Horizon: Forbidden West was bound to get a significant DLC expansion sooner or later. Horizon: Burning Shores picks up right where Forbidden West ends and takes Aloy on a new adventure as she pursues the enemy to Burning Shores – a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Here she will have to team up with new characters, deal with new threats and cross an unknown landscape.
Compared to the Frozen Wilds Horizon: Zero Dawn DLC pack, Burning Shores ties directly into the end game of Forbidden West and acts as a story bridge for everything that follows. Still, you might be wondering if it’s worth the price of admission. With that in mind, we’ll look at its costs, our review, and how our years of experience will help you make your final decision.
Sam Hallahan’s review, “Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores Review – A Short But Slow Burn With A Climactic Conclusion,” praises the DLC’s attention to characters and story, while lamenting the lack of anything particularly new in terms of exploration or area.
As for the setting, Hallahan found the game to be a bit too familiar – too similar to the setting of San Francisco’s Forbidden West. Despite being set back hundreds of years to the present time, he found the Los Angeles area to be generally bland, a bit too diffuse, with only its volcanic elements looking particularly prominent.
I’m so glad I was proven wrong, as it’s still as hot as ever and with a fearless new character taking part in one of the most important fights we’ve ever seen Aloy face.
Hallahan praised the inclusion of a new mode of traversal – the boat – but found it somewhat pointless when Aloy’s trusty Sunwing will be reintroduced. He felt it was a waste of a fun new mechanic as he saw no reason to use it when flying was back on the table.
The story of Burning Shores picks up exactly where Forbidden West left off, giving a sense of narrative cohesion. While Hallahan found the story serviceable, he praised the introduction of a new character, Sekye, who he calls a “scene stealer”.
The relationship that develops between Sekyo and Aloy is endearing and fun, according to Hallahan, and he’s excited to see more of them as the series continues.
While Hallahan was worried that Burning Shores would be a bit of a letdown, especially compared to the series’ pedigree, he was glad he was wrong. Of the final boss battle, he notes, “It rivals the boss fights in so many other triple-A blockbusters out there right now, and sets a new bar for the biggest upcoming games of the current generation.”
Despite the shaky start, Hallahan found the DLC expansion to be worth his time and effort. While it doesn’t feel like a dramatic shift from Frozen Wilds to Zero Dawn, it found the storytelling and character building to be a major plus, and the incredibly cinematic final boss makes the game a worthy addition to the series.
Concluding his review, Hallahan praises how quickly the DLC has moved and expresses excitement for where the series can go from here. Burning Shores has some minor flaws in terms of map and mechanics, but a compelling new character and final cinematic battle make it impossible to ignore.
Like the Horizon: Zero Dawn DLC before it, Burning Shores costs around $25 and is only available on PS5. Since this is already DLC content, there are obviously no additions, either in terms of cosmetics or story content.
Of course, you need the base game to play Burning Shores. If you don’t already own Horizon: Forbidden West, it retails for somewhere between $40 and $60 – you can easily find it on sale or discounted since it’s been a while since launch.
You can also get access to Forbidden West through the “Extra” level of PS Plus “for free”. You’ll still have to pay for the DLC itself, of course.
A waste of time
According to HowLongToBeat, Burning Shores is about 7 hours long. If you’re looking for the coveted 100% completion, you can expect to spend around 15 hours in the post-apocalyptic USA.
With tons of islands to explore and the addition of a boat, you can definitely sink more than a few hours into this DLC.
What people are saying
Yes – Matt Arnold
The Burning Shores provides a very satisfying code for Horizon: Forbidden West. Players who are in it for the knowledge will find plenty of new things to discover.
You’ll barely notice that Aloy’s companions are absent thanks to brilliant new characters like Seyka and a truly obnoxious villain. From a gameplay standpoint, there isn’t much new except for some premium Legendaries.
This expansion is very plot-focused, so there won’t be any combat challenges that really test your skills. If you’ve already mastered Arena or finished the game on Ultra-Hard, you’ll likely breeze through Burning Shores with no problem.
A Small Story with a Big Payoff – Sam Hallahan
Horizon Forbidden West expanded Aloy’s story in significant and awe-inspiring ways, and while Burning Shores takes the pace a bit slower and treads on some familiar sentiments, it introduces noteworthy and soon-to-be important characters into Aloy’s life, culminating in one of the most impressive and pivotal moments in the entire series so far. For fans who love to follow Aloy and this machine-torn world, Burning Shores is a must – just don’t the majority exciting must, until the last moments.
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