Horizon Forbidden West adds new gameplay and more fancy features


Wander! Final Fantasy XVI! The Resident Evil 4 remake! Sony’s big non-E3 State of Play showcase, held last night, was unexpectedly packed. But amidst the fray, a kernel of under-the-radar news flew in for a game that’s already been released: Forbidden Horizon West received a wave of highly requested features, including a new game plus, in a surprise update.

Forbidden Horizon Westreleased for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in February, is Guerrilla Games’ sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn. Like its predecessor, west forbidden is an open-world game set in a post-apocalyptic version of America, 1,000 years from now, where you fight a whole bunch of massive robotic creatures. At launch, it received widespread acclaim, though gamers reported it for a litany of performance issues – nothing groundbreaking, more just stuff like randomly shimmering graphical flourishes. (These have since been fixed.) But once it was over, it really was over.

Patch 1.14 adds a bunch of long-requested features to the game. Most important, of course, is the addition of this new game mode plus, allowing you to replay the game with all the skills and gear acquired during your initial game. This is coupled with a new higher difficulty level, Ultra Hard. I’ve found it’s only selectable from the start of a new game – either a new game plus or a new regular game. I couldn’t change the difficulty to Ultra Hard on my main save file. (It’s okay with me : Horizonhard enough in some places!)

Screenshot: Sony / Kotaku

There is also the new option to reset your skills. In the “Skills” tab, click on any tree and press the Options button. This is in addition to one of the most fan-requested features: transmogrification, allowing you to retain the stats of equipped gear while swapping its appearance with something else in your inventories. In the Inventory tab, scroll down to “Outfits” and press Triangle on the one you want main character Aloy to wear. You’ll then see a little eye symbol on the item’s icon, indicating you’re wearing it – no hoops to jump through or weird currency systems to deal with.

In this last respect, Horizon follows in the footsteps of a current development trend, where massive open-world games typically don’t launch with this feature, but see it added several months after launch. Ubisoft’s Viking RPG Assassin’s Creed Valhalla received a transmog feature four months after its November 2020 release. CDPR Cyberpunk 2077first published in December 2020, discreetly received a similar system earlier this year, despite being half-baked.

HorizonThe patch also “fixed” some “issues” that may or may not need fixing, depending on your perspective. For example: Tallnecks – the brachiosaur-like roaming robots that serve as waypoints to clear the fog of war from the map – will apparently no longer destroy nearby machines upon activation. Boo.

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