PS5 Review: Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores

Should you dive into this Horizon 3 prelude?

Travel beyond the Forbidden West as Aloy’s story continues. Encounter new machines and a compelling new story. South of the Tenakth Clan Lands, millennia of volcanic eruptions and violent seismic activity have carved the ruins of Los Angeles into a treacherous archipelago. Experience the next chapter of Horizon Forbidden West as Aloy pursues a sinister new threat to the planet, hidden among these dangerous, untamed wilds. The Burning Shores DLC contains additional content for Horizon Forbidden West, including new characters and experiences in a stunning yet hazardous new area. To enter the Burning Shores, you must complete the main quest (up to and including Singularity) in the PS5 version of Horizon Forbidden West. Following the main quest, the player will receive a call over Aloy’s Focus, beginning the DLC.

The Horizon series continues to impress both critics and players alike. The sequel has sold over 8 million units already and ultimately, the series stands at over 32 million units at the time of writing. Inevitably this resulted in this “Burning Shores” DLC, which pushes the series forward even more with plenty of new content and sets up the third game, which at this point is more or less confirmed.

Burning Shores takes you to the ruins of Los Angeles as Aly discovers a new threat. The DLC is only for the PS5 version but this has seemed to work in Guerrilla’s favour as they aren’t constrained by the old tech of the PS4 any longer and it definitely shows in this expansion. It does make me wonder how greater the launch of Forbidden West would have been if they had just focused on a PS5 version, but it is still an amazing game in its own right, I reviewed it back last year and was seriously impressed with it.

There has been unfair criticism with the DLC as it gives Aloy romance options with a new female character, but it is an optional choice and there’s been plenty of hints at Aloy’s preferences over the course of the two games. I say to each their own but homophobia has no place in this industry or anywhere else for that matter so I suggest those with that mindset should stay clear of this and any other games that may upset their fragile minds. Ahem, anyway…moving on…

The DLC itself has plenty of epic battles and surprises along the way, but it is on the short side in terms of content. As breathtaking as LA is, I did find to run out of things to do in it after a while. It’s a bit of an unfair critique for a DLC that only costs £16 but I just loved what I saw and wanted more reasons to explore once I had mopped up everything.

The Verdict

Horizon Forbidden West – Burning Shores is a superb expansion that essentially acts as a prequel to the inevitable third game in the series. It pushes the story further and develops Aloy’s character, while giving an amazing visual spectacle to explore in the ruins of LA. I just wish my time in the City of Angels…

Score: 8.5