Horizon Forbidden West: reviews round-up, PS5 Metacritic score, UK release date - and PS4 upgrade explained

The sequel to 2017’s hugely successful Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West will again see players take control of Aloy

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Early reviews are coming in thick and fast for Horizon Forbidden West, and it looks like the much anticipated game is already shaping up to be a Game of the Year contender.

The original was one of the best games of 2017, and hopes are high for the sequel – given it will arrive on a more powerful console in the PS5, and introduce a number of new features, such as water exploration.

As a new franchise and a PlayStation exclusive, it is likely to be one of the biggest releases of the year, with Sony hoping it offers enough compelling reasons to go for a PS5 over Microsoft’s Xbox.

Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is Horizon Forbidden West?

The sequel to 2017’s hugely successful Horizon Zero Dawn, Forbidden West will again see players take control of Aloy, as she explores a dystopian world of animalistic machines.

A young hunter of the Nora tribe, Aloy leads a band of companions on a quest to find the source of a mysterious plague that kills all it infects

On her journey, Aloy will encounter new regions, and the game’s open world map - which covers the states of California, Nevada, and Utah - is larger than in the previous game.

Filled with secrets and real-world locations - like a ruined San Francisco and the Yosemite Valley - Aloy will discover a vast array of environments and ecosystems, including lush valleys, dry deserts, snowy mountains, tropical beaches, and ruined cities.

Is it any good?

(Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)(Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)
(Image: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Reviews have been pouring in thick and fast from critics, and the overriding consensus looks very good indeed.

The game has received "generally favourable" reviews according to review aggregator Metacritic, and currently boasts an impressive approval rating of 89.

IGN called Horizon Forbidden West a “triumphant combination of enthralling combat, top-tier creature and character design,” and said the game is “an absolute blast and fantastic showcase for the power of the PS5.”

“There's a huge amount to do and see in Horizon Forbidden West,” say Gamespot, “and the great majority of it is worth doing and seeing thanks to strong writing, great visuals, and some marked improvements to the series' underlying ideas.”

When can I play it?

Horizon Forbidden West will be released on Friday 18 February 2022.

It will be available for both the PlayStation , and the older PlayStation 4.

Players will get the best experience from playing the game on the newer, more powerful PlayStation 5. However, with limited stock still unable to meet demand for the new console, it could be that you’ve been able to get yours hands on one.

Never fear, because the PlayStation 4 version can be freely upgraded to the PlayStation 5 version, when you are able to secure a new console.

The game was originally set to launch in late 2021, but with development impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic - Guerilla Games were having trouble getting access to performance capture and talent - Horizon Forbidden West was delayed to February 2022.

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