Horizon Forbidden West Lands on PC: A Triumphant Port with Room for Improvement

Alloy hunts a new frontier in the stunning but story-familiar Horizon Forbidden West, a technically impressive PC port

by Sededin Dedovic
Horizon Forbidden West Lands on PC: A Triumphant Port with Room for Improvement
© Playstation / YOutube channel

Sony has been on a roll lately with PC ports, and that's great news for gamers everywhere. Most of the PlayStation console exclusives are fantastic and it's exciting to see them eventually reach a wider PC audience. Among these titles, Horizon Zero Dawn arrived on PC four years ago, initially facing optimization issues.

Now its sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, has arrived, and it's safe to say that the developers have learned from their mistakes. This might be the best optimized port I've played so far. Let's dive right into what this port has to offer compared to the console versions.

In addition to supporting ultra-wide monitors of various resolutions, the game boasts graphical improvements and uses modern AI technologies such as Nvidia DLSS, DLAA, AMD FSR and Intel XeSS. Regardless of the make of your graphics cards, you're covered with the latest technology to ensure smooth frame rates.

The graphics options are extensive, allowing you to precisely fine-tune settings to achieve the perfect 60 FPS experience.

HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST PC Gameplay© GameRiot / Youtube channel

Mouse and keyboard support is excellent, with comprehensive taster connectivity customization.

Alternatively, you can use the DualSense controller on a PC for an even more immersive experience. The PC version faithfully replicates all the DualSense features found on the PS5. In conclusion, the technical aspects of the game have been flawless since day one.

It's a shame that in this day and age we still have to praise the PC port because it's not a total mess. Horizon Forbidden West is a third-person open-world action-adventure game where you play as Aloy. This heroine has a complex past, both in terms of her childhood and her very existence.

In this sequel, she has achieved fame and respect from the tribe she saved from the rogue AI, HADES. The consequences of that battle led to ecological disasters and the search for fertile land. Now, Aloy must travel west to find the remains of the AI for terraforming purposes and restore the balance of nature.

The story is extremely deep, branching out into revealing the past, the history of this post-apocalyptic world, and the current political climate among the tribes.

HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST PC Gameplay© GameRiot / Youtube channel

The world is huge, everywhere you turn you will find something - resources to collect, an event to encounter, a herd of robot dinosaurs or a new quest.

It takes about 2 hours to fully open the game, but then it's a feast for both the eyes and the adventurous spirit. This time the map is much more vertical than its predecessors. You can now control flying robots to soar through the sky, and a new zipline mechanic lets you climb to great heights.

Plus, you'll get a shield early in the game that doubles as a parachute, so verticality won't be an issue if you accidentally misjudge a step on a mountaintop. Research is always rewarding and you no longer have to worry about inventory management.

Anything you collect beyond your backpack's capacity automatically goes into a stash accessible from any major town. The world itself is breathtaking, standing side by side with Ghost of Tsushima in terms of natural beauty and environmental design.

Every direction you look offers a stunning view, worthy of a wallpaper of its own.

HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST PC Gameplay© GameRiot / Youtube channel

The action is faster and more varied compared to the first game.

Not only can you expand your weapon selection, but there are also several new types of weapons. What really shines in this game, like its predecessor, is the combat planning. You will rarely be surprised by enemies. Instead, the game presents you with combat scenarios, and it's up to you to come up with a strategy.

Sure, charging and roughing your way through melee attacks is an option, but setting traps, using stealth tactics, and taking out enemies from bushes is a much more cost-effective approach. This is especially true of robotic creatures, each with their own weak points and exploitable body parts.

Sometimes this is even the most effective strategy. There is a significantly larger number of talents compared to the first game, allowing you to tailor your character's build to your playstyle. This is especially important in the early and mid-game stages as you collect points from leveling up and completing quests.

The talent tree is extensive, divided into branches such as Hunter, Infiltrator, Machine Master, Survivor, Trapper, and Warrior, each offering unique passive and active abilities. Talents play a key role as each tree unlocks special skills that you can activate with adrenaline.

These skills can improve your character's attributes, boost your weapon attacks, or give you special benefits like extra shields, stronger attacks, or improved stealth.