While flying wound up being underwhelming in Horizon Forbidden West, the game’s upcoming Burning Shores DLC can rectify this unfortunate shortcoming. The post-apocalyptic open-world adventure lets Aloy tame and ride a variety of new and familiar machines, including the airborne Sunwing. Soaring across the skies of an overgrown California can be breathtaking, but Burning Shores can make the experience even more thrilling.


Announced last year at The Game Awards 2022, the Horizon Forbidden West DLC, Burning Shores, will see Aloy venture to a long-abandoned Los Angeles to hunt a reawakened Metal Devil. The expansion, set to release on April 19, will introduce new characters and a fascinating new area to explore from the air, land, and sea. While few other details about Burning Shores have been revealed, developer Guerrilla Games has confirmed that the Horizon Forbidden West expansion will only be available on PlayStation 5. This was likely a surprise to fans, considering the sequel also launched on PlayStation 4, but this decision can lead to an evolution of the game’s lackluster flight mechanic.

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Horizon Forbidden West’s Mounted Flight Is Unimpressive

Two Sunwings in Horizon Forbidden West flying above an overgrown San Fransisco Bay.

While the first game only let Aloy ride land-based machines, like the Strider and Charger, Horizon Forbidden West‘s unlockable mounts includ flying machines so players can travel high above the game’s forests and jungles. Unfortunately, this novel mechanic is less impressive than it could be. The flying Sunwing mount is disappointingly slow, making an aerial expedition feel sluggish rather than intense or thrilling. Horizon Forbidden West also lacks aerial combat, making it impossible for players to swoop down on unsuspecting machines and riddle them with arrows. Thankfully, the Burning Shores DLC and its PlayStation 5 exclusivity have the potential to make flying much more appealing.

Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores DLC Can Make Flying Better

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores's key art, showing Aloy and a certain NPC flying on the back of a Sunwing toward a giant machine, which seems to be devouring the Hollywood sign.

Flying above the world in Horizon Forbidden West was seemingly limited by the dated power of the PlayStation 4, but the upcoming Burning Shores DLC is not on PS4. This means that the expansion can make full use of the PlayStation 5’s hardware, creating the opportunity for much faster flight since the SSD can load new terrain very quickly. The console can also maintain 120 frames per second, possibly allowing for mid-air combat that doesn’t affect the speed or stability of the experience. Promotional art for Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores even features Aloy on the back of a Sunwing with her spear in hand, potentially teasing the addition of aerial warfare.

Horizon Forbidden West players on PS4 are no doubt disappointed that the Burning Shores DLC won’t come to the last-gen console, but the expansion is doing what Forbidden West‘s base game should have to deliver an optimal experience. Without the limitations of a decade-old console, Burning Shores can hopefully make flight more exciting by increasing the speed of its aerial mounts and even adding mid-air combat into the mix. By taking full advantage of the PlayStation 5’s power, the Burning Shores DLC can make the skies of Horizon Forbidden West even more appealing to navigate.

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