Horizon Forbidden West on PS4: Guerrilla explains why it runs so well on old-gen consoles

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The trailers of the past months and the technical analyzes of the last few days have shown that Horizon Forbidden West on PS5 it’s a real feast for the eyes. However it is undeniable that even on PS4 Guerrilla Games’ game is magnificent to look at and with solid performance, something that is far from obvious considering the many years on the shoulders of the old-gen Sony console. In a recent interview with Engadget, Guerrilla Games explained how the team handled the cross-gen development of the title and the differences between the two versions.

Game director Mathijs de Jonge and technical director Michiel van der Leeuw explained some of the measures taken by the studio to ensure that the PS4 version does not look too bad compared to the PS5 one and at the same time how to make the latter state-of-the-art. We learn that work on Horizon Forbidden West has just begun on old-gen in 2018 and that even then Guerrilla Games was aware of the capabilities of Sony’s new flagship, which allowed the studio to plan development on both consoles well in advance.

“We knew it was going to be difficult to make something that would make PS5 shine but at the same time be rewarding for people with PS4,” says van der Leeuw. “So we were very happy to learn about the capabilities of PS5 very soon, because this meant that we could plan the steps necessary to achieve this goal. From the beginning we aimed to have high-quality characters, environments and greenery on PS5. So you will only see different models for the PS4 version, but the atmosphere will be the same. ”

The pandemic slowed work on Horizon Forbidden West, but luckily Guerrilla Games still managed to run remote testing phases at least the PS4 version thanks to PlayStation Now.

“It was really difficult for us, the pandemic hit us while we were at the peak of production,” explains van der Leeuw. “Due to the pandemic, we had to move into remote play testing. It was a big plus to be able to test the PS4 version, because that meant we had to do a great build, rather than just focusing on the PS5,” added de Jonge .

The Aspident, one of the new robotic threats from Horizon Forbidden West

At the same time, Guerrilla had the goal of making one visually impressive PS5 versionnot limiting everything to a simple increase in resolution and framerate.

“We were looking at screenshots for every single thing on the screen, be it the grass, the sky, the leaves, the fabric, the hair – everything should have something with which to immediately understand that it was the PS5 version,” says van der Leeuw . While de Jong explained that another big difference between the two versions is the adaptive triggers and haptic feedback of Dualsense.

“I think it was also great to see how we could use haptic feedback and adaptive triggers to make the different weapons stand out, so that each was unique. So when you use a slingshot the feeling is completely different than when you shoot an arrow with the arch. ”

Horizon Forbidden West will be available tomorrow, Friday 18 February, exclusively for PS5 and PS4. Patch 1.04 is now available and solves several problems and improves performance.

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