There are many, many things that make the world of PlayStation’s Horizon Forbidden West incredibly excellent. The dynamic hero, Aloy, is one. The mysterious, global story is another. But truly, the thing that I love most about the world of Horizon is all the amazing robot dinosaurs.
Now, in Horizon Forbidden West, they’re not called “robot dinosaurs.” They’re simply called “machines,” which is a much better, more accurate description, because not only are there robot dinosaurs, there are robot bears, snakes, deer, and more. But doesn’t “robot dinosaur” just sound cooler? Anyway, I’ve spent 100 hours in the world of Horizon Forbidden West battling these things. Forty were spent completing the main story and from there it’s all about side quests, upgrading weapons, finding relics, and, most importantly, killing a ton of these robot dinosaurs. It’s gotten to a point where, even fully upgraded with the best weapons and armors in the game, a few of them still scare me. Others do not. And so, I thought it was time to rank the 10 robot dinosaurs (okay, machines) that I find the most terrifying and badass of the bunch.
(Note: Two machines I disqualified are Specters and Tallnecks. Specters because they’re a little different for spoilery reasons and the Tallnecks aren’t hostile, even if they do in fact rule).
With a name like “Behemoth,” how can you not be intimidated here? Behemoths are basically like robo rhinoceros. Big, powerful, and agile—but not as big, powerful, or agile as some of its friends. They also roam in packs, which can get overwhelming.
A normal Behemoth is a level 25 and an Apex is level 40.
(Wait, what is he talking about? I’ll explain. In Horizon Forbidden West, Aloy levels up with the more tasks she does. The top level is 50. And each enemy is given a level so the player knows about how strong they have to be to battle it. I’ll continue to give these for the other machines because it puts them into perspective.)
(Also, in the game, all the machines have two versions. The normal one and a “corrupted” one referred to as Apex. Those are more vicious).
Horizon Forbidden West has a few water-based machines this time around and the biggest one is the Tideripper. It’s basically the Loch Ness Monster, if the Loch Ness Monster had a giant disc on its back that shot out deadly water.
A normal Tideripper is level 26 and an Apex is level 44.
Flying machines are kind of the bread and butter of Horizon Forbidden West (with Aloy eventually being able to fly on them herself), but the biggest, baddest of them all is the Stormbird. A Stormbird is basically an eagle if an eagle was 50 times its usual size, could shoot plasma at you, and had a cloaking device. Yes, Stormbirds can make themselves invisible. They’re very tough to beat.
A normal Stormbird is a level 27 and an Apex is level 46.
The Thunderjaw is basically the poster child for the Horizon franchise. It was in the first game, it’s back with a vengeance in the new game, and it’s still tough as hell. A Thunderjaw is kind of the closest approximation to a T-Rex in the Horizon universe, only it has massive disc shooters on its side and an ability to shoot freaking laser beams. And it’s only this low because, as you’d expect in a sequel, it got overshadowed by a few new toys.
A normal Thunderjaw is a level 27 and an Apex is level 48. So we’re starting to get very close to max Aloy ability. Kind of.
Though technically a little less powerful than the previous two entries, the Shellsnapper gets the higher ranking because it’s just massive. A robot version of a snapping turtle (obviously), it’s fully armored, super fast, and somehow feels bigger than some of the other high end robot dinos. Maybe that’s also because it burrows underground and jumps out on top of you.
A normal Shellsnapper is a level 27 and an Apex is level 42.
What if a woolly mammoth, but a robot? That’s the Tremortusk, one of the coolest new machines in Horizon Forbidden West. It looks amazing and is incredibly powerful but relatively slow compared to a few other machines. Also, I can killed an Apex with like eight arrows and the right combination of tools, so it’s not as intimidating as it seems. Still rad though.
A normal Tremortusk is a level 35 and an Apex is a level 56, making it the third toughest machine in the game.
The Frostclaw is basically a robot grizzly bear that shoots ice at you. It’s huge, it’s fast, and it’s incredibly annoying in Forbidden West because you need to get one specific piece called “Sac Webbing” from it that’s very difficult. (Hint: don’t blow up its chest.) The thing is just ferocious and annoying but really cool. Pun intended. Where’s there ice though, there must be… something else, right? Keep reading.
A normal Frostclaw is level 24 and an Apex is level 38.
By the numbers, the Slaughterspine is the most powerful robot dinosaur in Horizon Forbidden West. It’s kind of the Indominus Rex from Jurassic World as a robot: huge powerful body like a T-Rex, intelligence and speed like a velociraptor. The array of weapons it has are incredibly varied so they’re difficult to beat, but there are two machines that we think are just a tad bit cooler.
A normal Slaughterspine is a level 45 and an Apex is a level 64. As we said, that makes it the strongest machine in the game.
Snakes are almost objectively scary so obviously a robot snake would be even more so. Now make that a robot king cobra, which is what the Slitherfang is? Terrifying. And while the numbers say it’s not as powerful as some of the other machines on this list, the design, speed, and just pure intimidation factor make it one of my favorites to look at, and to fight.
A normal Slitherfang is a level 28 and an apex is a level 48.
Don’t let the photo fool you. When I was fully immersed in playing Horizon Forbidden West, only one machine scared me. There are only two places it exists on the map but every time you fight one it’s a struggle. I’m talking about the Fireclaw. A Fireclaw is like a Frostclaw, aka a robot grizzly bear, only the Fireclaw is faster, meaner, and more dangerous. It literally jumps across entire screens and lands on you with its back before burning the hell out of you. And while technically only the second most powerful machine in the game, its speed and agility make it much scarier than the Slaughterspine. Therefore, it’s our pick for the most badass robot dinosaur in all of Horizon Forbidden West.
A normal Fireclaw is a level 42 and an Apex is level 60. Aloy only goes to 50.
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