Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores Review - Flaw in the Machine


  • Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores released April 19 on the PS5
  • This expansion is set amid the volcanic ruins of LA
  • The DLC can be accessed after completing Forbidden West’s main story

Horizon Forbidden West is an action role-playing game developed by Guerrilla Games, set in a post-apocalyptic world where humans live alongside robotic creatures. The game's sequel, Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores, continues the story of Aloy, a skilled hunter and archer who seeks to uncover the secrets of the world and uncover the truth about her own past. While the game boasts many improvements and new features, there are also some flaws that prevent it from reaching its full potential.

Gameplay and Mechanics:

One of the major improvements in Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is the addition of new traversal mechanics. Aloy can now swim, climb, and even use a grappling hook to access previously inaccessible areas. These new mechanics add a new dimension to the game, making exploration more exciting and rewarding.

Combat in the game has also been improved. Aloy has access to a wider variety of weapons and tools, allowing for more strategic and varied approaches to combat. The game also introduces new enemy types that require different tactics to defeat.

However, while the gameplay has been improved, there are still some issues that detract from the overall experience. The game's AI can be erratic, with enemies sometimes getting stuck or behaving in unrealistic ways. The game's collision detection is also somewhat inconsistent, leading to frustrating moments where Aloy gets stuck on terrain or objects.

Graphics and Sound:

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is a visually stunning game, with detailed environments and lifelike character models. The game's use of lighting and weather effects creates a dynamic and immersive world. The game's sound design is also excellent, with a sweeping orchestral score and detailed sound effects that add to the game's atmosphere.

Story and Characters:

The story of Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores continues the themes of the previous game, exploring the relationship between humans and machines and the consequences of humanity's past mistakes. The game introduces new characters and expands on the backstory of returning characters, adding depth and nuance to the world and its inhabitants.

However, the game's story can also feel somewhat disjointed and unfocused. The game introduces several plotlines and themes, but doesn't always give them the development they deserve. Some characters and storylines are introduced and resolved too quickly, while others feel underdeveloped.

Final Verdict:

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is a worthy successor to the original game, with improved gameplay mechanics, stunning visuals, and an engaging story. However, the game's flaws in AI, collision detection, and story development prevent it from being a perfect game. Nonetheless, it's an enjoyable and rewarding experience that will satisfy fans of the series and newcomers alike.

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