Out now exclusively on the PlayStation 5 is the new DLC for Horizon Forbidden West. Known as the Burning Shores, this latest adventure sees Aloy head to the Burning Shores to take on a Zenith known as Walter Londra. Along the way, Aloy will meet a new group of Quen, master a new Zenith weapon and maybe find love.
I’m going to be honest with you, I was not looking forward to this. I was not a huge fan of Horizon Forbidden West. I found the story unimaginative, the combat clunky and unrefined and it coasted on its graphics, which at times did not hold up. How does the PS5 exclusive Burning Shores DLC hold up now that the team is focused on the PS5, instead of dividing the team between the PS4 and PS5?
To the Burning Shores, I guess
Honestly, it’s not great. This story about a secret Zenith that pops up feels somewhat forced. Though Londra is a fascinating figure, part Elon Musk/part L. Ron Hubbard, Londra is someone that earns your hatred. He is played well by Sam Witwer, unfortunately, the game doesn’t give him enough to do. The majority of the DLC is focused on travelling from the islands within the Burning Shores as you try to unravel what Londra is doing.
Along this journey with Aloy is her new ally Seyka. Seyka is going through a similar journey as Aloy. She has been ostracised by her tribe due to her asking the wrong questions and straying from the path. Seyka finds solace with Aloy as the two travel across the Burning Shores as Seyka searches for her sister who has fallen in with Londra.
It’s a boring story, following Aloy and Seyka feels like a CW teen drama with that level of writing. Their relationship is as inorganic as the machines they face.
Pretty in stills, inconsistent in motion
Now the game looks fantastic, and some of the scenery is absolutely stunning. Unfortunately, during my playthrough, there were several rendering issues. There were also a lot of popping-in problems as well. As I was flying around the Burning Shores, several buildings would pop in and out of existence. It took me out of the game several times.
The most annoying issue I had though with Burning Shores was the combat which has become even more annoying. This is due to the latest machine introduced to the world of Horizon Forbidden West: the Bilegut. The Bilegut is a giant frog machine that jumps all over the battlefield and even has a seemingly limitless horde of aids based on the stink fly. The Bilegut is an incredibly annoying machine. The game is not suited to this beast as it leaps from area to area. It’s infuriating as it lands on you and the camera wrestles with you to figure out what to do. It’s baffling how annoying it is.
With a lacklustre story, inconsistent graphics and unengaging gameplay Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is another disappointing entry in this franchise. It’s a shame, as I adored the first entry.