Horizon Forbidden West plays just fine on a PS4
The present technology of consoles, ushered in when the PS5 and Xbox Sequence X debuted in 2020, has been a messy one in some ways. The consoles themselves have been onerous to seek out, and — with the ballooning prices of sport growth — few publishers have been keen to go all in with absolutely unique titles. So we’re left with video games like Horizon Forbidden West, a tentpole launch for Sony, which can launch concurrently on the PS4 and PS5. Generally, this doesn’t end up so properly, just like the disastrous cross-generation launch of Cyberpunk 2077. However that’s not the case right here: the newest Horizon performs nice irrespective of which PlayStation you personal.
To check this, I performed by way of the primary few hours of the sport on each consoles; a launch model of the PS5 and a base PS4 mannequin. When it comes to pure visuals, the distinction is negligible. Textures on the PS5 are smoother, there’s extra element in some scenes, and general, the picture seems cleaner and has much-improved lighting. There’s some noticeable pop-in on the PS4, notably throughout cutscenes, however no main graphical hitches; these points are additionally a bit extra noticeable while you’re shifting very quick on one of many sport’s mounts and the world is rushing previous. Probably the most obtrusive distinction in my expertise (as a result of it’s one thing you’re continually) is that Aloy’s hair seems extra lifelike on the PS5, notably because it strikes round whereas she’s leaping. In reality, while you put photos of the 2 variations aspect by aspect, it may be onerous to inform which is which.
Listed below are a number of spoiler-free screenshot comparisons from the primary 5 hours of the sport:
Actually, on the PS4, Forbidden West seems and feels lots like its predecessor. Which isn’t a foul factor: the unique Horizon was a fantastic sport, and its sequel includes a broader vary of machines to battle and environments to discover, so it’s nonetheless very fairly to take a look at. It must also be famous that each Forbidden West and its predecessor had been constructed utilizing the identical engine, which was additionally used for video games like Demise Stranding.
There are, after all, different advantages to taking part in on a PS5 past pure visible constancy. Like many video games on the platform, Horizon Forbidden West has two graphics choices: one which favors decision, one other that gives the next body price. As with most motion video games — whether or not it’s Management or The Final of Us — Horizon actually advantages from the smoother gameplay that comes from assist for higher body charges. It’s notably noticeable while you’re in a busy combat, with a number of enemies attacking and firing projectiles whereas your character rolls round firing arrows. Forbidden West doesn’t run poorly on the PS4 in my expertise — although it should in all probability make your console’s fan get loud — however taking part in with an improved body price is a really welcome change in that regard. (It’s attainable that there are some late-game moments which are dramatically completely different between the platforms, however, no less than early on, the PS4 holds its personal surprisingly properly.)
You may see the PS4 model in motion within the gameplay trailer beneath:
Elsewhere, the upgrades are much less noticeable. You get some good suggestions within the PS5’s DualSense controller when firing an arrow, however it’s nothing as groundbreaking because the lifelike rumble and pressure on show in Astro’s Playroom. I additionally didn’t discover an enormous distinction in load occasions between the 2 variations of the sport.
Final month, Sony launched the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Assortment, which bundled two PS4 video games — the superb Uncharted 4 and the even-better spinoff The Misplaced Legacy — for its new console. The upgrades for the Uncharted assortment are similar to what you’ll be able to anticipate going from the PS4 to PS5 with Forbidden West: it’s a bit bit prettier and a bit bit smoother, however in any other case, the video games are practically an identical.
This could be disappointing for PS5 house owners on the lookout for a killer app to point out off their costly console. There aren’t any of the neat PS5-exclusive tips like immediately loading worlds you’ll discover video games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Aside. However the truth that the sport runs so properly on each is usually nice information for the more and more multiplatform PlayStation ecosystem, particularly with future blockbusters like God of Battle: Ragnarok using an analogous cross-generation technique.
For extra on Horizon Forbidden West, which launches on February 18th, be sure you take a look at our full overview.