Do You Need to Play Horizon Zero Dawn Before Forbidden West?

Horizon Forbidden West is the sequel to Guerrilla Games’ 2017 hit Horizon Zero Dawn. The much-anticipated initial batch of reviews for Horizon Forbidden West which includes our own, were recently released, showcasing a terrific game that also happens to be one of the first-party PlayStation 5 titles for 2022. Given the positive feedback from most critics, many gamers will be enticed to delve into the new title when it is released to the general public tomorrow Friday, February 18, 2022.

Is Horizon Zero Dawn forbidden West a sequel?

Early reviews suggest Horizon Forbidden West is better than the original, but being a direct sequel, there’s a risk of getting lost attempting to follow a story that’s previously developed over the course of a long game. Anyone serious about the series should start with Zero Dawn, however Forbidden West will have a self-contained story, so is playing Horizon Zero Dawn prior to taking Horizon Forbidden West required?

Should I play Horizon Zero Dawn before Forbidden West?

Playing Horizon Zero Dawn before Horizon Forbidden West is encouraged, but not required. While those who have played Zero Dawn and are excited for Forbidden West will encourage others to start with the original, again, it is not required.

While we’re confident that many players who have already pre-ordered the game have previously played the game’s predecessor, Horizon Zero Dawn, there are likely some who haven’t gotten around to playing it yet as well. That raises the question of whether or not it is necessary to play “Horizon Zero Dawn” before playing the new game.

It goes without saying that no one can prevent you from starting at Horizon Forbidden West without first playing Horizon Zero Dawn, just like how you can watch the new episodes of Star Wars without watching the previous movies. With that stated, is a playthrough of the original game required in order to comprehend the story of the sequel, or are these two games completely separate?

The series follows Aloy in the 31st century, when humanity has devolved into tribalism. Horizon Forbidden West will contain comparable scenery and communities as Zero Dawn, and a plot based on the mysterious, animal-like machines that formerly peacefully wandered the wilderness, but have recently become aggressive.

While Zero Dawn isn’t out of date, people who aren’t very interested in the plot may benefit from starting with the more recent entry. Skipping to Forbidden West may ruin the Horizon games’ plot. However, both Zero Dawn and Forbidden West have other aspects worth considering. While Aloy’s tale may be the main draw, the series’ gameplay alone is worth playing through. Horizon Forbidden West’s new weapons and battle systems may be enough for those who aren’t invested in the plot.

While Aloy encounters many new characters in Horizon Forbidden West many returning characters are unknown to those who haven’t played the first game. Many of Aloy’s and returning characters’ dialogue references the events of the first game, so you’ll be entirely lost without that prior knowledge.

The story of Horizon Zero Dawn is centered on Aloy as a primary character. She is introduced as an outcast of the Nora tribe, but the reasons for her banishment remain unknown. The series’ world-building revolves around uncovering Aloy’s origins and the mysteries behind the different machines in the game.

The story of Horizon Forbidden West is similar to the original, however it may be difficult for beginners to immerse themselves in the environment without previously exploring it like what Guerrilla Games did in Zero Dawn.

However, collectibles and side objectives all contribute to the larger fictional universe surrounding Aloy and her story. Horizon Forbidden West does a great job at implying that things aren’t quite as they seem. For aficionados of science fiction and post-apocalyptic media, Horizon Zero Dawn is a must-play. With interactivity being a key component of the video game medium, experiencing the game for oneself can be invaluable.

Although prospective players should do their own research, early assessments suggest Forbidden West is an improvement over its predecessor in practically every regard. Horizon Forbidden West being the more recent of the two games, is more likely to give a satisfying interactive experience, especially if you are playing it on a PS5, it is a worthy addition to your game library.

How long is Horizon Forbidden West?

Completing the Horizon Forbidden West campaign should take an average of 33 hours on normal difficulty. If you include most side quests it should take at least 50 hours. However, if your goal is completing everything and getting platinum, it could take up to 100 hours unguided.