Gameplay footage allegedly coming from an early build of a multiplayer version of Horizon Forbidden West popped up on the Internet on Friday.
Revealed in a Reddit post made by user BirdonWheels that has since been locked by a moderator, the footage shows a variety of much more cartoonish characters than Horizon protagonist Aloy and her ilk, although the environments, mechanical beasts, and character movements are reminiscent of Horizon's graphical style. Images of Aloy and the Horizon logo appear in the menu screens, suggesting the legitimacy of the video footage.
The video runs more than 12 minutes long and showcases a variety of character models of different shapes, sizes, and genders in both basic and combat oriented movements. It also showcases a mode with sliders for categories like Facial Expression and Body Pose — likely a developer tool — and sweeping shots of the landscape, with some textures clearly needing finishing, which also lends credence to the claim that this is from an early build.
General reaction to the video has been positive, with many commenters expressing their anticipation for an open world, multiplayer, Monster Hunter-style game set in Horizon's iconic dystopian future world. But although multiple people responding to the posting praised the variety of character models shown, there were also plenty who complained of their less-than-realistic features and proportions, with several comparing them to the models used in Fortnite. Still others pointed out that, according to the leaker, this footage is from an early build, and if the project is legitimate, the graphical style is likely to improve significantly as development progresses.
Released last February, Forbidden West is the second game in the Horizon series, following 2017's Horizon: Zero Dawn. Based on reports released nearly a year ago, developer Guerilla Games had originally intended for the sequel to be a co-op experience. However, since its release, Forbidden West has been a solely single-player action RPG experience, though the attention generated by this supposed leaked footage seems indicative of the hunger of the fan base for a multiplayer version to come to light.
The Horizon series is set to enter an even more mainstream form of entertainment in the form of a live-action television series helmed by The Umbrella Academy creator Steve Blackman. Forbidden West held a high spot on many people's lists of top games of 2022, including ours, where it ranked third overall, falling short of only Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok, so the market still seems plenty fresh for more Horizon content.
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