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Horizon Forbidden West - Grapple + Glider = Aloy 2.0


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The game it’s reminding me a lot of also is The Witcher 3. The many side quests scattered around, and ruins you happen upon, that kind of thing, and the way the story is told through cutscenes. 
 

The cutscenes themselves, even just those side quests or whatever, the motion capture, facial expressions and gestures are excellent. I’d say it might be the best I’ve seen in a game to date even. 
 

It’s a game to take in slowly and savour, take the time to marinate in its juices. The combat is hugely  enjoyable and seems to have more layers slightly compared to the first game, it’s very, very well done as you scan machines to identify weak parts, use traps and different weapons and so on. 
 

But for me the main improvement in this one is the exploration. The environments are absolutely stunning and all I want to do is have a look around and take it all in. It’s not totally freeform but it’s much improved in how you can climb more etc. 

 

It’s a very worthy sequel and if I were to compare it to another series I’d say it’s like Xenoblade Chronicles. Not in how in plays but it the world building and how they have taken the open world structure and done something pretty unique and original with it. 

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10 hours ago, Harsin said:

The level of detail on the various wildlife is insane. Especially as you usually only see them in the distance before you plant an arrow in them, as they scarper if you get close. Shamelessly nicked from Resetera’s screenshot thread.

 

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I thought this was a joke post, especially that owl shot - my god those are ridiculous.

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14 hours ago, teddymeow said:

Does anybody know if this game has an 

  Reveal hidden contents

infinite fast travel pack

 

like you could get in the first game?

Spoiler

Those are gone. You can now fast travel for free at campfires, also fast travel to the base is always free.

 

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The level of detail and the amount of… everything… in this is absurd.

 

About 50% of the NPCs seem to have an actual job that they appear to be doing properly. I stood and watched the ‘logging’ area next to the river by Barrenlight for about a minute last night, and let me tell you if I ever need a tree trunk cut in half, I’ll be giving those guys a call. They’re a credit to their profession. Same with the workers at the quarry, and the woman chopping vegetables in the Inn. It’s totally inconsequential to the rest of the game, but it was all animated perfectly.

 

And judging by the screenshot above it even has accurately rendered seagull nostrils.

 

(Which does make it seem odd that the trees still look a bit ‘early PS4 era’, but I’m guessing that’s the skeleton of the crossgen version peeking through)

 

 

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I keep on having hard time believing the cutscenes are running real time. They’re shockingly high quality. Admittedly, there’s an awful lot of gurning and overacting going on but they’re great nonetheless!

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20 minutes ago, JoeK said:

I keep on having hard time believing the cutscenes are running real time. They’re shockingly high quality. Admittedly, there’s an awful lot of gurning and overacting going on but they’re great nonetheless!

It’s insane how good they are, but to prove they are real-time a group of machines started attacking during one I was watching yesterday - pretty hilarious seeing these two scholarly NPC’s pontificating whilst being bombarded by rocks, lasers and so on :lol:

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Yeah, I get antsy when I see blue lights bobbing about in the background when I'm in the middle of a conversation.

 

Lured a bandit group into a glider/leaper lair last night, then mopped up the survivors. So the old procedural interactions between NPCs is still there.

 

I also found the place Sylens was leading Aloy towards. :blink::unsure: I'm gonna need a bigger bow... 

 

Spoiler

Or, more likely, a significantly higher tech weapon or three...

 

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13 hours ago, RJames said:


I will likely play it but the answer is pretty straightforward. It’s the same game as the last 8 Assassin’s Creeds, Spiderman, God of War, Ghost of T, etc. etc. etc.

By all accounts it’s a well executed one with amazing graphics, but that’s still all it is. I don’t need to play the same videogame for the (literal) 20th+ time. I have no problem with it whatsoever, it looks great. But there’s nothing original about it except the combat (slightly)… which broadly the same as the first game.

Personally I had a blast with Deathloop and that’s a very very original game. Horses for courses. 

So for example. GoW is a 94 metacritic. I think this is closer to that than the scores imply. I think there is a lot original here for sample the world and premise. A time loop by comparison is not that original. Glad you liked deathloop though for me it was literally 50 pounds in the bin. 

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I don’t know if this has already been posted, so apologies if it has, but this is a really good review if you are on the fence about the game, or even if you already own it and want to know some more about it. 
 

There are spoilers with regards to weapons and powers, but nothing story related so no worries there. 
 

Fighting Cowboy is all about gameplay, and this video does a better job of any I’ve seen at describing the combat in the game. 
 

 

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13 hours ago, sammy said:

No, come on now - it’s aesthetically ugly as sin, inconsistent, incoherent, immature, gaudy and clumsy.

 

Having accurately, stunning rendered seagulls is great, but it's not a gameplay feature. HZD2 absolutely suffers from having hyperreal graphics at the expense of clean environmental interaction. To the extent you need to trigger an enormous purple dome to tell you which bits of the environment are interactable with or not. 

 

I appreciate we're in the Digital Foundry era now, where photorealistic owls will always trump everything, but HZD2's technical accomplishments are just that. Technical accomplishments. 

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2 minutes ago, cavalcade said:

 

Having accurately, stunning rendered seagulls is great, but it's not a gameplay feature. HZD2 absolutely suffers from having hyperreal graphics at the expense of clean environmental interaction. To the extent you need to trigger an enormous purple dome to tell you which bits of the environment are interactable with or not. 

 

I appreciate we're in the Digital Foundry era now, where photorealistic owls will always trump everything, but HZD2's technical accomplishments are just that. Technical accomplishments. 

There's a setting which allows you to see, like the first game, things you can interact with.

 

And the latter point is subjective. I love the look of the game. As someone said upthread it has a really bright, Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic that's consistent with the story and the characters. I'd hate it if everything looked like Elden Ring, for example, even though I really enjoy that approach too.

 

It's obviously horses for courses, but this game is beautifully put together, with really likeable characters and really fun systems. It's unfair to claim it's soulless or just a technical achievement.

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2 hours ago, Oz said:

So for example. GoW is a 94 metacritic. I think this is closer to that than the scores imply. I think there is a lot original here for sample the world and premise. A time loop by comparison is not that original. Glad you liked deathloop though for me it was literally 50 pounds in the bin. 

 

You're judging a gigantic game by the first half an area (given you started this topic of conversation about the validity or otherwise of an 89 metacritic, and then apparently only got to the Embassy yesterday), and stating that the reviewers as a collective got it wrong by scoring it the same as deathloop in aggregate. It's really weird.

 

If it helps, I think it got better through the arc you're about to play than up to and including the Embassy, but I can also see the signs where certain types of cookie cutter content are appearing - and how people will react to that will depend on how many of these games they've played in the last couple of years.

 

And whether they've turned "highlight climbing holds" on. (Do, it's transformative).

 

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10 minutes ago, Hewson said:

There's a setting which allows you to see, like the first game, things you can interact with.

 

And the latter point is subjective. I love the look of the game. As someone said upthread it has a really bright, Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic that's consistent with the story and the characters. I'd hate it if everything looked like Elden Ring, for example, even though I really enjoy that approach too.

 

It's obviously horses for courses, but this game is beautifully put together, with really likeable characters and really fun systems. It's unfair to claim it's soulless or just a technical achievement.

 

It's a very pretty game, I'm not saying it isn't. I was excitedly using the photo mode like everyone else and marvelling at the detail in the world a couple of nights ago. It is a tremendous achievement. I just don't think I'd get that defensive about it from an 88 rating perspective - because as the poster above said, it's the same game as 20+ other games. The acting is fine, Aloy sighs a lot, the plot is shit, the gameplay is like other games like it, and it looks spectacular. All of these things are true.

 

I'd see it as the photorealistic owl endpoint of this sort of game. I think the sales aren't going to be great, and as we slide towards Far Cry 8 and Assassin's Creed 234 and we've hit the stops on visual fidelity, something is clearly going to have to change. But games like HZD2 and these others can't be a third of the length, look as good, serve the audience and cost half the price. Unless AIs eventually build gameworlds and textures I'll be curious to see how we break out of this cycle of diminishing returns. 

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5 minutes ago, cavalcade said:

 

I just don't think I'd get that defensive about it from an 88 rating perspective - because as the poster above said, it's the same game as 20+ other games.

Totally agree with first part of this, but the second part is unfair. It's not the same game. Almost every game magpies from others and innovation isn't everything. The blend here is really well judged. For me the story and delivery is more than enough to give the game impetus and keep me engaged. It might not be to your taste, but that doesn't mean all the things you list are objectively true. There's surely enough people in this thread enjoying it for that to be clear.

 

And that whole 'endpoint of graphics' thing is always being said and is never true. Again, it kind of smacks of the graphics not being to your taste, which is fine but doesn't mean anything more than that. Also interesting that length is an issue here, but you don't mention Elden Ring which by all accounts is so big that most reviewers won't have played it all. I'm all for respecting the time of the player, but it seems like its not always applied to all games.

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25 minutes ago, footle said:

 

You're judging a gigantic game by the first half an area (given you started this topic of conversation about the validity or otherwise of an 89 metacritic, and then apparently only got to the Embassy yesterday), and stating that the reviewers as a collective got it wrong by scoring it the same as deathloop in aggregate. It's really weird.

 

If it helps, I think it got better through the arc you're about to play than up to and including the Embassy, but I can also see the signs where certain types of cookie cutter content are appearing - and how people will react to that will depend on how many of these games they've played in the last couple of years.

 

And whether they've turned "highlight climbing holds" on. (Do, it's transformative).

 

yeh fair enough I have only played a few hours of it. I don't think the 88 is invalid. it just seems low to me given what I have played so far. I don't like having the highlights on all the time because it makes nature in the game look less beautiful. I have not played any open world games (ala AC) in the past maybe 3 years. other than the first horizon which I rinsed and I recently played the expansion to that maybe a year ago.

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3 minutes ago, cavalcade said:

 

It's a very pretty game, I'm not saying it isn't. I was excitedly using the photo mode like everyone else and marvelling at the detail in the world a couple of nights ago. It is a tremendous achievement. I just don't think I'd get that defensive about it from an 88 rating perspective - because as the poster above said, it's the same game as 20+ other games. The acting is fine, Aloy sighs a lot, the plot is shit, the gameplay is like other games like it, and it looks spectacular. All of these things are true. I'd see it as the photorealistic owl endpoint of this sort of game. I think the sales aren't going to be great, and as we slide towards Far Cry 8 and Assassin's Creed 234 and we've hit the stops on visual fidelity, something is clearly going to have to change. But games like HZD2 and these others can't be a third of the length, look as good, serve the audience and cost half the price. Unless AIs eventually build gameworlds and textures I'll be curious to see how we break out of this cycle of dimishing returns. 


Or alternatively we can just add ‘this sort of game’ to the ever increasingly giant pile of genres that certain types of gamerZ don’t consider to be legitimate. Given that said pile already includes most online first person shooters, Fortnite, Minecraft, virtually all sports games and 100pc of mobile games, sure why the fuck not, games that people like are for losers anyway.

 

Looking forward to our glorious future where the only videogames worthy of praise and discussion are From Software titles, the latest indy metroidvania and of course anything from Nintendo, who are no doubt planning to revolutionise the form with Mario Kart 9 and Smash Brothers 6.

 

 

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The machines are the thing that amazed me about the first game, how they are uncannily like real animals, would limp when injured etc. Also having to deal with multiple machines at once, how they would hunt you, setting traps to disable some while you attack others, identifying weak points and using the correct weapons to deal most damage. That’s what set the original apart for me and although I haven’t played this yet I feel HFW sounds as though it builds on this and is set in a beautiful world (according to some) which is a bonus. I’m really looking forward to playing it.

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