forbidden West boasted stunning a 60fps performance mode on PlayStation 5.

Horizon Forbidden West PS4

Horizon Forbidden West was released on PS4, so those who didn’t manage to get their hands on Sony’s latest console in time didn’t have to worry about missing out.

As you would expect, some aspects of the game weren’t quite the same on last-gen consoles, however, and Aloy’s “hero lighting” was sacrificed outside of cutscenes. The PS4 version also used a different technique for rendering the game’s water.

Horizon Forbidden West release date: Aloy faces off against a mechanical elephant on a beach.

Horizon Forbidden West PC

Horizon Forbidden West was released on PC on Thursday, March 21, 2024, around two years after its initial release on PlayStation.

While the wait was frustrating for PC fans, it was at least faster than its predecessor to make the jump. Zero Dawn was released on PC three years after its initial release on PlayStation 4.

That’s everything you need to know about Horizon Forbidden West, one of the PlayStation’s best new franchises. It’s no wonder it’s a treasured PS5 exclusive, it’s one of the best PS5 games and among the best RPG games out there, even today.