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Horizon Forbidden West - Grapple + Glider = Aloy 2.0


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Spoilered - don't read if you haven’t done the cauldron fight referred to.

 

Did you use 

 

Spoiler

the water? I was getting flattened, until I realised I could dive into the water, swim under the platform into kelp and he”d lose sight of me. Allows you to set up more traps, get more shots off/strip off more parts, then position yourself to attract him through the traps before jumping in once more.

 

Then again, I'm not playing on Ultra hard.

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I hit level 50 and the next main story quest I need to do is level 30. I love the game but I still think there is too much of it. Lots of mediocre stuff mixed in. I have particularly enjoyed the drones for some reason (I find them really relaxing). I have hated the ruin puzzles. One fatal design flaw of the cauldrons for me is they’ve incorporated surprises. Surprises are not good for cauldron design because they end up feeling like bullshit. Predictable boss encounter at the end is core to the design (allows you to prep for the fight and plan the strategy). Springing the boss on you comes across as bullshit. or a fight sequence after you have beaten the boss. I don’t think they should have gone for the element of surprise for cauldrons. I would allow it in the main story but even there it is not great. This game’s combat is at its best when you set up an ambush and plan of attack before the fights. 

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7 hours ago, Curtis said:

After 200 hours of Elden Ring, i thought it was time to play something else. And this beauty was a no-brainer! :wub:

 

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it's fucking shite mate

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19 hours ago, Oz said:

I hit level 50 and the next main story quest I need to do is level 30. I love the game but I still think there is too much of it. Lots of mediocre stuff mixed in. I have particularly enjoyed the drones for some reason (I find them really relaxing). I have hated the ruin puzzles. One fatal design flaw of the cauldrons for me is they’ve incorporated surprises. Surprises are not good for cauldron design because they end up feeling like bullshit. Predictable boss encounter at the end is core to the design (allows you to prep for the fight and plan the strategy). Springing the boss on you comes across as bullshit. or a fight sequence after you have beaten the boss. I don’t think they should have gone for the element of surprise for cauldrons. I would allow it in the main story but even there it is not great. This game’s combat is at its best when you set up an ambush and plan of attack before the fights. 

 

Thought it was just me! I find the thought of these things solemnly surveying the land as the world went to hell beneath them quite haunting.

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21 hours ago, Oz said:

I hit level 50 and the next main story quest I need to do is level 30. I love the game but I still think there is too much of it. Lots of mediocre stuff mixed in. I have particularly enjoyed the drones for some reason (I find them really relaxing). I have hated the ruin puzzles. One fatal design flaw of the cauldrons for me is they’ve incorporated surprises. Surprises are not good for cauldron design because they end up feeling like bullshit. Predictable boss encounter at the end is core to the design (allows you to prep for the fight and plan the strategy). Springing the boss on you comes across as bullshit. or a fight sequence after you have beaten the boss. I don’t think they should have gone for the element of surprise for cauldrons. I would allow it in the main story but even there it is not great. This game’s combat is at its best when you set up an ambush and plan of attack before the fights. 

 

Yeah, I hit the cap, too - I decided to follow the next main story quest which could be the final one, I dunno.

 

Although there are a few things I can't complete yet, so I'm hopeful that it's not.

 

Still a lot of the map is fogged, and a bunch of ? icons everywhere! I quite liked the ruin puzzles, apart from the use of crates...

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5 hours ago, smac said:

 next main story quest which could be the final one, I dunno.

 

Nah, it wasn't.

 

But I have a pretty bad bug - every time I use a purge/cleanse potion, the game crashes.

 

So elemental/acid damage is a real pain. And the machine I had to fight?

 

Spoiler

A bloody slaughterspine; with all the plasma damage that is now impossible to get rid of before it goes 'boom!'

 

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I wondered why some missions were marked as blocked until I completed 'Wings of the Ten'. I found out.

 

But there was one that I actually managed to start before that point - 

 

Spoiler

Picking up pieces of armour from a mountaintop; I actually managed to cheese my way to the top of the mountain way before then through bunny-hopping up rocks and running diagonally up slopes.

 

It showed that I had completed the 'flown to the top of the mountain' part; but I couldn't find any armour. I suspected I had to fly 'properly' to the top, and that turned out to be the case.

 

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On 26/03/2022 at 18:35, smac said:

I wondered why some missions were marked as blocked until I completed 'Wings of the Ten'. I found out.

 

But there was one that I actually managed to start before that point - 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Picking up pieces of armour from a mountaintop; I actually managed to cheese my way to the top of the mountain way before then through bunny-hopping up rocks and running diagonally up slopes.

 

It showed that I had completed the 'flown to the top of the mountain' part; but I couldn't find any armour. I suspected I had to fly 'properly' to the top, and that turned out to be the case.

 


How am I supposed to know which side quests unlock key things in the game and which are just pure fluff?
I’m overlevelled for the main story now and decided to try to spend way less time on side quests but now it seems like I might have missed stuff.
I recently had to google what to do with all the hunting ground medals because I never did any of the followups to the Kulrut thing…

I’ve also only organically found one cauldron (I’m level 28…). Do side quests lead to them or do I just need to search mountainsides to find them?

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I don't think you can miss any truly key items by ignoring side quests; it's just that a few give you some nice gear. But it's pot luck, really. All give you XP and skill points.

 

Cauldrons are a mix of stumbling across them, missions, and being told by others, or by Gaia when you're in the area. I only just found the last one today, just before taking on the final main mission.

 

Which is proving a bit of an anti-climax, so far.

 

Oh, and there wasn’t a signal leading to the final cauldron; it just appeared on the map when I was close.

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Yup, final story quest complete, after 106 hours. L50, still loads of icons on the screen, a fair few ?; I hardly touched any rebel camps, did just one arena and zero hunting grounds.

 

I think they put too much in. Ubi-itis.

 

Thoughts on endgame:

 

Spoiler

I didn't enjoy the final mission - it was a slog through a linear set of similar encounters with two set-piece Boss battles in too quick a succession.

 

And the whole endgame and plot reveals were so much weaker than the first game - possibly inevitably. Hard to beat that feeling of wandering through the birthing pods and underground kindergartens from the first.

 

Solid sequel, but much weaker than the first. Pretty, but some tech issues on PS5 - pop-in was terrible, even in the end-credits!

 

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I finished this last night and got the platinum trophy. Took just over 75hrs. Despite the stunningly beautiful world, characters and combat, I thought the story was weaker than ZD. My main problem was the awful platforming/climbing - it’s very fiddly and annoying. 
 

It also suffers from being very bloated. There is just so much stuff/talking/collectibles crammed into this game. I, of course, should have just stuck to the main quest but gaming ocd meant I had to check off everything! 
 



 

 

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On 26/03/2022 at 18:35, smac said:

I wondered why some missions were marked as blocked until I completed 'Wings of the Ten'. I found out.

 

But there was one that I actually managed to start before that point - 

 

  Hide contents

Picking up pieces of armour from a mountaintop; I actually managed to cheese my way to the top of the mountain way before then through bunny-hopping up rocks and running diagonally up slopes.

 

It showed that I had completed the 'flown to the top of the mountain' part; but I couldn't find any armour. I suspected I had to fly 'properly' to the top, and that turned out to be the case.

 

Ha I had this exact same issue. Bit poor really, they could have just let it trigger. 

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I managed to get around the Kappa cauldron spawn bug, but I thought it might be game-breaking.  It had corrupted 8 auto saves, and the only one I could reload was a manual save before entering, costing about 4 hours worth of gameplay.    Initially I spent about an hour out-of-bounds trying to swim and cheese back into the game geometry and falling into the void.  I found one way through, and then promptly died, but used @smac’s advice above and beat the boss.  At least no-one else will have to endure it anymore with the latest patch.  

 

Interestingly, I found that you can reorder your pouch with square, (which always just seemed to add another layer of stress while trying to find the correct potion during machine battles), and you can also switch on weapon quick swap between your two most common ammo types with L1.  

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I’m tapping out for now. Technically it’s stunning and I love the premise and lore but I’m just tired of the collectathon approach it’s taken and it seems almost too big at times- something I never thought I’d complain about in a game. 
 

I struggle to get any decent time to play games now. I’m sure it’s because of this at least in part. Playing an hour of Returnal is a blast. Playing an hour of Horizon and similar games can feel more like watching to an interactive movie and by the time I need to stop plying I’ve barely progressed.

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And done . All cauldrons done , all tall necks , all arena challenges , all rebel outposts . I just have a few bits to mop up . 80 hours all told . 
 

it reminded me a lot of Witcher 3 in its approach . Far more so that an ubi game. I think the climbing is much better than the first , the underwater is actually enjoyable, and when you get “freedom” to go wherever ( you know what I mean ). It’s really good . 
 

 

it’s just not as good as the original, the story just isn’t as good and it feels too

Bloated . Horizon was a 9/10 for me . This is an 8 . 
 

oh and crates. Ffs.

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On 20/03/2022 at 19:38, smac said:

Spoilered - don't read if you haven’t done the cauldron fight referred to.

 

Did you use 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

the water? I was getting flattened, until I realised I could dive into the water, swim under the platform into kelp and he”d lose sight of me. Allows you to set up more traps, get more shots off/strip off more parts, then position yourself to attract him through the traps before jumping in once more.

 

Then again, I'm not playing on Ultra hard.

 

That was the method I ended up using too, but for some reason I had run out of wood to make arrows so ended up having to use everything in my weapons wheel and then all the traps I had available. Great fun fight in the end.

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I'm still playing these every free moment, and just love existing in the world. Everything is so pretty and enjoyable. Unlike the first game, I'm in no hurry to rush to the finish line after 40 hours. I just like alternating between tasks, because there's so much variety.

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Another thing - the economics seem very well balanced in this. In the first game I eventually had more resources than I needed and could always keep my arrows topped-up. In this, the more powerful ammo (for example, the 'sonic' arrows that the do a fuckload of tear damage) require a significant amount of resource to craft, so I might decide to use weaker ammo that requires me to get in closer.

 

I feel like everything I loot has value and upgrades are always within reach, and yet need to be carefully prioritised. It must be very hard to achieve that balance in an open world game with so much optional content.

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36 minutes ago, Pob said:

Another thing - the economics seem very well balanced in this. In the first game I eventually had more resources than I needed and could always keep my arrows topped-up. In this, the more powerful ammo (for example, the 'sonic' arrows that the do a fuckload of tear damage) require a significant amount of resource to craft, so I might decide to use weaker ammo that requires me to get in closer.

 

I feel like everything I loot has value and upgrades are always within reach, and yet need to be carefully prioritised. It must be very hard to achieve that balance in an open world game with so much optional content.

I bloody love that sound the sonic tear arrows make.  Like a dubstep arrow.  
 

I rate the sound design pretty highly, the sound effects are really chunky and unique for each type of arrow, trap or disc, and the machine audio is really distinct for each type too. 
 

 I quite like the score, there’s a lot of variety, ranging from swelling strings, acoustic ambience to 80s synth keyboards.  It’s not Zelda levels of musical excellence, with recognisable tunes that stay with you for each area, but it all fits together nicely. 

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7 hours ago, hash ampersand said:

I managed to get around the Kappa cauldron spawn bug, but I thought it might be game-breaking.  It had corrupted 8 auto saves, and the only one I could reload was a manual save before entering, costing about 4 hours worth of gameplay.    Initially I spent about an hour out-of-bounds trying to swim and cheese back into the game geometry and falling into the void.  I found one way through, and then promptly died, but used @smac’s advice above and beat the boss.  At least no-one else will have to endure it anymore with the latest patch.  

 

Oh, wow - I have a feeling I didn't die; I was losing big time, then spotted the tactic I described, and after that took no damage.

 

13 minutes ago, hash ampersand said:

I rate the sound design pretty highly, the sound effects are really chunky [...] and the machine audio is really distinct for each type too. 

 

And the effect of using your focus fully, not just pinging; you hear more distant sounds in muffled form.

 

1 hour ago, Pob said:

I feel like everything I loot has value and upgrades are always within reach, and yet need to be carefully prioritised. It must be very hard to achieve that balance in an open world game with so much optional content.

 

Yeah, I bought a ton of machine muscle from traders - using it for tear arrows means there's less for traps.

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Okay, so this is easily one of the best open world games of all time. It doesn't do anything revolutionary, like MGSV or BOTW did, but it's absolutely the peak of the open world genre. It may look at first glance like a prettier version of the first game or a standard map-clearing exercise, but everything about it is just so refined, balanced and well designed.

 

It appears as though there are generic activities all over the map but each one is properly bespoke. Tallnecks, Cauldrons, Old World Relics - each one feels significantly different to the last. The Tallnecks in particular have been brilliant so far. I didn't even realise I was even freeing a Tallneck in one instance.

 

The story missions have the variety and craft of those found in linear adventure games like Uncharted. At one point you're told you need to retrieve three old-world items, which sounds like you'll be going into three samey old-world underground bunkers, like the first game. Instead, every item requires an entirely different set of activities, in totally different environments, each with their own unique sub-plots.

 

The setting and story also feels very fresh. I can't think of anything else I've seen, read or played with a similar story, though I'm certain something exists. Most games are knock-offs of films but this feels like something new that I could happily watch in TV series form. The idea of primitive far future human becoming an archeologist, uncovering the secrets of our own time, our own demise. Closest I can think of is Planet of the Apes, though the focus is very different in that film. The setting of Horizon is so ripe for exploration, discovery and twists.

 

I'd put this up there with the most absorbing open world games I've played. It reminds me most of Assassin's Creed at its peak (Brotherhood and Black Flag, for me), but with the generational improvements you'd expect.

 

I'm 50 hours in now, which is the total time I put into Zero Dawn. In the first game I got a little weary and made a beeline for the end at about 2/3rds of the way through the story. In this, though, I'm in no hurry at all to get to the end. I'm happily doing side missions and tasks in each area before moving on. In that respect, the experience does remind me of Breath Of The Wild. It's exactly how I felt while playing that game.

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Oh man, I wish I could feel like that. I’d guess I’m about 50-75% through the main story and I’ve taken to ignoring 90% of the Side Quests. The fact there’s another whole class of side quests called ‘Errands’ really speaks to how overstuffed (or less charitably: bloated) this game is.

The fact that 60% of the time you can’t skip through dialogue (and just read it) is absolutely insane and must be extra frustrating for e.g. deaf players. The volume of dialogue and the pedestrian writing means I don’t ever watch the characters (generally well realised and animated faces) because I’m locked on to reading the text as quickly as possible. Sometimes I sit down to play for an hour or two and most of that time ends up clicking through everyone’s new dialogue at the base. Compared to the characterisation in something like Red Dead… it’s not great.

The combat is generally the most fun thing- except… why do some many key resources end up on the end of the monster’s tails? Like 75% of the items are tails? Which are almost impossible to detach in a straight fight. Is this supposed to encourage me to use traps (I’ve never used a single one 😅) ?

The platforming and ‘puzzles’ with the ‘grappling hook’ is Uncharted level dull unfortunately. I would happily remove 100% of it. Personally I also don’t like metroidvanias for this reason (controversial!) either. Here is a door that needs a green key (e.g. metal flowers), you can’t open it until we give you the green key. How is this fun gameplay?

The game looks incredible (though not for a second more than a cartoon in terms of realism) and agree the sound design is amazing. But the core gameplay loop is pretty simple and a lot of it is actively boring.

Will write more when I finish it… which for some reason I think I will still do :)

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5 minutes ago, RJames said:

Oh man, I wish I could feel like that. I’d guess I’m about 50-75% through the main story and I’ve taken to ignoring 90% of the Side Quests. 

I was doing the same and got to say that is a mistake - the side quests are often brilliant and take you to some stunning locations that you'd likely never see from just roaming the land doing the main quest.

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