Last week we got the world premiere for Horizon 2 Forbidden West which is a sequel to the critically acclaimed PS Exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn. A couple of days later PlayStation uploaded a YouTube video in which Game Director Mathijs De Jonge talks about the sequel and shares a little background on where Aloy is headed next.
First of all the trailer opens up with what appears to be actual gameplay from the PlayStation 5 and the world looks absolutely stunning. If you played the first game you will remember how environment design was a major contributor to the player being immersed in the game. From what we saw in the trailer it seems Forbidden West is about to set a new benchmark for open world design when it finally drops in 2021. According to De Jonge this time Aloy is on an epic quest to discover mysteries and secrets which will (and I quote) change her life forever. Having played the initial game and invested quite some time in Horizon's universe I can say this statement might just live up to its hype. It has also been confirmed that the map is much bigger than the initial game and heavy emphasis is being put on making underwater exploration more accessible to the player.
Coming to the story, it seems a mysterious red blight is spreading across the planet and killing all life which comes in contact with it. Animals and fauna are poisoned by the blight and crops are being destroyed. Tribal farmers cannot understand as to why such a phenomenon is occurring. The earth's biosphere seems to be in complete chaos with massive super cell storms raging the planet and if you played the first game you might have a hint to why this is happening (Horizon Zero Dawn Spoilers Ahead)
At the beginning of Zero Dawn we are introduced to the derangement that occurs throughout the world, in which machines start becoming more aggressive towards humans over a period of 15 years and newer much stronger (and deadlier) machines keep appearing out of nowhere. If you completed the initial game you will know that the earth's biosphere was consumed by the Faro plague and Project Zero Dawn gave rise to an AI whose sole purpose was to stop the Faro plague and make earth habitable again using green robots followed by repopulating the earth with human embryos stored in underground facilities throughout the world. Ultimately due to unforeseen circumstances the AI governing the biosphere sacrificed itself to save the world from imminent danger however before leaving it warned that without an AI to govern the terraforming system, the system would begin to breakdown and that is exactly what happened and in Forbidden West's sequel the breakdown seems to have accelerated.
The Forbidden West is actually the name given to a mysterious new frontier which stretches from Utah all the way to the Pacific which means the game's map will likely showcase monumental landmarks based between Utah and the Pacific. We also see a very iconic character from the first game, the metal devil and it seems Aloy is headed straight for it in the trailer. Although we never faced the metal devil in Zero Dawn, it was always heavily teased as being on of the major factors for humanity's initial extinction. Guerrilla seem to be aiming to provide an immersive underwater experience to the players as we can see Aloy with some sort of an underwater breathing mask. Two iconic landmarks from San Francisco also make an appearance but both seem to have taken heavy damage from the extinction events.
A major character from the first game, Sylens is also making his return to the sequel. Although in the trailer he is seen worried by an incoming object from outer space, perhaps someone was successful in escaping earth's extinction and terraformed another planet and they are the ones who are making their return in the sequel or perhaps its the unknown entity who initiated this chaos in the first place. We are also introduced to a sphire similar to the first game and knowing the importance of the sphire in Zero Dawn its safe to assume that this sphire will play a central role in the game. We see the sphire surrounded with solar panels which may serve as a means to provide energy but who created this sphire, was it the AI who originally sacrificed itself to save humanity and all life on earth from a second extinction? or is it someone with more sinister ideas. Well we cannot wait to find out more when the game finally drops next year on the PlayStation 5.