Players Must Finish Horizon: Forbidden West Before Accessing Its DLC

Horizon: Forbidden West’s upcoming story DLC ‘Burning Shores’ will be released later this month, but only those players who have beaten the game’s lengthy campaign will be able to access it. The PS5-only DLC will also make use of updated cloud tech to allow Aloy to soar through fully realised and realistic skies.

Players Must Finish Horizon: Forbidden West Before Accessing its DLCFollowing on from news that Horizon: Forbidden West’s upcoming story DLC Burning Shores will be exclusive to PS5 consoles (even though the base game is available on both PS4 and PS5), it has been revealed that players hoping to access the new chunk of gameplay must finish Horizon: Forbidden West’s lengthy campaign first. This is because the DLC continues Aloy’s story directly after the main event of Forbidden West’s story, and requires the use of a flying mount – something only unlocked late in the game.

Burning Shores whisks Aloy away to a post-post-apocalyptic Los Angeles, which, over the last one thousand years, has become an overgrown archipelago crawling with dangerous machines new and old. What Aloy will get up to on this new stretch of her journey remains to be seen, but from what’s been teased, it appears she may have her work cut out attempting to stop a potentially world-ending ancient machine from waking up and wreaking havoc.

To start this DLC, players must have completed the main game. For those only interested in the main quests, Horizon: Forbidden West takes around 30 hours to complete. Not a short game by any means. But those players who like to take their time and experience everything a game has to offer, that length can double to 60 hours or more. So be prepared to carve out a fair amount of spare time if you wish to play Burning Shores the moment it lands on 19 April, 2023.


Soaring Through the Clouds

Developers Guerrilla Games have also explained why Burning Shores is being released exclusively on PS5 consoles. The reason: clouds.

The art team knows how important clouds are for creating mood in a scene and have always loved the idea of being able to soar through realistic cloud structures on the back on a mechanical beast. However, technology was limited, and so, until they got their hands on the PS5, this was but a dream.

As explained on the PlayStation Blog: “The cloud systems that we developed for Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West were fast because they didn’t store clouds as 3D objects, but rather instructions on creating 3D clouds from limited 2D information. The PlayStation 5 can handle larger datasets. So, after Forbidden West wrapped, we set to work writing a voxel cloud renderer prototype that could live up to our standards for quality, and actually allow the player to fly through highly detailed cloud formations.”

Using this new technology, the developers have been able to create explorable skyscapes that do not tax the system. From the blog: “The clouds are not simply immersive scenery but an explorable landscape in themselves. Among the clouds, players will be able to explore tunnels, caves, and other surprises that make for fun flying”.

As flying will be such an important part of the upcoming DLC, Guerrilla decided anything they released without this tech would be an inferior experience, and as it was all far beyond the PS4’s capabilities, the system was left behind. This was inevitable as the PS5 enters its third year on the market – older generations have to be left behind at some point – but still stings for those unable or unwilling to upgrade.

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