The epic story of Horizon games is perhaps one of the main reasons why the games are as addictive as they are — the story is captivating, and so is the environment it’s set in. The original game saw its protagonist, Aloy, defeat the evil program called HADES and, as she thought at the time, saved the world. Those assumptions proved wrong in the following game, which revealed some of the most interesting plot twists the gaming world has seen — and an interesting cast of new characters. Guerilla Games, the series developer, reveals which Horizon Forbidden West character was the most challenging one to write.
In an interview with GamesRadar+, Horizon’s narrative director and senior writer Ben McCaw and Annie Kitain discussed some of the recent game’s crucial story points, which split the critics, and revealed which character proved the most challenging to write. It’s important to note that this report contains massive spoilers beyond this point, so those that haven’t played Horizon Forbidden West, or are currently in the process of completing the game, might want to revisit this piece at a later date. Just a precaution to avoid having their gaming experience ruined.
Throughout the Horizon Forbidden West’s narrative, we discover that Aloy is, in fact, a clone. Her original version, Elisabet Sobeck, was trying to save the Earth, while a rival group of humans, called Far Zenith, were trying to escape it. The opposing faction took a ship into space to find a faraway world to settle, faked their death, discovered immortality, and now wanted to return take back Earth. Along her journey, Aloy meets another clone version of Elisabeth, Beta, which proved to be the most challenging character to write.
In fact, according to McCaw, getting Beta right, her relationship with Aloy and desire to live up to Elisabeth’s name took many drafts, revisions, and rethinking during the write-up process for Horizon Forbidden West. The reason behind it is that Beta and her interaction with the world and Aloy are a crucial segment of the game and its emotional core. She’s the representation of problems Aloy’s facing: wanting to be like Elisabeth, trying to save the world, and wanting to connect with others while feeling isolated. She’s basically Aloy’s mirror reflection, but one that’s essentially frightened and abused, pointing towards Aloy’s upbringing and fears.
Annie Kitain, the game’s senior writer, added that writing Aloy’s relationship with Beta in Horizon Forbidden West was extremely complex, as Aloy’s trying to connect with someone who’s very different from her but feels should be the same, or at least very similar. However, she also added that, despite the challenging process of iteration, the resulting narrative feels very gratifying and that she is very excited to share those results with the players. But that’s not all.
Guerilla Games previously stated their intent to make Horizon into a trilogy, and Horizon Forbidden West has already revealed the big bad for the next game in the series. Unfortunately, Guerilla Games hasn’t disclosed their plans regarding the sequel, and its fate most likely depends on the success of Horizon Forbidden West.