Horizon Forbidden West: The Story So Far

Horizon Forbidden West: The Story So Far

By  Mike Crewe - 14th Mar 2024

West Side Story

Horizon Forbidden West: The Story So Far

Originally released in 2022 for PlayStation 4 & 5, Horizon Forbidden West is soon to make an appearance on PCs. The exciting tale of Aloy continues in this action adventure title from developer Guerrilla Games and sees the hunter on a quest to find the source of a mysterious plague that’s ravaging the land. But this isn’t the first epic journey we’ve been on with Aloy, so for a quick refresh of everything that happened in Horizon Zero Dawn, here’s the story so far, but beware of spoilers for the first game!

After the fall of humanity, technology has become a thing of the past as humans now live in primitive tribes, using whatever scraps they can find from the ruins of long-gone civilisations, known as the “Old Ones”. Now, a new dominant species rules the wastelands of Earth; large dinosaur-like machines that, while mainly living in peace alongside humans, begin to become more and more aggressive as time goes on.

Our story begins with Aloy, a young orphan and outcast of the Nora tribe, who uncovers a type of alternate reality device (called a Focus) which lets her interact with old world technology. After cultists attempt to kill Aloy due to her resemblance to an as yet unknown woman, she sets out in order to find out more about this mysterious figure, who Aloy believes may be her mother.

With her newly discovered ability to tame the machines and have them fight alongside her, as well as a helpful if potentially untrustworthy voice coming from her Focus, Aloy learns that more of the cultists, now known as the Eclipse. Their leader, HADES, ordered the cult to kill Aloy. But just who, or what, is HADES? 

After learning the truth of the catastrophe that almost brought an end to civilisation a thousand years ago, Aloy also learns that the woman she assumed to be her mother is actually an old-world roboticist called Elisabet Sobeck. Sobeck had a plan to rid the world of rogue, self-replicating war machines (dubbed the “Faro Plague”) that had malfunctioned and turned on their creators. Codenamed “Zero Dawn”, this desperate plan to rid the world of these machines of destruction would come at a terrible price. Before venturing to the ruins of the Zero Dawn Project Facility, the person behind the voice on Aloy’s Focus reveals himself as Sylens. Unbeknownst to our hero, Sylens secretly used her to uncover the mystery of what had happened a thousand years ago.

At the heart of the Zero Dawn facility, Aloy uncovers the full truth behind the project. There was never any way to eradicate the sentient machines; instead humanity had to accept its fate, while the AI known as GAIA began to recreate the world anew. Acting autonomously, GAIA created the machines that roam the world in Aloy’s time, regenerating the land and everything else consumed by the war machine’s destruction. Their final task: create a new generation of humans to continue on from where the Old Ones failed.

After a fierce battle pitting tribes against machines, Aloy finally found the facility that housed GAIA, learning that she was, in fact, a clone of Elisabet Sobeck. GAIA’s final act before its destruction at the hands of the chaotic AI HADES (remember that one from earlier?) rebirthing Sobeck, was the only chance of defeating HADES and ending its plan to eradicate all human life.

With HADES’ intention of reactivating the Faro Plague that triggered humanity's downfall so long ago, the final battle approached. Pitting cultists and machines against the newly united tribes, the capital city of Meridian became a war zone until a final, desperate attack from Aloy saw her override HADES, who succumbed to the onslaught and shut down.

With the lands peaceful once more and the destructive AI gone for good, Aloy set out to the resting place of Elisabet Sobeck to learn more about her past. Meanwhile, Sylens had plans of his own and had somehow managed to capture the not-so-dead HADES and take it prisoner. But what does Sylens have planned? Well, you’ll just have to wait for Forbidden West!

There we have it, everything you need to know to refresh yourselves before the upcoming PC release of Horizon Forbidden West. You’ve not got long to wait, as the scheduled release of 21st March, 2024 is just a few weeks away. Happy hunting, everyone!

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