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Horizon Forbidden West - Grapple + Glider = Aloy 2.0


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I completed this over the weekend, platinum trophy and all and overall quite enjoyed it, I'll just do a quick summary of the things I liked / didn't like rather than bore everyone :D

 

Pros -

  • It looks fantastic, let's be honest, the colours are vibrant and the world is quite full of life
  • The side bits like errands, drones etc didn't feel compulsory, a choice whether or not you wanted to go and work through them. Even from a trophy point of view you didn't need them.
  • I liked the puzzles they brought in with the tallnecks, it was just a tweak enough to keep them interesting figuring out how to get to the top of them (though the monkeys at the jungle one drove me up the wall).
  • The underwater sections, I was surprised by the fact I actually enjoyed them!
  • The story was actually pretty good, the ending felt a little lack lustre but the twist for the next game I liked. It could lead to something great for the third game if they do it right.
  • The combat is brilliant, utilising the grappling hook and glider can make for some great fights

 

Cons -

  • The upgrades were a bit too much i.e. like someone said above, trying to get specific components from each machine to upgrade your items could be incredibly time consuming.
  • There may be a little too much to do, many of the side quests I did to explore the map but the side quests I didn't feel were quite so unique. They all felt a little samey
  • Aloy's tips whilst useful at times were annoying at others. Even in the late game stages she's still advising you on what to do which felt a bit too hand holding.
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I've been wondering about the side quests. There are so many of them, and they're generally of a very high quality which means you don't necessarily want to miss out. But there are arguably just too many, no matter how well-done they are. I think with these giant open world games you're supposed to calibrate how you engage with side content based on how much you love the game. Just want to see the main story? Fine, do that. 100% in love with the game? Great! Here's 100+ hours worth of quality entertainment.

 

But I think that psychologically it doesn't necessarily work like that. Some people feel obliged to do all the side content, or skip it and get FOMO. I feel like loot/live service games provide a good solution, one that God of War skilfully applied to a single-player game: have a relatively tight set of story missions, then some very obvious end-game content that you can come back to if you want, once the main story is out of the way.

 

I dunno how the plot of this game is going, but a structure something like the following might help: Main plot: save the planet. End-game and side-quests: help to unite the tribes, or perhaps 'rid the west of giant corrupt machines' who are stomping around the different biomes. That way, those that love the game can keep on playing and take part in a lengthier loot-and-levelling endgame with its own looser plot.

 

@RJames there are plenty of ways to slow or immobilise machines in order to detach fast-moving swooshy tails. Tie them down, shock them, glue them, knock them unconscious. Don't try and just shoot them off as they flail about. Or just hit them hard with sonic arrows when the machines are in a passive state.

 

Also, a single press of the X button skips the current screen of dialogue so you can just read the subs and skip to the next. I think. I also tend to ignore the extra dialogue options unless I'm genuinely interested. For example, I think the characters back at base are a cool bunch so I always ask them what they've been up to. Less so some random tribesperson who would tell you their life story if given the chance. Again, it's a neat system - get straight to the point, or spend some time immersing yourself in everything.

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57 minutes ago, Pob said:

I've been wondering about the side quests. There are so many of them, and they're generally of a very high quality which means you don't necessarily want to miss out. But there are arguably just too many, no matter how well-done they are. I think with these giant open world games you're supposed to calibrate how you engage with side content based on how much you love the game. Just want to see the main story? Fine, do that. 100% in love with the game? Great! Here's 100+ hours worth of quality entertainment.

 

But I think that psychologically it doesn't necessarily work like that. Some people feel obliged to do all the side content, or skip it and get FOMO. I feel like loot/live service games provide a good solution, one that God of War skilfully applied to a single-player game: have a relatively tight set of story missions, then some very obvious end-game content that you can come back to if you want, once the main story is out of the way.

 

I dunno how the plot of this game is going, but a structure something like the following might help: Main plot: save the planet. End-game and side-quests: help to unite the tribes, or perhaps 'rid the west of giant corrupt machines' who are stomping around the different biomes. That way, those that love the game can keep on playing and take part in a lengthier loot-and-levelling endgame with its own looser plot.

 

@RJames there are plenty of ways to slow or immobilise machines in order to detach fast-moving swooshy tails. Tie them down, shock them, glue them, knock them unconscious. Don't try and just shoot them off as they flail about. Or just hit them hard with sonic arrows when the machines are in a passive state.

 

Also, a single press of the X button skips the current screen of dialogue so you can just read the subs and skip to the next. I think. I also tend to ignore the extra dialogue options unless I'm genuinely interested. For example, I think the characters back at base are a cool bunch so I always ask them what they've been up to. Less so some random tribesperson who would tell you their life story if given the chance. Again, it's a neat system - get straight to the point, or spend some time immersing yourself in everything.


This is exactly my experience of the game so far and it’s such a strange criticism to have - the side quests are far too good!

 

In the first Horizon I powered through the main story a lot more directly because I knew I could ignore most side quests as they were manifestly of lower quality. But the ones here are virtually on par with the main plot, which makes me feel like I’m missing out on quality content.

 

All this means I don’t think I’ve ever gone directly from one main mission to another, which I basically did for the entire back half of Zero Dawn - I still think that’s the most effective plot-driven experience I’ve had in an open world game.

 

It all makes sense when you think of Horizon not as some kind of Zelda challenger but as the successor series to Mass Effect. Your base in Forbidden West basically is the Normandy.
 

And Mass Effect 2 is a game that is virtually completely comprised side quests - I think Guerrilla could have squared the circle if the side missions in Forbidden West tied into the ending outcome the way they do in Mass Effect 2. I’m still a ways off finishing yet but I don’t think that’s on the cards.

 

In fact, if there is a Horizon 3 I’d like to see it become an out and out Mass Effect game with squad mates, branching decisions etc. I like chatting to my buddies in this, let me take them on missions!

 

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1 hour ago, Luseth said:

(though the monkeys at the jungle one drove me up the wall).

 

On 23/02/2022 at 00:22, Thor said:

All involved in the development of that tallneck section should be fucking shot.

 

Glad I wasn't the only one! 

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1 hour ago, Thor said:

 

 

Glad I wasn't the only one! 

 

They were no problem. Fecking stalkers were worse, until you knew they were there.

 

I just sniped the monkeys from the platform across the Tallneck run from them.

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4 minutes ago, smac said:

 

They were no problem. Fecking stalkers were worse, until you knew they were there.

 

I just sniped the monkeys from the platform across the Tallneck run from them.

For me it wasn't the enemies, it was the run-around to get on the tallneck. If you missed the jump you'd likely have to wait an age for it to get back around to one of the points you need to attempt another jump. It's was maddening! 

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The tallnecks were a massive improvement over the original, in zero dawn , all of them were “find a route to the highest point to get access” 

 

Far more variation on the theme in forbidden west . 

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31 minutes ago, Thor said:

For me it wasn't the enemies, it was the run-around to get on the tallneck. If you missed the jump you'd likely have to wait an age for it to get back around to one of the points you need to attempt another jump. It's was maddening! 

 

I guess - but you kicked down ladders to mitigate that. But yeah, think I missed the first time and had to wait.

 

I loved the tallnecks that were 

 

Spoiler

underwater in SF, and stuck in the Cauldron build process

 

simply because when you activated them it was soooooo cool to ride them to their track.

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Having to listen to Aloy saying that she should “probably” do something, whilst I am

actively having her do that exact thing at the time is even more annoying having returned to it off the back of Elden Ring where the only thing I ever heard from my character was occasional screaming.

 

Is there an option to make her shut up?

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2 hours ago, Strafe said:

Having to listen to Aloy saying that she should “probably” do something, whilst I am

actively having her do that exact thing at the time is even more annoying having returned to it off the back of Elden Ring where the only thing I ever heard from my character was occasional screaming.

 

Is there an option to make her shut up?


The amount of internal monologue from her in this game is painful. Every fucking thing she does she has to make a song and dance about it. 
 

She’s far far faaar less likeable here than in the first game and it’s affected the game for me. 
 

From a story point I get why they’ve done it, but you can allow for these things in a 2 hour movie, but in a game tens of hours long it’s a big mistake for me at least.

 

 

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I made some good progress on the main story on this over the weekend, accelerating towards the end now. There’s one outstanding issue in that there are a bunch of different major antagonists who are all off screen for far too much of the game and are very undeveloped as a result.

 

I think this is partly a result of wanting to give you more freedom in the order you tackle the chunky middle but I feel like there needed to be more villain action sprinkled throughout that section. 

 

Despite this the main missions are still all of a very high standard and one in particular:

 

Spoiler

Faro’s Tomb

 

Is brilliantly conceived and outstandingly written. The perfect example of what elevates this series over the Assassins Creeds of this world. 

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7 minutes ago, Thor said:

@Flanders That section was indeed good, but I was very relieved that ...

  Reveal hidden contents

I-can't-believe-it's-not-Joffrey died at the end of it. His character sucked. 

 


 

Spoiler

He was such a cunt, I loved it. And he was in the game just long enough for you to really hate him, so that it’s enormously satisfying when he gets splatted by a giant Ted Faro head. 

 

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Decided to give this a try now it’s had a few patches. First impressions are holy fucking balls this game looks amazing! I thought Zero Dawn on PS4 looked great but this is another level. First genuinely ‘next-gen’ feeling thing I’ve seen on the PS5. 
 

Was enjoying myself while limited to The Breach but now I’ve hacked a tall-neck things have become a bit muddier. Just seeing all those icons pop up on the huge map felt like the energy was draining out of me. It’s too much, and I feel oddly resentful that they’ve slapped so much content on my plate that I feel somehow obligated to explore. It’s like the paradox of choice, or the perpetual Netflix scroll, to put it another way. You have so many choices that just picking and directing your focus to a single one is mildly stressful. And you don’t want to advance the main quest too much in the meantime, but by the same token things you get in the main quest can make side exploring a more rewarding process. 
 

I’m sure I’ll get accustomed to it as otherwise there’s a lot to like here, but I hadn’t realised how fatigued I am by open world games until this very moment. 

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10 minutes ago, Garibaldi said:

Decided to give this a try now it’s had a few patches. First impressions are holy fucking balls this game looks amazing! I thought Zero Dawn on PS4 looked great but this is another level. First genuinely ‘next-gen’ feeling thing I’ve seen on the PS5. 
 

Was enjoying myself while limited to The Breach but now I’ve hacked a tall-neck things have become a bit muddier. Just seeing all those icons pop up on the huge map felt like the energy was draining out of me. It’s too much, and I feel oddly resentful that they’ve slapped so much content on my plate that I feel somehow obligated to explore. It’s like the paradox of choice, or the perpetual Netflix scroll, to put it another way. You have so many choices that just picking and directing your focus to a single one is mildly stressful. And you don’t want to advance the main quest too much in the meantime, but by the same token things you get in the main quest can make side exploring a more rewarding process. 
 

I’m sure I’ll get accustomed to it as otherwise there’s a lot to like here, but I hadn’t realised how fatigued I am by open world games until this very moment. 

I suggest hiding all the '?' markers from the map and let yourself discover things is you get near them (they still appear on your compass). May I also suggest collecting side missions, but only doing them if you happen to be passing by or if you really want the reward. They are all of a very high quality but I totally understand that there is a daunting amount. The critical path is actually relatively short.

 

I think Days Gone did a better job of revealing side content at a reasonable rate, but then that's probably because there's not as much in that game. I would say that Horizon  FW has about 3 side quests for every main story quest, and that's not even counting tallnecks, cauldrons, melee pits, survey drones, salvage contracts, old world relics, vantage points, races…

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2 minutes ago, Pob said:

I suggest hiding all the '?' markers from the map and let yourself discover things is you get near them (they still appear on your compass). May I also suggest collecting side missions, but only doing them if you happen to be passing by or if you really want the reward. They are all of a very high quality but I totally understand that there is a daunting amount. The critical path is actually relatively short.

 


I looked for an option to hide all the ‘?’ markers but couldn’t find it. Do you know what it’s called specifically? I commend the depth of the options menus in Forbidden West, but they’re also a rabbit hole. 

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2 minutes ago, Garibaldi said:


I looked for an option to hide all the ‘?’ markers but couldn’t find it. Do you know what it’s called specifically? I commend the depth of the options menus in Forbidden West, but they’re also a rabbit hole. 

It’s in the map filters in the map screen itself.

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For side missions, the amount of Skill Points and items they award probably gives a good guide to how in-depth they are. 3 points and an outfit reward will probably mean the quest is more involved and more important than a 1-pointer, so maybe focus on those. I don't know for sure though. There are entire questlines that can follow up from an innocuous-sounding side-quest, for example helping the desert clan getting their water shortages sorted. 

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38 minutes ago, Garibaldi said:

Decided to give this a try now it’s had a few patches. First impressions are holy fucking balls this game looks amazing! I thought Zero Dawn on PS4 looked great but this is another level. First genuinely ‘next-gen’ feeling thing I’ve seen on the PS5. 
 

Was enjoying myself while limited to The Breach but now I’ve hacked a tall-neck things have become a bit muddier. Just seeing all those icons pop up on the huge map felt like the energy was draining out of me. It’s too much, and I feel oddly resentful that they’ve slapped so much content on my plate that I feel somehow obligated to explore. It’s like the paradox of choice, or the perpetual Netflix scroll, to put it another way. You have so many choices that just picking and directing your focus to a single one is mildly stressful. And you don’t want to advance the main quest too much in the meantime, but by the same token things you get in the main quest can make side exploring a more rewarding process. 
 

I’m sure I’ll get accustomed to it as otherwise there’s a lot to like here, but I hadn’t realised how fatigued I am by open world games until this very moment. 


Pob has made some good suggestions re: the map filter and how to treat side missions but honestly if you’re feeling that kind of open world fatigue I would recommend just blasting through the main quest and treating it as a fun semi-linear action game. Levelling is pretty generous so I don’t think you’ll end up gated at any point. 

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On 14/04/2022 at 13:05, Garibaldi said:

Decided to give this a try now it’s had a few patches. First impressions are holy fucking balls this game looks amazing! I thought Zero Dawn on PS4 looked great but this is another level. First genuinely ‘next-gen’ feeling thing I’ve seen on the PS5. 
 

Was enjoying myself while limited to The Breach but now I’ve hacked a tall-neck things have become a bit muddier. Just seeing all those icons pop up on the huge map felt like the energy was draining out of me. It’s too much, and I feel oddly resentful that they’ve slapped so much content on my plate that I feel somehow obligated to explore. It’s like the paradox of choice, or the perpetual Netflix scroll, to put it another way. You have so many choices that just picking and directing your focus to a single one is mildly stressful. And you don’t want to advance the main quest too much in the meantime, but by the same token things you get in the main quest can make side exploring a more rewarding process. 
 

I’m sure I’ll get accustomed to it as otherwise there’s a lot to like here, but I hadn’t realised how fatigued I am by open world games until this very moment. 

 

100%. I think I’m near the end now and the pace of the game is so weird.

E.g. if you want to get a level up legendary weapons and armour you’d need to spend 10s of hours longer than the game requires just treating them as a minigame in their own right.

Same for the Cauldrons - I’ve only done 2 or 3 and there seems to be no reason whatsoever to do the others. Overriding machines is tricky and usually pointless (let me just throw this rock from this patch of red grass to attract the tower block sized dinosaur over 😂) and cauldrons are some of the most boring content in the game.

I’m still going to finish it and there are lots of good things but it’s one of the strangest games I’ve ever played in terms of content vs. pacing. Will write an essay when I finish it 😇

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I don't know if they've tweaked it since launch, but the way overridden machines work in this isn't as fun as in the first. I regularly found I'd override a big beasty and set it to attack mode, and it would just walk around doing fuck all until Aloy attacked, and then it would spring into action. In the first game you could override a machine and then sit back and watch the carnage unfold from safety.

 

Thing is, in this game it would sometimes work as I expected, but not often. It felt so unreliable I stopped bothering. I've just started a replay so I hope that has changed now.

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