Horizon: West forbidden not only expanded its map, graphics, and story for protagonist Aloy, but also expanded the staple the series depends on: Machines. Before Horizon: West forbidden Where zero dawn came out, the first game was known as dinosaur robot game. While elements of this description are valid in games, the distinguishing feature of the Machines is not so much those that look like dinosaurs but those that look like animals.
Horizon: Zero Dawn had 26 Machines to discover; many of them resembled modern reptiles, birds and mammals. The sequel added 23 new machine types, many of which improve upon this theme from the first game, with machine designs including snakes, turtles, monkeys, hippos, and more. With a third game coming, there’s room to scratch beneath the surface and showcase intriguing animal designs.
Frogs at Horizon
Traditionally known for eating insects, frogs are used for medical advances while their tadpoles filter the water that humans drink. Seeing a frog or toad-based machinery would work well with the idea of a terraforming system to refilter water and air for animal and human survival. The games indicated that Snapmaws and Stormbirds were meant to detoxify water and air, and with frogs also filtering water, this animal would fit in well with Horizon’s world.
With their webbed feet, ability to survive in water and on land, and extendable tongues, Machine Frogs could be deadly to Aloy and company. Fans can imagine needing to dodge their tongues which can shock or stun players on the spot, or if they are mimicking certain biological species, applying a poison effect. Their ability to leap and cover great distances in a single leap would also pose a threat in combat, especially if there are several of them in a given location.
Burrowing Spiders at Horizon
Horizon: Zero Dawn introduced players to burrowing machines with the Rockbreakers, which dug tunnels underground, only to surface when they detected movement on the surface. Horizon: West forbidden introduced similar burrowing mechanics with the Shellsnapper, a giant turtle that burrows into the ground and launches itself at Aloy when in range, and the aptly named weasel-like burrower.
Burrowing spiders are known to burrow into the ground and conceal their holes from unsuspecting prey. A machine in the form of a collapsing spider would be a formidable threat. This machine could place traps in the ground around a particular area, waiting for unsuspecting NPCs and Aloy herself to wander around. Not only that, but their attack methods can mimic those of Rockbreakers and Shellsnappers by being able to burrow and emerge at will, which makes their attack rather tricky.
Sharks at Horizon
Horizon: West forbidden opened up the walkway for water crossing, and underwater was a fun feature in the game that brought new kinds of tension, as Aloy had to swim, hide, and dodge machines in the water. Unable to defend themselves with weapons, any underwater encounter could have been deadly, with smoke bombs being the only way to escape.
Sharks are already known as apex predators. Based on shark Horizon the machine’s design would ensure the same kind of danger, especially with a loaded arsenal at its disposal. If tensions were high with alligator/crocodile lookalikes with Snapmaws, a robotic version of a Great White running towards Aloy as she tries to hide among the weeds could raise the stakes even further. The ability to use limited weapons would improve the underwater aspects in a third game.
Gorillas at Horizon
Often considered fearsome, gorillas are extremely important to local biodiversity, usually spreading the seeds of the fruits they eat over large swaths of the area they roam. Despite their size and strength, they are often seen as gentle with human demeanor, representing the evolution of humanity from the primate tree millennia ago. The continued study of these majestic creatures can lead to greater understanding by bridging the gap between human and animal intellect.
As machines inside Horizon’s world, this docile aspect of humanity can quickly become deadly with Hephaestus in charge of the programming. Their ability to mimic human behavior could see these types of machines in Horizon to be not only fearsome but also calculating. Their raw strength will provide difficulty in close combat, but what they might design as offensive or defensive would be a sight to behold.
Swarms of insects on the horizon
Horizon: Zero Dawn and Horizon: West forbidden introduces many machines that gather in groups for their various purposes, but one feature players have yet to see is a swarm of insects, similar to a multitude of bees or mosquitoes. zero dawn detailed how the Chariot Line of war war robots acted as a swarm, and the soldiers during Enduring Victory refer to the robots as such.
However, a true swarm of mechanical insects has yet to be seen and could wreak untold havoc on Aloy as she braves nature and searches for ways to defeat Nemesis. With sentient AI acting as a sort of hivemind from the zeniths, seeing him create his hivemind swarm could be an interesting take on a present in the Horizon world as it presents itself. Trying to defeat small insects with precise attacks would be an exciting way to change up the fighting style against certain machines.
Horizon: West forbidden continued the franchise’s vision of adapting modern animal forms as machines that operate within GAIA’s failing terraforming system. At the same time, some Machine states are based on the megafauna of the ancient past; many incorporate animals and their characteristics to help filter and detoxify the air and waters. Adding new animal adaptations such as frogs, burrowing spiders, sharks, gorillas, and insect swarms could increase both difficulty and variety in the next game
Forbidden Horizon West is now available for PS4 and PS5.
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