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The Horizon Forbidden West Gameplay Trailer Explained

"Horizon" fans are over the moon thanks to a brand-new 19-minute gameplay preview trailer released as part of the May 27, 2021, PlayStation State of Play. Gamers got an immersive look into "Horizon Forbidden West" after a brief introduction by Game Director Mathijs de Jonge. After 14 minutes of previewing the gameplay, the gameplay deep dive at the end with Narrative Director Ben McCaw revealed even more juicy details about plot points and new features to come.

Just as Aloy's first action-packed RPG title "Horizon Zero Dawn" took the world by storm with dynamic combat, visuals, and an in-depth post-apocalyptic plot, "Horizon Forbidden West" promises to do the same and more. Since the first game was one of the best released in 2017, hopes are high for the upcoming sequel. Though the original announcement trailer from June 2020 teased a few of the features explored in detail through the gameplay preview, players now know exactly what to expect in Aloy's next adventure.

The key trailer details, in a nutshell

The gameplay trailer opens with Aloy finding a disheveled-looking Delver recovering from a raid at his camp, during which Erend was captured. As she embarks on her mission to rescue her friend, Aloy traverses through a jaw-droppingly gorgeous island landscape.

It's not long before she runs into some troublesome machines, the signature robot-dinosaur creatures of the "Horizon" series, and she's shocked to see an enemy raider riding one. One of the trailer's most exciting moments follows as Aloy climbs a pillar and then dives deep into the ocean from quite the height. She then comes across an epic underwater machine, previewing one of the many new creatures that will be part of "Horizon Forbidden West." In addition to swimming, Aloy also gains the ability to glide in this game. As she reaches the edge of a cliff during her search for Erend, she demonstrates her newfound gliding skills.

An intense battle with a Tremortusk, a new elephant-like machine giant, leads to Erend's rescue and serves as the trailer finale. After Aloy shows off her signature badass combat skills, the trailer ends on a cliffhanger with a big storm brewing overhead.

Gameplay deep dive

After the gameplay preview portion of the exciting, action-packed trailer, Mathijs de Jonge returned with Ben McCaw for a quick gameplay deep dive highlighting new elements, including those featured in the preview as well as an ominous "red blight" that threatens to "[strangle] all life." Only Aloy can stop it by finding the right technology with the help of her friends.

Other new gameplay features are explained, including enhanced climbing abilities, the previously shown Shieldwing for gliding, and the Diving Mask for indefinite swimming without a need for oxygen. Combat allows for great variety, given the multiple weapon choices like smoke bombs, spears, bows, and more. As McCaw put it, "The player will need to be smart and creative and use all of the combat options we have shown to deal with a large variety of deadly machines."

It's up to Aloy to "explore the open world to uncover the secret behind [the machines'] power and how that secret is related to her quest to stop the blight," as McCaw summed up. More mysteries are promised, as well as more updates closer to the game's eventual 2021 launch date, which is currently TBD.

Aloy's promising next chapter

While it surely would've been possible for PlayStation to showcase the new gameplay elements without sharing a full 14-minute preview, seeing the skills interweaved with the plot gives players a true taste of what it will be like to play "Horizon Forbidden West." Fans got even more than they bargained for, and the excitement is palpable.

Clearly, any concerns Sony had about featuring a woman protagonist have been debunked, as Aloy is one of many women leads making an impact in the PlayStation world. Though only time will tell when "Horizon Forbidden West" will be released, you can always get fired up for Aloy's upcoming sequel by playing as her in "Fortnite." 

"Horizon Forbidden West" is set to launch on both the PS5 and PS4, despite prior lies by Sony. If this revealing new trailer and Aloy's massive success to date are any indication, the release will certainly go swimmingly.