Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores review : Forbidden West must be the game that deservedly won the “Most timelessly beautiful game” award last year. It was one of the best exclusives to come out on the PlayStation with its spectacular visuals and its ability to break the repetitive structure of the first game, albeit to a certain extent.
You can read our Horizon Forbidden West review before you read this one. Well, if you ask what happened to such a beautiful game, Elden Ring came out before one month passed.
Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores review / PS5
Having had the misfortune of releasing one of the best games of the gaming world (Breath of the Wild) in the same period with Zero Dawn, I don’t know what the producers of Horizon thought when they were in the same situation in the second game, but a lot of people like me left this game unfinished to play Elden Ring.
The Burning Shores DLC pack provided just the “give it another chance” gas we needed, and I’m glad it did. Not only did I get to play Forbidden West from the beginning, but I also got a chance to check out the content that the Burning Shores DLC pack brings.
Hollywood Adventure Begins
When I realised that I had to finish Forbidden West first in order to write this Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores review, I was a bit annoyed. I’m not a huge fan of the series’ combat system and open-world games are usually full of problems that annoy me. Nevertheless, I jumped at the chance and dived into the story, and I realised why the DLC pack wanted us to finish the game, there are very serious events in the story!
Without spoiling the ending of Forbidden West, the team members are dispersed to different parts of the region and fulfil their new missions. We, on the other hand, realise that one of our enemies has disappeared and set off on our flying mount towards the distant region called the Burning Beaches to find him.
When we reach the beaches that the ancients called Hollywood, a tower hits our mount and we find ourselves on the beach. After meeting a Quen tribe warrior who watches us with curious eyes and defeating enemies, our main story begins.
We already know the Quen tribe, who actually have technology but use it under conservative rules, but the new team we encounter is a little different. There is no scholar among these people, who make up a part of the original expedition that was lost in the storm, and therefore they do not recognise us.
Seyka, who welcomes Aloy, is a slightly rebellious, warrior member of the tribe who wants to save her brother. Although it is forbidden, Seyka and Aloy, using focus, start to work in Hollywood lands to find Seyka’s brother and eliminate the threat.
The story is quite short, you can finish the main story in an average of 5 – 6 hours. Since they are trying to fit too much into such a short story, the events are a bit rushed. If you’ve seen the discussions on the internet you know what I’m talking about, if you haven’t, it’s better not to know since it’s a useless discussion anyway. But I couldn’t help thinking that some events were really too fast. Still, I can say that I left satisfied. It set the path nicely for the upcoming 3rd game.
Post Apocalyptic World Beauty
When writing a Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores review, it’s hard not to keep saying “the game looks beautiful”. Forbidden West’s graphics were amazing, we travelled underwater, in the desert, in snowy mountains or in forests, but I never said “it looks so bad here”.
Burning Shores is set in a more volcanic region, so different things like lava and geysers are added to the environment. We can also use these geysers to speed up transport around the area.
Hollywood is a new region, but everything that makes up the core of the game is preserved and sometimes visually enhanced. Again, we explore the ruins and factories called Boiler and fight with new and old machines.
Among the machines, there are some that have undergone minor changes such as “water version of the previous one”, and there are completely new and dangerous big enemies. If, like me, you didn’t rush through the last missions and power up Aloy, you may see the loading screen a lot after meeting the frogs. Fortunately, the loading time is quite short.
There’s not much change in the combat system, which is bad for people like me who don’t like fights consisting entirely of bow and arrow mechanics, but I didn’t expect a big change from the DLC pack. There are new abilities in each combat tree and you can use them without going through the DLC missions.
Nice abilities such as attaching vials of elemental damage to the tip of the spear, throwing a grappling hook on the enemy, and healing while fleeing with a smoke grenade.
A new weapon has also been added to the game. The Specter Gauntlet, one of the weapons previously tested on us by Zeniths, is both a fun weapon to use and a relatively early weapon. It is both powerful and very effective in separating robot parts. Moreover, it is a fun weapon to use, especially when you upgrade it with the side quest, it becomes a very nice weapon.
There is a small improvement in the gameplay, I think it came with the DLC update, but you can correct me if I’m wrong. They had already made collecting less of a pain by turning off the trinket collecting animation, now it’s even better with the “auto-collect” feature.
The days of pressing the triangle key while running are over! This feature only works for various crafting materials and if you have space in your bag, the most important effect is that it prevents Aloy from trying to loot a nearby machine when you press the triangle to pick up a blackberry on the ground during battle.
Finally, in addition to our flying mount, we can also use a boat in the game, which is very useful especially when we cannot fly, and it is fun to use. If you ask how much place it has in the main story, how much you use it, it doesn’t have much of an event. Maybe they will include the sea in the 3rd game and we can think of this as an example.
I mentioned that I played the whole game from start to finish for the Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores review, so I can easily compare how much the DLC pack has improved visually from the main game. The already very good graphics are even better, the water, lava and clouds look amazing.
I specifically mention the clouds because the main reason why the DLC pack didn’t come to PS4 is because they wanted to make fluffier clouds. You can see the care that went into a side mission that takes place in the clouds and you think “is it worth depriving a generation of consoles of the continuation of the story just for the clouds?”. I don’t think it was worth it, and the mission wasn’t really anything special, other than the visuals.
Burning Shores is a very successful DLC pack considering its 5 – 6 hour main story, new weapon and skill upgrades, side quests and events, and up to 15 hours of gameplay. The fact that they brought some more improvements to melee combat and an impressive final boss fight are also among the pluses in my eyes.
The shortcomings of Burning Shores, which is sold on the Playstation Store, are the events that happen a little too fast, uninteresting side quests, and the fact that it is exclusive to PS5 despite being a DLC package.
It is strange that the first party Sony studio did not release the game on the previous generation with the excuse that we will make realistic clouds, and even some updates that have nothing to do with the new region.