Guerrilla Games seems to have an understanding for how to build an open-world action-adventure game that few other developers on the PlayStation 5 can pull off. Sure, there were plenty of absolute bangers on the PS5. However, out of everything that came out on the platform, Horizon Forbidden West stood above all the rest as an all-around enjoyable title. That’s why it’s the Shacknews Best PS5 Game of 2022.
The beauty of Horizon Forbidden West is that it could have been the same as Zero Dawn with a new story and we would have been pretty happy, but Guerrilla Games improved it in nearly every way. The vast world of the Forbidden West was breathtaking at every turn, with stretching and varied landscapes, gorgeous and mysterious caverns, and a beautifully lush mix of nature and ruined technology throughout. This game is a looker from pretty much all angles. More than that, Aloy, her friends, frenemies, and enemies brought a compelling narrative that made us happy to keep going on the journey to bring stability back to a world on the brink of destruction.
Of course, none of this would matter if it wasn’t fun to play and, boy howdy, is Horizon Forbidden West fun to play. Much of Forbidden West’s exploration, crafting, and combat systems are simply brought over from Zero Dawn, but they’re improved in delightful ways.
The addition of new skill trees allowed us to specialize our hunting and combat styles. Want to get the most out of tripwires and mines? The Trapper skill tree will help. Want to play it silent and kill from a mile away? Then you want the Sharpshooter tree. Additionally, the tools with which to open the world further come in an almost Zelda-like style that makes discovering blocked locations and coming back to them later a treat. The new tools were also pretty fun additions to the game’s usual parkour and climbing element.
The PlayStation 5 had a stellar year full of great games. We can’t really take away from the titles nominated, but top to bottom, Horizon Forbidden West was just an excellent all-around display of what the PS5 can do with developers who are familiar with the technology. All that and more is what made Horizon Forbidden West the Shacknews Best PS5 Game of 2022.
Check out our Year of the Games: 2022 article to see all of the other Shacknews Awards that have been announced so far.