We are at the stage of video games where photorealism is within reach. The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 demo showed how, in a matter of years, we could explore worlds filled with characters indistinguishable from reality. The future is scary, but games have already reached a point where luscious and imaginative settings are being pushed to their potential limits, even on now-obsolete consoles.
The new consoles and the benefits they bring, such as faster load times and increased performance, are now a matter of refinement rather than evolution, building on what we have instead of breaking through. gates to a land we have never seen before. That was to be expected, and we started to see this model emerge more and more. Some see the PS5 and Xbox Series X as a tiny step forward, cursing them for not making the same generational leap as their predecessors. But this expectation was impossible to meet given the current state of graphics technology. Games are harder and more expensive to make than ever.
Horizon Forbidden West is a perfect example, one of many Sony exclusives that will launch on both PS4 and PS5. God of War Ragnarok and Gran Turismo 7 are part of the same club, an identity that many see as a limitation despite the fact that it will allow millions more players to enjoy these games. They’ll look and perform worse than on the PS5, but their predecessors looked amazing and we rarely complained about them, so this position of superiority feels like something not even worth entertaining. It’s hard enough for Sony to build PS5 consoles due to component shortages, let alone get the chance to buy them, so maybe we should be thankful that these games are being made while the world is still out. in the grip of a pandemic.
Earlier this week, Guerrilla Games released a quartet of screenshots for Horizon Forbidden West on PS4, showing that last-gen gamers will still be able to explore its magnificent post-apocalyptic take on San Francisco without feeling completely jealous of their brethren. and sisters PS5. Looks awesome, Aloy has seen trotting or watching a variety of sprawling environments that seem similar in scale and execution to Zero Dawn. Creatures like Longnecks and Glinthawks beg to be scaled or fought in combat, while our heroine has a similar posture that hints at the gaming systems that many of us are familiar with.
I’ll start off by saying that I’m not the biggest Horizon Zero Dawn fan, but my hopes for the sequel are through the roof as the developer seems to improve on everything I hated about the first game. improved, voice acting is less robotic and combat with humanoid enemies is no longer stilted and lifeless. Its predecessor laid the groundwork for a groundbreaking sequel, which breaks with tired open-world conventions and pushes for something infinitely more ambitious. Hopefully, I’m not raising hopes that will inevitably be dashed given Sony’s seamless approach to first-party blockbusters in recent years, but it does feel like Guerrilla has found its footing with this one, and the fact that it doesn’t leave some players behind is a much needed bonus.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a mind-boggling game at times, depicting a world defined by a sense of natural beauty and an element of the unknown that’s almost magnetic to explore. The tribal approach he takes for certain civilizations and cities in the game is more than suspect, but his overall aesthetic take is one of unspeakable confidence, and we are now at a point where the game design is finally ready to go. catch up. Don’t let me chase after boring icons and collectibles for hours on end, make discovery a central part of the game’s formula.
There’s no reason Forbidden West can’t shine on PS4, a platform that is home to the previous game and other visually stunning experiences like Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Ghost of Tsushima, and many more. It’s an outdated console, but studios have managed to squeeze every drop of power out of its aging innards and this upcoming sequel is no exception. There’s certainly an argument to be made that continuing to support older consoles for years to come will end up dragging games down, but only in terms of visual complexity. These days, bold artistic design and innovative mechanics can be implemented into games no matter how powerful a platform is, and we’ve seen this time and time again as smaller independent efforts burst onto the scene. stage and forever change our perception of the medium.
Say what you want about Horizon, but it doesn’t try anything new, it’s an open-world epic with all the components we’d expect from the genre with an identity that helps it stand out from its contemporaries. . A sequel could change that, and I sincerely hope it does, but its existence on PS4 and PS5 isn’t worth complaining about, especially when it clearly looks and already plays the part.
Next: Forspoken Preview – This JRPG still has a lot to prove
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