Horizon Call of the Mountain review: "Stunning, captivating, and truly Horizon"

Horizon: Call of the Mountain screenshots on PSVR 2
(Image: © Sony)

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Horizon Call of the Mountain is a touch of magic, bringing the Horizon world to life in first person on PSVR 2. It's stunning, captivating, and never loses sight of what made Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West so special.


  • +

    The perfect PSVR 2 headliner

  • +

    A stunning jaunt through the Horizon world

  • +

    Does well to translate the combat to VR


  • -

    Some VR tracking frustrations

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I'm squatting in the middle of my living room wearing the PSVR 2, and praying my partner doesn't walk past the open door at this exact moment. Although I might look pretty bizarre in real life, in Horizon Call of the Mountain I'm hiding in the long grass attempting to avoid the gaze of three patrolling Watchers, desperately keen to circumvent a three-on-one fight in such a small space. 


Horizon: Call of the Mountain screenshots on PSVR 2

(Image credit: Sony)

Release date: February 22, 2023
Platform(s): PSVR 2
Developer: Firesprite, Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment

Because although the combat in Horizon Call of the Mountain is brilliant, it's as fraught as you'd expect it to be when going up against towering robotic dinosaurs in first person. Not only do you feel absolutely tiny – even as a six-foot gamer myself – but developers Firesprite and Guerrilla have done well to map the combat elements from the core PlayStation console titles to virtual reality. You have a bow that you can use to dislodge robot armor to uncover the more vulnerable parts, and you can still target weak points to deal more damage. You'll unlock additional arrow types and the Blast Sling over the course of the game too, which is great if you've played Horizon Zero Dawn or Horizon Forbidden West – although the system is pretty under-explained if you haven't. 

Metal and stone

Horizon: Call of the Mountain PSVR 2

(Image credit: PlayStation Studios)

However, I can't imagine many will be coming to this PSVR 2 launch title as their first Horizon encounter. Aloy aficionados will be incredibly comfortable with how combat works, and how best to utilize the different elemental ammo types to best tackle beasts like the Scrappers or even a Thunderjaw. Despite the familiarities, the mechanics of combat have changed in Call of the Mountain versus the PS4 and PS5 adventures. . Once you enter into a battle, your movement is locked into a circle around the attacking robots. From here you can move around the edge of the area, or dodge incoming attacks, all while attempting to take them down with your bow. 

Horizon Call of the Mountain offers a variety of different control schemes and tweaks to allow you to customize your play experience. In my preview session, for example, I experienced the motion controls for movement, which involve swinging your arms in a running motion to move. I ditched that method when I played through the game in my own home, instead opting for more traditional movement and camera controls via the analog sticks on the PSVR 2 Sense controllers. You can tweak your movement speed to improve your level of comfort, but I have to say I didn't personally experience any motion sickness while moving around at the top speeds the game allows. Putting movement on the sticks makes combat more intuitive, as dodging is just a case of nudging the right stick in either direction, rather than having to hold a controller to my chest and push out to dodge.

Horizon Call of the Mountain settings

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Playing Call of the Mountain this way means you're not having to fumble to balance your movement with actually having your hands free for combat. Using the bow is brilliantly intuitive, pulling the bow out over one shoulder and the arrows over the other (depending on your dominant hand), and it's easy to get into the swing of where and how to aim with a little practice. Handily, there are targets scattered all throughout – one of the collectibles is a real test of your ability to be precise at distance.

Guerilla and Firesprite haven't been afraid to have a little fun with combat too, by introducing some of the interactive scenery of battles and trials from the console titles. There's almost a puzzle-solving element to some of the encounters in that sense, but you can just opt to go pure attack if that's what you'd prefer. Horizon Call of the Mountain is also not afraid to throw multiple robots of different types at you at once, meaning you'll be seriously channeling your inner Aloy at regular intervals. It's not easy, but it's always rewarding when you're finally standing over the metallic corpse of a robot that's really been testing you

Mountains and ziplines

Aiming your bow in Horizon Call of the Mountain

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Horizon Call of the Mountain is a fairly linear experience, with occasional moments for exploration off the beaten track to find collectibles, resources, and some truly stunning vistas to gawk at. There are even a few moments where you'll get a choice of route, which helps with replayability options. It took me around 10 hours to complete on first run-through, and I immediately wanted to jump back into various fast travel points to go back for missed items and to experience it all over again. 

Aside from combat, expect to do a lot of climbing – with heights that will no doubt not be for everyone – and some light puzzle-solving. Everything is wonderfully physical, with Guerrilla and Firesprite doing well to imbue the Horizon world with plenty of new little elements that have fun with the interactivity of virtual reality. There are toys, instruments, and even painting spots to get distracted by, and I've lost count of the number of pots and other items I've lobbed off cliff tops just because I can. It even makes collecting resources fun, with the items you need to craft more arrows often hidden inside of baskets and crates you'll need to open up to discover. Even arrow crafting is given a VR spin, which really makes you feel like you're living inside of Horizon. 

Climbing in Horizon Call of the Mountain

(Image credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Of course, it helps that there's an intriguing story to drive you through it too. But, it's also beautiful. For a game that's essentially the headline act for the PSVR 2 launch, I can't think of a better way to show off exactly what Sony's second-gen virtual reality headset can do. It's vibrant, well-realized, and that sense of awe in the size difference between you and the robots never wears off. It's honestly breathtaking in places, especially when a Tallneck is walking above your head or you reach the top of a climb and just take it all on. Maybe that's why it took me much longer than Sony's estimated 6-7 hours to actually finish Horizon Call of the Mountain – because it's just so darn impressive. 

In fact, the only thing that frustrated me about Horizon Call of the Mountain was the occasional VR tracking issues, where my hand got stuck in a pot, or a move to a handhold while climbing would shift me much further than I'd anticipated. Still, these issues aside, Call of the Mountain is a stunning game that really brings the Horizon world truly to life in a way I didn't really imagine was possible. 

Horizon Call of the Mountain was reviewed on PSVR 2 with a code provided by the publisher. You can read our full PSVR 2 review here.

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Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for a decade, and for GamesRadar, she's in charge of the site's overall direction, managing the team, and making sure it's the best it can be. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. She plays across all platforms, and specializes in titles like Pokemon, Assassin's Creed, The Sims, and more. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles! In her spare time, Sam likes to live like Stardew Valley by cooking and baking, growing vegetables, and enjoying life in the countryside.