“Continue destroying your characters PlayStation”: Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores review bombed over Aloy and Seyka

PlayStation fans are review bombing Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores over the DLC
PlayStation fans are review bombing Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores over the DLC's optional ending (Image via PlayStation)

Horizon Forbidden West's recently released DLC, Burning Shores, has come face-to-face with a rather bizarre controversy. Legions of PlayStation fans have started downvoting the game by "review bombing" it on Metacritic for featuring an optional dialog and an intimate character interaction between Aloy and her newfound Quen ally, Seyka.

The controversy is the result of an ending dialog choice that players can choose in the DLC's epilog, where Aloy can decide to acknowledge her love for Seyka, and both characters go in for a kiss before leaving for their own separate ways. The scene where Aloy kisses Seyka has sparked outrage among PlayStation fans who are unhappy with Aloy getting involved in a homos*xual relationship.

Musabplay wrote:

"Continue destroying your characters PlayStation, no one loves gays in games..."

From cursing the developers, Guerrilla Games, as well as PlayStation as a whole, to hurling direct insults towards the LGBTQ+ community, the user reviews for the Burning Shores DLC are filled with players expressing their outrage in the worst possible ways. All that is over a scene that is entirely optional in a role-playing game, no less.


Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is getting review bombed by fans who did not like the DLC's optional ending

For the most part, Horizon Forbidden West's Burning Shores DLC is a competent and well-crafted story expansion. It not only adds a few new gameplay innovations but also continues Aloy's story in a meaningful way toward a potential third mainline entry in the series. Guerrilla Games tried a number of new things with the DLC, some of them being quite significant.

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Tweaks have been made to the game's combat system, making it more fast-paced using certain skills that allow Aloy to use her basic tools like the pullcaster (which was relegated exclusively to traversal) as an active combat tool. Apart from gameplay tweaks, Guerrilla Games has also made a significant leap in making the game much more akin to traditional role-playing titles by offering multiple endings.

The choice of multiple endings in Burning Shores has massive implications for how Aloy's story ends in the DLC. Unfortunately, this choice of endings is what has caused a stir among the PlayStation fanbase, who took to review bombing the game on Metacritic to voice their displeasure against the optional ending where Aloy kisses Seyka.

While the game has a rather impressive 81 Metascore from critic reviews, the user reviews have fallen to 2.7 at the time of writing. This is mostly the result of review bombing by unhinged fans who disliked Aloy engaging in a romantic relationship with another woman. The Metacritic page for the Burning Shores DLC is full of negative user reviews that can be seen in the following picture.

The top user reviews for the game are mostly negative and filled with homophobic statements (Image via Metacritic)
The top user reviews for the game are mostly negative and filled with homophobic statements (Image via Metacritic)

It is sad how fans disapprove of the choice in a game that is marketed as a role-playing game, akin to titles like Bioware's Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, because it involves Aloy kissing another woman.

Ever since the release of the very first Horizon title back in 2017, fans have been asking Guerrilla Games to add meaningful and impactful choices in the game. While the developers finally did deliver multiple endings and meaningful choices with the Burning Shores DLC, the game finds itself getting review bombed by so-called fans.

Thankfully, there are others who are not bothered by the ending. They are surprised by how an optional choice can lead to users downvoting the DLC, which is otherwise a fantastic follow-up to Horizon Forbidden West's base experience.

Aloy has mostly been portrayed as a closed-off person who usually kept to herself, resulting from her upbringing as an outcast of the Nora tribe. However, over the last two games, she has slowly but surely started opening up to others, especially after the introduction of Beta, who is a clone of Elisabet Sobek like Aloy.

With Burning Shores, developer Guerrilla Games finally centered the game's story around Aloy instead of making her a plot device to run the game's grander narrative. In Burning Shores, Aloy finally gets to meet someone who she can relate to, who she can feel comfortable with, and who she considers as a perfect companion for her world-saving expeditions.

Given that the romantic interaction between Aloy and Seyka is just a choice, it is highly possible that the ending for which fans are review bombing the DLC is not even canon. Irrespective of that, it is disappointing to see such knee-jerk reactions from the gaming community, even in 2023.

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Edited by Angshuman Dutta
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