Horizon Forbidden West villains may have been leaked two years ago

Horizon Forbidden West
(Image credit: Guerrilla Games)

An old leak potentially related to Horizon Forbidden West is getting some fresh heat, as it could point to the big villains of its new story.

The leak was originally posted in October 2019 by a Reddit user under a throwaway account. It predates the announcement of Horizon Forbidden West, referring to the project with an allegedly in-development name of Horizon 2: Singularity. That didn't stick, but as Reddit user Vincent201007 pointed out today, some other details have proven more or less correct: for instance, an expanded climbing system and the addition of a grappling hook.

The original post also points to the emergence of a tribe called the Oshua, who use comparatively advanced technology granted to them by Vast Silver, a rogue AI which is referenced in Horizon Zero Dawn. Vincent201007 proposes that these Oshua are the "even stronger tribe: strangers who pass the shore, searching for secrets" referenced by Aloy's voiceover in the Horizon Forbidden West trailer from earlier this month.

As the original leak has it, the Oshua and Vast Silver itself would be the true antagonists of Forbidden West's story, with the Oshua seeking to enthrone Vast Silver in one of the great war machines from before the robot apocalypse. However, it's worth pointing out the inconsistencies with the old info as well.

Beyond the difference in title, the leak claimed the bulk of the game would take place in the Mojave Desert. From what we've seen of Forbidden West so far, at least a decent chunk of it is set in the ruins of San Francisco, which is fairly distant from the Mojave. It also makes no mention of the Red Blight and the massive storms which lead Aloy to journey far beyond her home in the Rocky Mountains.

Game projects often change quite a bit between the time of their first conception and their announcement, let alone their release, so it's possible all of the details in the 2019 leak were accurate at one point. It's also possible that it was all made up and the points that still make sense now were simply coincidences. Leaks without a clear provenance, such as this one, are always worth taking with skepticism.

An old prototype shows what Horizon Zero Dawn may have looked like if Aloy could ride flying Glinthawks.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.