Horizon Forbidden West Spoilercast With Guerrilla Devs

In Horizon Forbidden West,

The franchise’s heroine Aloy battles a mysterious new threat. Learns more about her modern world and the once-modern world that lies in ruins. And finds both new friends and enemies as she journeys through the Forbidden West.

It’s a compelling story, as noted in IGN’s Horizon Forbidden West review,

And it simultaneously answers the lingering mysteries of the Horizon universe and opens up potential paths to the future while telling deep, character-driven stories. And if you’re wondering how some of its biggest moments came together, IGN spoke with Guerrilla Narrative Director Ben McCaw and Senior Writer Annie Kitaine to break down some of Horizon Forbidden West’s biggest story moments in our latest spoiler. Watch the video above for a full discussion and read some chat excerpts about the history of HFW. But be careful, FULL SPOILERS GO! Go back and finish the Horizon Forbidden West story first before reading or watching if you don’t want to be spoiled.

Horizon Forbidden West: The biggest changes since Horizon Zero Dawn

The main enemies of Horizon Forbidden West – The Far Zeniths

Perhaps unexpectedly at the start of Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy is hot on the trail of Sylens and the kidnapped AI Hades. Always acting with ulterior motives, Sylens leads Aloy to a certain location because, due to being a clone of Elisabeth Sobeck, she is the only one who can open a certain door. After that, she quickly encounters the unexpected villains of the Forbidden West – not the Silens, not the newcomer Regalla, but the Far Zeniths, a group that at the time was mysterious, ultra-futuristic, an unkillable group who seem to want the same thing. things.

“Everything before this [level] “This is the prelude, and everything after that is the struggle that Aloy will have to go through to defeat them,” McCaw explained. — I will say that I have seen many, many versions of this scene in development. But when I saw the final cut and I saw the Zeniths, what they just physically looked like, I was so happy. And Eric in particular is so terrifying and so menacing in that scene.” And their inevitable intrusion into Aloy’s journey was not only conceived for the Forbidden West but also embedded in Horizon’s lore back in Zero Dawn.

“Part of this was developed during the New Dawn,

And we knew that there must be this colony around the Sirius star system, which is the source of the mysterious signal. We knew they were supposed to come from the Odyssey,” McCaw said. . “But what we didn’t know was the identity of the Zeniths. That was something we developed more while we were working on the Forbidden West.”

“There are data points that mention Odysseus, mention Far Zenith, but it wasn’t really a big part of the New Dawn story, right? we report that he analyzes it from the very beginning, it was just fun to work with these thanks to returning players or players who dig into the lore and find these tidbits, ”Kitain said. As for their inclusion in the sequel as such an important force, they allowed the writers to stay true to the Horizon universe but bring something new.

“We felt that the sequel couldn’t just be what you’ve seen before. It must be something else, and we must move in a different direction. We don’t want to break the pattern, but we do want to make sure mold develops. And I think the Zeniths are our answer to that,” McCaw said. “We don’t want to break the mold, but we want to make sure the mold evolves. And I think Zeniths is our answer to that.”

Varl’s fate

The Zeniths are the main force that Aloy and her gradually expanding group of fighters fight, but in the course of their battles, one of Aloy’s closest comrades is killed. At the end of the story of the Forbidden West, when things seem to be getting better in the process of restoring Gaia’s sub-functions, a Zenith attack in the middle of a mission results in Varl’s horrifying death.

This is the moment of a punch in the gut that undoes all the achievements of the team and the player, as they consider the loss of such a companion. This devastating moment, according to the team, was a major, planned low point in Aloy’s journey, and it’s rooted in her connection to Varl throughout the sequel.

All new cars in Horizon Forbidden West

“He’s the most important character for Aloy in this story,” McCaw explained the decision to kill Varl. “There must be uncomfortable moments, there must be difficult moments, there must be tragic moments, otherwise there really isn’t much to travel.” This tragedy, and where it leads Aloy, is also the key to her decisions right after she forms a shaky alliance with Tilda of Far Zenith, who seems ready to help her at the moment.

I have another idea,” Kithain explained. Both writers pointed to the artwork in Tilda’s vault as another way to explore this grief – much of what it says about the nature of grief, and Aloy’s dialogue is directly or indirectly related to the loss of Varl.

Breaking into the emotional line of these scenes also led to one of the most beautiful moments

In the Forbidden West, a conversation between Zo, with whom Varl began a relationship, and Aloy. The two are at the memorial site Zo set up for Varla while looking over at her home in Plainsong.”This is one of the few times she really opens up and confesses her feelings for Varl and how she felt all along for Zo, and it’s a moment of intimacy for them,” Kitaine said. “It’s that moment of grief that she couldn’t afford before this place because she knew she was still in danger.”

Beta and Aloy’s New Hope

Another important connection for Aloy is the discovery, in fact, of her sister Beta, also played by Ashly Burch. Although she starts out somewhat hostile, they eventually form a close bond. But unlocking Beta’s character’s storyline was especially difficult for the team. “One of the early versions of the Beta we had was actually a lot more upbeat and… cheeky, that’s probably not the right word, but that’s the word that comes to mind and you can see a bit of it with her at the very end when she returned to base. But this version of her just didn’t work for the arc we were trying to tell,” Kithain explained.

“It really was when we started thinking of her as a sullen teenager,

Someone who is depressed and who can lash out, then it really started to click, ‘OK, here’s how we can express her insecurities and her fears. But also, it’s understandable and it’s motivated by her upbringing.” Kitaine called Aloy and Beta’s relationship “the heart and soul of this story”, and as McCaw pointed out, their close bond cements Aloy’s state of mind at the end of the game. “You see it at the beginning and at the end of the final scene, and between them all the tribal components – what happens to Quen, what will happen to Tenakt, what will happen to Ozeram, and even Morlund. and his team,” McCaw said.

“Where we go next, I don’t know, but I know that Aloy still has room to grow.

I know it for sure.” “It’s all wrapped up in the idea that Aloy is no longer alone. Where we go next, I don’t know, but I do know that Aloy still has room to grow. I know that for sure.” “[Horizon Forbidden West] there was a chapter of her growing up that we wanted to talk about, but it was said. This is an ongoing story. It’s constant growth for her,” Kithain repeated. And perhaps given the way Forbidden West’s history was based on the lore built into Zero Dawn, it’s time to reexamine all of those data points.

In the meantime,

Be sure to check out IGN’s full guide to Horizon Forbidden West if you’re looking to collect everything in the world of Aloy, and find out where HFW ranks on IGN’s list of the best open world games. And for more on the world of PlayStation, stay tuned to the IGN Beyond Podcast! every week for more experiences, news, and details about the biggest events on PS4, PS5, and PSVR.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior Feature Editor, PlayStation Executive, and host of Podcast Beyond! He is the proud father of a boy named Loki. Chat with him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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