Why is Aloy travelling to the Burning Shores in Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores?


Guerrilla Games has officially revealed Horizon Forbidden West DLC after months of rumours. In the first teaser for the expansion, titled Burning Shores, shown at The Game Awards, Aloy soars above the decaying, overgrown remains of Los Angeles. Aloy flies by well-known Los Angeles sites on a Sunwing, including the Hollywood sign, the Capitol Records Building, the Santa Monica Pier, and Griffith Observatory—ruins that have survived a terrain that has been turned into a volcanic island.

Although it is unclear how the now subtropical climbs of Southern California became volcanic in nature, it is not a stretch to imagine that a massive earthquake has caused major seismic changes to the landscape, either through natural causes or possibly by GAIA terraforming the landscape, with lava now spewing out of cracked Earth. Interesting topographical changes have taken place in LA as well; in Burning Shores, the terrain is much more undulating than it is in contemporary Los Angeles, and the majority of the former metropolis has been submerged by sea water, resulting in a network of islands that Guerrilla Games claims are fully explorable by both air and water.

In hot pursuit of a terrifying new menace, Aloy ventures to this untamed wasteland south of the Tenakth Clan Lands, according to a news release from Guerrilla Games. The DLC’s narrative continues the events of Horizon Forbidden West, and new individuals, robots, and weapons will undoubtedly appear in this perilous new setting. Although the reveal video and Guerrilla’s press release are both relatively brief, there is enough presented to gain some understanding of the potential narrative twists and turns in Burning Shores without having to rely only on speculation.

This is particularly accurate when taken into account in conjunction with a few significant data points found in Horizon Forbidden West, the major of which is a glyph Aloy scans during the side mission A Dam Shame. It’s a message from Oseram delver Gildun, who Aloy first meets in the Horizon Zero Dawn expansion The Frozen Wilds. Gildun is in need of assistance after unintentionally rerouting water at Greycatch dam, flooding Deep Din while he was within, and is described as being in need of rescue. The symbol he left behind at the location of the former Hoover Dam beside him, indicating his intention to travel south to a location known as the Burning Shores, makes reference to these activities. Will Gildun appear in Burning Shores: Horizon Forbidden West? It seems plausible, however given that he refrained from plundering the Hoover Dam’s interior out of concern for his safety, perhaps Aloy will run into a Gildun who is more aware of the dangers of plundering collapsing constructions than the hapless traveller in need of assistance in The Frozen Wilds.

Brin, the wandering Banuk shaman, is a potential new character. In Horizon Zero Dawn, Brin first meets Aloy and predicts impending storms, death, and destruction. These prophecies can be attributed to what happened in Forbidden West, and at the game’s conclusion, it is revealed that the malevolent AI NEMESIS is currently hurtling through space toward Earth on a mission to wipe out humanity. Similar to Gildun, Brin is mentioned in Forbidden West via scanned glyphs; this time, a group of Oseram travellers left them for Aloy to find. Before saying he was going to “the area of fire and brine,” which is undoubtedly Brin’s description of the Burning Shores, they had seen Brin consuming machine fluid. Additionally, during their interactions in Zero Dawn, Brin mentions running across Aloy once again in the Forbidden West.


It’s difficult to predict at this point how significant Gildun and Brin’s role will be in the Burning Shores DLC story, should they return. Aloy and her companions are now entrusted with finding a solution to halt the AI before it brings widespread death and destruction to mankind due to the oncoming threat of NEMESIS nearing Earth. Remember that NEMESIS laid the stage for Zero Dawn by activating HADES with the extinction signal, and that it destroyed the Far Zenith colony in Sirius, forcing its inhabitants to escape back to Earth in order to retrieve GAIA in order to colonise a new planet in Forbidden West. It’s possible that the tale of NEMESIS’s return to Earth and the subsequent conflict is too massive for DLC to cover. Brin may therefore hold the key to figuring out how to complete the enormous task of halting the destructive AI, with the actual fight against NEMESIS being saved for a third core Horizon game. These hints, as well as the information necessary to destroy NEMESIS, could be hidden somewhere in the Burning Shores.

That does not imply that there won’t be any conflicts in Burning Shores. No, Aloy will eventually have to face a massive Metal Devil; that much is practically guaranteed. These Horus Titans have been lying dormant on Earth for decades since Project Zero Dawn began, when they were deliberately disabled in midflight. The serviceability of the Horus Titans is mainly unknown; they were reclaimed by the environment much like LA’s famous sites. There is still life inside of their skeleton shells since the one where HADES took sanctuary still has a working computer core, and Aloy was able to draw power from the cell of another fallen Metal Devil. Given their role in the Faro Plague’s devastation of Earth’s biosphere, the reactivation of a Horus Titan might be fatal for the Earth’s newly repopulated, technologically unevolved humanity. Unfortunately for Aloy, the Horus Titan that had been dormant under the Hollywood Sign reactivates in the DLC’s trailer, indicating with certainty that Aloy and her companions will face a significant diversion as they attempt to get ready for NEMESIS’ arrival.

Additionally, Aloy can be seen wearing a Quen attire in the teaser, which strongly suggests that new equipment that Aloy may upgrade will be featured. It is entirely possible that Alva and the few remaining Quen will abandon Legacy’s Landfall in the Isle of Spires and instead accompany Aloy on her journey southward to the Burning Shores, lending their assistance in solving the puzzle on how to defeat NEMESIS while battling the awakened Horus Titan. This will happen when de facto Quen commander Bohai heads back West across the Pacific Ocean to petition his emperor for help in defeating NEMESIS at the end of Forbid The Quen playing a significant role in Aloy’s journey through the Burning Shores isn’t really a leap given that an unity of tribes hellbent on defending Earth from NEMESIS was one of the main takeaways from the conclusion of Forbidden West.

The Burning Shores DLC, which Guerrilla Games chose to create and later distribute only for the PS5, is what has generated the most controversy. Burning Shores will be an ambitious expansion, as the battle between Aloy and the enormous Horus Titan machine is probably too difficult to depict as strongly as the developers would want if it were made for both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. Of course, this decision is probably Sony’s as they look to move their first-party studios away from developing for the almost ten-year-old PlayStation 4, but it does indicate that Sony will likely make this decision.

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