It’s taken over a year for Guerrilla Games to deliver the first, and probably only DLC for Horizon Forbidden West. Burning Shores, which launched last Wednesday sees Aloy travel to what used to be Los Angeles. The once sprawling cityscape is now covered in a lot of water and a lot of lava.
This new adventure sees Aloy take on a new threat and adds to Aloy’s story in very meaningful ways. It also introduces a few new characters, one of which gets very close to Aloy.
Burning Shores Review – More Aloy and More Horizon is Always a Good Thing
Since Horizon Zero Dawn, the Horizon franchise is easily in my top 5 gaming franchises of all time. Big open-world action RPGs are my thing so I was very much looking forward to Burning Shores and what it would add to Horizon Forbidden West.
I wasn’t disappointed in terms of size. The new Los Angeles region is fairly big, roughly a third of the size of the main game map. The main story was a bit shorter than I thought it would be but along with a few new side quests, there was still enough story-wise to keep me entertained for quite a few hours.
Of course, being an open-world game, Burning Shores also added quite a few other things. There’s a new relic ruin, a new cauldron, new collectables, a new weapon and of course new skills to learn. The new weapon, the Spectre Gauntlet was absolutely fantastic and I found myself blasting machines to smithereens with it. Couple that with the new skill that allows you to fire the Spectre Gauntlet while gliding and you can now attack machines and other enemies from the air.
Burning SHores also adds a new mode of transport, a skiff. I found the skiff really useful in traversing the open waters of what was once Los Angeles.
As soon as Aloy arrives in the Burning Shores she meets with a new character called Seyka. Seyka is also a seasoned warrior and it looks like Aloy isn’t the only tough cookie in town now. There is a good bit of banter between Aloy and Seyka and a bit of rivalry too, especially earlier on in the game. Just when ALoy meets Seyka, the pair are confronted with some machines. Seyka tells Aloy to stay back and that she will handle them. Aloy says she can help but I couldn’t think that Aloy was really wanting to say “do you know who the fuck I am?” “I’m Aloy, I eat machines for breakfast.”
Ultimately, Aloy and Seyka become very close and in the end, you can choose a romance option. There is also dialogue options to reject Seyka’s romantic advances but where’s the fun in that?
I love that Guerrilla added this romantic interest for Aloy to the game. And yes it has been quite controversial according to some people who have been review-bombing Burning Shores. But I don’t think it had anything to do with Aloy’s sexuality. I felt that Burning Shores had a sort of hidden theme of loneliness and the Romance and friendship with Seyka was a way for Aloy to not feel so alone anymore.
And even though you can opt out of the romance option (which leads to Aloy and Seyka kissing) the other two options still leave things kind of open but more importantly they let Aloy and Seyka know that they are not so alone.
My only complaint about introducing the romantic interest in Burning Shores is that the story was just way too short for it. Although from early in the story you could tell it was leading to the possibility of romance between Aloy and Seyka, it just felt too rushed. I think the romance would have been better introduced in the next main game where it would have had more time to develop naturally.
Sets Up the Third Game Nicely
Although the main quests and overall story content were a bit short, it was nonetheless a thrilling ride. Narratively, the story was as solid as you would expect from a first-party PlayStation Studio. Aloy takes on a Zenith, Walter Londra who has brainwashed dome Quen into helping him escape the planet on a rocket ship, which if launched would bring destruction to the land and its inhabitants.
The Walter Londra character was very well done and it was easy to draw comparisons with the likes of Elon Musk and some other eccentric people. Londra could also be likened to a few other villains from various movies and other media.
The main story quests have Aloy trying to find Londra and the gameplay consists of the usual combat, traversal and puzzle-solving that we have come to love from the Horizon games. Aloy’s pursuit of Walter Londra comes to an epic finale in a battle against a giant Horus machine.
The story also mentions the impending arrival of Nemesis, which was introduced in Forbidden West. Aloy is reluctant to tell Seyka about Nemesis at first but she ultimately spills the beans. The Burning Shores story sets up the third game rather nicely I think and although we don’t know anything about Horizon 3 yet, it will no doubt feature Seyka in a big way I would think.
Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores is a cracking DLC for the price. At £16 it adds more story, more weapons, more skills and a love interest for Aloy. It’s a fantastic addendum to Horizon Forbidden West which gives us more of the great stuff that we love about Horizon.
Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores - The PSF Verdict
Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores is a cracking DLC for the price. At £16 it adds more story, more weapons, more skills and a love interest for Aloy. It's a fantastic addendum to Horizon Forbidden West which gives us more of the great stuff that we love about Horizon.