The Ginger Avenger returns! Horizon Forbidden West has come out with a DLC offering to get you back behind the bows of Aloy. Let’s dive into what this is all about and whether it’s worth the time venturing into the beaches of Los Angeles.
What’s It About?
Turns out, Aloy didn’t defeat every member of the Far Zenith group. Sylens warns her about a remaining one out near the former site of Los Angeles, known as the Burning Shores (much of which is covered in lava). One member of the group, Walter Londra, has settled there and is acting as some type of god for the local Quen tribe. Londra is likely planning something around Nemesis’ arrival to Earth and Aloy needs to figure out a way to stop him.
After flying down to the Shores, Aloy develops a friendship with one of the Quen marines, Seyka, and works with her to uncover the secrets behind Londra’s work and help the local Quen in the process. Naturally, along the way, Aloy encounters new machine and human challenges and has the opportunity to grow a set of attacks, weapons, and skills.
Why Should I Care?
Burning Shores continues the great work that Forbidden West put into place and gives Aloy a renewed reason to do what she does. That’s what makes it so good.
The relationship you inherently build with Seyka shows a different side of Aloy and gives her new ways to approach what type of savior/leader she wants to be. Sekya is a strong presence that doesn’t necessarily let Aloy get away with hiding things. By the end, they’re working incredibly well together and the relationship strengthens. You even have the ability to move things into romantic territory, much of which feels incredibly natural because of how the interactions were handled throughout the DLC. It’s not a major focus, but doing so does help put the story into perspective for Aloy.
Beyond that, the DLC offers plenty of new things to experience along the way. At first, it didn’t feel like that. The pacing felt geared towards just having you complete the several missions that are a part of the core DLC story. I wasn’t sold on it being more than a glorified mission. But about halfway through, the land really opened up. You got to explore more, and side quests/jobs started popping up more frequently to make things more balanced and extend the time you’d want to spend with Burning Shores. I especially liked how the sky and sea were built into what you could do. I liked flying around on one of the newer machines, the Waterwing, because it was fast and I was able to access different collectibles and quests with it, but I was also able to dive into the water and find other resources.
I also found the machine and human enemies to be notably more challenging, which at least made things harder to get through. There was more ferocity in the attacks, particularly with limited space to move around, and, for most of the story time, a tower shooting at you to keep you within a given area. It made going back to the Forbidden West area kind of easier when I wanted to upgrade my weapons and armor because I was able to rip through even Apex machines with relative ease.
However, it’s hard to say whether this had to be PS5. Some of the processing for the fights may dictate PS5-only, but I’m not sure. Most of it seemed to be as crazy as things got when I played originally on PS4. I can sympathize for those who want to play this, but can’t.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
The Burnings Shores packs a great punch for the $20 you’d be spending on it. It may take a little while before you really start seeing the offerings, but it’s definitely worth the time. Transparently, the review is a day or two behind because I just kept playing the DLC to complete another mission and upgrade my weapons.
It will also give you some solid Horizon time before we get the inevitable sequel. And with no Elden Ring coming out immediately after this DLC, that could be even more reason to give Horizon another look with Burning Shores.