Horizon: Forbidden West (PS5)


It’s difficult to take Horizon seriously – this is dopey sci-fi fiction, filled with robot dinosaurs, flying people, and an allegory that’s insufferably on point. Even its heroine Aloy represents a confluence of the modern liberally-inclined generation, accepting other cultures, if arrogantly rolling her eyes at their conservative religious beliefs, all while saving Earth from uber-rich, planet-escaping humans dooming the planet to a climate-esque catastrophe.

Capitalists destroyed Earth, left it to die, and an obnoxious, game-stopping “crypto bro-like” caricature nearly devastated the plan to save everything, so goes the backstory. Forbidden West isn’t only leftist in its story design so much as fervently begging for attention through the eyes Aloy’s pure, unstained logic. She’s always pristine, always righteous, and doesn’t have to decide anything that might demean Forbidden West’s worldview. Although Horizon stacks odds by way of bow-and-arrows versus dinobots, Aloy’s actions are always certain to a point of egotism. Yet, that non-complexity fits to a concept this inherently dorky, just hidden behind a nigh-perfect technical glaze that elevates expectations in the medium.

Is Aloy right? Does the climate allegory exist for purpose? Of course. But Forbidden West’s purposeful inability to maybe, possibly suggest any alternative solutions to any problem, and by staging such a fiercely righteous battle against such a stock wealthy, ruling class (draped in crystalline, glittering white garb to further their smugness, in contrast to Aloy’s hand-stitched, often dirty outfits) means Forbidden West is unwilling to engage in a dialog, rather just shout its message over even the slightest deviation from its bloated path.


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