It resembles Horizon Forbidden West Burning Shores expansion will be the game at its peak as the game’s developer aims to harness the power of the PS5 console.
Horizon Forbidden West game director, Mathijs de Jonge, took to the official PlayStation blog (opens in new tab) to briefly discuss what kind of experience the Burning Shores expansion will offer when it launches on April 19. And unsurprisingly, it all boils down to the PS5 exclusivity, ditching the last-gen PS4 entirely.
Set amid the ruins of Los Angeles, Burning Shores introduces new dangers and biomes for protagonist Aloy to overcome. Among these appear to be volcanoes, lava springs, and all-new oversized machine enemies to encounter.
“On Horizon Forbidden West, anything we added or increased was something we needed to have a plan to optimize for PS4 as well,” explained de Jonge.
“Being able to focus on Burning Shores only on PS5 has allowed us to make progress and we’re really excited about what we’ve been able to achieve in creating this stunning post-post-apocalyptic version of Los Angeles.”
It sounds like Burning Shores will be even more pleasing to the eye than the base game then. And that’s particularly exciting, as Horizon Forbidden West is not only one of the best PS5 games, but also a striking visual showcase for all current-gen consoles.
Another exciting detail from De Jonge alludes to the struggles of Burning Shores. Thanks to PS5, it looks like players will be treated to some particularly ambitious set pieces.
“Another notable one is a certain battle scene that requires a LOT of memory and processing power!” says Young. “To realize this grand vision both technically and creatively, we were certainly grateful for the many benefits that the PS5 hardware brings.”
Are we finally done with last-gen support?
Different first-party PS5 games have had to make different compromises to ease their respective PS4 versions. That includes God of War: Ragnarok And Gran Turismo 7. It’s also not uncommon to see third-party publishers also launch multi-generation titles, such as Capcom with Resident Evil village And Street Fighter 6.
However, there seems to be something of a sea change when it comes to multi-generational releases. Street Fighter 6, for example, will not launch at all on Xbox One. In the meantime, Marvel’s Spider Man 2 launches exclusively on PlayStation 5 alongside other highly anticipated games such as FinalFantasy 16.
These are all titles launching this year, and as the PS5 supply chain has become less of a bottleneck in recent months. We’ve argued that the PS5 and Xbox Series X are being held back by the last generation, and it seems that publishers are more eager than ever to embrace the power that the current generation of consoles offer.
That said, the PS4, almost a decade later, is still a phenomenally popular console, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see an odd cross-gen release on Sony’s platforms in the near future. But finally, it looks like Sony is at least easing the need for games to be offered on both PS5 and PS4.