Guerrilla Games announced a few days ago that it will conduct a PlayStation State of Play event for Horizon Forbidden West in May 2021, stating that the event will give fans their first peek at how the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel plays. The developer didn’t say much about what fans should anticipate from the reveal, except that it would be 20 minutes long, 14 of which would be dedicated to gameplay taken by the developer using a PlayStation 5.
Guerilla Games ultimately delivered on its promise with gameplay, doing so by playing out a piece of one of its story missions, after a five-hour preshow revealing new elements such as Horizon Forbidden West’s day and night cycle. After the task was completed, Forbidden West’s narrative director Ben McCaw led fans through the spectacle, contextualizing what they saw and highlighting all of the enhancements Guerrilla made following Zero Dawn.
According to McCaw, the quest Guerrilla utilized depicts Aloy rescue her companion Aaron after he is attacked by a dissident group of the Tenakth clan during a mission she dispatched him on – one in which she asked him to retrieve a special piece of technology that would aid in the fight against the Red Blight. During her search and rescue mission, Aloy demonstrates new fighting abilities with her spear and bow, as well as the new Pullcaster and Shieldwing equipment, which allow her to explore the environment in novel ways.
The Horizon Forbidden West demo also showcases a slew of new weaponry and returning elements for Aloy to use, including:
- Valor Surges, which improve the spear and grant it new powers.
- Aloy can employ smoke bombs as cover.
- Javin Launchers, which allow Aloy to hurl splintering spears at adversaries.
- Adhesive Grenades, which work in conjunction with Alow’s Slingshot to halt foes in their tracks.
- Precision Arrows, which return from the first game to assist Aloy in dismantling machinery.
The spear gameplay demonstrates how much better Forbidden West’s fighting is than Zero Dawn’s, since Aloy can do things with it that the player hoped she could do in the first game. She can, for example, switch between her spear and her bow with ease, as well as access combinations and skills that provide varied benefits when deployed. Overall, what Guerrilla demonstrated during the event seemed to have made the wait worthwhile for enthusiastic fans, even in the absence of an official release date.
Horizon Forbidden West will be released in 2021 for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.