There is no doubt that Killzone Shadow Fall is a technical show piece for Sony’s PlayStation 4. Featuring slick visuals at a resolution of 1080p, Guerrilla Games have proven yet again that they excel at creating some of the most visually stunning games out there.
Shadow Fall’s predecessors Killzone 2 and Killzone 3 had an amazing level of detail in them. Each scene in those games had about 8000 building blocks with three ‘level of detail’ steps. However in Killzone Shadow Fall that number increased to 26,000 and seven respectively.
“For a scene – what we call a section – on the PlayStation 3, we’d have a maximum of 7000-8000 building blocks and now we’re seeing that on PS4 that we’re pushing 26,000 building blocks. We’d have two LOD steps for these elements, now we have seven LOD steps,” reveals lead environment artist, Kim van Heest in a technical interview with EuroGamer.
That is an increase of almost three times and the results are exemplary. The push is understandable from two points. PlayStation 4 is obviously more powerful with its APU and GDDR5 RAM memory providing ample bandwidth and secondly, the scale of levels in Shadow Fall is much higher than found in the previous games. This meant that Guerrilla Games had to divide each level into different sections so that multiple designers can work on it.
Given that launch titles are generally not a best showcase of what the hardware can do, Guerrilla Games’ efforts are commendable. It will be interesting to see what they do with their next IP.