Sone Interactive Entertainment and Guerrilla Games has finally peeled back the curtain on the long-awaited sequel of Horizon Zero Dawn. Alloy's next adventure will be titled Horizon Forbidden West and it will launch exclusively on Sony's PlayStation 5.
SIE and Guerrilla gave gamers their firs in-depth look at the upcoming open-world title during a PS5 event reveal event on June 11 and then once again on September 16 during the console's price and release date unveiling.
Leading up to those colossal announcements, Guerrilla had teased the sequel's existence with a handful of mysterious job openings and even a few accidental social media posts. But now the title has been confirmed as an early release to show off the technical capabilities of the PS5 by continuing Alloy's critically acclaimed storyline.
The unparalleled sci-fi action game was a monumental release for its Dutch developer, which had long been a one-trick pony after it was acquired by Sony in 2005. Its previous title, Killzone Shadow Fall was met with lukewarm reviews but Horizon Zero Dawn proved to be the studio’s big break when it was nominated for the 2017 Game of the Year.
The title’s breath-taking environments, monolithic mechanical animals, and captivating plot came together to form a near-perfect RPG experience that let it easily compete against other big-name franchises. Luckily, Horizon Forbidden West isn't far off
Here’s everything we know about the upcoming sequel:
When is the Horizon Forbidden West release date?
Guerrilla has confirmed that Horizon Forbidden West will launch in 2021 but has not yet revealed, which is a surprisingly quick turnaround for what is expected to be an enormous game.
Horizon Zero Dawn took Guerrilla about seven years to develop and it was announced two years before its launch. Production for the game began in 2011 and ramped up after the 2013 release of Killzone: Shadow Fall.
For the original game, Guerrilla built its own engine from scratch, an extremely labor-intensive process. It appears the developer saved a lot of time with the engine under its belt, which could be what made Horizon Forbidden West's 2021 release date window possible.
Is there a Horizon Forbidden West trailer?
Yes there's an announcement trailer as well as a video where Guerrilla developers discuss what they hope to accomplish in with the sequel. Watch both below.
Could Horizon Forbidden West support multiplayer?
Guerrilla hasn't confirmed a multiplayer mode for Horizon Forbidden West, but a series of intriguing job listings have hinted that it might be possible.
An opening for a “Game Server Engineer” at Guerrilla suggested that Horizon Forbidden West, might also feature a new multiplayer, online mode. The job description states that the developer is in need of someone to work on "systems like matchmaking, tournaments, clans, and leaderboards."
A feature like this could take the form of PvE battles where players can team up and face off against powerful robotic animals for better rewards than they would receive by doing them on their own. The mention of "clans" is even more interesting, as Guerrilla could let players create their own tribes with friends to complete quests in a mode outside of the main story campaign, a lot like Red Dead Redemptions 2 Online.
Heavy spoilers for Horizon Zero Dawn ahead.
What could Horizon Forbidden West be about?
Horizon Zero Dawn is set in a post-apocalyptic world where massive, self-replicating robots are the dominant species and humans — who have already undergone a mass extinction — are thrust back into the tribalistic society.
Gamers play as Aloy a member of one of many warring tribes that stumbles upon the origins of the mechanical beasts the rule the world. They were created by a company, named Faro Automated Solutions, nearly 1,000 ago as “peacemakers” but need biomass for fuel and eventually consumed so much of the Earth’s biosphere that it eradicated humans. But there was a Plan B.
Faro also created an artificial intelligence, named GAIA, which had the ability to shut down the peacemakers, create its own robots, and make the Earth livable for humans again. But APOLLO, the system designed to teach humans to not repeat the mistakes of the last generation, was sabotaged by Faro and led to the rise of Aloy’s tribal society.
Upon discovering GAIA, Aloy is warned about HADES, another Faro system mysteriously triggered to carry out a controlled extinction if GAIA couldn’t reestablish a stable human society. Aloy faces off against HADES at the end of the game and apparently defeats it, but not for good.
The final scene of Horizon Zero Dawn reveals HADES has not been completely defeated. A dark entity — thought to be HADES — shoots out of a pile of rubble and is captured by Sylens, a secondary character thought to be Aloy’s ally.
He seems hungry for knowledge about from the evil system’s “masters” and seems ready to stop at nothing to acquire it. He could be the main villain of Horizon Forbidden West.
Horizon Forbidden West will launch exclusively on the PS5 in 2021.