Successful sequels build on their predecessors in multiple ways – think Mass Effect 2, Assassin's Creed 2, and Uncharted 2. They all improve what came before them by conjuring up exciting new gameplay mechanics, developing characters through engaging stories, and switching up mission design to offer variety. In other words, they take a solid base and combine with new elements to create more advanced bonds, much like an alloy… or in this case, an Aloy. Horizon Forbidden West does this with aplomb, building on the already impressive foundations of 2017’s Horizon Zero Dawn to tell a thrilling story full of familiar explosive combat against elaborate robotic foes and blockbuster action sequences, but also adding Witcher-like settlements to the map and filling it out with great side quests. There’s a genuine sense of exploration and loads of completely involving lore behind it all to uncover. The result is a fantastic open-world action-adventure that, despite falling into a couple of its old habits, emphatically delivers on the promises made five years ago.