8 Important Things to Know About Horizon Forbidden West
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8 Important Things to Know About Horizon Forbidden West

VOICE OVER: Riccardo Tucci WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
The sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn is sending Aloy on a new adventure with new horizons! For this list, we're looking at 8 important things to know about the highly anticipated Horizon Forbidden West. Our countdown includes Unresolved Story Threads, The Red Blight, An Emphasis on Underwater Gameplay and more!

8 Important Things to Know About Horizon Forbidden West

Aloy is moving on to a new adventure with new horizons. Welcome to MojoPlays, and today we’ll be looking at 8 Important Things to Know About the highly anticipated Horizon Forbidden West.

Unresolved Story Threads

As much ground as the first game covered, it left several questions up in the air that require a deeper dive. We know that a mysterious signal activated the A.I. HADES, leading to the destruction of GAIA Prime. However, it remains unclear where exactly this signal came from and who/what sent it. Although Aloy thwarted HADES’ plot to wipe out all life, she didn’t take it down for good. Instead of destroying HADES, Sylens took his “old friend” prisoner. Whether Sylens ultimately ends up being an ally or antagonist, he has his own agenda. Another character who could use further exploration is Ted Faro. We’ve yet to see a recording of his presumed demise, meaning there may be more to his backstory.

The Red Blight

“Forbidden West” will see Aloy go up against a slew of new enemies and challenges. The Red Blight, in particular, is unlike anything Aloy has ever faced before. This entity spreads through the west like a disease, causing animals to perish, tribes to go hungry, and the biosphere to collapse. To save this world, Aloy must follow a trail of death and despair lined with red tendrils. As for where the Red Blight will lead her, it wouldn’t be surprising if Sylens and HADES are at the center of this plague. Whatever awaits, it appears that Aloy’s greatest threat this time around won’t be purely technological, but biological.

Another Extinction on the Horizon

The Red Blight’s impact goes far beyond the death of wildlife and the destruction of crops. This plague has also cast a shadow of catastrophic weather over the west. The skies are swarmed with supercell storms, turning the canyons and fields below into electrical danger zones. Just as machines were corrupted, it would appear that the Red Blight has infected nature, turning the environment against itself. In which case, all natural life on Earth could be in store for another potential extinction. This is sure to add another level of dread and uncertainty to the game’s open-world experience.

What Sylens Is Plotting

Based on “Zero Dawn’s” ending, it’s evident that Sylens has big plans for HADES. Will Sylens use the A.I.’s powers for good or evil, though? It’s possible that Sylens is manipulating HADES to somehow spread the Red Blight. Since HADES was originally created as an extinction failsafe protocol, however, maybe it’s the key to stopping the Red Blight. Either way, HADES isn’t the only one in Sylens’ corner. As seen in the “Forbidden West” trailer, Sylens has seemingly teamed up with a new tribe. These people appear to possess lances that can override machines, not unlike the one that Sylen gave Aloy. Did Sylen share this technology with the tribe? In any case, Sylen is bound to emerge more powerful than ever.

An Emphasis on Underwater Gameplay

Since this sequel takes place on America’s West Coast, underwater exploration will naturally play a pivotal role in Aloy’s travels. As massive as the original game might’ve been, this is one element that was largely missing from its immersive world. Maybe that’s because water levels don’t have the best reputation in video games. Even in a masterpiece like “Ocarina of Time,” the Water Temple is easily the most frustrating portion. Judging from what we’ve seen so far, however, Guerrilla Games has rendered some gorgeous undersea environments swimming with natural and mechanical life. It’s a brilliant showcase for the PS5’s visual capabilities and assuming that the gameplay mechanics are on par with these graphics, “Forbidden West” is inclined to make a splash.

New Machines

In addition to familiar mechanical creatures like Charges and Scrappers, “Forbidden West” should provide an expanded role for the Snapmaws given its underwater gameplay. You can count on seeing a few new machines as well. The reveal trailer has already given us a glimpse at massive turtles called Shell-Snappers, which you’ll unearth in swampy areas and by the shores. Bearing a resemblance to pterodactyls, Sunwings soar up above with solar panels wings. Of course, the machines we’re most excited about would have to be those heavily armored mammoths known as Tremortusk. These war elephants are controlled by tribes, which could spell trouble for Aloy. If Aloy were to override a Tremortusk of her own, though… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

New Tribes

According to director Mathijs de Jonge, Aloy is going to encounter a number of new human tribes, some of which will serve as friends while others are destined to be foes. It’s strongly indicated that the tribe seen controlling the Tremortusk will be Aloy’s enemies. These masked characters also appear to be part of the same tribe that Sylens has joined forces with. Again, this ties into the theory that Sylens is the game’s main villain. Given Sylens’ enigmatic nature, though, his affiliation with the tribe might be more layered than we assume. As for the more peaceful tribes, Aloy was always an outsider in the Nora’s eyes. Could she finally find a tribe to call her own in this game?

New Locations

“Horizon Zero Dawn” transported us to one of the most all-encompassing open worlds we’ve ever seen. “Forbidden West” aspires to surpass its predecessor with an even wider reach. The game’s title alludes to a new frontier ranging from Utah to the Pacific Ocean. As you can see from the moss-covered Golden Gate Bridge, Aloy’s journey will undoubtedly take her to San Francisco. In another clip from the trailer, Aloy stumbles upon what appears to be relics of a destroyed casino, as well as a holographic dragon. That’s a dead giveaway for Las Vegas. We can also expect plenty of variety, from vast deserts, to freezing mountains, to sandy beaches. A game’s greatness is measured by its horizons and this game’s horizons seemingly know no end.