Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores is home to a dinosaur amusement park and I'm obsessed
Two thirds of the way into Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores, I'm brought to a halt by a most unexpected sight. As Aloy, I've grown accustomed to the robot dinosaurs that roam the lands of Guerrilla Games' post-apocalyptic world, but what stands before me now is a bonafide T-Rex… and it looks like it came right out of Jurassic Park. Sure, it's actually just a statue and poses no threat to me, but I just can't bring myself to move past it until I've soaked in all its details. The sculpture of the prehistoric carnivore adopts a fearsome pose at the center of a circular room, with a holographic projection of a forest serving as its backdrop. With its mouth open wide to showcase its razor sharp teeth, the big dino has clearly weathered over time. The textured grooves of its skin are covered in moss, and parts of its body have worn away, revealing the metal skeleton that lies beneath.
The Tyrannosaurus turns out to be a set piece for an old dinosaur amusement park that I find myself getting utterly lost in during a main story quest. While my encounter with what is perhaps the most well-known dinosaur in popular culture was certainly exciting by itself, nothing could have quite prepared me for just how much I'd enjoy the entire park at large. From Aloy and Seyka's remarks to a little Jurassic Park easter egg, and various details that help me imagine the location as it once was, Pangea Park is easily the best area in the expansion.
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How the remnants of the old world in Horizon Forbidden West awakens a sense of wonder
Once I manage to stop posing for screenshots and pull myself away from the big T-Rex, I make my way further in. If I thought my big pal at the entrance was exciting, you can just imagine my delight when I'm greeted by yet more dinosaur statues that adorn the grounds. Two Brachiosaurus figures tower over the area, accompanied by some Stegosaurus that are framed by old shops, kiosks, and cars that have been reclaimed by nature.
This amusement park may have lost its original shine thanks to the ravages of time, but it's no less entertaining because of it. The remnants of its dino attractions are a joy to behold, with the prehistoric creatures inhabiting the park as both statues and striking holographic projections. There's even colorful holographic signs on stores and a map of the park that instantly brings back memories of navigating around Disneyland and the like.
As I continue to make my way around to a volcano at the heart of the location, I stumble upon a datapoint that perfectly illustrates Pangea Park as it once was. The text log details "an interdimensional birthday party", with a rundown of someone's plans to get the most out of their time in the park in order to celebrate getting a year older.
It's such a fantastic little piece of storytelling from the perspective of a visitor, which speaks to the different attractions and features of Pangea. From talking about getting there early to get a good view of the opening ceremony, to stuffing their face with 'Petro Fries at Reggie's Veggies', I can't help but be reminded of myself as I take in this slice of lore. This is exactly the way I approach any visit to a theme park; pouring over the map to plan out what I'll go on, what food I'll get, and what souvenirs I want to buy.
Burning Shores might be short, but its story has serious implications for Horizon 3
For a world that's full of dinosaur-like machines, it feels incredibly fitting to give us the opportunity to explore a park featuring the prehistoric creatures that predate them. Both Aloy and Seyka often comment on certain dinos dotted around the park, comparing them to machines as their only point of reference. At one point they ponder if a Brachiosaurus is as gentle as a Tallneck, while an encounter with raptor holos has them commenting on their similarities to the Clawstrider machines. I find myself having so much fun exploring and interacting with the various attractions to see how they will react that I completely ignore the main objective.
It's so funny, for example, to see Seyka question why the Old Ones seem to think dinosaurs are a form of entertainment - especially when you consider that in the world of Horizon Forbidden West, they're constantly having to fight machine-like equivalents in the name of survival. "Getting attacked by dinosaurs was an attraction?", Seyka asks in disbelief. "I guess the Old Ones really liked dinosaurs", Aloy ruminates later on upon encountering another big display, to which Seyka adds: "Or liked to imagine fighting them?".
Their little remarks make it so that I want to be absolutely sure I've seen everything before I head to the quest marker, and I'm happily rewarded for doing so with a little Jurassic Park nod. "This one looks clever", Aloy says when I go past some Raptor holograms near an attraction known as Raptor Raid. The classic "clever girl" scene from the first movie immediately comes to mind, and there's no stopping the big smile that spreads across my face.
The world of Horizon Forbidden West is full of wonders, and Pangea Park is certainly one of them. I've always obsessed over the remnants and traces left behind by the Old Ones, and now I find myself getting caught up in imagining what this dinosaur amusement park was like when it was full of life. It's loved spending my time soaking in all the details Guerrilla Games crafted, and if nothing else, the park also serves as the perfect backdrop for some stellar screenshots.
On the hunt for collectibles in the expansion? Here's our guide to all of the Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores Pangea Figurines locations and Dino Digits solutions.