Horizon Forbidden West’s story had a lot of big questions to answer- and it did that very well, sprinkling in significant reveals and info drops from beginning to end. Of course, the game also ends with a blatant setup for a sequel, which, in turn, means that there’s plenty of questions yet that haven’t been answered. Here, we’re going to talk about a few of the biggest story-related questions we have after Horizon Forbidden West that we hope to see answered in its inevitable sequel, whenever it arrives.
NOTE: There are spoilers ahead for Horizon Forbidden West.
Horizon Forbidden West drops a huge bombshell in its closing moments with the reveal of Nemesis. The corrupted super AI is what caused GAIA to self destruct before Horizon Zero Dawn’s events, essentially triggering the events of the entire series. With that in mind, as well as the fact that it’s heading to Earth with an army of super-advanced killer robots, it’s obvious that Nemesis is the biggest threat that we’ll be squaring off against in the series’ future. From a narrative perspective though, it’s worth asking how long that will take. If, for instance, the next Horizon game jumps some years ahead in time to when Nemesis arrives, does that mean the people of Earth will have used that time to prepare their planet for the attack, perhaps even with significant technological enhancements? That would certainly make for an interesting shake-up.
NEMESIS AND FAR ZENITH
Horizon Forbidden West reveals some key details about Nemesis in its final moments, particularly where its relationship with Far Zenith is concerned- though there are still plenty of question marks there. We know that the AI was a failed experiment that was abandoned by Far Zenith, following which it grew sentient and decided to seek out revenge against its creators. That said, Nemesis goes to great lengths to achieve that goal. It destroys the entire colony of Sirius, kills nearly all of Far Zenith, and when a dozen of them escape, it sends the signal to deactivate GAIA to make sure that there is no Earth for its former creators to go back to. Hopefully, the series’ next instalment will shed more light on why exactly Nemesis was so hell-bent on Far Zenith’s destruction.
Sylens, as ever, remains a mystery. That’s been his defining trait since the beginning, and it still is. As Horizon Forbidden West closes in on its conclusion, Sylens tells Aloy that he has no intention of sticking around on Earth and wait for Nemesis to arrive with its swarm of deadly machines. However, moments away from getting aboard a ship and leaving the planet, he has a change of heart, and decides to stay and help everyone prepare for what lies ahead. To say the very least, that seems out of character for Sylens. He’s not the most selfless guy out there, to say the least. Clearly, he’s got some shady schemes cooking up- and we’re dying to find out what they are.
Horizon Forbidden West introduces a number of surprising new story elements from beginning to end, and one of the more interesting ones are the Quen. This new tribe has sailed to what used to be North America from across the Pacific Ocean, possibly from what was once China. Horizon has been focused entirely on North America since its beginning, so the arrival of Quen was an exciting new wrinkle, with the tribe and the characters it brought offering a neat little window into what’s been going in the rest of the world since its destruction centuries ago. There’s plenty else we don’t yet know about the Quen though. A lot of their history and lore is referenced in Forbidden West and some interesting questions are raised. Our hope is that their introduction in this game will lead into a much more prominent role in the next one.
Of course, now that we’ve got a taste of tribes from other parts of the world, we can’t help but ask for more. Horizon Forbidden West has opened the window looking out beyond North America, and all the other mysterious tribes of people spread across the whole planet, and we’re desperately hoping that’s something that the series dives deep into in the near future. Hell, even if we’re looking beyond the next mainline game, there’s potential for plenty of spinoffs to be set in entirely different parts of Earth, focusing on entirely different tribes, and giving players new and exciting experiences in the Horizon universe.
Beta’s introduction is one of Horizon Forbidden West’s biggest surprises, and as another clone of Elisabet Sobeck, she obviously turns into a crucial part of the game’s story, and heading into the fight against Nemesis, she will, of course, continue to be pivotal. It goes without saying that Sobeck clones are a valuable commodity, crudely put, so why not make more? Aloy and co now have the fully restored GAIA at their disposal, so is it possible that they end up raising more clones? Alternatively, maybe a secret new Elisabet Sobeck clone could be part of one of Sylens’ schemes?
Ted Faro’s destruction of the AI subfunction APOLLO is hugely responsible for why the Horizon series’ post-apocalyptic world is the way it is, so the fact that, by the time Forbidden West ends, Aloy and co have got their hands on an APOLLO copy is a pretty huge deal. The biggest question we have, of course, is- how significantly is that going to affect the world? Now that they have full access to a treasure trove of all of human history and all of its collective knowledge, will the next Horizon game see the world being less tribal and more technologically advanced? That would be a massive shift for the series, and we’re curious to see how that’s handled.
A good chunk of Horizon Forbidden West sees Aloy and her allies trying to capture HEPHEASTUS, and though they do successfully do that, by the time the game ends, the AI is, once again, out in the open. That means there will still be killer machines out there in the wilds, looking to kill any human they can spot. Maybe HEPHAESTUS will be even more ferocious now. But how much is the next game going to focus on trying to get the AI subfunction back and merge it with GAIA once more? If we do end up having to do that in the next instalment again, it might be hard to shake the feeling of repetition, having spent a solid portion of Forbidden West doing the same thing.
In one of its more shocking moments, Horizon Forbidden West reveals that the reviled Ted Faro didn’t really die centuries ago the way we all assumed he did. In fact, he’s still alive in the game- well, kind of. The genetic therapy that he had thought would turn him immortal actually mutated him beyond recognition into a twisted monster. He ultimately does die in Forbidden West– but frustratingly enough, we never get to see him. Will we ever learn the nitty-gritties of his genetic experiment, how it went wrong, and most importantly, what exactly is turned him into? Hopefully those questions will be answered in the next Horizon game, whenever that arrives.
VAST SILVER might not be something that a great many Horizon fans are familiar with, seeing as it isn’t something that’s ever really brought up as part of the main narrative. Those who’ve dug deeper, however, are aware of this AI that, before the end of the world, was designed as a climate intervention system, but ended up going rogue and escaping. Interestingly, while VAST SILVER was supposedly captured, that’s not something that’s set in stone. There’s still a chance that the rogue AI is out there, and if that is the case, we sure would love to know that’s going on with it.