I had been fussing over the fact that some major PlayStation exclusive games, notably Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok will be cross-generation titles rather than PS5 exclusives. This had me worrying that the graphics and performance of such games may be held back by needing to work on older hardware; but now my worries have been alleviated.
The reason for that is Horizon Forbidden West, due to release February 18, looks very impressive indeed running on a PS4 Pro. Sony posted a video of the game in action, as well as a clutch of screenshots, showcasing just how good the game looks running on a last-gen console.
This isn’t wholly surprising, as the original Horizon Zero Dawn was a lovely looking game, flush with detail and effects. It also ran rather well on the PS4 Pro, utilizing a process called checkerboard rendering to take a lower resolution output and cleverly up mix it to 4K.
But Horizon Forbidden West is stepping it up in terms of graphical fidelity. Yet it’s impressive to see how well the PS4 Pro seems to deliver this, with what appears to be a smooth and clean presentation.
There are a few caveats from our perspective. For one, the PS4 Pro has a good bit more power than a base PS4, so how well Horizon Forbidden West will run on the original PS4 isn’t clear. And Sony may have cherry-picked scenes here that may not be fully representative of the overall experience on a PS4 console. Though usually games made by Sony’s first-party developers tend to run well on its hardware.
Ultimately, the best place to experience Horizon Forbidden West will be on a PS5. But tracking down a PS5 restock is still far from easy, which is why Sony is continuing to produce the PS4.
So it’s good to know that if you’re struggling to get a PS5, you can still experience current-gen gaming that will be a treat for your eyes.