Horizon: Forbidden West PC Review – Giving Aloy Some Extra Power

Horizon: Forbidden West PC Review - Giving Aloy Some Extra Power

A few years ago, when Sony decided to test the PC waters with some of their first-party titles they decided that Aloy was the perfect heroine to lead the way. Horizon Zero Dawn became the first of what would become a consistent stream of ex-PS exclusives to make their way to the PC platform, but it wasn’t exactly a smooth start. The port was problematic in many ways, with a tonne of patching required to get the game up to the standard that PC gamers expect. Since that time, Sony has had something of a mixed record when it comes to their PC versions. God of War was fantastic, The Last of Us Part 1 was an absolute disaster and the Uncharted collection sat somewhere in between the two extremes. Sony, as a publisher clearly still has some issues with bringing their titles to the more powerful platform so it is always a bit of a dice roll as to what you are going to get. I am happy to say though, with Horizon Forbidden West, they rolled a 6.

Now I want to just make something clear from the outset. I didn’t get to play the game until a patch or two rolled out (damn computer issues) so I can’t say how it launched, but as of right now, things are fantastic from a tech standpoint. With my rig, which is fairly hefty (4080 super) there were no noticeable issues at all in regards to framerates, glitches or artefacts. Even on a lesser system like my laptop (4050 laptop GPU) things ran well. I suspect that DLSS 3 is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here so I feel older Nvidia and AMD systems may find things a bit tougher. Case and point was my ROG Ally. It struggled to provide the juice required to keep things running well. I really had to turn everything down to get a stable framerate and as a result, it was hardly an ideal way to play.

Frankly, this is a game you should be playing on the most powerful system you have available and then you should go and borrow some money to upgrade it even further. Horizon Forbidden West uses every bit of power it can to make a stunning game look even better. Turning all the ray tracing options to max and playing on an ultrawide monitor is honestly a thing of beauty and it is a testament to the skill of the porting team as to just how well the game uses the extra power available.  I am sure it brings the graphical design team at Guerrilla Games a huge amount of joy to see their hard work taken to this level.


As for the game itself, little has changed. It is the same experience that players enjoyed on the PS5. The PC version is the complete edition so it includes the hefty Burning Shores DLC as well. This means there is a LOT of game to get through and for me, this is my biggest criticism. It feels very much like Forbidden West is suffering from Ubisoft syndrome, with a million little markers dotting the map, all demanding the player’s attention. There is a lot of busy work and while most of it is engaging, at least to begin with, it does start to wear out its welcome reasonably quickly. As this was my second playthrough of the game, I found myself skipping a fair chunk of this, not worried about the small bonuses I was missing out on. 

Otherwise, the game is a lot of fun. I dug the story just as much the second time around and the environmental storytelling is second to none. I still marvel at how well the developers used the environment to create context and lore for this stunning world they have created. The prime example of this is the Vegas area of the game. Gorgeous and captivating in every way, it uses the tech of the past and the devastation of the present to tell the fall of Sin City in a unique and engaging manner, a way that is rarely seen in any form of entertainment media. 


Controlling Aloy on the PC is best done with a controller. This sort of game becomes too clunky for me on a keyboard and mouse, so plugging in some thumbsticks was certainly the way to go. I am sure some people will disagree with me out there, but I feel like 90% of players will be more comfortable with their PS5/Xbox controller in their hand. It is a small thing, but I do enjoy being able to play these PS5 releases with the asymetrical sticks of the Xbox controller. It has always felt more natural for me and in the case of Horizon, I feel like it works better with the radial and crafting menus. Obviously, this is a personal preference, but it is a nice bonus for those out there who find the Dualsense a little on the cramped side. 


What we have with Horizon Forbidden West is one of the best PS-to-PC ports available. It has made the transition without any technical glitches and uses the extra power of the PC platform to really make the world of Aloy and co shine. The game itself is an engaging open-world experience and well worth spending some time in. It does suffer from collectable and quest bloat, but if that is the game’s worst problem, then things aren’t too bad at all. I would suggest that if you already have the game on PS5 there is probably not enough here to justify a re-purchase (at full price at least) but if you haven’t played it before and have a nice beefy gaming rig, you shouldn’t hesitate, you won’t regret it.  


Horizon Forbidden West Complete Edition was reviewed on PC with code kindly supplied by the publisher. 

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