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Over the Horizon

The Week in Games
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Forbidden West is incredible. Why don’t I like it?
So after 30 hours of Horizon: Forbidden West, I think it’s time to accept the fact that I don’t like it. The thing is, I don’t really know why.
Guerrilla’s sequel to 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn is about as big as games get; the budget, the marketing, the hype, its backstory and its script, and of course, the size of it - the sheer amount of stuff there is to do in it.
It has so much to love, too. The world is incredible and looks stunning, the enemy designs are remarkable and the production values are as high as they come. I look forward to playing it, but when I do I just kind of end up on autopilot, mindlessly hacking away at enemies and watching relentlessly-talky narrative scenes through glazed eyes.
Indeed, the only time the game manages to squeeze an emotional response from me is when it’s annoying me. I don’t hate it - not at all - but I don’t love it either. To paraphrase a particularly prickly character from TV’s Scrubs; I nothing it. I’m completely indifferent.
But why? I mean, who doesn’t want to play a game set in a spectacular post-apocalyptic world filled with giant mechanical dinosaurs? Have we simply seen this quest-filled, open-world adventure style game too many times now? Does it just have a bit too much… everything?
It’s possible. It’s the exact reason I’ve stayed away from Assassin’s Creed for the best part of a decade after all. But I’m not sure it is that with Horizon. The weirdest thing about all of this is that I don’t see how this sequel is any worse than the first game. And I loved the first game.
I’ll play it through to completion, and I’ve dropped the difficulty so it doesn’t annoy me too much as I do. But why do I feel the need to finish something I’m not enjoying? Especially when I have a to-play list bursting with games I’m certain I’ll like more.
Getting a return on my investment (both time and money) is probably a big one. I’ve sunk £70 and 30 hours into this game already and I don’t want it to be for nothing. But I know dropping another 30 hours on it probably isn’t the best solution.
I guess I still hold on to the hope that it’ll all just click at some point. That I’ll love the final stretch and all the effort up until now will be worth it. If it does, it will be.
If so, hopefully in a couple of weeks I’ll be able to report back with some good news…
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  • Sony has added a load of new games to the PlayStation Summer Sale, including Horizon: Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7.
  • Xbox are currently running an Action RPG sale, and a Super Saver Sale, with up to 80% off in each.
  • If you’re not currently a PlayStation Plus subscriber, Sony are offering a 7-day free trial of their new Extra and Premium tiers.
  • The latest Nintendo eShop sale is currently discounting a host of digital games, including Ni No Kuni Remastered for just £7.99.
A huge congratulations to the Lost in Cult team who this week smashed their funding goal for the [lock-on] Volume 004 gaming journal. If you missed the campaign, you can still pre-order the journal here.
[lock-on] Volume 004
[lock-on] Volume 004
(Switch) – August 2
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 3
(Xbox, PC) – August 4
(Switch, PC, iOS) – August 4
(PC) – August 5
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 9
(Switch, PC) – August 10
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 11
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – August 11
(PC) – August 12  – Read review
A randomly selected game each week! Any and all games are eligible for selection regardless of age, platform, popularity, or otherwise.
This week, the honour goes to…
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (2007)
After the Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter titles for the PlayStation and PlayStation 2 respectively, Naughty Dog tried something a little more ambitious for the PlayStation 3 with Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune.
Stellar animation, acting, performance capture and a greater focus on storytelling hinted at what was to come from the studio with its far more sophisticated Uncharted follow-ups and the two The Last of Us games.
By James Batchelor - GiBiz
Eidos Montreal founder Stephane D'Astous reflects on the issues he believes led to the studio’s sale
By Matt Wales - Eurogamer
From fallen star to supernova. Matt Wales discusses the incredible evolution of Hello Games’ sci-fi spectacular, and what you can expect to find if you fire up the game today.
By James Batchelor - GiBiz
Samsung and Microsoft tell GiBiz how games streaming reached the needed inflection point as they partner on the Samsung Gaming Hub.
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Abyssal Archive
Tune & Fairweather - Pre-orders close August 14th
Kloa - Child of the Forest
Wildpad Games - Campaign ends August 18th
Game Boy & Virtual Boy Anthology
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Nara: Facing Fire
Glowing Glade Studio - Campaign ends September 2nd
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…and that’s it for this week!
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The Week in Games @jeffsayhi

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