Back in 2017, one PlayStation exclusive caught the eyes of gamers worldwide. Horizon Zero Dawn sure was an impressive game, featuring a stunningly detailed post-apocalyptic world in which human tribes struggle to survive, battling against other humans and robotic, dinosaur-like creatures known as “the machines”. The game’s protagonist Aloy was also a highlight, one of the best (and sexiest) female video game leads since Lara Croft.
Horizon’s sequel Horizon Forbidden West launched last year to similar acclaim, delivering more of what the original offered with improvements across the board.
So it makes sense that many PlayStation fans are looking forward to Burning Shores, an upcoming DLC expansion for Horizon Forbidden West taking place in the ruins of a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.
Some will be disappointed to hear, though, that the Burning Shores DLC will be PS5 exclusive, and won’t be available on PS4.
Developer Guerrilla Games, the people behind the Horizon games, explained the reasons behind this in an interview on the PlayStation Blog, with game director Mathijs de Jonge saying that thanks to the PS5’s superfast SSD drive, “loading times truly are a thing of the past”.
“This works brilliantly for a game like Horizon Forbidden West, where long loading screens can be a real immersion breaker”, said Horizon Forbidden West’s game director.
There’s also the plus of playing the game at a higher resolution and also a higher frame rate (60 fps actually) than on PS4, something to look forward to no doubt, as it should make Horizon Forbidden West’s DLC better-looking and its third-person action more fluid.
Also, the team at Guerrilla Games not having to optimize things for PS4 was a plus when it came to developing the game, given how detailed the ruins of post-apocalyptic L.A. are in the game.
“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”, said de Jong.
This is something that can be seen in the game’s announce trailer below, with the terrain and buildings Aloy is flying over looking very detailed indeed…
Also, there’s a boss fight in the Burning Shores DLC that was seemingly impossible for Guerrilla Games to do on PS4 according to de Jonge.
“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”, said the Guerrilla Games man.
And hopefully this will be as good as that spectacular fight with a robotic snake (the Slitherfang) near the beginning of Horizon Forbidden West, only it will likely look much better thanks to the folks at Guerrilla Games not being constrained by last-gen hardware.
Of course, it would be a pity if Guerrilla Games and other PlayStation devs gave up on thoroughly optimizing their games and relied instead on the PS5’s superior hardware to improve things, but it was clear that at some point the PS4 would be left behind in favor of Sony’s latest console.
Nonetheless, here’s hoping that Horizon Forbidden West’s Burning Shores DLC lives up to the hype when it arrives on April 19 this year.