The Horizon franchise is on the right track to success with the recent releases of Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores and Horizon: Call of the Mountain bringing exciting new content for fans to enjoy. It’s also been announced that a Netflix show is in the making and Guerilla, the games’ developer, confirmed that they’re working on a third entry in the series.
It’s no real surprise that the Horizon franchise is getting a third mainline installment considering Horizon Forbidden West left several key plot points unresolved. The game’s recent Burning Shores DLC did a brilliant job of adding new content that not only stood on its own two feet but also teased some new information regarding both key plot points and character arcs that could lead directly into the third game.
Burning Shores Points Aloy in the Right Direction to Save Earth
A key part of Horizon Forbidden West‘s story involves a group known as the Far Zeniths, who had returned to Earth after the planet they’d originally fled to, Sirius, was destroyed. After being sold a lie, Aloy uncovers the truth about what had caused the planet’s destruction. She learns that the Far Zeniths had created a powerful AI called Nemesis, which they’d locked away after it failed to help them achieve digital immortality. When Nemesis escaped, however, it destroyed Sirius to exact revenge on its creators. At the end of Horizon Forbidden West, it’s on its way to Earth in pursuit of the Far Zeniths, posing a bigger threat to humanity than anything the world had ever seen before.
From Forbidden West‘s ending, it is therefore apparent that the third game would see Aloy facing this new threat and figuring out how to save the world once again. Burning Shores picks up immediately after the conclusion of the main game when Sylens calls Aloy to reveal that he’s discovered that another Zenith, named Londra, is at large and plotting something on the Burning Shores. This pursuit of Londra and the fight against him is the basis for Burning Shores‘ story, but the end conversation between Aloy and Sylens reveals some key information that could signal how the third game might be structured.
Sylens explains that Londra was theorizing about potential ways to defeat Nemesis. He says, “His musings include a list of 21st-century corporations that manufactured state-of-the-art weapons systems. It’s possible that one of these weapons could be deployed against the enemy. I’ll have to investigate each company, of course. Locate their facilities. Unearth their technologies. Determine their efficacy and whether they can be brought back online.” From this information, it seems likely that the third Horizon game will be centered on exploring these leads until a successful one is found, set up, and made ready to utilize in an epic culminating battle that finally sees Aloy destroy Nemesis and save the world.
Burning Shores’s Seyka Could Play a Key Role in Future Games
One of the most important reveals in Burning Shores is also one of its biggest surprises. Aloy is finally given a love interest as she and Seyka, the member of the Quen whom she first meets upon landing on the island, share a kiss and declare that they want to be together at the end of the DLC. Given that Guerilla steered clear of giving Aloy any romantic storylines in the previous games and DLC, it’s not something that should be taken lightly, suggesting the next game will include more of this new fan-favorite duo.
Seyka could be involved in a variety of ways, either as a direct companion throughout the game or with a more detached role. Either way, a third game would give players the chance to uncover more about her past and her role within her tribe. For example, it could address how she’s coping with the truth about what happened to her sister and how that’s impacted their relationship and her worldview.
The next Horizon entry could also explore how Seyka’s pivotal role in saving the stranded Quen will be rewarded and how her perception within the tribe has changed. Burning West implied that she’d be working closely with another of Aloy’s Quen friends, Alva, to reunite the tribe. Perhaps the two could work together to build relationships with other tribes to create a peaceful world that can thrive beyond the game’s ending.
Burning Shores Further Develops Sylens’ Character Arc
Finally, Burning Shores further develops Sylens, played by the late Lance Reddick, continuing his character arc that began in Forbidden West. Sylens is a mysterious and manipulative character who enjoys working alone and hiding his true motivations. He’s arrogant and dismissive and capable of disregarding compassion if it slows down his goals. Although he does begin to soften, and clearly respects Aloy at the end of Forbidden West, Burning Shores takes his character arc one step further.
He’s impressed by Aloy and has learned from the events of Forbidden West that compassion and kindness don’t have to be hindrances. In Burning Shores‘ epilogue, he finally verbalizes some of the things he may have been too proud or arrogant to say before. He tells Aloy that he’s grateful for what she’s done and admits that he can’t take down Nemesis without her. This moment could be a pivotal point in his character arc that could continue throughout the next game as he strives to learn from Aloy’s kindness and success to attain a more compassionate outlook toward humanity. Although much is yet to be revealed about the third Horizon game, it seems likely that Aloy will have the help of both Seyka and a changing Sylens as she fights Nemesis to become Earth’s savior once again.
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