Horizon Forbidden West is set to receive its first (and only?) expansion next month in the form of Burning Shores, and it’s poised to be the most beautiful Horizon adventure yet thanks to Guerrilla Games not having to think about older hardware. Speaking to the PlayStation.Blog in a feature about all of the ways in which Burning Shores was developed to harness the power of the PS5, Mathijs de Jonge, Game Director, mentioned that Guerrilla had to plan and optimize everything they added or increased for Horizon Forbidden West for the PS4, but with Burning Shores being exclusive to PS5, that’s no longer the case, enabling a definitive Horizon experience that boasts many improvements, including bigger battle scenes and a highly detailed post-post-apocalyptic version of Los Angeles. Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores will be released on April 19, while Horizon Forbidden West is available now on PS5 and PS4, as well as the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog.
From a PlayStation.Blog post:
One of our key priorities with Horizon games is to add a ton of detail and richness to our environments. On Horizon Forbidden West, everything we added or increased was something we’d need to have a plan around how to optimize for PS4 as well. On Burning Shores, since we can just focus on PS5, we’ve been able to charge forward and we’re really excited about what we’ve been able to pull off in creating this stunning post-post-apocalyptic version of Los Angeles.
The cityscape ruins of LA and its surroundings are highly detailed and require a lot of processing power as well as fast streaming technology to run properly; especially when the player is flying over the lands and can see a lot at once. One of the settlements is situated in and around those detailed ruins, and we were able to squeeze a lot of activity in there.
Another notable one is a particular battle scene that requires a LOT of memory and processing power! To achieve this grand vision both technically and creatively, we definitely were thankful for the many advantages that the PS5 hardware brings.
Using the PS5’s processing power we can run certain simulations at higher speed creating more lifelike results and a better gameplay experience. On PS5, the Horizon Forbidden West base game runs at a higher resolution and at a higher framerate than on PS4, and assets are more detailed which makes the overall quality much better. There is also a special lighting setup for Aloy that we normally only display during cinematics, but is active on the PS5 at all times. On PS5 we can draw at higher detail much further into the distance, displaying the stunning vistas our players encounters all across the map. We also support 40Hz Mode and Variable Refresh Rate on capable TVs for even more fluid gameplay.