Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores DLC adds romance at last

Aloy didn’t have much time for romance during the breakneck events of Horizon Zero Dawn, but in the sequel to the post-apocalyptic open world RPG, called Forbidden West, the heroine formed many close bonds with other characters. Those relationships never went beyond the platonic level, though. As of the Burning Shores DLC, which is currently available exclusively on PlayStation 5 and set after the events of Forbidden West, that’s changed.

[Ed. note: This article contains spoilers for the Horizon series and the Burning Shores DLC.]

Multiple male characters have expressed romantic interest in Aloy in the past, but she would always shoot them down. It did seem, however, as though the vestiges of a romance system was present in Forbidden West; in dialogue options with the Sun-King Avad early on in the game, players could select responses from Aloy that had a heart symbol next to them, similar to how romance-specific dialogue is demarcated in BioWare games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect. Selecting the heart options never did lead to a romance, though, which further led fans and critics to speculate that Aloy could be asexual.

Forbidden West also included another hint in the storyline of Elisabet Sobeck, a scientist from the distant past of whom Aloy is an exact genetic clone. Near the end of Forbidden West, Aloy learns that Elizabet was a queer woman. Queerness has never been officially linked to a genetic marker in real life (although many scientists have researched it), but the Horizon games have always seemed to lean a little bit towards the magical when it comes to the extreme similarities between Aloy and her foremother. The two are treated as essentially the same person, just in two different timelines. For that reason, many fans have assumed Aloy to be queer as well.

Burning Shores, the new DLC for Forbidden West, confirms Aloy’s sexuality with the introduction of a romance between the heroine and her female companion Seyka, who’s new to this new chapter. The full scene can be viewed in the video below.

[embedded content]

Aloy does have the option to reject Seyka’s proposition, but even if she does so, that rejection doesn’t include any implication that Aloy is straight. Aloy’s dialogue responses to Seyka are: “Yes, I do,” “I’m not ready for this,” or “This is too much for me.”

If Aloy reciprocates Seyka’s feelings, the two share a kiss, but the DLC still ends with the characters parting ways. No matter what, the inclusion of this new character and her feelings for Aloy open up huge opportunities for storytelling in future Horizon games — including more romance with Seyka, or perhaps other characters as well.