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Horizon Forbidden West: Epic Combat Moves, New Equipment and Aloy’s Facial Animation

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Yesterday’s State of Play showcase blew us all away with Horizon Forbidden West’s gameplay reveal. Let’s check out what’s new and improved.

It’s been a long time coming but at last, we finally got our eager eyes on some lengthy gameplay of Horizon Forbidden West yesterday at Sony’s State of Play. Throughout the 15 minute reel, fans were left gobsmacked at how incredible the graphics looked and how vibrant the environments felt.

Horizon Forbidden West – State of Play Gameplay Reveal

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Kicking things off, we got straight in on the action which showcased Aloy tracking down her loyal friend and returning character Erend through the dense and luscious terrain.

Even though we expected many new features and landscape variations, what we finally saw was a beautifully designed and constructed gameplay sequence that offered much more than fans had initially hoped for.

Aloy’s Finally Got Some Emotion

This is in no way disrespecting the queen that is the machine hunter, Aloy, but if we are being honest here, in Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy’s facial animations were mostly void of expression and feeling. It never quite matched her emotional state of anger, fear or happiness.

Thankfully, Guerrilla Games has listened to feedback regarding this and what we saw in the new trailer seems to be a step in the right direction. Right off the bat, Aloy’s exterior saw a vast improvement in which we actually saw signs of how she felt mirror her facial animations.

Improved Combat Skill Set

In Horizon Zero Dawn, Aloy was quite limited when it came to combat skills and even though they were effective when faced with an enemy, there was always room for improvements as well as offering the player something more exciting than what was implemented.

Again, the developers have seemed to take this criticism and turned what they’ve learned up to the max level. Not only is Aloy more tactical in her approach to foes, but her trusty Spear has also received huge enhancements that offer a whole new set of combos for close-range fighting.

In one combat sequence, we saw Aloy placing specialized ammo into her Spear that allowed for an epic outcome when interacting with the enemy. She has also learned a few tricks since we last saw her by evading a foe by throwing up the dirt from the ground to create a cloud of dust so she can easily escape or confuse her opponent.

New Gear

Can we just take a moment to appreciate Aloy’s holographic umbrella device called the Shieldwing? Watching Aloy take to the air for a few short seconds was incredible to watch and a much-needed item that’ll add the thrill into exploration.

As well as the Shieldwing, we saw Aloy pull some Uncharted moves with her new Pullcaster. Another brand new device that will help her move swiftly from one area to another. With underwater exploration now an option, Aloy has a Diving Mask at her disposal as well as huge upgrades to her Focus ability.

With everything that has been showcased in the new gameplay trailer in terms of improvements, enhancements and combat skills, Aloy’s next adventures look set to become one of the biggest and best titles to arrive on the PS5.

Although a release date hasn’t been revealed yet, Horizon Forbidden West is still slated to launch in 2021.

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Rachael Fiddis

Rachael, who is Deputy Editor, has been gaming for many years. Some of her favourite video games include The Witcher 3 and The Last of Us but also loves a good indie title. Gaming Culture is where her heart lies and spends many hours sieving through gaming fan art and cosplay displays. Other than gaming, Rachael is a book nerd and music lover.

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