Generally favorable reviews - based on 125 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 125
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  1. Edge Magazine
    Feb 24, 2022
    It's in the great outdoors where Forbidden West comes to life - which is ironic given how often we're told it's dying. When the story's leash is off and we're free to luxuriate in its world and the wider cast's personal tales (one sidequest, involving a missing friend and an unrequited romance, is an exemplar of the form), it's not hard to understand why the first game was so popular. This is, then, more of the same in every sense, and your feelings towards the first will determine whether you see that as a recommendation. [Issue#369, p.100]
  2. Feb 18, 2022
    The overriding question Horizon Forbidden West left me with is ‘when will its prospective audience grow tired of the tired conventions that underwrite so many go-and-save-the-world adventure games?’ As much as I appreciated the fun that came from smashing up robots, Horizon Forbidden West won’t earn a spot in my long-term memory.
  3. Feb 14, 2022
    As an action-adventure, an RPG, a narrative, and open-world sandbox, and a way to simply spend time exploring a breathtaking world – it falls short. Engaging at times, thrilling too, but also disjointed, clunky, and unfocused in ways we didn’t expect.
  4. Feb 13, 2022
    [Horizon Forbidden West] is a game of contrasts. A game about robot dinosaurs where you spend far too much time fighting robot meerkats and boars instead for some reason. One with brilliant voice acting that you begin to hate because some characters won't shut up. Where the side quests are great, but they're so simple as to feel pointless. Where the combat features a complex balance between elemental strengths and weaknesses but you can ignore all that via a rain of explosive spearheads.
  5. Feb 23, 2022
    If you loved Zero Dawn and simply wanted more, warts and all, this is easy to recommend. But if you were looking for something groundbreaking with a lot more polish, then Horizon Forbidden West is really a mixed bag.
  6. Feb 18, 2022
    Do you know that indefinable feeling that you have to like something? That everyone in the amusement park is having a great time, but your mind is elsewhere? That's what we experienced when we played Horizon: Forbidden West, the long-awaited new hit for Playstation. Yes, it's very well put together. Yes, it looks stunning. And yes, the battles are wildly exciting. Yet we feel something niggling. Is it the magic of that first encounter that has disappeared?
  7. Feb 14, 2022
    The example of difficult second album syndrome that most readily came to mind while I wandered these wastelands is the Stone Roses, who spent almost five years trying to outdo their era-defining, genre-defying debut only to emerge with a bloated classic rock retread that effectively ended the band’s career. That’s not to say Horizon Forbidden West is gaming’s ‘Second Coming’ – but it’s not the second coming of gaming either.
  8. Feb 13, 2022
    Horizon Forbidden West fails to live up to its predecessor in just about every way. While the world and its many new machines are stunning, the experience is bogged down with confusing design choices and variation for the sake of variation - making Aloy's newest adventure one to forget.
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  1. Feb 14, 2022
    I thought Horizon: Forbidden West would be a worthy sequel that would expand on the outline of its first part, but this game does some very special and to some extent revolutionary things. [Recommended]
  2. Feb 14, 2022
    But if you forced me to pick only one February game to recommend, I'd point to H:FW as the month's best testament to how beautiful, thrilling, and emotional video games can be. It also gets bonus points on the recommendation matrix for its healthy accessibility sliders, which, among other things, let anyone downgrade the combat to either "simple" or "cakewalk" difficulty levels. I still think H:FW is more fun with difficulty cranked up, so that players can't stupidly melee their way through some of gaming's most thrilling herd combat. But that's your choice to make, not mine. [ARS Technica Approved]
  3. Feb 14, 2022
    It’s clear that Horizon Forbidden West considers itself more than just an action adventure game with cool weapons, robots and climbing, though. So much of it feels great to play. So much of its world is a joy to inhabit. So many of its quests deliver more than just open world fluff, but Aloy’s uninspired arc could’ve been more. This is a significantly more complete sequel, and we’ll almost certainly see a third entry. If Guerilla can nail Aloy’s journey, her legend as a truly iconic character is all but guaranteed.
  4. Feb 14, 2022
    The story is enthralling from beginning to end, with enough twists and surprises to keep you hooked. The ending, while not as emotional as the first game, effectively lays the groundwork for a potential third game really well. In that respect, it falls victim to Penultimate Instalment Syndrome, a disease I just made up where – you guessed it – the penultimate ending doesn't really stand alone, but rather is used to tease what is coming next. That's not so much a negative, it's just how it is. And it still works. Regardless, this game was well worth the five year wait. It's gorgeous, fascinating and I can't wait for you to play it. Now if you don't mind me, I'm going to research experimental memory-erasing procedures in the hopes of experiencing this game for the first time all over again.
  5. Feb 14, 2022
    While it's undoubtedly another accomplished game in terms of technical achievement and sheer visual spectacle - I'm reminded again of those incredible faces, and one particularly outstanding underwater level - I've enjoyed Forbidden West less than Zero Dawn. The main story has major issues, and the level design made it difficult for me to play the way I had previously enjoyed, while making a lot of the newer systems feel redundant. Beyond that, the sense is of a game where Guerrilla has cobbled together RPG building blocks often without making them work within the context of its own game, and in some cases actively worsening Horizon Forbidden West as a result. I don't expect groundbreaking innovation, but with using well-established elements there's always the danger of them having been done better elsewhere. Unfortunately, with Horizon Forbidden West that's often the case.
  6. Feb 13, 2022
    Anyone who digs these kinds of dense, map-based open world experiences is going to feel happy with what Guerrilla Games is offering here.
  7. Feb 13, 2022
    Undoubtedly a gorgeous spectacle in every way, Forbidden West struggles to develop a compelling storyline out of the gate. It mitigates that through a satisfying and customizable combat system, though in our playthrough so far, hasn't demonstrated a substantial evolution from the original. [Quick Look]
  8. Feb 14, 2022
    I thoroughly enjoyed Horizon Forbidden West, and I suspect anyone who loves open-world RPGs will thoroughly enjoy it as well. But despite getting a kick out of fighting robot dinos, despite the enthralling time sink of “Machine Strike,” despite finding myself ravenous to return to this rich, inspired open world, I can’t shake how plainly Forbidden West misses the one philosophical throughline that helped its predecessor ascend to greatness: Sometimes, the question is more interesting than the answer.
  9. Feb 14, 2022
    In the end, this is Aloy’s story: She continues to be a headstrong protagonist, and I say that admiringly. In Forbidden West, she takes no sh*t — but she also learns valuable lessons about accepting help, and about acknowledging the grief that comes from growing up as an outcast. She goes to bat for the people she cares about. Forbidden West homes in on the contrast between her convictions and those of Dr. Elisabet Sobeck, the creator of the Zero Dawn project that set the whole series in motion, and the character from whom Aloy was cloned. Where Sobeck took the destruction of humanity as an assumption, and worked to repopulate the Earth, Aloy fights for the survival of those who are alive today. Even as the story throws in twists and additional characters that alter the scope of the threat she’s up against, her steadfast resolve remains. Getting to play as her — in such a beautiful and densely packed world — is a journey I won’t walk away from anytime soon.
  10. Feb 15, 2022
    At its core, Horizon Forbidden West is a game about saving the world—both in the sense of preservation, and in the doomsday-averting action that involves shooting supervillains with pointy sticks. It’s about asking ourselves what we’re willing to pay, and lose, to ensure some part of our legacy persists. And it’s about what you can do in a world where the rich and powerful have murdered your future, while greedily ensuring their own lives on. It’s not a masterpiece—masterpieces rarely come this big. But it’s a world worth keeping, nevertheless.
  11. Feb 14, 2022
    After completing Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker, I’ve been searching for something to take up the time that game occupied in my life. I needed something meaty that entertained me while not asking me to invest too much emotion. I wanted something I could play through without being totally mentally present as I recovered from Endwalker’s emotional ravishing, and Horizon Forbidden West perfectly filled that need. It was the video game equivalent of the post-coital cigarette that I’m looking forward to smoking for another 60 hours.
  12. Feb 22, 2022
    It’s an exhausting, often repetitive, experience just barely held up by a good story, incredible visuals, and competent game design that lifts the best bits from other video games made in the past 10 years...If you’re looking for a revolutionary experience that teaches you what open world games can be, Forbidden West isn’t it. But if you’re looking for a competent distraction that soothes and smooths the brain by repeating what open world games have been doing for years, Forbidden West does the job.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8888 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Feb 19, 2022
    what do you want from a game? ... adventure ? great music? beautiful landscapes ? gorgeous graphic ? amazing story ? fun gameplay ? .... Iwhat do you want from a game? ... adventure ? great music? beautiful landscapes ? gorgeous graphic ? amazing story ? fun gameplay ? .... I found all of them in this game .... masterpiece Full Review »
  2. Feb 19, 2022
    Probably the biggest disappointment in awhile. I had very high expectations. The story is bland and unimaginative, the game play is veryProbably the biggest disappointment in awhile. I had very high expectations. The story is bland and unimaginative, the game play is very boring. Even the lauded graphic are underwhelming. Really dropped the ball here. Full Review »
  3. Feb 19, 2022
    I was really looking forward to this game. Sadly Sony first party level of polish is not there and Forbidden West is buggy rushed game.
    I was really looking forward to this game. Sadly Sony first party level of polish is not there and Forbidden West is buggy rushed game.
    - Dull prologue. Take over hour to beat ultra linear tutorial.
    - Platforming is garbage and you need constantly accessibility or focus option on to see where your character can climb.
    - Aloy stuck in environmental objects often.
    - Aloy talking constantly and telling you what to do.

    This game need more time in the oven.
    Full Review »