If you’re still playing Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores, or plan to play it at a later date, we’d highly recommend you close this article before progressing further down the page. We’ll be discussing spoilers for the final moments of the expansion below, and we don’t want to ruin the experience for you, so you’ve been warned.
Warning: Spoilers Will Follow
Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is an excellent DLC, as we already outlined in our review, but it actually includes a key piece of character development for protagonist Aloy. Those who’ve played both Horizon Zero Dawn and its sequel will be familiar with the character’s stoic, disinterested personality – but during moments of the DLC, she displays real emotion.
Most of this stems from her relationship with new character Seyka, which it becomes increasingly clear mid-way through she’s developing feelings for. The plot actually gets a little bit teen angsty, as the redhead’s notorious monologues ponder whether she should be feeling nervous around her new ally and so on.
It’s clearly telegraphed where things are going, and in the penultimate scene Seyka reveals that she wants to be with Aloy. This prompts a dialogue decision, where you can choose to either kiss her or tell her it’s not the right time. All of the responses are somewhat romantic, and even if you decide against playing tongue twister with the Quen marine, it’s still implied there are feelings there.
This is obviously a bit of a surprise, because Aloy has come across fairly asexual in previous instalments. There are a number of characters who attempt to flirt with her, specifically in Horizon Forbidden West, but she shows a complete lack of interest. That changes in Burning Shores, where we finally see her display some vulnerabilities.
In our opinion, the relationship feels a little rushed – almost like Guerrilla Games couldn’t wait for the inevitable Horizon 3 to give fans what they want. But it’s clear that this unexpected twist will have a huge impact on the story in the next game, as we fully expect Seyka to become a part of the party and play a massive romantic interest in Aloy’s life.
As someone who was never really able to get into this franchise I think their decision was really cool. And I do hope to come back to horizon one day and enjoy it more
Not to get too preachy but it’s nice for people to be able to see themselves in fictional characters. Like for many people it dosen’t affect them because thier straight but that’s not who this is going to make exited and it dosen’t really hurt anyone so I only see this as a positive. In fact if your actively upset about this it’s a you problem.
Now for horizon as a franchise one of my biggest issues with it is the game dosen’t have a lot of fun character interactions so the idea a horizon 3 could have the whole game be done with an npc companion that has an emotional relationship with aloy is something that would bring me back
I always thought she was fairly fluid with her flirtations in the other games. Makes sense given it’s the future. That does mean though that Horizon and TLOU have confirmed LGBTQ+ leads. Plus Kratos is Spartan. We all know what went on in Sparta.
I'm not talking about it I'm only 5 hours in, just got my flying mount back, but can't you put 1 of those "click on this to see the spoiler" thingies over that pic tho? I already saw it on twitter, Twitter: by the spoilers, for the spoilers, but some people may have not. I mean I know people on here who were waiting for this to release before even starting the main game. 🤷♂️
And, ya know, all those people Sony and GG bent over who paid $60 for the PS4 version of the base game and now CAN NOT EVEN PLAY THIS!! 🤑
Well that, and people who see it may force you to close down the comments in like an hour, b/c people. 😝
Ok I'm done, gonna look for Mandalorian spoilers, haven't even started season 3 yet, it's a minefield out there. 😂
@nessisonett "with her flirtations"
Having played 2 games now I always felt like she was polite to everyone but so self hating b/c she was an outcast and wasn't born, but grown, that she never really lead anyone on. I'd say the closest was the sun king young swarmy attractive man that he is, but even that felt more like "he's the king, I better be nice" to me than actual sincere flirting.
I mean she's Aloy, young, attractive, ginger, what's not to like, but considering she could have slept w/ anyone and everyone in the games she wanted to - I vote for the Oseram woman always buying her drinks - I always viewed her as more of an asexual or aromantic, whatever the nomenclature of the day is, more than bi.
If she was "in love" w/ anyone it was Elizabet Sobeck, who she is, which even she seems as really odd and weird, so she shuts it down. I mean I think it's why she hates Beta so much, she wants to love her but she's so weak and whiny.
Yeah, I know, I've given this WAY too much thought. 🤣
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"This is obviously a bit of a surprise, because Aloy has come across fairly asexual in previous instalments."
This has always been my head canon for Aloy. I liked Seyka and all, but her relationship with Aloy wasn't developed nor convincing enough to change my mind. I'm glad they gave people a choice in the end.
However, I hope Seyka is in Horizon 3, because she's far and away one of the more interesting side characters in this series. I'm also surprised this article doesn't mention the unintentionally bittersweet little send-off Reddick's Sylus gets in the epilogue.
@Dalejrfanfreak so much ignorance in a single post.
I'd choose "it's not the right time". I always skip and try to avoid romance sequences in games, no matter the sexual orientation, straight or gay. But that's just me, I'm weird.
@nessisonett I actualy like her distant nature in the main game. I don't like romance in my games.
Yeah and everyone's a fan of HFW all of a sudden because there's no Elden Ring in sight.
Amazing game, althought I can't stop thinking almost all the characters created on ps4 are somehow inclusive. Atreus and Nathan's Daughter might be lgbt too. No problem with me. Doesn't add or retract a point from a game. It's just interesting they are kind of going the Disney route.
I'm completely on board ever since the beginning in Zero Dawn Aloy has always had more chemistry with all the female NPCs than the males. She always seemed to me to be really detached or yeah ok bud 🙄 when a male NPC flirts with her whenever female NPCs flirted with her she was way more accepting and at times felt slightly flirty back so I've thought she was a lesbian since the first game I just felt like she didn't know how to handle affection from others via her outcast upbringing. I felt one of the arcs she went through in FW was her learning that she doesn't need to do everything on her own and that she can open up to others even the end of Talanah's quest arc sets things up softly when she gets all embarrassed and slightly put out discussing romance saying oh I don't know about that stuff and then Talanah says don't worry you will in time. Overall I'm happy with this it made sense to me and I absolutely love Seyka she's a wonderful character and her and Aloy make an adorable couple ^__^❤️❤️❤️ hopefully they can become a video game power couple like Nate and Elana ^__^
@Dalejrfanfreak I see your criticisms. They push their narratives and whole gay agenda excessively. Tho since it's a game I guess it's up for the player to decide what they want to do and what relationships they want to have in game.
In all, we should have choices of our own to decide what we want the characters be. If someone wants a gay character let them have it, if someone wants traditional relationships let them have it too. Why force just one narrative.
@Bamila in what way is it "forced" or "pushing a gay agenda" exactly in your opinion?
Well one of the good things about Aloy being a lesbian is that at least one half of the couple can be attractive now.
@jimbouk he has a right for opinion. Why do you get offended by his take? I think mods should just lock comments, since it's apparent people can't discuss nicely without swearing on topics like these.
I haven't gotten around to the DLC yet, and likely won't for a while, but...
Not my headcanon lol.
I ship her with Erend. He's a true bro, and I admire his tenacity.
I’ve not played HFW, but I did get spoiled on Twitter about this moment.
I did think Aloy wasn’t interested in men & for those that have a problem with it, there’s an option to avoid that moment.
It’ll be interesting if it becomes the canon & becomes a part of her character moving forward or if it’s like Mass Effect where you get to choose.
Personally I’d like a defined character as you lose something in story telling with choices.
I’m not surprised that Aloy is bi/gay much like Ellie, that’s a testament to the studios developing a character. It doesn’t feel forced.
It's difficult to get romance in video games right, but the most organic example I can think of is where Snake hits on and scores with Naomi and Mei Ling over the same conference call inside the first 10 minutes of Metal Gear Solid.
Well I have nothing against Aloy having feelings for someone of same sex, doesn't get in the way of the robot dinosaur hunting!
Does seem though that every female lead seems to be lesbian though these days...and yet no gay leading men really.
Why is everyone spoiling this scene it's only been a few hours.
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@Sil_Am So as long as you can sexualize it its ok. Alright...
@naruball He's kinda right about "the message" being imposed in these games. Imho opinion, the western civilisation is very accepting of any sex orientation already.
They should push other "messages" in games, most important one is to make peace, not war. Killing eachother is a far worse offender to humanity.
Its been pretty clear Aloy is gay especially as Elizabet was. I'm just glad its finally been confirmed.
I didn't feel it was that rushed tbh, it was built and executed well at least to me. For Aloy as a character and the growth she's had up to that point in the story it made the most sense to do it here. But kudos to Guerrilla for doing what they want to do. Though obviously they're probably going to get backlash or weird "outrage" from certain types of people which is always unfortunate. But still, thank you Guerrilla 🤘
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I’ve been spoiled by two major things on Twitter the last couple of weeks: this, and a major moment in Succession. Decided to delete my account because I’m sick of spoilers there (got spoiled for TLOU2 as well in 2020). Here’s to a better life!
@wiiware Very good point about the Mass Effect mode. That's how it should be done, options with coresponding consequences.
@wiiware ‘Normal’ man/woman relationship? How ignorant can you be?
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If I had a nickel for every Playstation protagonist that came out as a lesbian in a DLC... I would have two nickels, which isn't a lot but it's weird that it happened twice
@wiiware In your country, gay people live in fear of persecution. They exist in every country in the world, in some they live freely, in others they’re executed. It’s just basic common sense to realise that numbers of LGBTQ+ people is a percentage of worldwide population and it’s only a fluctuation of people in different countries that can freely live as themselves. Only in 2017, two young men were caned in public for being gay in Indonesia. You’re essentially saying that’s just a cultural difference and not something worthy of condemnation. Human rights aren’t an opinion.
I didn't take her for being the type to be in a relationship or have romance but instead just a very strong independent woman out in the wild saving the world. She just didn't seem the type to settle or even have time for that.
But if she did then I thought it was best left to the players imagination how we want it as we have seen before there was a closeness to both ways depending on the options we picked. The actual kiss itself came off a bit like it was a forced last minute decision to show support rather than making the game as they wanted (with the love option, just no actual kiss yet until another main game). Especially with prides month coming up. If it was the intention then i think the final Horizon game would have been the best place for such a reveal. Sony's games have been coming off a bit too samely lately taking too many ideas from each other from gameplay to character stories. It feels like they are afraid to offend people so they play it safe by keeping them similar rather than making games like they used to.
I like to see things being changed up and let the writers decide what suits their story. In Uncharted we had Nate and Elena, In TlOU we had Ellie and Dina. And now we have Alloy jumping into Ellie's spotlight rather than being just seen as the independent woman that needs no man/woman, just someone out to save the world. I thought Ellie's had the better moment. Aloys just felt forced.
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Of course she is..
Aloy was never flirty in the other games, and they went with one of the most bland characters in the game. Feels kinda rushed to get those browny points.
Would've been way better to have her with other characters that she had way more interaction with (looking at you Talanah)
Does she talk through the kiss & tell her partner how to do it properly? Its not canon otherwise!
But, more importantly... who cares? Why are we so focused on this stuff these days? Are we really that bored? As Playstation fans, that is quite possible.
@Bamila yeah some people aren't getting the fact that regardless of your narrative choice the result is basically the same therefore not making it optional. Reminds me how some were upset over the AC Odyssey dlc shadow heritage.
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I thought it was cute. Aloy been kicking so much ass and saving humanity she deserves to get some.
I think the ship has already set sail on her being gay simply because there have been two games already to establish that and writing articles and wishing on it doesn't mean it's going to be true
Welp time to dust off the PS5. Honestly I am stoked. I never understood the asexual comments when the way she reacts to others made it obvious she was a lesbian. I say this considering I only played half of the first game due to backlog hell. You don’t have to wave a flag to be a homosexual or throw yourself at every member of the same sex to be willing to act on it. Most of us are the ones people project their own sexuality onto and assume we are hetero until we say or so something that makes it obvious we are not. Now if someone argued she was celibate then sure I could agree with that. She had bigger fish to fry and usually worked alone (growing up an outcast doesn’t help) but she is also a young, healthy woman and apparently spends a lot of time with this new character. New character is also an attractive young woman…not surprised at all at this development. I’m willing to bet if she had been hetero but just as alone up until now there would have been no objections about her falling for someone even from those that thought she was asexual. Homosexuals exist. Get over it. Or just remove romance from gaming altogether.
@Futureshark Good point very well made!
Cool. The way I see it, it's 2023. The whole "gay forcing things agenda" was such a 2004 argument. Also find it weird to just assume a lady character that doesn't reciprocate any of her immediate male comrads' affection or flirting automatically means she prefers to be eternally single and "strong". She just happened to not find the right person yet.
Aloy literally was ostracized from birth from her appearance and then was immediately worshiped as soon as she proved herself against all odds like a flipped switch. Then in FW after going off she formed a wall that her allies were patient enough to show her that she doesn't have to be alone. So it's a natural progression that she would open up to someone now. Also, she was cloned from Elizabeth who was in a relationship with a woman so I guess the preference was also cloned.
I expect in the sequel those who didn't play the DLC will have the same reactions to Aloy's preference. Just like those who had a problem with Ellie's in TLOU2 despite Left Behind DLC already confirming it since PS4 owners can't play this until they get a PS5.
Can we maybe focus on the AI Monster coming to destroy the planet instead of "oh look, I'm gay now"?
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I went straight to making this comment without reading the article or other commentary to say this:
What is wrong with people and websites spoiling the crap out of entertainment media such as games and TV?
Why were there articles about Picard finale Thursday morning?
Why are there articles discussing the ending of a DLC that's been out for 24 hours?
May have been a tiny bit rushed, but it did have a natural evolution with their dynamic. Also, kinda tired of peoples need for this to be talked about in some sort of 'OMG can you believe it' sort of way.
@Sil_Am in what way are they "pushing" them exactly? That's my question
Interesting amount of comments containing the words 'normal' and 'natural' for a game where you hunt robot dinosaurs
Does it matter? But seems a bit played, for likes. She's rebuffed everyone until now.
Makes sense that her character development is first about independence, then learning to accept help and friendship, and then a romantic relationship. I was cool with her being asexual though.
And having just finished the main dlc quest. i really wish there was a replay quest option.
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Me too, when politics speaks its clear language and massively indoctrinates something to the people, I always become the opposite. I cannot agree with globalist agendas. Therefore, I am unvaccinated, cheering for putin, avoid all games/mobiles with modern/forced sexual agendas, etc.
It is in this situation that you are tested, are everyone equal and do everyone have the same rights? Despite not agreeing with and obeying politics and trends?
“Next time you can do a strip search on me.”
“I’ll hold you to that doctor.”
Snake was the mega Chad.
I’ve known Aloy was gay from the moment we first met her in Zero Dawn.
It was clear with how she reacted to female characters versus male characters. They’ve been hinting at this for a long time.
I don’t know why anyone is shocked by this development. Aloy with a dude frankly wouldn’t fit her personality or character development. She’s a true blue Lesbian.
Frankly I don’t really care. It’s the writer’s choice. They wrote a lesbian character. What a surprise.
“Si vis pacem, para bellum.”
“If you seek peace, prepare for war.” The old motto of DWM. One I happen to strongly agree with.
Deterrence is the key to peace. We can’t change human nature. But deterrence is the best option we have to minimize the chances of war breaking out.
The mass effect solution doesn’t really work with certain games.
This game has a series of set character traits that weaves into the story.
The writer’s decided a long time ago that Aloy would be a lesbian. They hinted at it several times in both games.
If ppl didn't know she was a lesbian...I dont know what to tell ya.
I wouldn't call this a spoiler honestly, it's really not that important. It doesn't add to overall story, it definitely adds to her character.
So...my big question is. Do they have the courage to sacrifice her future GF for the story like they did with the black dude. Who in reality didn't need to die.
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Ah, that explains why there was "controversy." I figured it was over something stupid, like it usually is, but in this case it's just good, old-fashioned bigotry coming out to play.
It's strange to take umbrage with someone's harmless sexual preference. But, to be fair, the writing is piss poor here. I never considered the writing in any Horizon content to be good, or any first party games that isn't God of War, really.
I think maybe a lot of games writers aren't qualified to tackle this kind of storytelling. It was hurried, and unbelievable. I don't know if it's pandering, but I still have no idea what the intention was. It certainly wasn't to write a compelling story about love interest.
@OrtadragoonX We first met Aloy as a baby, so you didn't know her sexual orientation straight away. They also didn't give any hints in the original game, I played that to death and she appeared non plused about any of the characters she met
You're connecting dots that simply don't exist in Horizon Zero Dawn.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't most of the characters that try to flirt with her men? Maybe I'm forgetting someone, but the dudes are all up in her face with that so it honestly doesn't surprise me as a heterosexual guy that she's lesbian. And do we really care that much? I mean, christ, Mass Effect had some same sex stuff didn't it? I think the biggest issue with the dlc is that its skipping ps4 and given the game was sold at full price for that console I genuinely understand frustration at that.
As for lesbian stuff in games, if it fits the narrative I don't have an issue. Tokenism is the big issue and this isn't it.
Of course people are angry about it. I say who cares?
I would much preferred if burning shores was just the introduction to their relationship. It was to forced and too fast. If that kiss had come in the third act of the finale of Horizon 3 it would have had so much more weight. It seems that GG are focusing more on feature creep than story now.
@Sil_Am you are not weird man, i hate pushing romance and sexuality into games.. i try to avoid those in video games too , i honestly hate that "The Message" is being pushed into more and more video games now, that means i'm adding one more studio to my "Studios to avoid" list.
@Kelrics90 yes please !!!!! well said
@TheNomadLad I wouldn't go that far as to avoid games entirely, I can always skip the cutscene, but I would prefer not to.
@Sil_Am i didn't mean i'm avoiding all games , atleast not yet, but i understand what you mean (ngl it's nice that its an option to either go with the aloy relationship or not) but yet again for me i just cant support a studio that supports and promotes something i don't personally agree with, I'm not saying guerrilla games is the devil and that everyone should avoid their games from now on , i'm just saying i personally disagree with that they are doing (just like i disagree with almost everything naughty dog stands for and promotes in their games) and that i will not play their games anymore and i believe everyone who has that same problem with them should just stop buying their games, it's simple really if you see a product you disagree with, don't buy it and actually encourage other people who share your same beliefs and opinions to do the same and not buy that product either.
So yea i will be sticking to games that don't include sexuality or romance in them, and there are still some of those out there (for now).
I've been through the entire series, and this just feels out of place, almost as if it was designed purely to generate this sort of reaction from players - it's not as if it's the first time it's been done (LoU Pt 2 for example), but the way it was done is clumsy to say the least.
First, it's out of character. Aloy is clearly uneasy in these situations, having lived her entire life in virtual isolation, yet we're expected to believe that in a very short space of time she falls in love with a new character?
Second - although Elisabet may have been in a relationship with Tilda, there's very little evidence to support it. Tilda herself says she didn't know Elisabet very well and calls it a "friendship". To me, Elisabet comes across as a workaholic and considering what she was trying to do, that makes more sense to me (not to mention the fact that sexual preference is not inherited, so even though Aloy is genetically identical, that will have no effect on how she relates to others).
Third, up until this point, Aloy has been singularly focussed on her mission, making friends only out of necessity, so the romance seems to be a bit forced.
Finally, there's the way Geurrilla implemented this into the game. The game is full of these "three choice" interactions - their goal is to enhance the player's interaction with the game - you can choose whatever option you want and all it does is change the dialogue you get from the NPC - it does nothing to change the way the game plays and that's why this is at the end of the game - if they tried to put it earlier then the player would have no choice.
Ultimately, whatever choice you make at the end of Burning Shores won't carry over into the next installment - Geurrilla will make that choice and the player will just have to accept it.
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