As I journey through Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores, I am stopped in my tracks by a surprising sight. As Aloy, I have grown accustomed to the robotic dinosaurs that populate Guerrilla Games’ post-apocalyptic world. However, before me, stands a genuine T-Rex, which appears to have come straight out of Jurassic Park. Although it is just a statue and poses no threat to me, I cannot help but be captivated by its intricate details. The prehistoric carnivore sculpture takes on a menacing pose in the center of a circular room, with a holographic projection of a forest serving as its backdrop. The T-Rex’s mouth is agape, showcasing its razor-sharp teeth, and it is clear that the dinosaur has been weathered over time. The textured grooves on its skin are covered in moss, and parts of its body have deteriorated, revealing the metal skeleton underneath.
The Tyrannosaurus is a set piece for an old dinosaur amusement park that I become completely engrossed in during a main story quest. Although my encounter with the most well-known dinosaur in popular culture was exciting, nothing prepared me for how much I would enjoy the entire park. From Aloy and Seyka’s remarks to a Jurassic Park Easter egg, Pangea Park is by far the best area in the expansion.
Once I manage to pull myself away from the T-Rex, I continue exploring the park. The grounds are adorned with more dinosaur statues, including two Brachiosaurus figures that tower over the area, accompanied by Stegosaurus that are framed by old shops, kiosks, and cars that have been reclaimed by nature. The park may have lost its original shine due to the ravages of time, but it is no less entertaining because of it. The remnants of its dino attractions are a joy to behold, with prehistoric creatures inhabiting the park as both statues and striking holographic projections.
As I make my way to the volcano at the heart of the location, I come across 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 to celebrate getting a year older. It is a fantastic 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,’ it reminds me of myself as I take in this slice of lore.
For a world that is 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. 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.
The world of Horizon Forbidden West is full of wonders, and Pangea Park is undoubtedly one of them. The park serves as the perfect backdrop for some stellar screenshots and is a testament to the incredible work that Guerrilla Games has put into the game.