Horizon Forbidden West: A Fiery Journey Unveiled

Horizon Forbidden West: A Fiery Journey Unveiled

In “Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores,” players are treated to a delectable dessert that serves as a satisfying conclusion to the main campaign. This thrilling expansion offers a dangerous new sandbox and a compelling narrative, providing a glimpse into the future of the series.

Unlike the Frozen Wilds DLC in Zero Dawn, which was a skippable side story, Burning Shores features significant plot advancements that make it a must-play experience. Set immediately after the sequel’s conclusion, this condensed tale takes Aloy to the volcanically fractured remnants of Los Angeles to confront one of the series’ most twisted villains yet. The adventure takes unexpected turns and provides a potential blueprint for the third game’s narrative. The conclusion of Burning Shores lays a solid foundation for Aloy and her allies to face the next threat, making it disappointing that PlayStation 4 owners can only watch it on YouTube. Additionally, spending more time with the Quen faction, especially with the introduction of Seyka, Aloy’s new companion, adds to the enjoyment of Burning Shores.

Seyka, a capable warrior, serves as the catalyst for the expansion’s story, accompanying Aloy throughout the journey. She embodies a more charismatic version of Aloy herself – resolute and sometimes stubborn, yet gentle and compassionate towards those in need, with a delightful sense of humor. While their bond feels slightly rushed within the DLC’s shorter runtime, the interactions between the two huntresses, such as trading humorous observations while exploring a crumbling dinosaur theme park, add depth to their relationship. Seyka quickly becomes one of the series’ standout characters, and it would be wonderful to see more of her in the future.

The islands comprising the remnants of Tinseltown are visually stunning, with volcanic lava rivers providing a striking contrast. While it would have been nice to see these molten hazards play a more integral role in gameplay, the emphasis on verticality in Los Angeles allows for greater utilization of flying mounts. Skyscrapers hide secret entrances and multiple stories above ground, enabling players to make the most of their Sunwing or Waterwing mounts. Aerial VR puzzles further encourage taking to the skies, overshadowing Aloy’s new motorized boat. Despite being the primary mode of transportation in Burning Shores, the boat’s slower speed and its reliance on docks cannot match the thrill and convenience of unrestricted flight or fast travel. Consequently, I seldom used it outside of mandatory segments.

The handful of new machines found in Burning Shores, such as the giant frog and oversized mechanical flies, may not be as awe-inspiring as some existing machines, but they offer enjoyable challenges in combat. Dismantling these foes provides valuable upgrade parts, while the search for Brimstone, a new resource used for crafting powerful legendary weapons and armor, adds an additional layer of gameplay. Fortunately, Brimstone is relatively abundant, allowing for swift acquisition of a fresh arsenal and wardrobe.

However, aside from obtaining a powerful new firearm halfway through the expansion, Burning Shores doesn’t introduce groundbreaking features that significantly alter combat encounters. Nevertheless, Seyka’s constant presence serves as a welcome aid in battles, as she proves genuinely useful by assisting in the takedown of foes or restraining them with her ropecaster. Early on, cooperative puzzle-solving adds an interesting dynamic, with Aloy and Seyka working together to construct climbing paths using a siege weapon. These sequences create the illusion of playing with another real person, though it would have been preferable to have more collaborative obstacles throughout the rest of the experience.

Burning Shores provides an entertaining epilogue to Aloy’s sophomore adventure. It offers more of what made Forbidden West great, along with a few new wrinkles, while retaining some of the previous game’s minor drawbacks, such as excessive hand-holding during puzzles. Above all, Aloy’s journey to Hollywood justifies its existence by building upon the base game’s story and setting the stage for an exciting future installment.

How to Access the DLC: To play Burning Shores, players must have completed the final campaign mission of Horizon Forbidden West. Once this is done, Aloy will receive a call on her Focus, initiating the start of the DLC. If returning to Forbidden West after a break, this event occurs immediately upon re-entering the game world.

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