Metacritic eyes “stricter moderation” due to “abusive” ‘Horizon Forbidden West’ Burning Shores reviews

The downloadable content was review bombed due to a dialogue option that lets Aloy kiss another woman

Reviews aggregate site Metacritic has confirmed it will be implementing “stricter moderation” going forward, after Horizon Forbidden West‘s Burning Shores downloadable content was review bombed due to an LGBTQ+ relationship with the game’s protagonist.

Although Burning Shores holds an aggregated Metascore of 82 among critics, its user-submitted reviews score currently sits at 3.9 out of 10.

While some of the negative reviews criticise the game’s story and brief length, others have scored the review negatively purely because of a dialogue option that results in a kiss between the game’s protagonist, Aloy, and her companion Seyka.


The inclusion of an LGBTQ+ relationship has resulted in a number of bigoted reviews flooding the Metacritic page, with users taking aim at the game’s perceived “agendas” and “woke propaganda”.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores
Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment

In a statement sent to Eurogamer, Metacritic and its parent company, Fandom, confirmed that it would be taking steps to crack down on the “abusive” reviews.

“Fandom is a place of belonging for all fans and we take online trust and safety very seriously across all our sites including Metacritic,” wrote the site. “Metacritic is aware of the abusive and disrespectful reviews of Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores and we have a moderation system in place to track violations of our terms of use.”

“Our team reviews each and every report of abuse (including but not limited to racist, sexist, homophobic, insults to other users, etc) and if violations occur, the reviews are removed. We are currently evolving our processes and tools to introduce stricter moderation in the coming months.”

A number of Metacritic users have since claimed their prior reviews have been deleted, with reposts of their original reviews suggesting homophobic comments are to blame for their removal.


In other gaming news, employees at Sega have filed to unionise, in part due to feeling “under-valued and overworked”.

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