Side Quests Make Horizon Forbidden West One of the Best Ever
When you look at the wide selection of open world games available to gamers today, they all do a pretty good job of creating huge, beautiful, fun-filled worlds. They all do such a good job, in fact, that you may begin to have hard time differentiating one franchise from another. So how do you set yourself apart? Is it a good story? Not really, as most are adequate as a conduit for your gameplay. So then what is it? Side content, and those minor elements that ultimately play a major role. And Horizon Forbidden West is doing it the best.
I just completed the a lengthy, three-part side quest in Horizon Forbidden West, and it quickly reminded me why this game is so good. In each part – “Thirst for the Hunt”, “The Wound in the Sand”, and “The Gate of the Vanqueshed” – the story of the Dessert Clan and how they relate to the rest of the Forbidden West is slowly unraveled, and you get a front row seat. These may have just been a few side quests, but they had major implications for the world buried beneath the main story.
As Aloy comes to the rescue of a local clan in the dessert, she quickly becomes an ally who can help solve problems. To that end, nothing here is exactly new or different. But the characters you interact with leave an impact. They are complex, with differentiating levels of morality, some doing things less than above board, but for the betterment of the people. There are complex relationships between clan members, the ever apparent option to challenge for leadership, and so much more. And every line of text, every person you talk with in Arrowhead, drips with tensions regular side quests generally do not offer.
This is just one example of the many amazing quests I’ve undertaken in my 20+ hours with the game so far. And I’ve been enjoying every second of it. It is why Horizon Forbidden West stands above the rest.