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Horizon Forbidden West has a stunningly low amount of agency

Topher

Gold Member
Opinions vary. I think the gameplay is fantastic and I'm having an absolute blast. I just finished the Arena and holy cow that was fun. Now I have those legendary weapons I'm focusing on upgrading them which requires a good bit of hunting machines. So yeah, if I agreed with the OP then I guess I'd be bored, but I'm just not. To each their own. No game is going to be as fun for everyone.

As far as agency......I don't get it. First time I went against a widemaw, I got thrashed. I had to plan out a new strategy. So I had to put down purge water traps and then try to maneuver the machine into it. Even then, I'm having to take out its armor and components to weaken the thing. Other times I've had to put traps in the machines path or override machines to help me fight or use the environment, etc. Lots of approaches to the combat.

Suggesting every encounter is just a matter of matching elements isn't very accurate unless you are playing in story mode.

It honestly looks like a sequence of QTEs.

And yet there are literally no QTEs in the game.

This is the impression I got based on what I’ve seen

Game looks pretty terrible, no idea how people thought it would be a GOTY contender

Sylvester Stallone Facepalm GIF


Seeing others play and playing the game yourself............not the same.
 
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retsof624

Member
Here’s my issues with the game as someone who adored the first game.
  • The OBSESSION with the pullcaster and having to pull shit.
  • The "Uncharted 4" crate moving.
  • Having to go to a workbench to do upgrades instead of just doing it from the menus
  • THE CAULDRONS ALREADY SUCKED AND NOW THEY’RE EVEN MORE TEDIOUS
  • The game having a stamina meter for certain abilities now
  • Extra animations mess with fluidity (climbing is animation heavy and slows things down)
  • Certain skills missing from the first game (mount call+, dodge prowess)
  • New and sometimes rare resources are needed to craft ammo (precision arrows need uncommon and rare things instead of just common items like the first game)
  • They got rid of hardpoint arrows which did good damage without being as slow to shoot as precision arrows
Now I could just be nitpicking because of how much I loved the first game, but this stuff still bothered me.
 

Sygma

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?

You're literally not directed to do anything outside of the main quest. There's environmental puzzles everywhere (ruins, vista puzzles), the side content leads to companion quests -some of which are a continuation of the first game storyline-, theres also collectibles to find, a board game and races. Everything you do has an incidence on the dialogue and you can tackle entire encounters by being stealthy (notably outposts / rebel camps) so I'm not sure where this comes frome

Horizon actively encourages experimentation with the systems so...?
 
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Belthazar

Member
Are we pretending Horizon's combat is bad now? Just to trash the game for some reason? Like what are some of you on? It has some do the more involved combat in the industry, you have an abundance of tools for how to engage the enemy and even then you have varied ways of how you can approach using those tools.
 

Topher

Gold Member
Here’s my issues with the game as someone who adored the first game.
  • The OBSESSION with the pullcaster and having to pull shit.
  • The "Uncharted 4" crate moving.
  • Having to go to a workbench to do upgrades instead of just doing it from the menus
  • THE CAULDRONS ALREADY SUCKED AND NOW THEY’RE EVEN MORE TEDIOUS
  • The game having a stamina meter for certain abilities now
  • Extra animations mess with fluidity (climbing is animation heavy and slows things down)
  • Certain skills missing from the first game (mount call+, dodge prowess)
  • New and sometimes rare resources are needed to craft ammo (precision arrows need uncommon and rare things instead of just common items like the first game)
  • They got rid of hardpoint arrows which did good damage without being as slow to shoot as precision arrows
Now I could just be nitpicking because of how much I loved the first game, but this stuff still bothered me.

Puzzles are too pullcaster heavy, I agree. Climbing isn't great either. I'm not finding resources to be rare, personally, since they can everything you need for ammo can be bought and finding shards is ridiculously easy. I don't bother with scavenging anymore because of this, except for medicinal plants. Typically, I'll fill up on the stuff I need and keep my stash well stocked. So the economy and goods aspect is kind of messed up, frankly.

Only other complaint I have about the game is the need to have so many different types of weapons on hand. Doesn't make a lot of sense to have one bow that can shoot acid and another that can shoot fire. I'd rather have less bows in inventory to keep up with and just manage the ammo.
 
I’m bored with it in all honesty, the story goes over my head, the characters are bland and even elements of the combat are jarring. It looks and sounds great to it’s credit.

I enjoyed the first one and even bought the DLC , this game tho? Fatigue to say the least.
 

Thirty7ven

Sony make cringe trainers.
The climbing is woeful, the puzzles are tragic, and Aloy is even less interesting now than in the first game. Dialog options are irrelevant, side quests mostly uninteresting, the story has a couple of highlights but, not very good overall. The combat and encounter design barely changed from the first. The way the game wants you to be constantly changing armor and bow and arrows, there must be a hundred bows in this thing, it’s not fun.

Just make that fucking monster hunter clone with this IP and send it to MTX heaven.
 
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retsof624

Member
Puzzles are too pullcaster heavy, I agree. Climbing isn't great either. I'm not finding resources to be rare, personally, since they can everything you need for ammo can be bought and finding shards is ridiculously easy. I don't bother with scavenging anymore because of this, except for medicinal plants. Typically, I'll fill up on the stuff I need and keep my stash well stocked. So the economy and goods aspect is kind of messed up, frankly.

Only other complaint I have about the game is the need to have so many different types of weapons on hand. Doesn't make a lot of sense to have one bow that can shoot acid and another that can shoot fire. I'd rather have less bows in inventory to keep up with and just manage the ammo.
The stash does help a lot. My issue is mainly with volatile sludge. Even with your resource pouch fully upgraded you can only carry so much of it for your weapons. So when I’m in big battles I end up running out of it and I can’t craft certain ammo types.
 

WitchHunter

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?
I missed that I cannot dig tunnels and find mechanical groundhogs maybe praire dogs.
 

GymWolf

Gold Member
Being skilled shouldn't have to come into the equation.

My upgraded bow deals about 6 times more damage than my spear. I used it quite a bit in the first game, but this time around it feels like a twig.
Dude i'm not some kind of super skilled player, if i manage to be deadly with the spear (after speccing for it) anyone can.

The game is pretty hard on very hard, but far from unmanageable.
 

DForce

Member
Second, the melee upgrades (downing machines in one shot, much more crit damage, etc. vs. the ranges upgrades) were far more useful and added tactical variety.

Finally, the game had far fewer unnecessary systems, and so felt like it respected my time more.

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

In the first game, the heavy melee attack knockdown was almost guaranteed with most enemies. But in HFW, your complaint is that there isn't enough variety and it makes other things useless?

The tear arrows in Horizon Zero Dawn made way too powerful and the heavy known down attacks combat very easy.

In Horizon Forbidden West, they basically nerfed those two options and couraged the player to either upgrade or use other weapons.

There are weapons and coils that increase the chance of getting a knockdown on your opponent.
 
This stuff confuses me.

In the first game, the heavy melee attack knockdown was almost guaranteed with most enemies. But in HFW, your complaint is that there isn't enough variety and it makes other things useless?

The tear arrows in Horizon Zero Dawn made way too powerful and the heavy known down attacks combat very easy.

In Horizon Forbidden West, they basically nerfed those two options and couraged the player to either upgrade or use other weapons.

There are weapons and coils that increase the chance of getting a knockdown on your opponent.

But upgrades and coil use (which requires upgrading to be robust) are only available after farming. The game doesn't encourage you - it instead induces you to go with one or two things that already work over grinding to get upgrade slots that should already be open.

The barriers all over this game, for every little thing, were inexplicable.
 

Bragr

Member
Dude i'm not some kind of super skilled player, if i manage to be deadly with the spear (after speccing for it) anyone can.

The game is pretty hard on very hard, but far from unmanageable.
That's not what I mean, all I'm saying is, a good combat system should work on all difficulty levels and how good or not you are at it shouldn't mean anything.

I'm not saying I find it hard. I am replying to the part where you mentioned you need to be good enough to dodge machines up close.

Whats important is that players enjoy the process and finds it fair, not if they die or not, and with Horizon, it does become more RNG-ish with more machines on the field, and it varies greatly from machine to machine how good that combat system works.
 

manfestival

Member
most open world games to me are boring and make me stay away from them. their pacing can be all over the place especially if they force you to do side missions to progress. Definitely prefer linear games.
 

01011001

Member
it's like the worst parts of Ubisoft games paired with the worst parts of RPGs had a baby and the result is an open world game with super linear missions, awful controls and the worst Parcour system ever (for real, the platforming, which is clearly Assassin's Creed inspired, feels worse than AC1 from 2007)

I also haven't finished it yet, it's really hard to keep going with all the shitty game design choices they made.
apparently they have patched Aloy to at least shut her stupid mouth now instead of commenting on literally everything you have to do next... but I haven't played since the patch, so I can't really comment on that,
but that was another reason I stopped playing, I had to literally turn off voice audio or I would have gone mad playing this game

games like these are clearly designed for casual players not veteran gamers, hence the lack of agency, since more agency = more things the player can fail at, and you can't have that in a mainstream singleplayer game designed for midwives and 50yo dads that play 2h a week
 
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Represent.

Member
I typically hate open world games.

This one was on another level.

Such an immersive world, I got lost in it. Quite easily the best I’ve seen in a game.

The side missions are best in the genre and same quality level as the main missions.

Machines are fucking awesome and I was finding new ones 90 hours into the game.

Combat is legit

Incredible open world game
 

DForce

Member
But upgrades and coil use (which requires upgrading to be robust) are only available after farming. The game doesn't encourage you - it instead induces you to go with one or two things that already work over grinding to get upgrade slots that should already be open.

The barriers all over this game, for every little thing, were inexplicable.

Gathering resources to upgrade is in almost every RPG game. It existed in HZD and it's there in HFW.

It only requires more robust upgrades if you want to upgrade your weapon to the max. Weapons already come with perks and you can increase those abilities by upgrading your weapon or applying coils to your weapon.


Coils can either be found or bought, so I'm not sure what you mean by only available after farming.

If the game didn't encourage you to use other weapons, then some weapons wouldn't be strong in one area and weak in others. The strongest bows in the first game have high teardown damage and quick draw speed. The strongest bows in this game have slow draw speeds and can only be increased by upgrading or adding coils. This made it easier to tackle large enemies, which made many of the other weapons useless. In HFW, you have a spike throw which is good for taking our a group of enemies. If you miss your shot, then it can be used as a trap mine.

I don't see how HFW is weaker than HZD in these areas.
 
it's like the worst parts of Ubisoft games paired with the worst parts of RPGs had a baby and the result is an open world game with super linear missions, awful controls and the worst Parcour system ever (for real, the platforming, which is clearly Assassin's Creed inspired, feels worse than AC1 from 2007)

I also haven't finished it yet, it's really hard to keep going with all the shitty game design choices they made.
apparently they have patched Aloy to at least shut her stupid mouth now instead of commenting on literally everything you have to do next... but I haven't played since the patch, so I can't really comment on that,
but that was another reason I stopped playing, I had to literally turn off voice audio or I would have gone mad playing this game

games like these are clearly designed for casual players not veteran gamers, hence the lack of agency, since more agency = more things the player can fail at, and you can't have that in a mainstream singleplayer game designed for midwives and 50yo dads that play 2h a week
Beer Salute GIF
 
I just started Deathloop. In the first few minutes, the game told me water was too cold to walk in, but I appeared to have no path forward other than through water.

I went back to the first room to see if I had missed something. I hadn't.

Went back to the water, hesitated, then ran through as fast as I could. Made it.

This is what Forbidden West is missing. Even the illusion of decision-making. If this had happened in HFW, Aloy would have said, "I can probably sprint through that. Maybe I have some water berries in my stash."
 
I finished the game last week and I have to say the graphics are amazing and the side characters are mostly likeable and all more interesting than Aloy and that's a problem. She's a dry, constantly irritated boring character. I hope they do some DLC where you get to play as Kotallo and then move on to a new IP, maybe change it a little and do a 3rd person fantasy action RPG.

Aloy just doesn't do it for me as a lead character, I know someone will say "but she was an outcast and doesn't have people skills" etc but I didn't find her this annoying in the first one. There are some issues when it comes to gameplay too like still not having a target lock for melee combat, only being able to climb certain rocky hillsides but not others even though they look the same etc. It's better than the first game in most ways but I found the overall story less interesting.
 

Camreezie

Member
I'm pretty sure you have the same amount of options in combat as you would in Ghost of Tsushima except a less viable stealth option. Horizon Forbiden West was a 8/10 that you're comparing to 10/10s
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
HFW is unique among Sony's recent output.
Is it though? Sony's first party output is great but lately for their first party games there is this underlying feeling for me that I've played the game before even though the story is different. They are all undoubtedly well refined and spectacular but they are starting to feel a bit formulaic.
 

Vick

Member
Is this retarded Thread still going just to collect likes and "thoughtful" from Xbox players/Sony haters?

"Stunningly low amount of agency" in a huge free roam -filled with tons of completely different enemies- in which you can fly up in the sky/dive into the deepest underwater caves, and where you can interrupt every single side quest at any single point and do literally whatever the fuck you want before resuming them?

This complete and utter nonsensical take in the OT would have been laughed at/ignored, and yet here we are, three pages later reading wet farts like 01011001 01011001 post.

 
Is it though? Sony's first party output is great but lately for their first party games there is this underlying feeling for me that I've played the game before even though the story is different. They are all undoubtedly well refined and spectacular but they are starting to feel a bit formulaic.

The samey feeling is fair, but they've had top-tier combat in many or most of their recent heavy hitters. Horizon's is sloppy and imprecise, in addition to the agency issues.

I do feel there's a big gulf between TLOU2, Returnal, Spider-Man, Ratchet on one side, and HFW on the other.
 
Is this retarded Thread still going just to collect likes and "thoughtful" from Xbox players/Sony haters?

"Stunningly low amount of agency" in a huge free roam -filled with tons of completely different enemies- in which you can fly up in the sky/dive into the deepest underwater caves, and where you can interrupt every single side quest at any single point and do literally whatever the fuck you want before resuming them?

This complete and utter nonsensical take in the OT would have been laughed at/ignored, and yet here we are, three pages later reading wet farts like 01011001 01011001 post.


Yes, that's me. A Sony hater.

I buy so much Sony stuff they invited me to buy two PS5s from their direct program.

Complete Xbot. Nailed it.
 

Javthusiast

Member
Human battles are like in the first game whatever. Machine battles great, but not when it comes to huge robots who rush you quick. You can't run or dodge away fast enough, camera spins like crazy with them on top of you, you get knocked down and it takes a time till you stand up. Get knocked down again, trying ro run away while they hit you with a rock or some spray and once again you lay on the floor with two seconds stand up animation.

So many times it got on my nerves battling them. With a distance it all works great.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
The samey feeling is fair, but they've had top-tier combat in many or most of their recent heavy hitters. Horizon's is sloppy and imprecise, in addition to the agency issues.

I do feel there's a big gulf between TLOU2, Returnal, Spider-Man, Ratchet on one side, and HFW on the other.
I can see that. Especially TLOU2 and Returnal. TLOU2 was an actual upgrade in terms of gameplay with a story I didn't like and Returnal was not the typical Sony first party game. Ratchet really wasn't anything revolutionary for me. It was just pretty.
 
I like the first game better.

The game plays like Japanese developers made the game. What they would think a western market would enjoy.
 

Vick

Member
Yes, that's me. A Sony hater.

I buy so much Sony stuff they invited me to buy two PS5s from their direct program.

Complete Xbot. Nailed it.
Even outside of your completely nonsensical/clickbait title and take, which for the life of me i still can't make a sense of, you might want to check post history of at least 90% of people positively reacting to your OP to get what i said.
 
Even outside of your completely nonsensical/clickbait title and take, which for the life of me i still can't make a sense of, you might want to check post history of at least 90% of people positively reacting to your OP to get what i said.

Why? I don't care.

We're just talking about vidjagaymez.✌️
 
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DForce

Member
Is this retarded Thread still going just to collect likes and "thoughtful" from Xbox players/Sony haters?

"Stunningly low amount of agency" in a huge free roam -filled with tons of completely different enemies- in which you can fly up in the sky/dive into the deepest underwater caves, and where you can interrupt every single side quest at any single point and do literally whatever the fuck you want before resuming them?

This complete and utter nonsensical take in the OT would have been laughed at/ignored, and yet here we are, three pages later reading wet farts like 01011001 01011001 post.


The way people complain about this game makes me believe they haven't played the first game or any other open world game at all.
 

Hinedorf

Banned
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?
Horizon is far away my favorite Sony franchise but virtually everything you said summed up my experience before I stopped playing for Elden Ring and have yet to revisit the game.

After playing the first one 100% the entire story was feeling like the original games side quest missions and not in a good way. So much redundancy I would think wouldn't be a bad thing considering I loved the first game but my feeling is the combat feels significantly regressed from the first game and thus the experience isn't as tight as it was the first time around.

I'm hoping the story will save it but the combat was falling on being tedious versus fun and that could also just be exhaustion from the first game.
 

Topher

Gold Member
games like these are clearly designed for casual players not veteran gamers, hence the lack of agency, since more agency = more things the player can fail at, and you can't have that in a mainstream singleplayer game designed for midwives and 50yo dads that play 2h a week

Nah.....you just don't like the game. That's about you. No one else. And that is fine. Trying to apply caricature generalizations to others who do enjoy the game is just absurd.
 

Boss Mog

Member
I sure hope you never play RDR2 OP because what you're describing is actually way worse in that game and there's no real fast travel like HFW either. I thought they did a much better with the side quests and errands this time around. They had more connection to the story and the NPCs for those quests were well voiced as opposed to HZD. The combat isn't phenomenal but it still offers a lot more variety than just shooting with a revolver non-stop.
 
I sure hope you never play RDR2 OP because what you're describing is actually way worse in that game and there's no real fast travel like HFW either. I thought they did a much better with the side quests and errands this time around. They had more connection to the story and the NPCs for those quests were well voiced as opposed to HZD. The combat isn't phenomenal but it still offers a lot more variety than just shooting with a revolver non-stop.
I looooove RDR2.

I can forgive weak combat if I can make a lot of other choices. RDR2 lacks agency in the main missions and combat, but the world asks you to engage with it in a thousand different ways. Love it.

And the story is much, much better than HFW.
 

Rivet

Gold Member
And place traps, and craft ammo, and stealth attacks, and melee, and choose which ammo to use…

I’m not really sure what else you’re asking for from this kind of game to be honest.

Yes, Horizon FW is just like other open world games, except it's probably the most beautiful game ever, which makes exploring really enjoyable.
 

NewYork214

Member
I'm not a fan of the melee too much. But it gets pretty indepth. Do the fighting arenas. Some indepth combos to pull off.
 
I think it doesnt look great. My memory of the first game looks better.

So what else is there? At least Tsushima didnt wretch me out of the world everytime an NPC talked. The game is alight, its playable, but not very important.
 

metaverse

Member
it's like the worst parts of Ubisoft games paired with the worst parts of RPGs had a baby and the result is an open world game with super linear missions, awful controls and the worst Parcour system ever (for real, the platforming, which is clearly Assassin's Creed inspired, feels worse than AC1 from 2007)

I also haven't finished it yet, it's really hard to keep going with all the shitty game design choices they made.
apparently they have patched Aloy to at least shut her stupid mouth now instead of commenting on literally everything you have to do next... but I haven't played since the patch, so I can't really comment on that,
but that was another reason I stopped playing, I had to literally turn off voice audio or I would have gone mad playing this game

games like these are clearly designed for casual players not veteran gamers, hence the lack of agency, since more agency = more things the player can fail at, and you can't have that in a mainstream singleplayer game designed for midwives and 50yo dads that play 2h a week
 

squallheart

Member
Opinions vary. I think the gameplay is fantastic and I'm having an absolute blast. I just finished the Arena and holy cow that was fun. Now I have those legendary weapons I'm focusing on upgrading them which requires a good bit of hunting machines. So yeah, if I agreed with the OP then I guess I'd be bored, but I'm just not. To each their own. No game is going to be as fun for everyone.

As far as agency......I don't get it. First time I went against a widemaw, I got thrashed. I had to plan out a new strategy. So I had to put down purge water traps and then try to maneuver the machine into it. Even then, I'm having to take out its armor and components to weaken the thing. Other times I've had to put traps in the machines path or override machines to help me fight or use the environment, etc. Lots of approaches to the combat.

Suggesting every encounter is just a matter of matching elements isn't very accurate unless you are playing in story mode.



And yet there are literally no QTEs in the game.



Sylvester Stallone Facepalm GIF


Seeing others play and playing the game yourself............not the same.
Fully agree, I don't understand the issues people are trying to find with the game. Like I don't care for elden ring but this game I didn't even want to finish it because how much fun I was having. So after hesitating I finally beat it and 100% which is rare for me to do. I'll probably go back since I think I'm missing less than 4 side quests that you get from camp fire informants lol. Also really people are complaining gathering resources -.-
 

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
When there's a cut-scene every 5min. and you can't have an uninterrupted half an hour of gameplay then people have all the right to call those games interactive movies, they don't refer to the gameplay itself, which is just OK/decent, nothing to write poems about. Certainly much better that what all those TPP cRPGs like TWC3 offer, now those are bad to play.
Tell me you haven't played Horizon Forbidden West without telling me:
 

Hobbygaming

has been asked to post in 'Grounded' mode.
Fully agree, I don't understand the issues people are trying to find with the game. Like I don't care for elden ring but this game I didn't even want to finish it because how much fun I was having. So after hesitating I finally beat it and 100% which is rare for me to do. I'll probably go back since I think I'm missing less than 4 side quests that you get from camp fire informants lol. Also really people are complaining gathering resources -.-
Same here. In threads like these we need receipts lol
 

BennyBlanco

aka IMurRIVAL69
I like a big dumb ubisoft game every once in a while. Never finished HZD but I liked it well enough. I’ll wait til HFW is like $20.
 
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