Guerrilla Games has revealed some new details on Horizon Forbidden West, its upcoming open world action adventure that’s releasing next year for PS4 and PS5. On the PlayStation Blog, it discussed the evolution of Aloy’s character and visuals, and also discussed the improvements that the PS5 has offered.
Lead character artist Bastien Ramisse stated that, “Each generation of consoles brings extra power that lets us add even denser polygons to our character models, so we can create finer details such as peach fuzz, smooth contouring, or finer texture details and accurate materials expression, to name a few. And not only do visual aspects benefit from the new PlayStation 5 hardware – we have also increased the number of skeletal joints to bring our deformations and facial expressions to a whole new level for more credible and immersive character performance. All in all, a dream come true for both players and developers!”
However, Bastien noted that the PS4 version wasn’t compromised. “We actually developed and tested the game simultaneously on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, because it’s very important to us as a studio to ensure PlayStation 4 players get an equally immersive experience. With our knowledge from Horizon Zero Dawn, we knew that we still had some unexplored resources that could push the realism and quality of our character assets forward; it’s great to now be able to tap into that knowledge and experience for the sequel.’” Previously, game director Mathijs de Jonge had revealed that a “lot” of development and playtesting had been done on PS4 so this more or less lines up.
In terms of evolving the technology behind its aesthetic, Horizon Forbidden West is pushing better facial and motion capture for Aloy. “The most noticeable differences and improvements for Aloy in terms of technology is the push of facial and body capture accuracy, allowing more realistic shapes and surface details on characters as well as the careful increase of polygon density to capture handmade and used outfits,” says Bastien.
Aloy will be able to use a variety of different outfits on her journey, some being “similar to and perhaps familiar from the first game” and which can either be purchased from Merchants or discovered in the world. Outfits, as confirmed previously, have skills attached to them which boost “abilities in different ways.” Guerrilla once again teased the “new and improved Skill Tree” which it would provide more details on later.
Horizon Forbidden West is out on February 18th 2022 for PS4 and PS5. Stay tuned for more details en route to its release.