Horizon Forbidden West will take over 60 hours to complete

Horizon Forbidden West Aloy wielding a bow
(Image credit: Sony)

Horizon Forbidden West's story will be roughly the same length as Horizon Zero Dawn's, according to the game's director.

Speaking to GamePro, Game Director Mathijs de Jonge revealed that Horizon Forbidden West's story is similar in length to its predecessor - however, the overall scope of the game is much larger. 

Horizon Zero Dawn's main story clocked in at around 22 to 23 hours (according to How Long to Beat), while it took roughly 45 hours to do the main quest plus extras, like side quests. To fully complete everything on offer in the game, players had to clock over 60 hours of playtime.

De Jonge's confirmation that Horizon Forbidden West's story will be roughly as long as its predecessor means that we can expect the sequel's main story to also clock in at over 20 hours but, with the scope of the PS5 sequel being much larger, we imagine that the time to fully complete the game - or simply to do extras - will take a bit longer than in Zero Dawn. How much longer hasn't been confirmed by developer Guerrilla Games, or by de Jonge.

Opinion: clear your diary

Horizon Forbidden West

(Image credit: Sony / Guerrilla)

While 60+ hours to complete a game is a lot, not everyone will be wanting to fully explore every nook and cranny of Guerrilla Games' post-apocalyptic western US - but it's still worth being realistic about how much time you'll likely sink into Horizon Forbidden West. 

Sure, the main story will likely take around 23 hours to complete, but the majority of players - even if not playing the game to full completion - will undertake at least some of the side quests and extras on offer. After all, why would you play an open-world RPG and not explore at least a little bit?

This means that, realistically, most Horizon Forbidden West players should probably expect to spend between 25 and 45 hours playing the game - depending on how much time you want to sink in - with those who are vying for full completion spending even longer in their bid for perfection. 

While 25 hours to complete the main story is quite lengthy (one day's worth of play), it's pretty typical of Sony first-party releases. For example, God of War (2018)'s story took around 21 hours to complete, while The Last of Us 2 took around 24 hours. It's a nice length, in my opinion, long enough to tell a fully-developed story but not too long that it can become overwhelming, arguably unlike The Witcher 3 (52 hours) and Assassin's Creed Odyssey (44 hours). 

The difference between Horizon Forbidden West comes, however, in the extras, which make for a considerably lengthier experience than both God of War and The Last of Us 2. But those extras - and fully completing the game - are optional. Guerrilla Games looks to present us with a game that, in story length, falls in line with other PlayStation exclusives. Whether you choose to further explore Aloy's world is up to you and, frankly, if Guerrilla Games can encourage you to play over 20 hours beyond the storyline, then it's done a pretty good job.

TRG has contacted Sony for comment.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.