Horizon game franchise is a great story of the end of the last decade. The game that started it all essentially propelled the game-developing studio Guerrilla Games into prominence after the mixed feedback they got for their Killzone franchise. The studio developers and its executives took on the risk and created one of the best action role-playing video games in the last few years. With beautiful scenery, a great story, and a great protagonist, Horizon Zero Dawn from 2017 stood out from the rest – the Playstation 4 exclusive became one of the best-selling games in February of this year with 20 million copies.
Since then, the studio released the DLC Horizon Hero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds the same year, a sequel released in 2022, Horizon Forbidden West, and announced upcoming games that already excite the fans of this cool franchise. Horizon franchise has achieved great success, and it seems it won’t stop – this PlayStation exclusive did not disappoint yet.
How many Horizon games are out there?
At the moment of writing this article, two Horizon games are available for playing, including one DLC attached to the first game. Horizon Zero Dawn was released in 2017, and its DLC, Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds, was released in November. The most recent game was released this year, more specifically, in February – Horizon Forbidden West.
Moreover, one more Horizon project is coming soon, probably in 2023, and the game will be called Horizon Call of the Mountain – the game is being developed for PlayStation VR2 (PlayStation 5).
Horizon games in order (at glance)
Horizon franchise is fairly new in the gaming industry, and it released two huge games, one DLC, and announced a new project that will be released soon. This is the order of the games at a glance:
- Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)
- Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (2017) – DLC
- Horizon Forbidden West (2022)
- Horizon Call of the Mountain (late 2022 or beginning 2023)
We will discuss released games in more detail without spoiling anyone, mentioning their commercial and critical reactions and some new projects coming soon on our gaming platforms or TV screens.
Horizon games in order (release date)
1. Horizon Zero Dawn (2017)
Horizon Zero Dawn is the first game from the Horizon franchise and one of the most successful PlayStation exclusives in recent years. This 2017 post-apocalyptic game delighted the fans with its unbelievable scenery, characters, voice acting, storyline, and just the overall mood of a game. The Guerilla Games studio pitched the idea to Sony, whose executive admitted they were reluctant to invest in a game with a female protagonist, especially in this scenario – eventually, they let the studio develop the game.
Guerilla Games just completed the development of Killzone: Shadow Fall and the studio took on the “riskiest choice” of the games in Horizon Zero Dawn. John Gonzales, who acted as the lead writer for notable Fallout: New Vegas, was hired to write the story for the game, and boy, did they do a remarkable job.
To emphasize how much this project meant to the studio shows that the lead game studio executive canceled all other projects to focus on Horizon Zero Dawn. The game was an instant success and one of the best action adventure role-playing games in recent years.
The story is set in the post-apocalyptic United States, more specifically in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming area, in the 31st century. Humans are scattered all over the country, and humankind once again adopted the tribal lifestyle with very few high-tech tools and weapons.
Huge robotic creatures/machines peacefully coexist with humans, but the creatures become more aggressive towards their makers. The Player character and the protagonist of Horizon Zero Dawn is a woman named Aloy, who gets cast out of her tribe at birth and raised by a fellow outcast named Rost. The story catalyst happens after the incident at the beginning of the game, and Aloy needs to find out what’s happening in her home and deal with aggressive robots.
Horizon Zero Dawn could not be better for the players who want to experience a cool cinematic story with great game mechanics and scenery – definitely check it out.
2. Horizon Zero Dawn: The Frozen Wilds (2017) – DLC
This DLC was released a few months after the original game’s release; in November of 2017, The Frozen Wilds DLC expanded on the already rich storyline of Horizon Zero Dawn. This expansion opens up a region called the Cut, a place on the border of Banuk territory that you can access by the mountain pass in the game, just north of the Grave-Hoard.
The region and the quests are accessible throughout the game, but the developers advise the players to complete the DLC when they hit level 30 or higher on their character. The Frozen Wilds is a cool expansion that the fans should check out.
3. Horizon Forbidden West (2022)
The most recent game in the Horizon franchise is Horizon Forbidden West. As its prequel, Horizon Forbidden West is also an open-world action role-playing game developed by the Guerilla Games and published by Sony as a PlayStation exclusive in the February of this year.
The sequel was a success; fans and critics praised the game’s improvements in the setting, which got much bigger than the previous installment, and overall improvement in every aspect of the Horizon game. If you thought the first game was beautiful, Guerilla Games went further, and both PlayStation 4 and 5, especially the latter one, presented us with the highest graphics possible.
The cast of the voice actors is phenomenal – Angela Bassett, Carrie-Anne Moss, Lance Reddick, and Ashly Burch brought their A-game to this amazing game. The story continues after the events of the first game, more specifically, six months later, when Aloy leads her group on a quest to the arcane frontier known as Forbidden Forest to find the source of the mysterious plague that is killing all it infects.
The conflict continues from the first game, and players must work hard to complete the ultimate mission and save the already suffering human species.
4. Horizon Call of the Mountain (late 2022 or beginning 2023)
Why are we putting this game on the list if it’s not released yet? Because this game is coming out soon, and the probable date is at the beginning of 2023. Furthermore, Call of the Mountain will be the first exclusive for the new PlayStation VR set that will also come out at the beginning of 2023. The news excited fans, and this reminds us of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, one of the first exclusives for the new PlayStation 5 console.
What we know of Call of the Mountain is the new protagonist named Ryas, a Shadow Carja prisoner seeking redemption by investigating new threats looming above Sundom. Aloy, the heroine of the Horizon games, will return and appear in the game’s story, alongside some other known characters.
This is exciting news for virtual reality fans who are getting a new and improved console and Horizon fans who will get a chance to immerse themselves even more in the Horizon world.
Where to acquire the Horizon game?
Of course, all Horizon games are PlayStation exclusives and are available in the PlayStation Store. However, in 2020, the franchise’s first game, Horizon Zero Dawn, got ported to Windows and PC platforms, including The Frozen Wilds DLC. This notable game can be acquirable for PC gamers on Steam and Epic Games.
Do you need to play Horizon games in order?
From the first game, as players, we followed the story of Aloy and her journey across the post-apocalyptic United States Mid-West, her goal for survival, and ultimately saving the human race.
The game presented us with what regular humans are dealing with in the post-human world, dealing with vicious machines that became sentient and “free.” To get the full Horizon experience, you should consider playing Horizon games in the release date order, which correlates with the chronological order.
Are Horizon games connected?
Of course, all Horizon games are closely connected since we are following the same story that started in the original installment of Horizon Zero Dawn. We did get the news that the Call of the Mountain will have another protagonist, but Aloy will still have a great role in the game’s story. We cannot wait!
Will there be more Horizon games and projects?
There will be new Horizon projects in multiple media as well. We are getting ready and eagerly anticipating Horizon Call of the Mountain, a VR2 PlayStation exclusive at the beginning of 2023, and a new Horizon Netflix TV show still developing. Sony is eager for their notable gaming franchises to adapt to small screens, with God of War and Last of Us pending their release on Amazon Prime Video and HBO Max streaming platforms.
Hopefully, Netflix does a good job adapting the Horizon game and avoids the debacle they received with the recent Resident Evil franchise. Until then, follow our order and indulge yourself in the beautiful post-apocalyptic world of Horizon.