Gaming On a Projector: Review of Horizon Forbidden West

April 18, 2022 / By Project Reviews Staff
Horizon Forbidden West cover art.
Horizon Forbidden West is an epic action RPG adventure with an expansive and beautiful open world to explore.

Horizon Forbidden West was released on February 18, 2022. The game is exclusive to PlayStation. The PS4 edition can be bought for $59.99, and the PS5 edition can be purchased for $69.99, all directly from playstation.com. The game is published by Sony Interactive Entertainment and developed by Guerilla Games. Horizon Forbidden West is an epic action RPG adventure with an expansive and beautiful open world to explore.

Horizon Forbidden West game nest to a BenQ projector.
Horizon Forbidden West paired well with the BenQ X3000i Immersive Open World Gaming Projector.

Since Horizon Forbidden West is an open-world RPG, I used a BenQ X3000i 4K HDR 4LED Immersive Open World Gaming Projector and my 110-inch screen to handle my gaming needs. With the BenQ X3000i, HDR Game becomes available for selection after auto-detecting metadata or EOTF info from HDR content. HDR Game is used to activate the Game Settings menu for HDR gameplay.

The X3000i has three Audio-Visual presets for three types of games in the Game Settings menu: FPS game mode, RPG game mode, and SPG game mode. I used RPG mode for its cinematic color and powerful cinema sound tailor-made for role-playing game worlds for this game review.

In Horizon Forbidden West, the land is dying, and the lead protagonist, named Aloy, must brave the Forbidden West in pursuit of a way to save everybody. Marad, a senior official in the court of the Carja Sun-King Avad, says it best, “The West is called ‘forbidden’ for a reason.” Even though Horizon is a post-apocalyptic world dying and covered in a toxic red plant called Blight, there are still many beautiful distant lands to explore. That beauty comes with some fantastic-looking and quite dangerous machine enemies in the forbidden west. To make matters worse, human enemies can ride some of these machines into battle.

Look at the six skill trees as soon as possible; you can use them to build out Aloy to be quite a force to be reckoned with. The forbidden west is filled with some tough human and machine opponents. I’ll give you two quick tips on what will be helpful against these dangerous human and machine adversaries.

First, is the Warrior Skill called Resonator Blast. The Resonator Blast is an essential skill when facing people in melee combat. Resonator Blast energizes Aloy’s spear. When used, it leaves your opponent with a glowing weak spot. Shooting the weak spot with Aloy’s bow and arrow to deal substantial damage to the enemy target.

Resonator Blast Skill.

Second, the Machine Master Skill has Part Breaker Valor Surge; it’s a must-have. It’s one of Aloy’s ultimate attack abilities, which takes some to build up. Using the Part Breaker Valor Surge allows Aloy to deal more damage to machine components and weak spots. This means removing the machine components necessary to upgrade Aloy’s weapons and outfits is much easier to accomplish.

The weapon variety is fantastic in this game. Luckily there’s a Quick Swap (tap L1 on your controller) option to have Aloy quickly swap to her last used weapon. There’s also a Weapon Wheel (hold L1 on your controller) for all of Aloy’s weapons. You’ll need to master various weapon types to be effective against hostile machines. For instance, use freeze bombs to make machines brittle and easier to destroy and acid to break down armor. In addition, you’ll need to know when and how to use each weapon and trap Aloy has at her disposal.

Horizon Forbidden West interaction-able items can be scanned with Aloy’s Focus scanner. Using Focus on machines helps tremendously. Aloy’s use of Focus on machines allows her to identify their weak points that are vulnerable to attack and their strong points that should be avoided. Using a gaming projector like the BenQ X3000i and a 110-inch projector screen made identifying and targeting those weak points relatively easy.

Some of the machines found in Horizon Forbidden West are the Burrowers, Sunwings, and Slitherfangs. Burrowers are recon machines that emit a high-pitched sound to alert allies and stun enemies. It can burrow underground and resurface in unexpected locations. Sunwings are fast and agile flying machines. Sony goes into detail on these new flyers, stating, “Sunwings are acquisition-class machines that use their photovoltaic wings to store energy. They can be seen hovering high in the air on bright days to catch as much sun as possible.” And then there is Slitherfang. Slitherfang is a massive and deceptively fast combat machine that can lash out from long range. Once the Slitherfang assumes its snake-like coiled stance, it has access to its entire arsenal as its revolving body parts snap into place. You face off against a Slitherfang early in the game; it’s a good test if you understand the game’s basic mechanics.

The first Slitherfang encounter really showcases a gaming projector’s ability to immerse you into the game with cinematic visuals and auditory impact. For example, the X3000i gaming projector I am using for this review has 100% DCI-P3; the wider the color gamut, the more colors can be seen in your gaming world. I scanned the Slitherfang with Aloy’s Focus. I could easily see all of its different colored weak points and components and take them out in order of importance. The X3000i also has two 5-watt speakers with dynamic stereo enhancement powered by Bongiovi DPS technology with virtual 3D surround sound. As a result, I could clearly hear the distinct sound the Slitherfang made right before its attack, which allowed me to dive out of the way before taking a big hit.

Horizon Forbidden West machines are quite intricate in detail and complexity. The machines have complex designs. Each creature has multiple components that will dynamically break off when targeted by the player.

What’s exceptional is the fact that the machines will adjust their movements and attacks based on any removed components. Search downed machined to harvest their components for crafting upgrades, weapons, and traps. The more you scavenge and harvest in this game, the quicker you get upgrades.

Ultimate immersion is achieved when Horizon Forbidden West is paired with a good gaming projector. The biodiversity of Horizon Forbidden West is astounding! The game has canyons, snowy mountainsides, tropical beaches, expansive desert plains, thick forests, and jungles that pull you into the game with substantial vertical climbing opportunities. You can even have Aloy explore underwater locations teemed with wildlife and flowing seaweed you can hide in.

Horizon Forbidden West is an incredibly immersive RPG adventure game with a good-sized map. It will have you coming back for more and more, leading to countless hours of exploration, crafting upgrades, and strategic battle fun.

Stay tuned for my review on Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.

Next month, I will be reviewing Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands with the BenQ TK700 Gaming Projector. Let’s see how Tiny Tina progresses as she embarks on an epic adventure across the Wonderlands on a giant projector screen. So, keep checking back at Projector Reviews; you do not want to miss any of our projector gaming reviews.

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