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10 biggest things we learned from the Horizon Forbidden West trailer

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Sony has officially announced Horizon Forbidden West for PS5 (opens in new tab), and it is essentially Horizon Dawn 2 (opens in new tab) in all but name. We're rejoining Aloy on a brand new adventure set some time after the original game, in a totally different locale to what came before. We've already had a beautiful trailer for the game (which you can watch below), but to eke out as much information as we can about Aloy's latest attempt to save the world, we've been through the trailer with a fine-tooth comb to discover everything we can. 

1. It's set at some point after the original game 

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Interestingly, it's hard to tell exactly how long after the original game this sequel is set. Although Aloy mentions that it's been 1000 years since the Old Ones fell, the original game was set around the year 3040, some 974 years after the human extinction back in circa 2066. Now, if Horizon Forbidden West was actually set 1000 years after the Old Ones' extinction, we'd be looking at an Aloy some 26 years older than she was before. She was around 18/19 in the original game, which would now make her around 45 in this sequel. 

Unless Aloy found some kind of crazy post-apocalyptic skincare regime, I don't think she's actually that old in this sequel. In fact, I'd argue that she doesn't look that much older than she did in the original game. 

2. It's set in an all-new location

The original game was set in and around the states of Colorado and Utah, parts of northern Arizona, and a very small part of Montana in the United States. However, it's clear not only from the name of the game, but also locations featured in this first trailer that Aloy's gone west. We're seeing several references to San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge, and it may well mean that we're seeing several states featured in the game's eventual full map. From the looks of that holographic dragon, and the gambling symbols she reveals, we may also be going to Las Vegas too.

3. And that makes for much more interesting flora and fauna

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Aside from the fact the Horizon Forbidden West trailer looks phenomenal, it's also quite clear that it's a much different vibe from the locale of the original game. Crystal-clear blue oceans teeming with underwater creatures along with beaches and dramatic coastlines contrast with the natural world taking hold of leaning skyscrapers and wide-open plains where ancient – hopefully dormant – gigantic robots dominate the skyline. It has a very different feel to Horizon Zero Dawn (opens in new tab), and suggests a world that has become even more one with natural – despite all that metal. 

4. The natural world is facing extinction once again

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Similar to the corruption that was turning the machines more and more aggressive in the first game, there's a brand new red plague taking over the world of Horizon Forbidden West, and it's clear that humanity – and the natural world as a whole – is at risk of extinction again. Whether it's part of the governing AIs that make sure the world keeps turning, or something else entirely (we're looking at you Sylens), there's a red weed that's seemingly infecting the water supplies in Forbidden West. Fish are seen with this weed down their throats, crabs picking at bloated pustules on their flesh, and, later, a fox is seen clearly in distress surrounded by this same weed, the water around it running red. Elsewhere, a farmer's crop – a parsnip perhaps? – is blackened and doesn't exactly look all that nutritional. 

This will be the extinction event that Aloy is trying to prevent this time around. Will she be able to call on GAIA for help? Or is it down to her and the tribesfolk to right the world again. I'd personally love to see Aloy more at one with her robotic counterparts rather than at war with them. 

5.  Aloy's still rocking her old tech 

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Following on from that, it's clear that Aloy is still in possession of the technologies she obtained in the original game. Her focus, of course, is still pride of place in her ear and, as she's seen riding a Charger, it seems that either she still has the power to override them – despite losing her spear at the of the last game – or there's more of a partnership between man and machine in this new title. 

6. There's a lot more focus on underwater exploration

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Aloy's going underwater in Forbidden West – that's a given with all that water on the West Coast of America. It looks like there will be plenty of underwater exploration, and further options for stealth as Aloy is seen swimming directly underneath a Snapmaw, the crocodile machine from the original game.

All I can say at this point is bring on the sharks with lasers! If we're going to have new machines and a lot more water, robot sharks have got to be a thing in Horizon Forbidden West. 

7. Sylens is figuring out the power of HADES

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

What on earth is Sylens up to? Our old friend / complicated foe is back in Forbidden West and it's clear that he's still meddling with the captured HADES. The familiar red glow of the machines Sylens' people have restrained has been replaced with an odd golden hue after, seemingly, being overridden with a staff similar to Aloy's old one. 

Is Sylens passing on the overriding technology to new followers? How is Aloy riding the Charger without the technology? Are these new corrupted creatures, and are they being hidden? How is Sylens harnessing HADES' power now? There are so many questions to answer, but it seems the red weed isn't the only threat Aloy will have to face. 

8. What's going on with that sky?

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

There are a number of shots where the trailer makes note to draw your attention to the sky. A swirling, tornado-like vortex is gathering speed, with what looks like corruption at its core. How it's connected to either what Sylens is up to or the red weed – or both – is unclear at this stage, but it's an imposing, looming doom that stands out against the landscape.

There are also three flare-like marks in the sky just before Sylens appears, which are seemingly related to everything too. Mysterious.

9. A whole slew of new machines are inbound 

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

In this three and a half minute trailer alone I count at least three brand new machines coming to Horizon Forbidden West. There's of course the giant turtle that emerges covered in foliage above, the huge mammoth or elephant that strides into view right at the end of the trailer, and new flying creatures that don't look quite like the Stormbird or Glinthawk from the previous game. We also see plenty of returning machines, including the Snapmaw, Charger, and Scrapper too. 

10. There are more new tribes to be discovered 

(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

Ho boy, it's all going on in this trailer. Right at the end, we glimpse a new, heavily armored – and painted – tribe that hasn't been seen before. Armed with shields, adorned with bones, and rocking gigantic elephant machines as part of their arsenal, I don't think this lot are going to be the friendly type. I'm also intrigued by this almost Stonehenge-like structure. Is this connected to the new tribe? Or is it something else entirely? That I don't know, but I sure am eager to find out. 

That's how I feel about much of what we have seen of Horizon Forbidden West – I am desperate to know and see more. Here we have picked out just 10 of the biggest details from the reveal trailer, but we will be sure to continue digging and following Guerrilla Games' latest as we get closer to release for this massive PS5 exclusive.  

(Image credit: Future)
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Sam Loveridge
Sam Loveridge

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 over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles!