What's Horizon Forbidden West like on PlayStation 4? We've no doubt that those of you still rocking a PS4 are curious how the last-gen version of Guerrilla Games' new title holds up. How does it look on PS4? What are the load times like? Is the framerate okay?
Don't worry — as part of our Horizon Forbidden West guide, we're here to answer all those questions. Oh, and fear not; screenshots on this page are all taken from early on in the game, so no spoilers here. If you're looking for impressions on the PS5 version, we have a full Horizon Forbidden West PS5 review that goes into more detail on the game itself. Anyway, let's get on with it.
We've spent a few hours with the PS4 version of Forbidden West on a launch day console, and we've come away from it pretty darn impressed. After getting accustomed the PS5 release, we were a little worried that reverting back to the PS4 version would be a little jarring. However, having now put some time in with the previous-gen experience, we can say with confidence that PS4 owners aren't being shortchanged.
It looks magnificent. We're no Digital Foundry, but we do know this version of the game runs at a locked 30 frames-per-second with a dynamic 1080p resolution. If you're using a PS4 Pro, the resolution is bumped up to a checkerboarded 1800p, still running at a capped 30fps. This is definitely a step down from what the PS5 version offers, but the end result is seriously impressive. Though the open world isn't quite so densely packed with details like foliage, it's a fantastic-looking game on either console, and we haven't noticed any performance issues at all on the PS4. Save for a little bit of pop-in here and there, it's rock solid.
The PS4 version looks great and performs well, then. How does it do in other areas? Well, a big point of difference between the PS4 and PS5 releases is the loading times. On PS5, these will only last a few seconds, maybe 10 seconds max. On PS4, however, loading takes significantly longer; after selecting Continue from the main menu, the game took just over a minute to load in. It's hardly a deal breaker, and the inflated load times are to be expected, but it is a luxury we miss whenever we're not using the PS5.
The PS5 has also spoiled other controllers for us, to be honest. While the DualShock 4 serves its purpose perfectly well, playing Forbidden West on the PS4 really emphasises how much the haptic feedback and adaptive triggers of the DualSense brings to the play experience. Obviously if you've yet to use a DualSense controller and sample what it has to offer, you won't feel you're missing out. Again, the PS4's DualShock 4 does its job handily, but you'll know what we mean whenever you upgrade to PS5. It really does add a lot, even if it's subtle stuff you don't notice until it's missing.
Aside from all of that, this is an identical game to the PS5 version, with the same huge map to explore, a long list of quests to complete, and some truly amazing story revelations to discover. The good news is that you're in for a great ride, regardless of what platform you use. The PS4 release might lack some of the things that PS5 brings to the table, but ultimately, it's a perfectly good alternative. What's more, you can upgrade to the new-gen version for free, and your save data carries over, meaning you can easily continue your journey on PS5 when the time comes.
Will you be playing Horizon Forbidden West on PS4? Tell us in the comments section below, and be sure to check out our Horizon Forbidden West guide for loads more info on the game.