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Horizon Forbidden West’s Vertical Traps Make Combat Even Better

Horizon Forbidden West introduces a new type of vertical trap that makes taking down flying enemies easier – and hunting them less of a drag.

Horizon Forbidden Westthe enthralling sequel to Guerrilla Games’ iconic PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn, will feature vertical traps, a key improvement on trap mechanics in the original game. In Horizon Zero Dawn, laying out powerful traps for enemies was crucial to gaining an advantage over Aloy’s opponents. However, traps in Zero Dawn were not always functionally effective with certain enemy types. With these new trap types, Forbidden West is making important improvements to Horizon combat mechanics.

Released in 2017, Horizon Zero Dawn was an instant success, praised for its visual design, narrative storytelling, and rewarding combat systems. Despite its numerous praises, the game did have its drawbacks, including a lackluster melee combat system and frustrating, annoying climbing mechanics that were fixed in Forbidden West. One key issue with Zero Dawn was that ground-based traps were routinely ineffective against high-flying enemies, depending on players to lure attacks toward their traps. Vertical traps in Horizon Forbidden West will change the way players engage with flying machines, making for a more adaptable combat experience.


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The addition of vertical traps in Horizon Forbidden West is a well-intended fix to a less favorable trapping system from Zero Dawn. In the first game, flying enemies could avoid traps entirely, making ranged battles against these enemies less desirable than other ground-based battles. Hunting mechanized beasts is arguably the most exciting, important feature of the Horizon games, and adding more features to make that experience more desirable is welcome. Vertical traps are a direct answer to an often derided part of Zero Dawn‘s existing combat system, and will further sharpen Horizon Forbidden West’s combat.

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Although Horizon Forbidden West improves melee combat from Zero Dawn, these further complement the changes to combat vertical traps are supporting. Now, with these two key changes, players are able to craft and deploy vertical traps, knocking aerial enemies onto the ground, and following up with devastating new abilities like Valor Surges. These additions will improve an already rewarding combat system, elevating Forbidden West as a worthy successor to the legacy of Zero Dawn. 

Major changes and updates like these are why Horizon Forbidden West has been one of the most highly anticipated games of 2022Zero Dawn was by no means perfect, but Forbidden West has given its post-apocalyptic Earth a much-needed upgrade. With new traps, weapons, enemies, and allies, Horizon Forbidden West is sure to be one of the most talked-about video games of 2022.

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