Metacritic responds to Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores user review bombing

Metacritic owner Fandom said it will evolve its processes and tools to bring stricter moderation and removal of abusive and disrespectful reviews.

Image via PlayStation Studios

Over the last week, Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores DLC has been hit with a cavalcade of homophobic user reviews giving the game a zero for the inclusion of a “woke agenda” in the form of a moment of lesbian intimacy. User review bombing over outrageous reactions like this aren’t uncommon to Metacritic, but this one has pushed Metacritic owner Fandom to respond, stating that the current review bomb campaign is unacceptable and the moderation team will evolve its processes to combat this kind of campaign in the near future.

Fandom issued its response on the matter of Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores DLC review bombing on Metacritic via a statement to Eurogamer.

Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores Metacritic page
Horizon Forbidden West's Burning Shores DLC is the latest of many games to have a review bombing crusade against it over petty and abusive pretense.
Source: Metacritic

As of this writing, Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores’ PS5 listing on Metacritic sits at an 8.2 Critic Review Score, but a 3.8 User Review Score. Many of the reviews still listed near the top of the reviews openly share disgust with the aforementioned lesbian love scene in the DLC.

“You must see a solution to the issue of the agenda,” one review reads. “We are in a world of entertainment, not in a world full of deviant and misguided ideas. We are in a world of playing simply and rejoicing. We need a quick solution so that the PlayStation brand does not end.”

“Aloy lesbian! What are you doing Sony & Guerilla really?” reads another. “Stop doing it with your characters. That’s awful plot, you create a wonderful world, and absolutely awful minor characters. Bad really bad. I love this franchise, and I don’t want to see how you’ll destroy it.”

This has been an ongoing issue with Metacritic for some time. Though not blatantly homophobic like the Burning Shores review bombing, the Metro franchise was once review bombed after Metro: Exodus was announced as an Epic Games Store exclusive. The Last of Us Part 2 was also review bombed after players learned of a certain twist in the story.

Metacritic and Fandom did not go into detail as to how it hopes to fight these situations and derail review bomb campaigns like the one against Burning Shores, but a cursory glance at the User Review page shows it has a serious need to clear up the issues in its moderation processes. Given that Burning Shores is a quality addition to the franchise by our own accounts and many of our colleagues in the industry, hopefully Fandom finds the right path to that solution in the near future so this doesn't keep happening to further games.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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