Horizon Forbidden West Release Date - Everything We Know

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Horizon Forbidden West Aloy aiming her Nora Elite Bow angrily at enemy machines and rebels
February 8, 2022: We have added new information on the challenges you can do and any new details shown in the recent trailer.

Horizon Forbidden West is an action role-playing game from Guerilla Games. It's the long-awaited sequel to the highly successful Horizon Zero Dawn. In the game, Aloy must venture into the dangerous wilderness of The Forbidden West to try to stop the world from ending (again).

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On her search for a cure for the red blight that is destroying the land, Aloy will come across numerous new threats. A very angry rebel leader called Regalla has the power to control machines and use them to attack anyone in her path. The machines themselves are dangerous and exhibit new abilities such as spitting acid. New characters that she will meet along the way may become new allies or they may become a new, unprecedented threat. One thing is clear, Aloy's quest to save the world will not be an easy one.

Table of Contents

From new and returning characters to the most recent trailer, here's everything we know so far about Horizon Forbidden West.

Release Date

After being delayed, the game is due to be released on February 18th, 2022. At the moment it seems that this release date is still the one the developers are aiming for. You can currently pre-order your copy of the game which makes us doubt the release date will be moved again.

Is It a PlayStation Exclusive?

On release, the game will be a PlayStation exclusive for PS4 and PS5 consoles.

When Is Horizon Forbidden West Set?

From this PlayStation Blog Post, we know that the game is set six months after the ending of Zero Dawn. It seems that in the time between games, the "red blight" has grown stronger and started to ravage the land. Aloy has been trying to figure out what it is and how to stop it, which leads us to the beginning of the game. In the announcement trailer, we can see that there are ruins that show part of the Forbidden West was San Francisco.

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Horizon Forbidden West Aloy and Varl riding Charger Machines side by side
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Returning Characters

Aloy is, of course, returning in this game. We have also managed to spot Erend and Varl. Erend is the Captain of the Vanguard at Meridian and he became good friends with Aloy throughout Zero Dawn. Another familiar face was revealed in the new story trailer. Varl, a Nora Brave and the son of War Chief Sona, is in the game too. Both characters now wear a Focus that looks similar to Aloy's and Varl can be seen riding a Charger.

Sylens also returns in Forbidden West, though we're not certain about trusting him again. As with his role in the first game, the trailers that have been released so far do not clarify which side he is on.

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Horizon Forbidden West New Key Art Aloy and friends vs Regalla and the Rebels
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New Characters

There are a bunch of new characters too. In an official post from the PlayStation Blog, we learn that Aloy will have a few new allies to fight at her side. They are Zo, Alva and Kotallo. Currently, we do not know much more about the new trio. In the new key art revealed in the blog post, we can see two more characters. The Tenakth Tribe leader Hekarro and a mysterious, somewhat ethereal new character called Tilda. Their status as friend or foe is not yet clear.

As we can see in the trailers, the character that seems to be the main human enemy is the rebel leader Regalla. Regalla has taken over several machines and has been supplied weaponry by a "higher power". It seems that she is using them to hunt down anyone who has crossed her and she is more than ready to kill anyone who tries to stop her.

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Horizon Forbidden West. Aloy is crouched in the bottom right corner of the screen. A large snake-like machine, a Slitherfang, towers over her in the middle of the image.
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That is a big snake...

New Machines

Some of the mechanical beasts created by the old ones in Zero Dawn appear in this game too. However, there are several new types of machines for you to fight. Each one seems to be bigger, faster, and far more dangerous than the original game. You can find out more about them in our machines list. One such machine is the Slitherfang. This gigantic snake-like machine seems to slither across the landscape, can scale tall ruins and it seems to be able to bury itself underground. If the ground rumbles, get ready for a surprise attack.

Climbing, Gliding, and Grappling

Aloy displays several new abilities in all of the trailers so far. Climbing has been designed to behave more like free-climbing, meaning Aloy can now climb without using pre-made grips. (They were the yellow holds you had to follow in Zero Dawn). She can also glide down safely from great heights thanks to the Shieldwing. It's similar to a modern-day parachute but it looks like it was made from the shield of a Shell-Walker. If those additions weren't enough, Aloy has a new grappling tool called the Pullcaster! She can use this to speedily get around the environment and can be used as a strategic escape during tough battles.

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New and Returning Challenges

In the challenges trailer, we were given a glimpse of a few brand-new challenges that you can do in the Forbidden West. Also, it was confirmed that a few challenges from the previous game will be in this one. Here are all of the new challenges and activities that we know about so far:

  • Melee Pits: It seems that these are challenges where Aloy is pitted against a human enemy (or enemies) and she will only be able to use melee weapons.
  • Salvage Contracts: They're probably contracts that you can pick up from various people across the Forbidden West. To complete them, you'll need to collect a specific (and usually rare) machine part for the trader. Deliver it back to them to complete the contract.
  • Arenas: They have a similar premise to gladiator arenas, only this time it's Aloy vs one of the strong machines in the game. It looks like hiding is not an option inside an arena, so equip your best weapon and keep your wits about you to win.
  • Rider Races: In the trailer, we were briefly introduced to Riders. It seems that Aloy is not the only one who knows how to mount machines. From the glimpse we saw in the trailer, it's possible that you will be able to race against other machine riders in another new activity.
  • Rebel Outposts and Camps: Regalla and her Rebels are one of the biggest threats in the Forbidden West. As you play, you'll come across their outposts and camps. It seems like they may have a similar premise to the Bandit Camp activities from Zero Dawn.
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Now, if you have played Zero Dawn, then you may be pleased to know that there are a few challenges and activities from the game that have made it into Forbidden West. . Here are all of the returning challenges that we know about:

  • Hunting Grounds: These are optional activities where you can perfect your skills in taking down various different machines. Typically, a Hunting Ground has three challenges and a three-tier reward system (Half Sun, Full Sun, and Blazing Sun). They're a great way of learning new skills in a semi-safe environment.
  • Cauldrons: These are areas for Aloy to explore and, at the heart of them, she'll have to battle a large machine. Usually, you will learn how to override a set of machines after defeating the one at the middle of a Cauldron. They're good sources of loot too.

It's important to remember that our descriptions are based on Zero Dawn and the small pieces of information revealed in the trailer.

Recent Trailer

Here is the most recent trailer for the game. In this trailer, you get a glimpse at a few of the activities and challenges that you can do in the Forbidden West.

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We will update this guide as we learn more about Forbidden West.

Horizon Forbidden West has many new features for you to look forward to. If you want to know about the new weapons, take a look at our weapons and ammunition guide. Also, if you refresh your memory of Zero Dawn, take a look at our story recap and ending explanation.