Killzone: Shadow Fall's Texture Quality Has Quadrupled Since February
Posted by Sammy Barker
PS4 has enabled developer to be more creative
It’s been a while since we got a proper look at Killzone: Shadow Fall. The futuristic first-person shooter is undoubtedly the top-tier title in the PlayStation 4’s launch lineup, but outside of February’s big next generation coming out party, we haven’t actually seen much of the release. Guerrilla Games rectified that as part of a blowout on the latest episode of GameTrailers TV this week – and revealed a few interesting snippets in the process.
New gameplay footage revolved around the jungle environment from earlier in the year – which has been significantly overhauled since the summer – in addition to a sequence that showed the Shadow Marshal protagonist crossing through the hostile wall that divides the Vektans and the Helghast. It’s looking very atmospheric at this almost finished stage, with the Dutch developer taking the decision to make all cut-scenes fully interactive, rather than unplayable cinematics like in previous instalments.
One new enhancement to the campaign will allow you to carve your way through walls by planting explosives and simply gunning through them. Combined with the protagonist’s scan ability, this will allow you to sneak up on foes and take them by surprise. These kind of mechanical enhancements have been enabled by the additional power of Sony’s new system, and executive producer Angie Smets admitted that it’s part of the reason that the team were so excited to be targeting launch.
“When we got asked to be there for launch on the PS4, we got so excited because we knew that we would get our eyes on new hardware and specifications, and also be involved with the development of the new machine,” she explained. “That was super exciting, but also inspiring on a creative level, because you knew that there was going to be a new system creating new opportunities for design and the graphics. Everyone got really hyped up.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by head of technology Michiel van der Leeuw, who also believes that the new system allowed the studio to be more imaginative. “You always run into a moment with hardware where you’re limited and you have to tell the designers that you can’t do that or you can have this,” he beamed. “However, this time you can have everything, and it allows us to do much more.”
The lead continued that the improved architecture allowed it to get up and running faster than ever before, too. “We’re the ones that are making a launch title, so we’ve got all of the bumps along the way,” he admitted. “But it’s surprising for a launch title how easy it’s been to adapt to the console. We’ve been very much able to port things and from day one have been able to improve the quality, make the environments bigger, improve the draw distance, and more.”
Most importantly, though, what has changed since February? “Since the PlayStation Meeting, the lighting has improved, the frame rate has improved, there have been a lot of changes to character animation and streaming, and texture quality is now about four times higher than it was back then, so it’s come a long way.” Perhaps the most exciting thing is that you’ll be able to see it all for yourself in less than a month...