Horizon Forbidden West Dev Talks Improvements For PS5 Edition, Says PS4 Version Not "Compromised"

One of Sony's next big exclusives is Horizon: Forbidden West, and now developer Guerrilla Games has shared some new insight into how the power of the PlayStation 5 will allow for a new high watermark for visual fidelity. In a post on the PlayStation Blog, the studio ran through some of the updates for Aloy's character model and the graphics in general on PS5, while also pledging that the PS4 edition will not be "compromised."

"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," the developer said.

Horizon Forbidden West Dev Talks Improvements For PS5 Edition, Says PS4 Version Not "Compromised"
A closer look at the improvements made to Aloy's character model on PS5

Beyond the visual components of the Horizon sequel, the PS5 has allowed Guerrilla to increase the number of "skeletal joints" on Aloy's face that will in turn let her have more facial expressions. This will, in theory, lead to a "whole new level for more credible and immersive character performance," the developer said.

Regarding the PS4 edition of Forbidden West, it won't be able to look or perform as well as the PS5 edition, but lead character artist Bastien Ramisse stressed that players on PS4 will have an "equally immersive experience." 2017's Horizon Zero Dawn didn't max out the potential of the PS4, and Guerrilla will take advantage of some "unexplored resources" to help improve the PS4 edition.

"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," Ramisse said. "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."

Horizon Forbidden West Dev Talks Improvements For PS5 Edition, Says PS4 Version Not "Compromised"
Guerrilla has released new images of Aloy's character model in Forbidden West

According to Ramisse, the most noticeable differences for Aloy in Forbidden West will be on her facial and body capture accuracy. The new technology is being used to create "more realistic shapes and surface details" for Aloy and others, while there has been a "careful increase of polygon density" for clothing.

Following a delay, Forbidden West is now slated to release in February 2022 for PS5 and PS4; it is one of the many games launching during a massively busy February 2022.

The game's preorder situation has been somewhat confusing, but you can check out GameSpot's breakdown of why it's not advisable to buy the PS5's standard edition.

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