As we approach the launch of PlayStation and Guerrilla Games’ excellent Horizon Forbidden West (you can read our review here!) there’s one question that we’ve seen crop up far more than any other. It makes a lot of sense too, given the hype surrounding Guerrilla Games’ much-awaiting sequel as a showpiece for the PS5.
That question is simply, do I need to have played Horizon Zero Dawn before playing Horizon Forbidden West?
The short version of the answer? Probably not, honestly.
There are plenty of comprehensive and useful story recap videos available online that’ll give you the lowdown on what’s going before you jump into the sequel. Like this one from Gamespot:
The longer version though, is largely dependent on how much time you have and want to spend on playing the first game before you pick up Forbidden West. The good news is that Horizon Zero Dawn is usually incredibly cheap to pick up for the PS4, with the current version available containing the Frozen Wilds expansion carrying an RRP of $24.95 but often going much cheaper digitally and physically.
That said, it’s not a short game and pretty much everything in it is done significantly better in Forbidden West. The new game also does a really good job of easing new players into the ins and outs of gameplay. There’s no transfer of any character progression or gear from the original game to the new one either, so you’re not missing anything gameplay-wise by starting out in the new game.
So if you’ve got the time and you want to get the full Horizon experience, there’s very little stopping you from downloading and firing up Horizon Zero Dawn for little cost and it still holds up as a great game. Otherwise if you’ve been reading the glowing reviews and you’re frothing to get stuck right into Horizon Forbidden West you’ll be just fine reading or watching up on the lore up until this point!