If you are curious to see what a 60FPS Horizon: Forbidden West might look like, when, not if we get one, then we at Gaming Instincts have you covered with a side-by-side comparison of both for you to watch. During this, we run the game both at the 30 framerate the Demo was showcased in and a simulated 60 framerate for comparison purposes.
A Side By Side Comparison
Our comparison is running at 1080P, which is what the original demo was showcased at. Another video that exists from Sony is available online running at 4K and 30FPS. While it is not clear if that is running in Native 4K or an upscaled form it already showcases that the demo was not the height of what the game can already run at.
The demo has only a few cutscenes within it but the first should easily illustrate the difference between the two versions. Running slightly faster than 60FPS will not synch up with its 30FPS counterpart. From a personal standpoint, I dislike the jarring camera cuts that sometimes occur when a scene is run at this speed. However, the motions of the characters appear more polished on screen.
The exploration is the first element that really pops when watching the game in 60FPS. The game uses open areas and strong wind effects to sweep its landscape. You can expect to see tall grass, hanging shrubbery, and the wide ocean all in motion as you play. While a small detail in such a big game, once you start watching, the difference is instantly noticeable. Details like this allow you to get lost in the moment-to-moment experience the game offers.
However, if there’s one thing people know that have played a 60fps game delivers on it is combat. Aloy’s fight against the Tremortusk, a robotic wooly mammoth, dominates the last portion of the demo and the comparison is night and day. It is hard to describe in exact words how it feels to move at a higher framerate. However, I already feel the control the option will present. If it is anything like its predecessor gamers can expect combat to feel lighter, it is good.
Now to be fair there is nothing wrong with 30 frames, it gets the job done. No matter how gamers choose to play the game they are sure to enjoy themselves. At worst this should showcase what the game is getting right. And without playing the game it really is hard to explain something that is largely based on a feeling you get knee-deep into an epic battle, or climbing a mountain, or simply stopping to take it all in.
What Gamers Should Expect
When Horizon: Forbidden was first showcased for the PlayStation 5 people went crazy. Every piece of hardware needs a killer app and what was better to convince people to upgrade than a return to the land of robot dinosaurs. While still an exciting game, much of that hype has dissipated since then.
First, the game was announced across both generations of PlayStation. While I understand the need for companies to do this (you know, that green thing in your wallet) this is always going to limit a development team. This time around it will hurt more than usual. While the Original PS4 ran at 1.8 teraflops, this number was upgraded to 4.2 for the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, then again this number was increased to 10.28 for the PS5. All three of these numbers need to be hit by the development team, but as Cyberpunk showcased, one version always takes priority and earlier versions always hurt.
Second, we saw a year of painful silence on the game. Sony has chosen to avoid E3 over the past few years which means no dedicated time to actually know we will see these games. When the game was showcased while hyping the new generation of consoles it looked breathtaking. It was expected that closer to the release of the PlayStation 5 we might see more, after all, this was the true showcase of the power that was coming. Of which we know now that isn’t technically true anymore.
Third and Final, when we did see gameplay for the game it was only running at 30FPS. Frames per second is a frequency rate at which consecutive frames are displayed. While the console has fluctuated for years between 30 and 60, higher-end PCs have enjoyed the luxury of 60 frames since around the launch of PlayStation 4. Now a mid-range PC is pretty sure to hit those numbers, with many more expensive ones reaching 144 or higher. Being stuck at 30 at this point is not a good look to have.
Luckily we may not remain there forever, or even very long. This has seemingly been an issue with the PlayStation 5 since its launch. Recently, many games launched on the system locked in 30 have begun to add a more updated range. These include the day one launch game Spider-Man: Myles Morales and most recently Watch Dogs: Legion. While Horizon: Forbidden west most certainly looks pretty and has a large world, the likelihood that its technology far outpaces these games is not likely.
Transitioning from generations can be a difficult process. Making it even worse it is hard to place whether the development of the PlayStation 4 version was disrupted by the PlayStation 5, or if vise versa, they were forced to build backward for the prior gen. However that occurred, gamers might like to look back at the release of the original Watch Dogs for tempered expectations. Unlike that time I expect the graphics will be on par with what we have seen, but it will be a game with benchmarks set by scattered dictations.
Horizon: Forbidden West has no set release date yet. It will be available for the PlayStation 4 and the PlayStation 5.