Horizon: Forbidden West looks like an incredible game, but I have one reservation. After the success of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, there has been a trend of games trying to emulate the experience seen there. However, most developers fall woefully short and simply pack their titles out with collectibles. Instead of the meaningful side stories found in The Witcher 3, we end up with pale comparisons that have beautiful worlds that look full on a map, but in reality, they’re just packed with items to find that hold no value for either your time or the game itself. Horizon: Forbidden West needs to avoid this at all costs.
Horizon: Zero Dawn had a great open world. It wasn’t quite as large as some of those you play in today, but it was big for its time. While it had a lot going on, there were pockets that felt like they were the centre of the attention, and the rest of the world was quite empty as a result. There was plenty to collect, but for actual story content, you needed to be focusing on picking up quests from one particular area, which often meant that you didn’t go back to another place.
I believe that Guerrilla Games is doing a fantastic job on this title. That much is clear from the way it looks. I want it to exceed expectations though, and the only way that’s going to happen is if it’s packed with stuff to do. I’m not talking about small side quests that don’t mean anything, but a story that stretches across the entire map. Interweaving paths that will remind you of other moments later on in your playthrough. Open-world games like this have so many options, and I think that this one could capitalise on that essence and make it one of the biggest parts of the game.
With a story that sends the protagonist halfway across the country, it’s hard to see why we wouldn’t explore every point. There are new cultures to meet, more machines to kill, and I hope that there’s a lot more mystery to uncover as well. We’ll have to wait for the final release to see what the game contains.