A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Themes include fighting back against abuse of power, aiding those in need, and doing what's right in the face of adversity. Play glamorizes futuristic combat but doesn't promote violence for the sake of violence.
Positive Role Models
Aloy is strong, confident, smart. She believes fiercely in justice and equality. She's quick to take up arms and fight, but only when she sees no other choice. She shows remorse for those lost and is indignant when she sees people treated unfairly.
The hero, Aloy, is a light-skinned woman. Key secondary characters include people with darker skin tones, as well as people with East Asian features. Players can choose to have Aloy engage in a romance with another female character.
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Ease of Play
Combat is complicated and challenging, especially on harder difficulties, but since the original 60-hour campaign must be completed before beginning this DLC, most players will be familiar and comfortable with controls and systems. Players with different physical abilities can enable a variety of assists -- such as color-blind mode and automatic item pickup -- to make the game more accessible.
Violence & Scariness
Aloy fights machines, people, and occasionally animals from a third-person perspective using bows, spears, explosives, and various status-altering elements such as acid. Defeated machines explode with cinematic spectacle; living enemies bleed red blood and crumple to the ground.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Aloy can "romance" one of the non-player characters, resulting in a passionate kiss.
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Dialogue includes infrequent use of words such as "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
This is a paid expansion for the game Horizon Forbidden West.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is a distant future-set sci-fi action/adventure game for PlayStation 5. It's a paid add-on for Horizon Forbidden West and will not work with the PlayStation 4 version of the game. Players control Aloy, a strong, smart, confident woman who fights both machines and people on a quest to stop a newly discovered threat to the planet. She frequently helps people in need -- such as assisting a woman in finding her lost sister -- and has a fierce sense of justice, loyalty, and duty. Several key characters have dark skin tones or East Asian features. Aloy can "romance" one of these characters -- a woman named Seyka -- culminating in a passionate kiss. Combat is presented from a third-person perspective, with Aloy using bows, spears, explosives, and acid against both towering animal-like machines and human enemies in order to accomplish her objectives. Red blood is occasionally seen when fighting human foes. The dialogue contains a small amount of profanity, including the word "s--t."
Is It Any Good?
Consider this the cherry on top of one of the best games around. Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores delivers an engaging 15-hour epilogue to the original game that presents players with not only compelling new characters -- including the instantly likable Seyka, as well as the egomaniacal Londra -- but also a stunning new environment to explore. The remains of a Los Angeles that's been ravaged first by war, then by earthquakes and volcanic eruptions over the course of a millennium, are hardly recognizable. But the sprawling jungles and sandy beaches gently lapped by crystal-clear waves are absolutely beautiful, as are the awesomely powerful, jaw-dropping machines that casually roam between trees, over crumbling highways, and among decrepit buildings. You won't find a prettier game on PlayStation 5.
And it's mighty fun, too. New machines like the toad-inspired Bilegut test players' combat skills with challenging attacks and movement patterns, while the amphibious Waterwings provide Aloy with a new mount that makes it a lot easier to get around the map. And the new gear -- including some snazzy new outfits and face paints, as well as several new legendary weapons (such as the Emperor's Reign medium-range bow) -- delivers a satisfying upgrade to Aloy's aesthetic and combat prowess. Plus, Aloy's new abilities, like being able to grapple machines and pull herself closer in a split-second, give players new tactics to master. Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores doesn't reinvent the game that so many players have already come to love -- it provides more of what made the original so entertaining.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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