In an era where we might have thought that inclusivity and representation would be embraced, some gamers still choose to react negatively to a queer kiss scene in the latest Horizon: Forbidden West DLC, Burning Shores. Despite critical acclaim, with a Metascore of 82, the DLC has seen its user score on Metacritic plummet to a mere 3.6 due to this controversy.
Burning Shores, the PlayStation 5 exclusive DLC for Horizon: Forbidden West, has been under fire from some players who took issue with the option for protagonist Aloy to share a passionate kiss with another female character; Seyka. This choice has led to the mass review-bombing of the DLC on Metacritic, with many disgruntled players expressing their displeasure.
The DLC, which is currently available only on PlayStation 5 (due to technical reasons), brings significant quality-of-life improvements such as easier looting, as well as enhanced graphics and environmental details. In addition to these improvements, the update provides players with the long-requested opportunity for Aloy to pursue a romantic relationship with someone, in this case, Seyka.
While many fans are delighted to see Aloy finally have the chance to open up and form a romantic connection after two consecutive games of saving the world, the backlash has come primarily from homophobic individuals who can't seem to tolerate any form of queer representation in the Horizon series. What's particularly baffling is that the scene in question is entirely optional, allowing players to choose whether or not Aloy acts on her feelings.
The review-bombing of Horizon: Forbidden West's Burning Shores DLC serves as a stark reminder that even in 2023, some individuals still struggle to accept diversity and inclusivity in the gaming world. However, it's crucial to remember that the majority of players have welcomed this update and are appreciative of the representation it offers. While it sucks to have to write an article about this to bring attention to the negativity, hopefully, it works to raise awareness on the situation.
As the industry continues to evolve, it's important for developers and the gaming community as a whole to support and celebrate inclusive content that reflects the diverse experiences of those who play their games. The storylines are given to us by the developers who work to create these worlds.
Sorry if I sound preachy here but... I'm getting really tired of this cycle.