Guerrilla is two for two with the Horizon games now, thanks to the incredible Horizon Forbidden West, and among the many, many things that have impressed us (and many others) in the recently-released sequel, the new machines, unsurprisingly, are right up there. That was something that was true for Zero Dawn as well, of course, but in Forbidden West, Guerrilla has stepped up its game and created some truly memorable monsters. Here, we’re going to rank the ten best new machines we faced off against in the game.
NOTE: There are spoilers ahead for Horizon Forbidden West. If you haven’t finished the game, turn back now.
Just as Horizon Zero Dawn had a couple of war machines in the Corruptor and the Deathbringer than stood out from the animalistic designs of all other machines in the game, Forbidden West has Specters. Interestingly, they look quite similar to Corruptors, but combine that visual design with far-flung sci-fi technology. Specters are incredibly quick, can leap and dash across distances in the blink of an eye, and of course, with their elemental cannons and hard-hitting melee strikes, can knock you out in a second if you’re not too careful.
Sunwings might not be as deadly or terrifying as some other flying machines in Horizon (like the Stormbird, for instance), but there’s a lot to like about these pterosaur-inspired machines. From a visual perspective, their wings, which double as solar panels that are used to store energy, give them a very distinct look, immediately helping them stand out from other similar machines, while they’re no slouches in combat either. Most significant, of course, is the fact that towards the end of the game, you get the ability to override them and use them as flying mounts, which is enough in and of itself to earn them a place on this list.
A giant snapping turtle might not sound as terrifying on paper as, say, a t-rex with huge cannons on its back, but one fight against a Shellsnapper will tell you that these machines are not to be taken lightly. They’re far quicker than their lumbering size might suggest, and they use that surprising agility to great affect, combining it with their crunching melee attacks and deadly ranged weapons to dole out some massive damage. Shellsnappers also have the ability to burrow deep into the ground and tunnel their way through you for surprise attacks, which makes them that much deadlier.
Plowhorns are significantly less hostile than most other machines you’ll come across in Horizon Forbidden West (certainly in this list), but still, they’re not to be taken lightly. Taking them on in combat is still always a blast, given the fact that they have big and easily visible components that you can destroy and remove, while they also have plenty of attacks that they can use to turn the tide in their favour- especially if you’re fighting against a Grimhorn, which is essentially a Plowhorn decked out for combat. Above all else though, a Plowhorn looks like a triceratops- and who doesn’t love a triceratops?
#6. SPECTER PRIME
You’ll only fight this machine once in the entire game, as the final boss, so it’s not nearly as prominent as every other machine in this list- but it’s still worth mentioning for multiple reasons. It doesn’t have the animalistic look that Horizon machines generally do, which makes it inherently less recognizable, but purely in terms of combat capabilities, the Specter Prime is right up there with the best of the best machines in the entire game. It can morph into multiple forms, has oodles of health, can dive into a vast selection of attacks, and is, all around, just a pain to deal with in a fight.
Given Guerrilla’s knack for making incredible machines based on dinosaurs, it’s not surprising at all that the Clawstrider, which takes inspiration from velociraptors, is one of the best new machines in the game. Clawstriders are far smaller than some of the big boys we’ve spoken about (and will speak about) in this list, but boy can they put up a fight. They’ve got blistering agility, their melee attacks can tear right through you, and when they come at you in packs, you just know you’re in for a tricky fight.
The Dreadwing is probably the best flying machine we’ve come across in a Horizon game yet, trumping even the deadly Stormbird. There are multiple reasons for that, the most instantly apparent being the fact that their visual design, which strongly resembles that of a vampire bat, is just so ridiculously cool. Of course, their abilities in combat make Dreadwings even deadlier, from a range of elemental attacks to ones that can impose some tricky status conditions on you to make life even harder for the duration of combat.
The Tremortusk was one of the first new machines that Guerrilla revealed for Horizon Forbidden West, and we were more than a little impressed the moment we laid eyes on it. As you’d expect, the massive mammoth-like machine lives up to its fearsome look in combat as well. It’s huge, it’s fast, it can barrel through trees and buildings as it steamrolls in your direction to trample you under its gigantic feet or run you through with its tusks, and even from a distance, it can easily deal deadly amounts of damage. It instantly joins the top tier of Horizon’s most dangerous machines.
How do you follow up on Zero Dawn’s t-rex-inspired Thunderjaw? Easy- with Forbidden West’s Spinosaurus-inspired Slaughterspine. One look at this machine is enough to send quivers through your body, and sure enough, in combat, it does justice to its terrifying visual design. The biggest weapon this new machine has in its sizeable arsenal is its plasma-based attacks, but there’s plenty else it can do beyond that to take you out of the equation as well. If you’re heading into a fight with a Slaughterpsine, you’d best be prepared for a grueling encounter.
We fell in love with the massive serpentine Slitherfang the moment Guerrilla first revealed the deadly new machine in the lead-up to Horizon Forbidden West’s launch, and having now taken these beasts on in combat multiple times, we feel confident in saying that they’re even better than we had imagined they would be. That’s not just down to their excellent visual design either (though that is a huge part of it, of course)- Slitherfangs have a vast range of terrifying attacks, which they combine with their unique movement abilities to pose a tough challenge anytime you face off against them. Without a doubt, these rank as some of the best machines we’ve fought against across Guerrilla’s two post-apocalyptic games- which is really saying something.
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