Horizon Forbidden West game director Mathijs de Jonge detailed the differences that players can expect to see when booting up the game on PS4 compared to PS5. In an interview with GameInformer, Mathijs de Jonge claims that the game was designed with PS4 in mind and that a lot of the development playtesting has taken place on the PlayStation 4.
Mathijs de Jonge says that Guerrilla Games are ensuring that owners of a PS4 console will still have a great experience and that the game looks fantastic on the hardware at the same time. However, users on the PS5 will notice a range of differences over the PS4 thanks to the boost in performance and power.
The game director says that naturally, the development team could push Horizon Forbidden West a lot further on the PS5 than the PS4. This goes for visuals, and also implementing different rendering techniques for the underwater areas. For example, the water system on the PS5 version of Horizon Forbidden West is completely different from the PS4 version. The water renders differently, reflects differently and even the waves are specially created thanks to the console.
Lighting in Horizon Forbidden West on PS5 is also drastically different from the PS4. For example, the PS5 includes a cinematic-grade lighting system on Aloy that makes use of a rig. This lighting rig is only used during cutscenes on the PS4 but is permanently avaialble on the PS5.
We use a special cinematic lighting rig, that on the PlayStation 4 is only used in cutscenes, because the game is not running and we have more processing power in those scenes. But with the PlayStation 5 we have plenty of processing power, so we can have that lighting rig always available, so she always looks great with that lighting setup travelling with her anywhere.”
Horizon Forbidden West will also run at different resolutions and frame rates on the two consoles. The PS5 version will feature a 60FPS Performance Mode. It is unclear what resolution the game runs at to achieve this frame rate. It is also highly possible that the PS4 version will cap at 30FPS.
Horizon Forbidden West is targeting a holiday 2021 release date according to Sony. Catch up on the latest gameplay trailer down below.