Horizon Call Of The Mountain Review
Story And Setting
Visuals And Performance
Horizon Call Of The Mountain is a great VR game, even though it may not be the best in the series. But it’s still as solid a reason as ever to invest in the PSVR 2.
- Great Gameplay
- Sublime Combat Design
- Breathtaking Visuals
- Jaw-Dropping Setpieces
- Unappealing Story
- Repetitive Climbing Sections
The Horizon series might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I was extremely intrigued by this brand new VR game in the series, so I actively chose to review Horizon Call Of The Mountain. This game was exclusively made for the PSVR2, showcasing the hardware’s cutting-edge features with utmost grace.
- Editors Note: We thoroughly tested Horizon Call of the Mountain on PSVR2, putting just over 20 hours into its completion.
Story And Setting
Without going into detail, the game’s main setting is pretty much the same post-apocalyptic landscape we know from Horizon Zero Dawn. Right from the early going, we are introduced to Ryas, who is out and about with his fellow clan members until an expedition takes a turn for the worse. Desperate measures lead to Ryas abandoning his orders, but at the same time, allowing him to uncover the tracks of a buried evil that can threaten the lives of his people.
Without going into detail, the game’s main setting is pretty much the same post-apocalyptic landscape we know from Horizon Zero Dawn.
So our hero must now redeem himself for his actions and thus sets off on a quest to do just that while still learning the meaning behind other unturned secrets on this rollercoaster of a journey. Ryas himself is an interesting character, and his ambitious personality keeps you invested in him long enough to see his task to completion.
While most of the characters that you will meet along the way are relatively new, there are some familiar faces here and there as well. Some filler cameos are seen here and there to fill up space, but both Guerrilla and Firesprite Games wanted this to be Ryas story first and foremost.
Meeting Aloy isn’t so much of a spoiler at all since you meet her quite early on in the game, and despite her short stay, it was a feel-good moment that the narrative on a larger scale is still connected to the events of the mainline Horizon games.
Overall, though, the storytelling isn’t something that will amaze you since the game is fairly linear despite having you meet several key characters along the way. It does a great job of fleshing out the intricate and rich lore of the franchise while still introducing a unique hero that doesn’t feel too undermined in comparison to the pre-established main heroine of the series.
Horizon Call of The Mountain’s first-person gameplay is brilliantly experienced through the hardware and, in my humble opinion, easily makes it the best launch title for the technology.
You are able to wield and use the signature Bow that Aloy uses in the main games, and as someone who absolutely adores using this weapon archetype in most video games, it was certainly a treat to be able to use it with this much sheer realism. You can take on and fight numerous machines from the game in combat sequences, such as the Watchers, and even the airborne ones like Glinthawks.
There is also a wide variety of tools that you can switch to from time to time to make these encounters feel easier, such as the slings, which allow you to launch elemental bombs at enemies. The PSVR2’s controllers and wonderfully implemented eye-tracking feature make aiming and using the bow sublime, from the haptic feedback coursing through your hands to the bow precisely hitting the armor of the machines.
The PSVR2’s controllers and wonderfully implemented eye-tracking feature make aiming and using the bow sublime, from the haptic feedback coursing through your hands to the bow precisely hitting the armor of the machines.
Furthermore, the game achieves a heightened sense of realism as you use the in-game crafting system, which allows you to craft arrows manually during gameplay. To further touch on that, you will be putting together different types yourself, from putting the metal shards at the shafts’ end to attaching the fire-type ones’ explosives.
However, what seemed to impress me the most, and I hope will do for most players, was the climbing mechanics. To put it into perspective, the mainline games have this as a central mechanics, requiring players to scale multiple cliffs, ruins, and other structures as Aloy to reach places of interest and complete most sequences. So, it brings me immense satisfaction to let you know that this mechanic is fantastically implemented into this VR title.
As Ryas, you can climb and scale across multiple setpieces, from destroyed machine surfaces to vines and cliffs. It is a daunting experience for sure, one that can trigger your acrophobia within seconds, especially when using tools such as the grappling hook. It wasn’t much of an issue for me, but it only helped me appreciate more of the creative ingenuity that went into the game.
But, it is still worth stating that despite the climbing sections feeling like a spectacle, they can get extremely infuriating later, especially in the game’s second half. Despite the game continuously balancing the pace with its light-hearted moments and intense action ones, the climbing sections where you have to scale cliffs and other structures tend to overstay their welcome.
Visuals And Performance
While the graphical fidelity may not be the most impressive for anyone who loves the power provided by the Decima engine for the mainline Horizon games, the fact that this game runs on Unreal Engine 4 for the PSVR2 is a technical brilliance.
Whether it was gazing upon the monumental Tallnecks for the first time in the intro or even exploring uncharted territories, there were too many moments where I just tilted my VR headset around to look at the beautiful sights.
Whether it was gazing upon the monumental Tallnecks for the first time in the intro or even exploring uncharted territories, there were too many moments where I just tilted my VR headset around to look at the beautiful sights. Sometimes, it even made my jaw drop, like how the ripple effects from touching the river can be felt in the controllers.
Performance-wise, I saw little to no stutters or visual glitches. The game smoothly renders and runs on the PS5, but if you’re prone to motion sickness, feel free to tweak a few settings of the PSVR2, as this game can tend to trigger that a lot during some of its more intense moments. Aside from that, it should be smooth sailing from start to finish.
The appeal of the PSVR2 is significantly increased thanks to Horizon Call Of The Mountain, as the game offers a splendid array of features to showcase the technology’s remarkable craftsmanship. While a vast majority of users may be skeptical of the price tag for the hardware, the game will just about do the job of making it feel like a worthwhile investment.
The addition of Ryas as a new protagonist, in contrast to Aloy, opens up new doors for the Horizon universe to expand more than ever before. While the narrative may not be as incredibly rich as other Playstation first-party titles, there is a handful of extraordinary gameplay features present here that the entire journey just feels stupidly fun and breathtaking.
Horizon Call Of The Mountain is just merely a taste of what developers can showcase with the power of the PSVR2, but both Guerrilla Games and Firesprite have managed to set that bar at an all-time high with this title.
This has been our Horizon Call Of The Mountain Review. While you’re here, consider checking out some of our other articles.
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- PlayStation VR2 Review
- DualSense Edge Review
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- Like A Dragon: Ishin! Review
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