Warning: This post contains spoilers for Horizon Forbidden West and the Burning Shores DLC.
It's been six years since Sony dropped Horizon Zero Dawn, the PlayStation exclusive that quickly became an award-winning title for the console. While its developer, Guerilla Games, was long known for its Killzone franchise, Aloy and her machine-ridden world became a favorite of many PlayStation die-hards.
The franchise's very first installment focused on Aloy trying to uncover the truth about her birth mother, leading her on a journey to hunt down the cults who killed most of the people in her tribe following the Proving.
Years later, Horizon Forbidden West continued Aloy's journey, but left Aloy without a romantic partner yet again. With the release of the Burning Shores DLC for the game, though, it seems Aloy may finally have someone to romance.
Aloy's character is infamous for not having a romantic storyline.
In the original Horizon Zero Dawn, some of the game's players were frustrated that the protagonist didn't seem to have any romantic prospects. Love storylines are often a prominent piece in shows, movies, games, and books, and while there were plenty of characters along Aloy's inaugural journey who expressed interest in her, she never reciprocated.
This set Aloy up as an independent lead — a characteristic that makes sense, given her upbringing. The only person she grew up around was her adoptive father, Rost, and only after she showed her worth in the Proving did she have a community around her. But she is a loner by nature, meaning her continued oblivion and discouragement of romantic attention further pushes her characterization.
This continued in Horizon Forbidden West. The base game continued to feature characters who would express interest in Aloy, though no matter what interactions chosen by the player, none of them would become our protagonist's love interest.
The developers' decision to maintain her loner status seems to be an intentional one, and if former managing director of Guerilla Games Hermen Hulst is to be believed, the decision was meant to set Aloy up as a “woman on a mission."
Aloy's romantic interest is a queer woman in 'Burning Shores.'
Though Aloy's continued refusal of romantic proposals lead many to believe that she may be asexual, the developers confirmed she's queer in the Burning Shores DLC. Aloy is a genetic clone of Elisabet Sobeck, who was a queer woman in her own timeline. This suggested that Aloy is also queer, though that wasn't confirmed until the Burning Shores DLC was released.
In Burning Shores, Aloy meets Seyka, who players can romance. Though they don't have to accept Seyka's advances, there is a romantic storyline players can pursue.
Even if you choose not to accept Seyka's advances, it's still heavily implied that Aloy is queer. Players can choose to reply "I’m not ready for this” or “This is too much for me" if they choose not to pursue the romance with Seyka — both of which don't imply she's straight instead.
Aloy's queerness is something many longtime fans of the franchise are celebrating, especially after two full games without romance options for the protagonist. Though romance still seems to be far from Aloy's priority, those looking for the standard romantic subplot will be able to find it in the Burning Shores DLC.
Horizon Forbidden West and the Burning Shores DLC are now available for PS4 and PS5.