Aloy returns in the astonishing Horizon Forbidden West, new games coming to Nintendo’s Switch, and the next-gen update to Cyberpunk 2077 is here.
Horizon Forbidden West a stunning achievement
I’ve been playing Horizon Forbidden West for more than 20 hours already and I’ve barely scratched the surface of the world and story that the developers at Guerrilla Games have created.
This is Earth hundreds of years from now, after an apocalypse and a rebirth of species, and it is at once familiar and profoundly distinct.
Available for both PS4 and PS5, once again you take on the role of Aloy, a capable young woman who saved the world in the franchise’s first game, Horizon Zero Dawn. In this sequel, Aloy realizes that the threat hasn’t gone away.
In every way, Forbidden West is bolder and more expansive than Zero Dawn. The mechanical machine creatures that Aloy hunts are more varied and challenging, the areas to explore more vast, the missions and objectives more numerous and wide-ranging.
There’s so much more here – more weapons, more combat moves, more options to upgrade your Aloy – that it can feel overwhelming. The solution is to narrow your focus to one story thread at a time, whether they are part of the main narrative or not.
In fact, some of the most joyful moments come from the connections Aloy makes with characters that are completely unrelated to the main story. Each of these characters, their faces and bodies and back stories, are distinct and varied and completely fleshed out. The cultures that anchor the world might seem primitive, but are sophisticated and varied, created by blending and mixing and inventing
The core narrative picks up soon after the events of Zero Dawn, in which Aloy defeated a rogue artificial intelligence that was trying to reboot the planet. In Forbidden West, Aloy moves through what is an overt metaphor for our current climate emergency.
And while Zero Dawn was about Aloy, who had been ostracized from community as a young girl, realizing that she could manage on her own and might be the sole saviour of the human race, Forbidden West has Aloy come to terms with the fact that not only does she need help sometimes, keeping herself isolated is dangerous not just to her, but to everyone.
Playing on the PS5 this world is rendered with astonishing detail and beauty, and there are no loading screens to speak of. Just a glorious, fascinating world to explore, and for Aloy – and friends – to save.
Games coming to the Nintendo Switch
In an online event last week, Nintendo revealed a number of games coming to its popular Switch game system.
Among them are:
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: a third-person action adventure from EA set after the Empire has massacred the Jedi
- No Man’s Sky: an endless space exploration game that started off as a PS4 exclusive
- Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection: collecting the three games in Ubisoft’s adventure series that were set during the Italian Renaissance
- Portal: Companion Collection: collecting Portal and Portal 2, the genre-busting platforming games from Valve
Nintendo also announced that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is getting another 48 race courses as DLC, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is coming in September, and Nintendo Switch Sports, which includes new sports like volleyball, is coming on April 29.
Long awaited update for Cyberpunk 2077 released
The update brings “a host of changes and improvements across all versions of Cyberpunk 2077” including “performance and stability optimizations”.
The update to the game, which originally released in December of 2020, also includes versions of the game for next-generation consoles, the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S.
Anyone who has a PS4 or Xbox One copy of the game gets a free upgrade, and anyone with a new console who is curious about the game can take advantage of a free trial which runs until March 15.
If you don’t finish the game in that time, you can buy a copy and continue playing from where you left off.