Everything we know about the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel, Horizon Forbidden West

Aloy Goes West.

Horizon Forbidden West logo

Screengrab via Sony

Horizon Zero Dawn quickly became one of the PlayStation 4’s standout titles after its launch in 2017, and fans almost immediately began clamoring for a sequel. After more than three years, the sequel has finally been revealed, and it looks like fans will have plenty more to get excited about this time around. Here’s everything we know about the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel, Horizon Forbidden West.

When and where does Horizon Forbidden West take place?

As the title alludes to, Horizon Forbidden West takes place in the western United States. The original Horizon Zero Dawn was already set pretty far to the west, in Colorado and Utah, but Horizon Forbidden West will go even farther, to the Pacific coast. There’s evidence in the trailer that Aloy will at least stop off in San Francisco, including shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and — if that was too subtle — a building that seems to be modeled after the San Francisco Ferry Building, with the city’s name right on the front. The game’s trailer shows a range of terrain, from deserts to snow-capped mountains to beaches, so a large map spanning at least several present-day states is likely.

Horizon Forbidden West
Screengrab via Sony

The question of when the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel takes place is a little tougher to answer. In the trailer, Aloy looks about the same as she did at the end of the first game. The trailer shows Sylens, Aloy’s sometimes-ally from the first game, building up a new army of corrupted bots. Given that he’s seemingly had time to gain quite a few followers, and considering the time it would take to travel from Colorado to San Francisco on robot horseback, it seems likely that Horizon Forbidden West will take place at least a few months after the conclusion of Horizon Zero Dawn, but probably not much more than that.

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What new features will Horizon Forbidden West have?

Aside from the new setting, there are a few new additions we know about for sure. For one, expect new robots to tangle with, or befriend, depending on your playstyle. The trailer showed new robots based on turtles, warthogs, and elephants, and there are almost certainly more reveals to come.

Horizon Forbidden West
Screengrab via Sony

From the looks of it, Horizon Forbidden West will also feature more developed swimming mechanics than its predecessor. While Aloy could swim in Horizon Zero Dawn, the sequel will give her the ability to actually dive underwater to explore the ocean, if the breathing apparatus she uses in the trailer is representative of actual gameplay.

There has also been some speculation that Horizon Forbidden West could feature multiplayer, but that hasn’t yet been confirmed or denied. Guerrilla Games actually experimented with co-op in an early version of Horizon Zero Dawn, and recently began hiring multiplayer programmers for a game that sounds more than a little like its sequel, but it’s a little too early to start holding your breath just yet.

When will Horizon Forbidden West be released?

Unfortunately, that’s something we just don’t know yet. It seems like the game has been in development for quite a while and is likely pretty far along, but neither Sony nor developer Guerrilla Games is ready to spill the beans on that just yet. Given how anticipated the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel is, a launch window release would make it a surefire console seller. The only question there is whether it will be ready in time.

Will Horizon Forbidden West be a PlayStation 5 exclusive?

For now, at least: yes. Guerrilla Games is part of Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, which is now headed by former Guerrilla boss Hermen Hulst, so there’s no chance of the Horizon Zero Dawn sequel hitting any consoles not owned by Sony. That doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually make its way to PC, though. After remaining a PS4 exclusive for years, Horizon Zero Dawn will be coming to PC at a yet-unannounced date, as Sony revealed earlier in 2020.