Today, Guerilla released a new story trailer for the upcoming Horizon Forbidden West. Aloy’s new adventure takes her into the Forbidden West, as she and her companions search for the answer to a world-ending blight. The trailer showcases and highlights some of the new and returning characters that Aloy will come across during her new journey. Varl and Erend from the first game Zero Dawn will accompany Aloy into the frontiers of the Forbidden West. New allies that will help Aloy include Zo, Alva, and Kotallo. The trailer also highlights some of the adversaries that Aloy will have to go up against, Sylens, a character who was also in Zero Dawn, and Regalla, the leader of the group she was fighting in the first gameplay demo.
As Aloy ventures into the mysterious frontier of the Forbidden West, she will face a storm of new threats… and the only way to survive is to rely on her companions.
— Guerrilla (@Guerrilla) January 19, 2022
Guerilla has said that part of Aloy’s journey in Forbidden West is her realizing that she can’t save the world alone, she needs help. With that in mind, Guerilla decided to bring back some characters that Aloy will get to know on a deeper level. Talking with IGN, Senior Writer Annie Kitain said “We have the Blight and Regalla’s rebels and Sylens’ machinations, so she’s up against all of these threats. But as we hint at in the trailer, she really can’t face that alone and she needs to rely on her companions to get through that. You have this epic adventure that she’s on, but we also wanted to make sure she has these connections and forms these new connections with characters that she meets throughout the game.”
Compared to the first game, Erend and Varl will play a significant role in the game. Ben McCaw, Narrative Director, in an interview with Game Informer, said “The amount of time you spend with particular companions will be affected by your particular playthrough. But we can confirm that Varl and Erend are people that you encounter pretty early in the game, and you spend a lot of time [with them].” Guerilla also talked about how Aloy and players will see a lot more of Varl this time around compared to the first game. “Varl, at the end of Horizon Zero Dawn, he like many others in the Nora tribe, sees Aloy as the anointed – a figure from their religious beliefs,” Kitain said. “So he feels this duty to help her just from that angle. But more than that, he’s someone who got to know her in Zero Dawn, and he’s really worried about her as a person, and the burden she faces as she heads out into the Forbidden West.”
Guerilla also teased some of the new characters that Aloy will encounter. Kotallo is a fierce and loyal warrior from the Tenakth tribe. According to the devs, his story is very personal and closely tied to Aloy’s own journey.
Alva is a new character that comes from a mysterious tribe Aloy will encounter. She will be played by Shameless’ Alison Jaye. McCaw describes her as “bright and curious, but a little unsure of herself. When we were developing that character, we were looking for a blend of knowledge and innocence, and we were pretty happy with the result,” McCaw explained of her creation. “Then we saw some of the concept art for the character and we were like, ‘Oh, this is great.’ And then Alison Jaye got cast and she just blew us out of the water. It’s a great performance; it’s funny, it’s a bit tender, and she’s just a great character and there’s no way that fans aren’t going to like her.” “She’s brilliant and she’s curious, but she’s a little unsure of herself. And her role in the tribe is to help interpret the ancient past. So, that’s something Aloy will learn as she meets her and gets to know her,” Kitain explained.
Zo is from the Utaru tribe. Kitain says “she’s a grave singer, and she has a bit of tragic past.” Another new character that we see in the trailer is named Tilda, who will be played by Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix, Momento). “She is a mysterious and complicated character with a special connection to the ancient past,” Kitain says. “She’s someone who we look forward to players unraveling the secret of what she’s all about.”
Regalla, who will be played by Angela Bassett (Black Panther, What’s Love Got To Do With It, Malcom X), is a rebel leader with a dark side. She seeks to slaughter all those who have wronged her and will kill anyone who gets in her way. “Regalla is someone who’s driven by hatred, specifically hatred of the Carja tribe, and she’s willing to burn down the world to get the kind of vengeance that she wants,” McCaw explained. “And she’s going to plow through anyone who gets in her way…From an emotional perspective between Aloy and Regalla, it’s an unstoppable force and immovable object.” “She’s deadly,” Kitain says. “She has this army of machines and rebels. And she really is driven by this hatred for the Carja tribe. She’s bent on this sort of destruction towards that tribe and she’s really willing to basically burn the world down to get the vengeance that she wants. And one of the things that Aloy will have to discover as she’s going into the Forbidden West is Regalla and her ability to override and control these machines, how that is connected to her own mission to stop the Blight.”
The teaser trailer reveal released during the PS5 Showcase featured a quick cut of Slyens, a character everyone met in Horizon Zero Dawn. He was someone who forged an alliance with Aloy in order to get what he wants. As we learn in this new trailer, he is revealed to be the one who teaches Regalla and her army how to override machines. “Sylens, he’s always a man of mystery. In Zero Dawn, he was helping Aloy make her discoveries, but in the Forbidden West he really does have his own agenda and his own plan,” Kitain said. “A lot of that we’re really excited for players to discover as they go through this journey, but part of his plan does involve helping Regalla… why exactly he’s doing that, that’s the mystery that we can’t wait for players to find out.” “Sylens always has a plan and that plan is never quite what you think. That’s how it was in the first game and that’s how it is in the second game as well,” McCaw added.
Horizon Forbidden West releases February 18, 2022, for PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4.