The Horizon series continues to be one of my favourite story-based sci-fi franchises, and the latest Burning Shores DLC adds a neat epilogue to the fantastic conclusion of Forbidden West. Fair warning though, it's short — you can beat it in a day or two if you skip the optional quests.
- New weapons, new monsters, new map, and new friends
- Lots of great action moments
- Stunning graphics
- Fun new story
Burning Shores picks up right where the game left off — and I'm keeping this spoiler-free as much as I can — with the big bads dead. Unfortunately, we missed one. Our heroine Aloy travels to the area formerly known as Los Angeles — now islands with lava pouring out into the sea — to hunt down this new big bad. She meets a new friend there, Seyka, who is a Quen. As a character, Seyka feels similar to Aloy, but she's a lot closer to her “tribe” than Aloy is. Played by Kylie Liya Page, Seyka's a great new addition to Horizon lore. And I liked that her character is comfortably fleshed out by the end of the DLC.
Their adventures will take you through a vaguely familiar LA, with one iconic landmark that stands out. However, the city is mostly gone, replaced with dense vegetation and beautiful beaches. My favourite place is a dinosaur theme park, which was fun to explore. There are also new mechanics, such as geysers that shoot you up into the air, and ballistas that create climbing opportunities. You also encounter new monsters, though the majority of your combat will be against higher-level machines from the original game. There are also new weapons and outfits you can get from Quen vendors, too.
Gameplay-wise, it's mostly the same, and I quickly rediscovered my muscle memory from before. Burning Shores adds new skills, including one that lets you zip to a downed enemy to give it a critical strike. The new ultimates are also fun to use. There's a new weapon that feels fun, though you'll still mostly be using your bow and arrow. The DLC is pretty short, I beat it in around six hours or so. However, do note that my levels were quite high after beating Forbidden West. I only had trouble with the third-last boss, which took me a few attempts. If you prefer to explore, and not rush through the story, expect another four hours of play.
The overall story for Burning Shores delves a little more into Horizon's lore, and is a fun adventure with a satisfying ending. While it doesn't hint at possible storylines for a third game in the series, at least it doesn't leave any cliffhangers that you have to wait a few years for. Note that the Burning Shores DLC is only available for the PS5 version of the game. Get it from the Sony PlayStation Online Store for S$28.16.
Note: Review copy provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
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Buy from Sony PlayStation Online Store