Much has been made about Horizon Forbidden West’s visuals on PS5, especially after the recent State of Play showcase. But what about the PS4? Though Guerrilla Games hasn’t revealed any footage of the PS4 version, it’s still working to ensure that previous-gen owners have “a great experience.”
Speaking to Game Informer in a new video interview, game director Mathijs de Jonge revealed that much of the development and playtesting has already been done on PS4. “A lot of the development has taken place on the PlayStation 4 and a lot of playtesting is also done on PlayStation 4 so we are ensuring that owners of that console will have a great experience and that the game will look fantastic on that console.”
Of course, the PS5 affords the potential to go much further. As de Jonge notes, “Visually we can add a lot more detail. Graphically, the rendering technique for the underwater scenes is special on the PlayStation 5 — it has extra detail and extra systems. Like the wave technique is better on that system as well.” Of particular note is the lighting for Aloy on PS5 which has much more definition. “We use a special cinematic lighting rig that on PS4 is only used in cutscenes because the game is not running and we have more processing power in those scenes.
“But for the PlayStation 5, we have plenty of processing power so we can have that lighting always available so she always looks great with that lighting set-up traveling with her anywhere.”
Horizon Forbidden West will also have a 60 FPS performance mode on PS5, though more details on the resolution and ray tracing weren’t provided. There are also Valor Surges, special abilities unlocked from the skill tree (which has been completely overhauled in both design and the options available). By performing tactical actions like headshots and removing components from machines, players can charge the Valor Surge bar and unleash these abilities.
Currently, Horizon Forbidden West is slated to release on PS4 and PS5 this holiday season. Though development is on track, de Jonge notes that the team needs a little more time to decide on the release date. This is in line with PlayStation Studios’ head Hermen Hulst noting that a release this year wasn’t quite certain just yet.