A lot of people have been anticipating Horizon Forbidden West for a long, long time. Now it seems, we finally get a glimpse into what the game will be like.

Let the hype train roll out!

IGN brought this Horizon Forbidden West gameplay demo to us on May 27, 2021; and wow. did they deliver. It’s a nearly 14 minutes long demonstration of what Guerilla Games have been working on ever since they released Horizon Zero Dawn back in 2017. There’s a lot to break down about the trailer itself, so I’ll save that for below. Unfortunately though, they did not give us a release date for the game. All we have to go on is the vague release date of Q3/Q4 2021. Eh, oh well. We’ll just have to be content with this demo in the meantime.

Horizon Forbidden West: Demo Breakdown

Horizon Forbidden West state of play screenshot.
If this were any more detailed, it’d be live action.

So the first thing we notice in the Horizon Forbidden West demo? Well, for starters, the demo confirms that Erend will be a returning character for the sequel. Given the importance of Aloy’s mission, it does make sense for the Sun King to send the leader of his Vanguard with Aloy. Plus, we’ll likely get to see his character develop further, so that’s nice.

Erend from Horizon Zero Dawn.
Yup, he’s as sad as he looks.

We also see 2 new machines being prominently featured in this Horizon Forbidden West demo. The most common is a raptor-like machine with chainsaws for a lower jaw, and a host of other blades in addition. According to the accompanying comic book, this is the Clawstrider, and what’s most exciting about it is that it’s a mountable machine. Yes, you too can now ride a mechanical raptor into battle. Groovy.

Clawstrider from Horizon Forbidden West.
“Get closer! I want to hit them with my raptor!”

The 2nd new machine in this Horizon Forbidden West demo is a giant elephant machine called the Tremortusk. Apparently, your local bad guys like to use it as a mount too. Complete with a militarized and jury-rigged howdah on top, fitted with archers and cannons. When you combine that with the Tremortusk’s own energy cannons and its own mass, you’ve got one heck of a boss battle whenever you face one of these things.

Tremortusk from Horizon Forbidden West.
Looks incredibly fun already.

Not only does the Horizon Forbidden West demo show off these new machines, they also show off some of Aloy’s new tools and weapons. We see Aloy use a sort of mini-hookshot to latch onto climbable things a short distance away. Aloy also makes use of some kind of explosive spears during the boss battle with the mechanical elephant. Lastly, we also see Aloy use some kind of energy-based parasail to gently float down to the ground from high places. Clearly, the devs have been learning from Breath of the Wild.

Aloy with her brand new energy parasail.
I can already see Link giving her a thumb’s up.

The Horizon Forbidden West demo also shows off a bit of Aloy’s underwater mechanics. We see Aloy swim freely through a sunken city. The only thing limiting her are powerful currents, which seem to act like natural obstacles. All in all, this is a good demo.

Aloy with her brand new rebreather.
Getting some Subnautica vibes here. Good ones.


Sony and Guerilla Games have just released a nearly 14-minute demo for Horizon Forbidden West as part of their State of Play event. The demo features new machines, new combat mechanics, and new tools for Aloy to play with. All in all, this demo succeeds in building up the hype. Now just give us a release date soon, and our Horizon Zero Dawn day will be complete.

Source: YouTube