I have always believed that, in one way or another, there is no single videogame experience: a single title can give different emotions and sensations, depending on the person and the historical moment that the latter is facing. Let's get to my personal experience with Horizon forbidden west that, with all sincerity, I never imagined it could unfold like this. Usually when these types of games are released - not intended as exclusive but as Triple A - there is a sort of "gold rush", that is a competition between fans to see who finishes the adventure before the others. For the first time, however, I pulled myself out of all this, partly for personal reasons and partly because perhaps it was not yet Aloy's time.
A sea of exits
Let's start from the beginning, Horizon forbidden west came out in the midst of the crossfire of two other productions, and as a player and as a critic, I had to relate regardless of all three, as it was a very important release row: before Dying Light 2, then Horizon Fobidden West and, finally, his majesty Elden Ring. If I had to devote myself to it "forcibly" in a short time to write the review (you can find it here if you are curious to find out our rating), with the second and third I found myself in a lot of trouble. The title From turned out to be something terribly big and complex, really too much for those who, like me, now have so many problems in dedicating more than 100 hours to an immense and articulated videogame like that (once again you can recover my thoughts here, in a very particular article).
With Horizon forbidden west instead, after the initial amazement (we are talking about a crazy production when seen from the technical profile) the enthusiasm went a little lower. In short, I uninstall Horizon about 2 weeks after release, having completed little more than the "tutorial". Do not ask me why, but in fact it did not inspire me in the least: it has nothing to do with the more of the same discourse, on the contrary, frankly said I do not even calculate some thoughts, is that the spark just did not go off.
After some time I believe that all this was caused by a huge amount of stress, due to some situations that I was - and am - experiencing. The fact is that for a long time I have not started any console at all. I leave everything as it is, a little mentally saturated by the gaming market, that despite these 3 really important games, it left me with nothing in my hand.
You always go back to where you were happy
Perhaps angry or simply tired, I leave the consoles off for several weeks, but destiny wants boredom to strike sooner or later. Probably the Patrizio a few years ago would have bought a new game, but today's one has turned his PlayStation 5 back on and asked himself about his personal Backlog. And who do we find? Horizon Forbiddden West of course. Why not? Ultimately it is anyway a great productionwe might as well recover it. The time available to play, however, is always the same: little. I pick up Horizon Forbiddden West from the same point where I left it, but this time “without commitment”.
Small pills: once half an hour, one hour, twenty minutes and so on. Days go by and slowly I continue the adventureWhile all the friends around me in addition to saving the wild west have become ancestral lords, I still performed overrides on basic machines. Where do I want to go? Soon said.
You may not believe me, but living in this way the experience offered by Guerrilla Games has given me the opportunity to recover and truly appreciate horizon, without having to necessarily compare it with other titles released in the same period or with other works of the same genre. I am simply enjoyed, from start to finish, without ever falling into tediousness or without feeling the weight of some mechanics.
Horizon Forbiddden West's platforming sequences were the ones that mostly made me quit the game: I remember perfectly the weight I felt in facing certain momentsas well as the fact that the fighting had also become quite boring. That period of detachment almost allowed me to reset everything, without thinking too much about things already seen and, consequently, let me fully enjoy the greatness of the Sony exclusive.
What happened made me tremendously reflect: What if I face all the games like this? I understand the hunger there is for a certain release, also because in the wake of the hype it is normal for the houses to profit, so it is important to feed the expectations of the players. The problem however is that the life cycle of a given security now borders on 3/4 days, more or less this is the time that the community takes to flesh out and dissect an entire experience, and then immediately move on to the next one.
From these premises, it is normal that we will never be enough for anything, and that we will always be led to say "oh well, but I've already seen this." How many views have you ever stopped in front of lately? How many interiors have you stayed to see the upholstery just for the sake of discovering a few more details? The answer is simple, practically never. We are too busy finding what is wrong, we must necessarily find similarities with other titles to show that we are real gamers with a capital V, otherwise there is trouble.
This little experience of mine with Horizon Forbidden West made me rediscover calm, patience and above all the happiness of discovery, all sensations that I had stopped feeling by now. Then if it's not the perfect 10/10 game, never mind, that really matters little. The only thing that matters is what leaves the overall experience, regardless of what it is. That MIA, which obviously remains STAFF, is that the PS5 exclusive made me rediscover video games in an unprecedented way, just at a time when I thought that perhaps certain passions were no longer doing it for me. The advice is to breathe a second, stop and calmly dedicate yourself to a single adventure at a time. You will see that the new release will always be there waiting for you even 2/3 months after the release, and I am sure that you will be able to enjoy it even more.