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Horizon Forbidden West has a stunningly low amount of agency

Straight up, I've been avoiding finishing this game. One mission to go for over a week. It's just such....a......slog.

Don't get me wrong - it's gorgeous and striking and the story occasionally lands. But it's a gameplay loop of go here, talk to guy, kill machine or enemy, talk to guy again. Very little interactivity in the environment, very few choices to make about what to do, where to go. Fighting machines is similarly without agency, as it's basically a leveling game, with weapons that you just match up with weakness. The human combat is atrocious, with one or two useful combos, no shield, no parry, very little stealth.

There are just no meaningfully different ways to play these encounters. And there are SO MANY.

Some exceptions come to mind, like the stuff in Vegas, but overall, I find the whole experience alternately breathtaking.....and utterly boring.

Thoughts?
 

TheKratos

Member
I feel they don't care much about the human/melee combat. No blocking, parrying, minimal combos. I wouldn't call it atrocious, it's just very basic but it works. The machine battles are fantastic though.

At the end HFW is another cinematic experience, mindblowing graphics and character models, great voice acting, engaging story but no super deep gameplay but just enough to keep it interesting.

I would love GG to make a game like Monster Hunter, the make amazing machine beasts.
 
At the end HFW is another cinematic experience, mindblowing graphics and character models, great voice acting, engaging story but no super deep gameplay but just enough to keep it interesting.

Yes?

But Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima had incredible combat. Returnal is an all-time action game. Rift Apart was an absolute blast moment to moment. Miles Morales was - you get the point.

HFW is unique among Sony's recent output. It truly does put gameplay a tier or ten below the story (which isn't great, anyway).
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
Yes?

But Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima had incredible combat. Returnal is an all-time action game. Rift Apart was an absolute blast moment to moment. Miles Morales was - you get the point.

HFW is unique among Sony's recent output. It truly does put gameplay a tier or ten below the story (which isn't great, anyway).
GOT is quite repetitive for me actually, I finised the main game and the DLC and i feel like HZD and HFW has way more content than GOT.
 
GOT is quite repetitive for me actually, I finised the main game and the DLC and i feel like HZD and HFW has way more content than GOT.

That's not exactly addressing the combat.

It's probably an objective fact that GOT combat has more depth, options, approaches, and variety. You can stealth it, duel to start, use different stances, etc, and essentially none of it is useless.

Even playing on hard, the vast majority of your capabilities in HFW are not needed, or worse, get in the way.
 
I feel they don't care much about the human/melee combat. No blocking, parrying, minimal combos. I wouldn't call it atrocious, it's just very basic but it works. The machine battles are fantastic though.

At the end HFW is another cinematic experience, mindblowing graphics and character models, great voice acting, engaging story but no super deep gameplay but just enough to keep it interesting.

I would love GG to make a game like Monster Hunter, the make amazing machine beasts.

There's no blocking or parrying in the game because there's no button you can assign it to
 

Vick

Member
Very little interactivity in the environment, very few choices to make about what to do, where to go. Fighting machines is similarly without agency


I don't know how to respond to this take.. the bolded is the equivalent of saying Resident Evil 4 had no TPS mechanics in 2005.

I think you're playing the game very wrong.
 

JimmyRustler

Gold Member
Thought I was the only one. My feelings exactly OP. I can‘t do more than one mission before I switch to Elden Ring. It‘s just so boring. GG really doubled down on human combat but with that devalued the fights against the machines. The whole weapon system is horrible if you ask me. Since it‘s obviously tailored around that everyone can play it like he wants there is no need for experimentation. I‘m still running around with a lot of my upgraded starting gear and haven even used most of the weapons in the game. And not only because I can get by with it but also because new weapons are usually worse at first and have to be upgraded to be better than what you already have. And don‘t even get me started one that fact that it‘s not enough that I have the shards but also have to farm items to buy new weapons. Who had this stupid idea? I don‘t want to farm items to buy a weapons and then again farm items to upgrade it only to better than the weapon I already own for the love of god…

I also find all the characters super boring. Everything is so clear cut and serious. Everyone is so nice to each other and Aloy is always super serious. Like she looks down on all the plebs.

In Zero Dawn I used to be super engaged the world. After completing the game I even went back and searched for all the text files. In FW I don‘t even read the ones I find any more.

Really can’t point my finger on what it is. Think I‘m just done with this part of the world. I do hope GG makes a complete switch in their next game. New characters, new part of the world etc.
 
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Chukhopops

Member
I enjoyed the game but I was really disappointed in the story. Many parts of the plot went nowhere and felt like some parts had been cut, and once again the tribes’ part of the story was super dull.

Combat and world were great though, and they fixed the melee combat (mostly) so that was good enough for me.
 
Horizon is essentially an open world third person shooter. It sounds like you’re bored because you want it to be a open world sword fighting or melee game and thats just never been the focus of it. As far as TPS’s go there’s almost nothing i can think of in the genre that plays better aside from like Returnal which is much more limited in scope.

The only other games you can really compare it to are like Fallout and the comba in fall out is like secondary to everything else. Saying the combat isn’t good because the melee isn’t as good as Tsushima is a very high bar to set
 
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BaneIsPain

Gold Member
I love it because it is literally zero dawn on steroid. The tribes could be fleshed out better buf not a big deal. Although, the ending is a bit weak but just an excuse to make third game. One thing I don’t like is the excessive handholding as Aloy keep repeating herself.
 

Like, honestly what are we comparing this to?

Sexy gifs are not an answer to whether I get to make choices.


I don't know how to respond to this take.. the bolded is the equivalent of saying Resident Evil 4 had no TPS mechanics in 2005.

I think you're playing the game very wrong.

It gives you endless toys, but only one thing to do - match elements.

Oh. And dodge.

Dodge ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
 
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Horizon is essentially an open world third person shooter. It sounds like you’re bored because you want it to be a open world sword fighting or melee game and thats just never been the focus of it. As far as TPS’s go there’s almost nothing i can think of in the genre that plays better aside from like Returnal which is much more limited in scope.

The only other games you can really compare it to are like Fallout and the comba in fall out is like secondary to everything else. Saying the combat isn’t good because the melee isn’t as good as Tsushima is a very high bar to set

Fallout has agency in build diversity, factions, stat management, etc.

Not comparable. HFW wants to be an RPG, with an insane amount of systems, but even in hard you can avoid nearly all of them. It's not Ubisoft bloat, but it's still bloat.
 
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PropellerEar

Gold Member
Thought I was the only one. My feelings exactly OP. I can‘t do more than one mission before I switch to Elden Ring. It‘s just so boring.
I wish Elden Ring fights would be more like HFW ones, better AI and more options on how to fight.
First Dragon in EldenRing felt like a petting zoo pony ride, just few pew pew in the ass and done, dragon didn't hit me once.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
That's not exactly addressing the combat.

It's probably an objective fact that GOT combat has more depth, options, approaches, and variety. You can stealth it, duel to start, use different stances, etc, and essentially none of it is useless.

Even playing on hard, the vast majority of your capabilities in HFW are not needed, or worse, get in the way.
I Dont Think So No Way GIF
 
I think the robots move too fast, you use your weapons to slowly, that leads to activating time freeze pretty much all the time, because you also need to hit very small pieces of armor on enemies. After a while that gets stale.

The whole body parts thing should be reserved for bosses only. Not because I want the game to be easier, but more fun, faster paced. Every combo or epic move in this feels like I have to wrestle them into the game.
 

RCU005

Member
I'm currently playing and it improved on Zero Dawn so much, that it rendered it useless. I can't imagine myself going back to that one. The game is great but obviously has its faults as every game does.

The issue comes when you start comparing with other games instead of enjoying (or judging) what you have. For example, I don't enjoy the climbing in this game, but worse for me it's the stupid jump. Since the game only let's you climb where it wants, you need to do those stupid jumps like it's a NES game until you reach the top. I don't want a game where you can climb everything like in BOTW, but this is pathetic, but of course I start thinking about BOTW when I want to climb things.

Many people likes every game to play as their favorite game, but it's impossible! Learn to play with what you get in every game, and you'll enjoy them more, and when you don't like something, you'll have a more objective opinion on it.

The game by itself it's amazing, and I can only imagine what they will do on the third one now that they will have the power of the PS5 at last.
 

samoilaaa

Member
I enjoyed the game but I was really disappointed in the story. Many parts of the plot went nowhere and felt like some parts had been cut, and once again the tribes’ part of the story was super dull.

Combat and world were great though, and they fixed the melee combat (mostly) so that was good enough for me.
yeah , i really didnt care about any of the characters if they live or die , i dont know why , its just how i felt , ive played other games where the death or betrayal of the characters actualy made an impact
 
I think the robots move too fast, you use your weapons to slowly, that leads to activating time freeze pretty much all the time, because you also need to hit very small pieces of armor on enemies. After a while that gets stale.

The whole body parts thing should be reserved for bosses only. Not because I want the game to be easier, but more fun, faster paced. Every combo or epic move in this feels like I have to wrestle them into the game.

I never understand this criticism. Knocking parts off of machines and hitting their weak points to have them blow up or destabilize them is the best part of the game. Otherwise its just mindless shooting. It also adds some sort of believability to the world, where using primitive weapons can take down advanced killing machines.

Having to target certain points with certain weapons to cause certain actions to take place is like the entire premise of the game. Its like not liking stances in Tsushima or using Rock Paper Scissors in pokemon, then you’re just mindlessly shooting with no strategy involved.
 
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RCU005

Member
I think the robots move too fast, you use your weapons to slowly, that leads to activating time freeze pretty much all the time, because you also need to hit very small pieces of armor on enemies. After a while that gets stale.

The whole body parts thing should be reserved for bosses only. Not because I want the game to be easier, but more fun, faster paced. Every combo or epic move in this feels like I have to wrestle them into the game.

Use Gyro-aiming at 100% sensitivity and you'll be able to hit those small parts easier. I normally aim with the stick and micro adjust with the gyro and release the trigger once it's where I want it. Gyro makes it much better. I really wish it was mandatory for every game in every console (come on Xbox put gyro in your controllers!!!)...

I normally suck at aiming, but every game that has gyro makes it so easy for me.
 

Inviusx

Member
That's how I felt about the first one OP and we weren't even at peak "third person action game" saturation like we are now. I wrote about this before HFW came out because I knew exactly the type of game we were getting.

You should try Elden Ring.
 
I never understand this criticism. Knocking parts off of machines and hitting their weak points to have them blow up or destabilize them is the best part of the game. Otherwise its just mindless shooting. It also adds some sort of believability to the world, where using primitive weapons can take down advanced killing machines.

Having to target certain points with certain weapons to cause certain actions to take place is like the entire premise of the game. Its like not liking stances in Tsushima or using Rock Paper Scissors in pokemon, then you’re just mindlessly shooting with no strategy involved.
Like I said, it has its place - but the reality is that you are in Zack Snyder mode most of the time, and then all the fun and excitement is gone. For me at least. Playing it without freezing time and you basically just not hitting shit ...
 
That's how I felt about the first one OP and we weren't even at peak "third person action game" saturation like we are now. I wrote about this before HFW came out because I knew exactly the type of game we were getting.

You should try Elden Ring.

Definitely will. Don't have time right now, will be a summer game. Can't wait.
 

Vick

Member
I think the robots move too fast, you use your weapons to slowly, that leads to activating time freeze pretty much all the time, because you also need to hit very small pieces of armor on enemies. After a while that gets stale.

The whole body parts thing should be reserved for bosses only. Not because I want the game to be easier, but more fun, faster paced. Every combo or epic move in this feels like I have to wrestle them into the game.
Now this is something i can understand, reason why i turned off Adaptive Triggers and Reticle to make a night and day difference. Maybe the total absence of Reticle may seems too much, but it's the only way to play the game to me. By getting rid of that distracting HUD you rely on your vision and muscle memory only and that increases fire rate by something like 300%.. after a few hours you won't miss a single shot.




This is Very Hard and against machines, and the second video a literal minute after turning it off, but i have whole compilations of human headshots one after the other.
By doing this, and thanks to the record low amount of input lag, combat feels fucking sublime.
 
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DenchDeckard

Gold Member
Slog is the last thing I want to hear nowadays and is my number one reason I didn’t pick it up as I felt it with the first game.

to hear they didn’t fix the human combat makes it even worse.

all opinions differ though so I get why some people love it and others find it a slog. I know I’m on the slog side of the scale so I’m good.
 
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Not sure where you are getting this from, ACG said the game is a perfect 10 and as we all know he “doesn’t abide by any sponsored bullcrap”

Game must be perfect!!!!
 
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GymWolf

Gold Member
Little choice on what to do, where to go and little agency in the combat??

Do we played the same game?

It's a fucking open world, you can go everywhere and do everything at your pace, and combat has a shitload of different stuff to do.

If horizon has little agency during combat, any other tps is monoweapon in comparison...

The game is far from perfect but i hardly understand some of these critics.

Tsushima has a mostly parry based combat with a stance system deep as a puddle, not even in the same ballpark as horizon when it comes to different options or deepness, even the shitty melee in horizon has more actual combos where you have to memorize what button to press compared to thushima.
 
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Corndog

Member
Straight up, I've been avoiding finishing this game. One mission to go for over a week. It's just such....a......slog.

Don't get me wrong - it's gorgeous and striking and the story occasionally lands. But it's a gameplay loop of go here, talk to guy, kill machine or enemy, talk to guy again. Very little interactivity in the environment, very few choices to make about what to do, where to go. Fighting machines is similarly without agency, as it's basically a leveling game, with weapons that you just match up with weakness. The human combat is atrocious, with one or two useful combos, no shield, no parry, very little stealth.

There are just no meaningfully different ways to play these encounters. And there are SO MANY.

Some exceptions come to mind, like the stuff in Vegas, but overall, I find the whole experience alternately breathtaking.....and utterly boring.

Thoughts?
Sounds like a repeat of the first game.
 
Little chice what to do, where to go and little agency in the combat??

Do we played the same game?

It's a fucking open world, you can go everywhere and do everything at your pace, and combat has a shitload of different stuff to do.

If horizon has little agency during combat, any other tps is monoweapon in comparison...

The game is far from perfect but i hardly understand some of these critics.

Right, i have al ot of criticisms for the game, (latter half of story, beginning tutorial including chainscrape, climbing and grappling could be improved still, aloy is still a bit too rigid, solving puzzles, etc.) but one aspect that will never be boring in horizon is the combat.

I actually think the great divider between sony games and ubi games are not only the presentation and polish but having fundamental good combat systems in their games. Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, R&C, Horizon, Returnal, TLOU2…etc

Sony rarely makes 1st party games that aren’t fun to actually play, as much as people want to write them off as movie games
 
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Filben

Member
I misread agency for urgency at first and was to agree with that because no matter how fucked up the world is you always have to time for endless side questing in these open world games. Not the topic but I wish open world games had more urgency. Reapers are about to destroy earth? Let's go clubbing and flying around in universe! Wild Hunt is after Elden Blood? Let's play Gwent for the thousand fucking time and head back and forth and back and forth trough Velen for small coin and XP. Every. Fucking. Open World.


Good agency is only in cRPGs anyways. Would be cool to have that too though.
 

STARSBarry

Gold Member
Sounds like a repeat of the first game.

No I felt like the combat was better in the first game, there's something off about the weapons in Forbidden West, I feel like I'm only using the bow while in the first game I found I used a mixture, I think its because rather than making things feel OP in the first game when they where effective against a enemy, they instead wanted to make weapons feel ineffective against enemies that did not have a weakness to it, this slight change makes it so 90% of your arsenal is just strait up trash unless directly effective against that specific enemy.

As a consequence alongside the fact upgrading anything past blue rarity takes tons of endgame resources, I focus on a single mostly effective weapon, hunter bow with improved arrows.

But yeah haven't finished it and don't feel any drive too, unlike the first game.
 
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DForce

Member
Thoughts?
It's an action-adventure with RPG elements, so you're not going to get deep mechanics from your typical RPG game.

How you interact with characters in the game is what I see in just about every single open-world game. You're completing tasks, fetching items, or helping people take out a group of enemies.

I can't really share the same thoughts since this is is in nearly every open-world game that I've played.
 

Corndog

Member
It’s a stunning looking game but I’m finding it pretty boring. I’m just not that interested in the story or the characters. I’m still making my way through the game so maybe things improve but by god Aloy is dull.
I think the studio is very technically sound but they are lacking in story telling and pacing. Hopefully they hire some people experienced in those areas.
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
Right, i have al ot of criticisms for the game, (latter half of story, beginning tutorial including chainscrape, climbing and grappling could be improved still, aloy is still a bit too rigid, solving puzzles, etc.) but one aspect that will never be boring in horizon is the combat.

I actually think the great divider between sony games and ubi games are not only the presentation and polish but having fundamental good combat systems in their games. Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, R&C, Horizon, Returnal, TLOU2…etc

Sony rarely makes 1st party games that aren’t fun to actually play, as much as people want to write them off as movie games
I'm absolutely convinced that people who call sony games movies never played the games or they played on easy\normal, they are not all good or on the same level, but most of them has solid gameplay\combat.

I share many of your criticism about the game, it is a better game than zero dawn but i think i loved the first one way more.

Final act is super rushed and the story payoff is a bit meh, same for the final boss fight.

But combat against machine on max difficulty for me was as good as fighting any good boss in elden ring.
 
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Corndog

Member
It's an action-adventure with RPG elements, so you're not going to get deep mechanics from your typical RPG game.

How you interact with characters in the game is what I see in just about every single open-world game. You're completing tasks, fetching items, or helping people take out a group of enemies.

I can't really share the same thoughts since this is is in nearly every open-world game that I've played.
You have to make those tasks interesting. IThe first game didn’t even try except a tiny bit with that guy that helps you with camps. I can’t judge this game yet since I haven’t played it.
 

TheKratos

Member
Yes?

But Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima had incredible combat. Returnal is an all-time action game. Rift Apart was an absolute blast moment to moment. Miles Morales was - you get the point.

HFW is unique among Sony's recent output. It truly does put gameplay a tier or ten below the story (which isn't great, anyway).
No, I don't get your point. Not sure what point you are trying to make, is there a specific reason you are only mentioning Sony games/output?

For the record, I'm not saying you can't have a great cinematic experience AND a great gameplay I'm just stating HFW is one of those games where the devs thought the cinematic experience is more important than the gameplay, and I actually like HFW gameplay but it's nothing special.

IMO Ghost and (especially) GoW are good examples of great cinematic experience with great gameplay.
 
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