How do you improve upon one of the better sci-fi stories in recent video game memory? You go off-the-rails, of course! Dutch developer Guerrilla Games clearly hit Amsterdam’s finest pot shops while rolling up the plot for Aloy’s sophomore outing in Horizon Forbidden West, as – spoiler alert – this narrative involves clones, off-screen ancient monstrosities, and even a giant planet munching AI. Did we get your attention yet?
Alright, so it’s all a bit silly, but the PlayStation first-party made improvements in the right areas, too. The side-quests, generally involving the contemporary tribes that occupy the Earth, provide interesting insight into how they view the world around them; regardless of whether they worship or fear the machines, it’s genuinely fascinating to see how nature shapes the perspectives of the various clans.
It also plays like a high-quality action game, which isn’t all that common for an open world RPG – well, it certainly never used to be, anyway. The exploration could still use a better climbing mechanic, but the feel of laying traps and shooting off elemental arrows is fantastic, and there’s a lot of depth to the combat system that expands as you add more skills and armaments to your arsenal.
And it’s all wrapped up in a package that, frankly, looks outstanding. With subsequent patches, Guerrilla Games managed to get this sequel running at 60 frames-per-second in reconstructed 4K, and it’s a feast for the eyes. All of the locales sing, but a special shout out must be reserved for the sandy shores of San Francisco – honestly, if it wasn’t for the deadly, man-eating robots we’d want to visit for ourselves.
Push Square's Game of the Year list is primarily decided by an internal staff vote. Our community Game of the Year poll is also taken into account. Feel free to agree or disagree with our list in the comments section below.
You can check out all of our Game of the Year coverage by clicking the link.