Horizon Forbidden West: Everything We Know

Horizon Forbidden West is the anticipated follow-up to one of PlayStation's biggest new franchises. Here's everything we know.

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Horizon Zero Dawn was a massive success for Sony and developer Guerrilla Games, building a new franchise on the backs of hulking robotic dinosaurs. With such rising popularity, it was only a matter of time before a sequel materialized. Titled Horizon Forbidden West, this new game continues the adventures of protagonist Aloy as she embarks on a journey to a new, untamed region of the world to investigate a new extinction event threatening humanity. While the upcoming game isn't a PS5 exclusive, it's being treated as a technical showpiece for the new console. Here's everything we know about Horizon Forbidden West.

Release date

Horizon Forbidden West releases on February 18, 2022. The game was first set for launch in 2021, as part of the PlayStation 5 launch window lineup. PlayStation Studios boss Hermen Hulst signaled that the release date was likely to slip out of the holiday season, and sure enough, Sony delayed it into 2022. That delay actually had an unexpected impact on the price as a cross-gen game.

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Now Playing: Horizon Forbidden West - Machines of the Forbidden West

Price

When Sony delayed Horizon Forbidden West out of 2021, that also meant it had slipped away from the PS5 launch window. Sony had previously committed that all games in the launch window would receive a free upgrade path from the PS4 to PS5 versions, but moving it outside this window seemed to change that commitment. Sony briefly held that you would need the Digital Deluxe edition, at $80, to get both versions. Fans cried foul and Sony reversed its decision.

"Last year we made a commitment to deliver free upgrades for our cross-gen launch titles, which included Horizon Forbidden West," explained Sony president Jim Ryan. "While the pandemic's profound impact pushed Forbidden West out of the launch window we initially envisioned, we will stand by our offer: Players who purchase Horizon Forbidden West on PlayStation 4 will be able to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version for free."

Now, the PS4 version costs $60 and the PS5 version costs $70--but since the upgrade path is free, there's no reason not to simply buy the cheaper PS4 version.

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Platforms

Horizon Forbidden West is a PlayStation exclusive that's coming to both PS4 and PS5. So far, the footage shown has universally been from the PS5 version of the game, which means the PS4 version won't reach the same level of visual flourish. A set of PS4 screens recently released by Guerrilla shows the game looking awfully nice on that platform as well. Given that Horizon Zero Dawn was among the more stunning games for PS4, Guerrilla may be able to push the hardware to the limit and make it an impressive showpiece there too. Guerrilla has explained some of the upgrades we can expect to see on the PS5, especially when it comes to mapping accurate facial expressions and body movements, but the studio says the PS4 version is not "compromised."

Recently, many have wondered how Guerrilla will handle making the version look and run well given how it looks already on PS5. In a Game Informer interview with game director Mathijs de Jonge reassured that the PS4 version will look fantastic.

"A lot of the development has taken place on the PlayStation 4, and a lot of play-testing is also done on PS4, so we are ensuring that owners of that console will have a great experience and that the game will look fantastic," he said.

Is Horizon Forbidden West coming to PC?

Horizon Forbidden West is not announced for PC. However, the game may eventually come to PC since Horizon Zero Dawn was eventually released on Steam. Sony has signaled that it is open to selectively releasing its exclusive games on PC as well, with Herman Hulst asserting in a Sony Blog Q&A interview that the company intends to further invest in the PC space.

Trailers

The first trailer, which debuted during Sony's PS5 reveal event, had Aloy narrating about a mysterious new threat that appears to be killing wildlife and vegetation alike. What followed were glimpses of new environments and creatures, as well as the return of Sylens.

Subsequent trailers and PlayStation Blog developer updates have focused on Aloy's array of tools, new cultures she'll interact with during her journey westward, and the wide variety of new mechanized beasts she'll encounter. Those creatures are also getting their own new tricks, like the ability to pursue Aloy underwater. The most recent glimpse, at the Game Awards, showed off a giant mechanized cobra.

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DLC details

So far, no DLC or microtransactions have been announced for Horizon Forbidden West. Its predecessor did get a large DLC expansion, called Horizon The Frozen Wilds, which opened up a new snowy region to explore and introduced new factions. Forbidden West is similar in that it appears to be named after a new area for Aloy to uncover. Guerrilla could plan to release a similar expansion for Forbidden West, but if so, we may not know for some time after release.

Preorder

Horizon Forbidden West is now available for preorder across all major retailers. Just keep in mind that, as mentioned above, you can purchase the cheaper PS4 version and upgrade to the PS5 version for free.

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