Horizon Forbidden West PS4 was a major part of development, but PS5 will have "extra details"

Horizon Forbidden West
(Image credit: SIE)

Horizon Forbidden West PS4 will look "fantastic," just expect graphical improvements in the PS5 version.

Much of the Horizon Forbidden West development and playtesting has been on PS4, but there will be noticeable visual differences on PS5, according to a recent GameInformer interview with the devs. 

Horizon Forbidden West game director Mathijs de Jonge and narrative director Benjamin McCaw sat down with Game Informer to discuss Aloy's new abilities and Guerilla Games' development process. "A lot of the development has taken place on the PlayStation 4 and a lot of playtesting is also done on PlayStation 4," de Jonge says, "So we are ensuring that owners of that console have a great experience and that the game will look fantastic on that console." 

Naturally, however, the PS5 and its powerful graphics card will have the upper hand. "For the PlayStation 5, we can go much further of course visually. We can add a lot more detail, graphically, the rendering technique for the underwater scenes is special on the PlayStation 5. It has extra details and extra systems - the wave technique is better on that system as well," de Jonge explains. "The lighting on Aloy on the PlayStation 5 has much more definition. We use a special cinematic lighting rig that on the PlayStation 4 is only used in cutscenes...we have more processing power in those scenes.But for the PlayStation 5 we have plenty of processing power so we can have that lighting rig always available." 

The rest of the interview goes into great detail about Aloy's new abilities , including Valor Surges, which grant her powerful abilities as scene in the latest PlayStation State of Play. There are multiple types of Valor Surges that can be unlocked based on the skill tree and playstyle of your play through. Horizon Forbidden West completely redesigns Aloy's skill tree, as well, to "support many different play styles," according to de Jong. 

We also know that Horizon Forbidden West will extend beyond the new location, potentially stating in the original game's location of Colorado. In a new interview with Gamesradar, narrative director Ben McCaw teased that "the vast, vast majority of the game takes place in the Forbidden West." It certainly seems like there's a small part of the sequel that will take place elsewhere, doesn't it?  

Horizon Forbidden West was initially planned for a late 2021 release date, but that holiday 2021 release window is no longer set in stone, according to PlayStation Studios' head

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.