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Horizon Forbidden West’s ‘Burning Shores’ DLC review: Igniting new adventures

Nadine Pacis

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Horizon Forbidden West’s ‘Burning Shores’ DLC review: Igniting new adventures

Images from Sony

If you've played 'Horizon Forbidden West,' and loved it, then this DLC is a no-brainer

Horizon Forbidden West has expanded its breathtaking world with the release of the new DLC, “Burning Shores.”

Set in post-post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, this expansion has players embarking on an exciting adventure with Aloy and a new friend while soaring and sailing in a visually stunning and equally dangerous environment. 

If you’re trying to decide if the DLC is worth grabbing, I can help you. First, you must know that this DLC occurs at the end of the main game’s story. If you’ve played the main game until the end, skip any plans for New Game+ for now.

Otherwise, I recommend you check out this Horizon Forbidden West review to decide on the main game and then come back here for the DLC. For more Horizon, you can also check out this review on VR game Horizon Call of the Mountain.

A warm but bumpy welcome to the burning shores

The DLC starts off at an uncomfortably fast pace, quickly pushing players into Aloy’s new adventures. Narrative-wise, the beginning felt rushed. And the immediate introduction could feel disorienting, especially if you last touched the game a while ago.

What follows this rough start makes up for it, though, as it’s clear that Guerilla Games wants you to dive deep into this DLC immediately for multiple reasons.

Starting with the setting, the islands of Los Angeles are a captivating sight, offering a fresh backdrop for the game’s events. And yes, you read that right: the islands of Los Angeles.

Burning Shores takes players to a reimagined City of Angels, where nature has reclaimed this world. Like usual, rusty cars and crumbling skyscrapers are enveloped by lush overgrowth, but this time with the added spectacle of lava flows and geysers, likely triggered by massive earthquakes eons ago.

The dynamic environment adds visual and practical appeal, as you can use these to damage enemies and make for fun and risky traversing. 

New allies and tribal tensions

As you embark on your new mission, you will run into the other half of a tribal camp Aloy first met in the main game. She does not precisely receive a warm welcome in this tribe, par for the course for Aloy.

Still, she makes fast friends with a talented sailor named Seyka, the star of this DLC, who is on a mission that mysteriously aligns with Aloy’s.

She becomes a great companion in your expedition to Los Angeles, and it’s seriously a shame she doesn’t follow you when you hunt for parts and restocks.

This new adventure also gives Aloy a unique depth and dimension to her character. The main game taught Aloy to rely on friends. This new DLC introduces her to navigating more personal conflicts and feelings. 

High stakes, high expectations

As mentioned earlier, the DLC starts right after the main game story and directly connects to it narrative-wise. So, without spoiling you, your arrival to the burning shores is thanks to a strong end-game lead shared by Sylens (RIP, Lance Reddick).

It’s advised that you have upgraded weapons and armor before accepting Sylens’ call. Otherwise, you may spend a fair bit of time going back and forth between the mainland and Los Angeles, upgrading your gear for more formidable enemies ahead.

Leaps, bounds, and bileguts

The DLC introduces a challenging new enemy called Bilegut, pictured below, which makes for both an enjoyable and frustrating experience. This frog-like monster of a machine is one of the best reasons players should ensure they’re well-stocked in the weapons department.

Guerilla Games certainly threw everything in there except the kitchen sink.

That said, it’s not the only new machine to encounter in Burning Shores, and it’s certainly not the most dangerous of them all.

The expansion culminates in a fight that might even be grander than the last battle in Forbidden West, with an enemy even more grandiose than the last. 

Smooth sailing performance

As expected from Guerilla Games, the DLC runs smoothly, offering both performance and resolution modes.

Players can choose between 60fps in performance mode or a slightly more graphically enhanced experience with 30fps in resolution mode. Overall, the game performs well, ensuring an immersive experience.

Looking forward to the next Horizon

So, if you’ve played Horizon Forbidden West, and loved it, then this DLC is a no-brainer. It connects well to the ending of the last DLC and lays the potential foundation for the following stages of Aloy’s life mission of saving the world.

Gameplay-wise, it has enough new challenges and small novel additions to engage you without overwhelming you. And it still can make your jaw drop with every set-piece it brings to your screen. 

Now it’s time to look forward to the next Horizon, which, according to Guerilla Games, is something we can expect soon. –

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