On this week’s episode of Podcast Beyond, IGN’s PlayStation show, host Jonathon Dornbush is joined by Mark Medina and Jada Griffin to discuss our spoiler-free thoughts about Horizon Forbidden West for PS4 and PS5 in our review discussion episode. While IGN’s Horizon Forbidden West review writer Simon Cardy couldn’t join us, all three of the panelists have put a few dozen hours each into the Guerrilla Games PS4 and PS5 sequel, so we break down what we love about Horizon Forbidden West in this review discussion and why we think Horizon Forbidden West is the best PS5 game so far.

The panel covers their thoughts on how Horizon Forbidden West evolves the Horizon Zero Dawn formula, what improvements Guerrilla made to Horizon Forbidden West’s combat, traversal, world design, and storytelling. First, while keeping free of any major spoilers, we talk broadly about how how Horizon Forbidden West’s story not only lets Ashly Burch shine as Aloy in her second Horizon game, but how Guerrilla’s approach to fleshing out the Horizon universe is so engrossing in Horizon Forbidden West. Then, we dig into Horizon’s new and refined combat and traversal options, including some of the new weaponry in Aloy’s arsenal, changes to Horizon’s skill trees and outfit upgrades, and much more. Our review discussion for Horizon Forbidden West also touches on some of the traversal additions made to Aloy’s world on both PS4 and PS5, like climbing, gliding, and swimming, while also taking a look at the world at large, including Forbidden West’s sidequests and storytelling approach, optional side objectives, a surprising bit of Metroidvania DNA, and much more.

Mark also speaks to his experience playing Horizon Forbidden West across PS4, PS4 Pro, and PS5, while the trio discusses their preferences of playing in quality or performance mode. For PS5 players, we also dig into Horizon’s use of 3D audio and DualSense capabilities, and generally gush about our excitement for more people to get to play. If you have thoughts once you dig into Horizon Forbidden West, tweet at the cast or write in to beyond@ign.com with your thoughts, and we’ll read them on the show!

And if you’re looking for more places to enjoy this PlayStation podcast show, check out Podcast Beyond! on all available platforms: https://linktr.ee/podcastbeyond.

Jonathon Dornbush is IGN’s Senior Features Editor, PlayStation Lead, and host of Podcast Beyond! He’s the proud dog father of a BOY named Loki. Talk to him on Twitter @jmdornbush.

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