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I finished Horizon Forbidden West and it's just like [redacted] Spoilers inside.

Mass Effect 2. Holy shit was this game basically Mass Effect 2. From its focus on recruiting and preparing a team for a final rush against a big bad enemy, to the aesthetics of the Zeniths to its final reveal of an enemy that is more or less just the Reapers.

Now don't get me wrong, I like Mass Effect 2, so this is not entirely a criticism. I would also say that one major aspect of Mass Effect that is missing is its focus on dialog choice and morality, though Forbidden West does give you a couple important binary choices that influence the story. I don't really know why they do the "brain/heart/fist" dialog choice thing, which crops up like three times in the game, has zero impact outside those specific choices, and just makes me wish I had more control over Aloy's choices and personality, but to be fair Aloy is a better formed and more relatable character than Shepard so there are some advantages.

And of course Horizon's combat is way better than Mass Effect's and its crafting system is more refined etc... It's not a clone but it does seem heavily inspired.

But at its core this is basically the Mass Effect 2 story crossed with a little bit of Mass Effect 1. There are even more parallels in the cycles of the reapers and the fact that Gaia rebooted multiple times. The way that the different tribes line up with the Mass Effect species, The constant scanning of planets. Okay we've learned at least a few things in game design since the early 2010s.

I know I'm not the first person to draw this comparison but it seems pretty conscious to me. From the fact that spectres look like reapers in some ways to the fact that they're called spectres, which seems like a pretty obvious homage. It really came through strongly to me as the game came together. Modern Humanity is like the Protheans, having left ruins and facilities that future humanity relies on. The base is a lot like the Normandy except it doesn't move. Sylens compares to the illusive man, including both being played by famous actors, though obviously Sylens is a more active character with more give and take.

I don't know. This blog is a little all over the place but it really stood out strongly to me by the end of the game and none of my friends have played it yet (and the one friend I know who is planning on playing it never played Mass Effect.)

I guess what I'm saying is that just like Aloy I am lonely and misunderstood. Unlike Aloy AND Shepard I am not trying to recruit anyone for a suicide mission, I just want you to read my terrible blog.