Over the past half a dozen years, the Horizon franchise has evolved into one of the most vital intellectual properties in the PlayStation lineup. Aloy’s captivating narrative has spanned two console generations and has made its way to the PC platform, ultimately becoming the flagship title for PlayStation VR2. However, the question arises: is it worth shelling out $550 for new VR goggles solely for such gaming experiences? Discover our thoughts in this in-depth review of Horizon Call of the Mountain.
Horizon Zero Dawn marked the beginning of an enthralling universe, while Horizon Forbidden West solidified its prowess. In the interim, Sony has announced a Netflix series, the development of a third full-fledged installment is in progress, an online edition is being crafted, and the first expansion designed exclusively for PlayStation 5 is set to make its debut in April.
Additionally, it appears that we’re even anticipating a refreshed version of the original game. All of these achievements have been accomplished within a mere six years since players first took on the role of Aloy, proving that Guerrilla Games has their work cut out for them.
The developers at Guerrilla Games are relentless in their pursuit of innovation. For several years, they have joined forces with Firesprite to create an unparalleled adventure tailored specifically for PlayStation VR2. This collaboration offers players the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of Horizon from an entirely new vantage point, and the initial impressions are nothing short of remarkable.
Horizon Call of the Mountain allows gamers to delve deeper into the fascinating realm of Horizon, providing an unforgettable virtual reality experience. With the power of PlayStation VR2, players can now navigate this rich and dynamic environment in ways they never thought possible, all while experiencing the gripping story of Aloy from a fresh perspective.
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An Intriguing Tale of Betrayal: Horizon Call of the Mountain
Sony’s newest game, Horizon Call of the Mountain, breaks from tradition as it veers away from the familiar protagonist, Aloy, and introduces us to a new character named Ryas. As the story unfolds, we encounter Ryas under less-than-ideal circumstances; he is bound on a boat, with no apparent means of escape. However, as the story progresses, Ryas regains his freedom, and we gradually uncover the game’s intriguing plot.
Ryas, the Outcast: A Kidnapper’s Redemption
Ryas’s tale reveals him as an outcast who was tasked with kidnapping the prince of his tribe. However, the newly ascended ruler chooses not to punish Ryas by imprisoning him, as there are more pressing matters at hand.
Ryas’s brother, Urid, has gone missing on an important mission, and it falls upon Ryas to rescue him. As players delve deeper into the game, it becomes evident that the situation is far more complex than merely finding and returning a missing person.
Unraveling the Mystery of Hostile Machines
Horizon Call of the Mountain might not be as groundbreaking as its predecessors in the series, but it still manages to intrigue players by weaving an engaging narrative. As Ryas delves into the mystery of aggressive machines, he sets out to uncover the reasons behind their erratic behavior.
Along the way, he encounters another tribe, which leads to the revelation of an even larger conspiracy. Although the storyline might be somewhat predictable, it effectively encourages players to explore the game’s rich and immersive world, which is the highlight of Sony’s newest release.
An Immersive Virtual Reality Experience: Gameplay and Beyond
When I first sat down to play Horizon Call of the Mountain, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be a full-scale production or a typical “experience” often offered to virtual reality enthusiasts. Sony has made a bold move by creating this extensive VR game, which boasts an impressive 7-9 hours of story content.
As players progress through the initial chapters, they can also access a challenge mode and a variant that allows them to observe the game’s metal beasts up close. However, the game’s scale does not quite rival that of the studio’s previous projects, which is somewhat attributable to the nature of the gameplay itself.
Embarking on a Mountain Adventure: The Allure of Horizon Call of the Mountain
Horizon Call of the Mountain presents players with a thrilling journey centered around climbing and exploration. As I delved into this exhilarating game, I found myself curious about how the developers would achieve balance between the gameplay experience and direct competition. To my surprise, Guerrilla Games and Firesprite decided to emphasize exploration, with duels serving as a mere supplementary feature.
The Adventurous Ascent: Ryas’ Story
The game’s protagonist, Ryas, is equipped with a range of abilities that enable her to scale walls, grasp metallic parts, and traverse vast spaces using ropes. A stamina system is noticeably absent from the game, as it would detract from the intended experience. Instead, players are encouraged to use their hands to hold onto various pieces throughout their journey.
Mastering the Art of Climbing
Climbing plays a pivotal role in the game, and it is executed exceptionally well. The innovative controllers provide players with the freedom to move their hands in various ways, allowing them to grip surfaces and catch protruding elements from different angles.
As the game progresses, players gain access to tools such as ice axes, grapples, and rope attachments, which aid in navigating new locations. Importantly, the game ensures that players are never blocked from making progress due to a lack of the right tool.
When faced with significant challenges, Ryas often suggests returning to the base settlement. This serves as a hub for players to interact with other characters, uncover additional plot information, and create equipment. The developers have cleverly utilized the controller’s capabilities to create immersive crafting experiences for players.
Unraveling Environmental Puzzles
Horizon Call of the Mountain also features straightforward environmental puzzles that require players to find and insert gears to activate elevators or use equipment to break down doors. These engaging challenges showcase the full potential of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers.
A Showcase of Controller Capabilities
The game occasionally presents players with opportunities to explore the possibilities of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers in a lighthearted manner. Players may stumble upon tables filled with dishes and a hammer, inviting them to smash the tableware, or find paints and metal parts to create their own artwork. While these moments are not essential to the gameplay, they effectively demonstrate the capabilities of the controllers.
Overall, Horizon Call of the Mountain offers an immersive and enjoyable experience centered around climbing and exploration. The game’s focus on player freedom, coupled with the innovative use of the PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers, creates an engaging adventure that showcases the potential of virtual reality gaming.
Engaging Battles and Exploration in Horizon Call of the Mountain
While venturing through the vast landscapes in the captivating game Horizon Call of the Mountain, players will occasionally encounter various machines. The primary weapon used during these encounters is the bow, which provides an exceptional combat experience. To engage in battle, players must first grasp the bow with one hand and retrieve arrows from behind their back with the other.
The intensity of combat is further enhanced by the developers’ implementation of an easy dodge mechanism, which utilizes two analog sticks on the game controllers. This allows players to swiftly respond to enemy attacks.
The battles are exhilarating, and at times, players will face off against gigantic mechs. Although the character’s movement is limited during these encounters, players can still react accordingly to defeat their foes.
Resourceful Ammunition Crafting
During combat, players must craft new ammunition using collected materials. By incorporating these materials, players can enhance their arrows with various effects, such as setting enemies ablaze or freezing them in place. This added level of customization significantly improves the overall combat experience.
Wall-Walking and Untapped Potential
While the battles are a noteworthy aspect of the game, wall-walking remains a core mechanic that could have been further developed. Horizon Call of the Mountain could have greatly benefited from the addition of more arenas or diverse battle scenarios.
Nevertheless, the game does offer a few surprises in terms of alternate paths, which allow for extra skirmishes or even more exploration opportunities. Players are encouraged to utilize their bows as frequently as possible.
In addition to the bow, the game features a secondary weapon: the slingshot. This weapon proves useful in certain situations, as it enables players to quickly trigger desired effects, like freezing enemies. Occasionally, players may also find themselves under attack and must clear their character’s vision with one hand.
An Unforgettable Adventure
Although the gameplay in Horizon Call of the Mountain may not be revolutionary, the immersive world created by the developers is nothing short of remarkable. From the onset, players are plunged into a realm of ruins and mechanical creatures, many of which form parts of the environment.
The sense of wonder and excitement this game generates ensures a truly unforgettable adventure for all who dare to embark on the journey.
Diving into the Virtual World of Horizon Call of the Mountain
Horizon Call of the Mountain, developed by Guerrilla Games and Firesprite, has been crafted with virtual reality (VR) in mind from the very beginning. As soon as players immerse themselves in the game, it becomes evident that this is not a mere adaptation of a minor title that could function on a standard DualSense controller.
The hardware expertly tracks every head movement, allowing for a 360-degree view, and encourages interaction with the game environment. The gameplay is designed to fully utilize the PS VR2 Sense controllers’ capabilities.
A Showcase of PlayStation VR2’s Cutting-Edge Features
The developers have successfully built a game that serves as an impressive demonstration of the PlayStation VR2’s potential. In the game’s menu, the equipment follows the player’s eye movements, while the entire headset vibrates during more intense actions.
These vibrations occur in response to the appearance of powerful beasts in the game, adding a unique dimension to the experience. The PS VR2 Sense controllers also include haptic vibrations that, although not overwhelming, provide varying sensations to reflect the in-game events.
Immersive 3D Soundscapes
Horizon Call of the Mountain also incorporates stunning 3D sound, which elevates the virtual reality experience to new heights. Players can feel the presence of machines passing behind them or birds soaring overhead, and simply turning their heads allows them to catch a glimpse of these creatures or adversaries.
The game constantly provides a sense of something happening nearby, creating an engaging and thrilling atmosphere.
Addressing VR-induced Nausea
Unfortunately, it is worth noting that Sony has not entirely eliminated the issue of VR-induced nausea. In the early stages of playing Horizon Call of the Mountain, I found myself needing to take short breaks due to an uneasy feeling in my stomach.
As someone who can typically complete a 12-15 hour gaming adventure in one sitting, this was a noticeable departure from my usual experience.
However, the game does offer modes that allow players to adjust camera rotation and character movement speed, which can help alleviate some discomfort. Additionally, the developers have included an array of options to further personalize the experience and enhance player comfort.
Immersive Beauty: A Journey through Horizon Call of the Mountain
Initially, I experienced a peculiar sense of fatigue as I ventured into the world of Horizon Call of the Mountain. However, within the first couple of hours, my body adjusted to the virtual environment, enabling me to play comfortably, whether seated or standing.
Despite this initial adjustment, I continued to struggle with reading the on-screen texts throughout my adventure. This title is among the few Sony games that lack complete dubbing, displaying subtitles in front of the characters instead.
Though my PS VR2 was correctly positioned and my vision was clear, the texts remained somewhat blurry, compelling me to rely solely on the English dialogue.
A Visual Feast for the Eyes: Exceptional Graphics and Scenic Exploration
Horizon Call of the Mountain truly excels in its graphics, which, alongside the gameplay, sets it apart from offerings compatible with earlier Sony VR headsets. The character models are impressively designed, the world is enchanting, and the vistas encountered after an arduous climb are particularly awe-inspiring.
The developers have clearly paid attention to crafting numerous beautiful areas for players to explore. The visual quality does decline during combat sequences, but the adaptive rendering employed during these moments ensures that the most detailed and accurate graphics are displayed where needed.
This technique significantly enhances the experience, as it brings sharpness and focus to individual elements within the scene as the action unfolds.
Horizon Call of the Mountain: The Quintessential PlayStation VR2 Showcase
As stated in our PlayStation VR2 review, “PS VR2 will be as good as the strong games that appear on the device,” and Horizon Call of the Mountain is a prime example of a title that fully leverages the capabilities of next-gen Japanese VR technology.
The game presents a captivating story that allows players to truly immerse themselves in the world crafted by Guerrilla Games for several hours. The gameplay primarily emphasizes climbing and world exploration, but a handful of intense duels are also sure to leave a lasting impression on players.
Horizon Call of the Mountain
Horizon Call of the Mountain offers a visually stunning and immersive virtual reality experience that showcases the potential of the PlayStation VR2. With a captivating story and engaging gameplay, it is an excellent addition to the Horizon franchise, despite some minor drawbacks. While not groundbreaking, it is an unforgettable journey that stands as a testament to the capabilities of next-gen VR technology.
- Immersive virtual reality experience
- Engaging gameplay with a focus on climbing and exploration
- Stunning graphics and scenic environments
- Innovative use of PlayStation VR2 Sense controllers
- Captivating story and intriguing characters
- Exceptional 3D sound for heightened immersion
- Good balance between exploration and combat
- VR-induced nausea may be an issue for some players
- Limited development of wall-walking mechanic
- Scale of the game does not rival previous Horizon titles
- Difficulty with reading on-screen texts
- Visual quality declines during combat sequences