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Horizon Forbidden West Review Bombed After Aloy's Big Burning Shores Kiss

This article contains spoilers for "Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores."

"Horizon Forbidden West" was adored by critics when it was released last year, but its reception wasn't universally positive among gamers. Surprisingly, there was a great deal of backlash directed at the game's reworked design for the series' lead protagonist, Aloy. Now, a similar fate is befalling the game's new DLC, "Burning Shores." The new chapter is being review bombed by players upon completion of the campaign, but the reasons why vary wildly between the angered parties.

The most vocal complaints stem from the DLC's introduction of a queer romance at the very end of the game. The story culminates in a kiss between Aloy and her companion, Seyka, seemingly confirming the long-standing fan theory that Aloy is a lesbian. Since the reveal, a large contingent of the "Horizon" fan base has logged into Metacritic to blast the game and developer Guerrilla Games for the plot point. 

Some of these user reviews have accused Guerrilla of trying to force some kind of "agenda" on players, while others feel that the move feels redundant after featuring a lesbian lead character in "The Last of Us' games. We won't be reproducing those comments here, as many of them feature much more heated language, but Metacritic's User Score for "Horizon Forbidden West" has tanked since launch, sinking to a low of 3.2 as of this writing.

Aloy's kiss has been divisive, but it's not the only thing

Of course, not everyone has been angered by the character development seen in "Horizon Forbidden West." A number of fans and outlets have applauded the decision to make the preceding game's subtext much clearer, though some have expressed disappointment that this reveal was relegated to a dialogue option in a DLC chapter, rather than put in the main game. Some fans were happy to see the introduction of new romance for Aloy, but felt that the overall story was a bit rushed.


On that note, it should be mentioned that the kiss between Aloy and Seyka hasn't been the only thing in the DLC to disagree with fans. A number of players have also expressed their disappointment with the runtime of "Burning Shores." The whole campaign can be completed in around four hours, which isn't sitting totally right with some of the folks who paid 20 bucks to explore the obliterated ruins of Los Angeles.

Despite the backlash to this latest piece of the story, Guerrilla Games appears to be undeterred. In a recent update to the company's website, in which Guerrilla announced a number of personnel changes, the team noted, "We have full confidence in our new leadership as they steer Guerrilla towards a bright future, expanding the world of Horizon with Aloy's next adventure and our exciting online project."