Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is out today exclusively on PS5, and, let's cut to the chase, it looks magnificent. We're currently busy playing the expansion to line up our review and other coverage, but we had to share a few (spoiler free!) snapshots with you.
Of course, it's based upon the already stunning main game, but there's something about Burning Shores that really pops. The varied colours and textures found in the environment, the lighting, the brilliant character models — it all adds up to what might be the best-looking game on PS5.
We've captured a good amount of screenshots here, some taken from cutscenes (which play out in-engine) but most are raw gameplay snaps. It's more proof that, when Sony's first-party teams are firing on all cylinders, they often deliver some of the best visuals in the business.
Have you been playing Burning Shores? What do you make of it so far? Let us know in the comments section below.
Honestly, the main game is the best looking game I ever played. If the DLC is even better... Oh my God __
Can't wait. Got it predownloaded and ready to rock...after I finish a 12 hour workday...ugh.
From the bits I've seen on YouTube I'd say yeah it's definitely up there as one of the best looking games to date on a console. Ghost of Tsushima Directors cut is a close second.
These pics look all fine to me, but pretty samey, not much variety in colours and atmosphere. Reminds me of selfies from influencers on Insta with different cloths in different places, but always the same facial expression. Nice and harmless.
Hey it’s what Forbidden West could have looked like if they weren’t forced to support the PS4 🤨
Best looking game ever? No.
Best looking game on PS5*. No console game will be the best looking ever when PC still exist.
No arguments here
It has realistic graphics so no.
Artstyle > Realism all day
I don't know. It still has that plasticy look, and that look as if clumps of coloured resin have been arranged nicely in a diorama, that games have commonly had since the 360. Actually disagree with the above poster that it's realistic - it looks very artificial and gamey. (Also, realism is an art style; it's like saying "hair colour > brown hair all day". And not to mention, both GTA5 and TLoU are using realism as an art style but still look very distinct from each other with a much stronger visual identity than, say, PSO2 and Star Ocean 4 or 5, which are certainly not going for realism yet both look very similar despite being totally different series.)
I expected it to look better tbh. It just looks like the base game to my eyes. I thought there would be a noticeable difference with the dlc being exclusive to PS5. It’s just more of the same really. I haven’t seen anything (yet) to suggest this wouldn’t run on a PS4 🤷♂️
It's the best looking game on PS5 IMO.
Me thinks this will be the best looking game on PS5 for a good 2 years now.
Can’t see SM2 or nothing else in 2024 beating it.
So that is the graphical pinnacle for a while done with. Until 2025.
Yes. It really is.
At least it runs out of the box and I don't need a computer science degree to force it to look good on PC
Am I right in thinking they’ve updated the main game graphics in this update too? Sure I saw people on Twitter commenting on improvements.
@ItsBritneywell I'm sure if it could they would,not being the sort of company to leave money on the table
I wouldn't have to play it to know that statement is true, even on PS4 it's magnificent. And about time PushSquare gives the franchise more respect when it comes to its positions on your lists. I mean GOW is just as incredible looking but Horizon is open world and that's just the crazy bit.
I know exactly what you mean by diorama! I find this especially when I am playing 3rd-person games. The character looks like an action figure with great articulation, almost like everything is miniature.
Yeah, but can it run Crysis?
@NinjaNicky which pc ? One with the same specs as a ps5 made by a first party dev team ,don't be daft.
It is. This is easily one of the top 3 best looking games on the market currently and the best on consoles. Full stop.
Possibly not in my house, but only because ive not been able to upgrade to a 4k tv yet. Really feel im not doing my PS5 justice, but hey, having mouths to feed is ultimately more important than pixel count. For this reason i generally find art direction is the most impressive thing, so Ghost of Tsushima remains one of the best looking games i've ever seen. Hope this is able to match it 🙂
Regardless, i've got this downloaded and am looking forward to trying it out once i finish Resident Evil 4. I just hope its relatively straightforward to get back into. Ive forgotten all the controls and mechanics
For me it's a toss up between this and Demon's Souls for best looking game on the PS5, but the mocap work alone here is in a league of its own.
great looking game no doubt
Great game nope
@NinjaNicky On cheaper hardware and it works out if the box. 🤪
@grapetrap hes just being silly, there's not many games on pc, that look as good as a first party ps game.
@Matroska agreed ,horizon looks off to me for this very reason ,ragnarok looks far better imo
Yup HFW and Burning Shores best looking console game I've ever played to date. PS5 version of Death Stranding directors cut even with its darker more damp look still looks gorgeous too. It should go without saying not talking about PC, specifically consoles
Waiting for the Digital Foundry tech review 😅... Really interested on the improvements, from a tech standpoint. Anyway is still a game designed for PS4. Have to finish Forbidden West to test it by myself 🤦
@__jamiie While I agree it's not the best looking game ever, it's certainly up there as one of them. What do you think is the best looking game ever?
Only had time for a quick blast while scoffing my lunch - looked great - apart from a weird glitch that made Seyka look like she was beatboxing rather than talking. Seemed ok when I restarted the enemy encounter.
I really wish I liked this game as much as many of you on this site. I just can't get it to click for me, and end up really bored.
HFW is absolutely stunning though. Probably the best looking game on PS5, if not damn near close.
No, the lighting is... utterly bizarre. Aloy and many of her surroundings seem to have this ethereal glow at all times. It looks like an actress wandering around a clearly green-screened environment during pre-production, before the CGI has been finalized.
It's Horizon, so I'm sure the DLC will still be a banger, though.
@Ralizah "A banger."
You've been hanging out on this site way too long
@Ralizah that’s true. That’s an issue with the visuals but everything else is stunning.
Who cares if it is?
Who cares if it isn't!
Horizon Forbidden West is by far in a game the most often I find myself stopping what i'm doing and just look around in awe.
@NEStalgia I don't want to hear it from the guy who abuses the emoji so much it borders on fetishistic!
@Reeneman The lighting is one of the most important elements of a game's aesthetic. Hard to appreciate the visuals when you're pulled out of the experience this hard by it.
@ItsBritneyB_tch Same here. I mean it is still running on the Decima engine so it is, kind of, still running on the PS4?
@Ralizah So it still looks like Aloy has been eating her Ready Brek? Thought they'd have done away with that "hero lighting" effect.
@Rob_230 Ikr. Got priorities, woulda had a PS5 in 2020. And yeah I like art direction too but still I find GoT's art okay. The menu art is superb but gameplay graphics itself is fine. Horizon is just leagues ahead, yeah it looks like it's going for realism but same can be said for GoT.
@Ralizah Lightning is very good in the game, it’s just this „hero lightning“ in this game. Not my taste as well… nevertheless game looks incredible good.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart gets my vote. ✌️Like a topnotch Pixarmovie. 👑
Is it not the weekend yet? Looking forward to diving back in. Probably one of my favourite gaming world's out there. No doubt I'll be stopping every few minutes to go on a photoshoot. Forget Pokémon Snap, Horizon Snap is the business!
I've only got a tiny bit in so far, but running around the lava plains glowing at night is seriously something else. I love the touch of haptic feedback next to a lavafall too, really sells it.
Yes it is! Wen you see Los Angeles for a first time from your sunwing it’s unreal!
It only has a few new machines
Games that made me feel like, oh wow, this is really pushing it to the next level of what I expect a game and game world can look like:
Uncharted 4. Every new chapter or set piece was just like visual euphoria
RDR2. The world, weather and lighting just came together so perfectly
GoT. Certain areas really stand out
Witcher 3 PS5 update. I spent like 20 hours in Photomode 😬😁😬😁
I've yet to play HFW, but this looks shiny and new, but kind of samey. I'm hoping being in the world makes it feel more special. Not to say that it's bad, it looks outstanding, but it is maybe a bit sickly and bright, a bit like a room in Willie Wonker's chocolate factory
A stroll around Valhalla is also pretty damn good especially at the right time of day, and Origins and Odyssey ain't half bad world recreations either.
Horizon > Demon Souls > Ratchet > GOWR > Whatever game you want to mention.
FW was such a beautiful game. Every time I kept discovering new areas in the game I was just taken aback by how great the environments looked. I loved it so much.
Can anyone say if the DLC has other environments besides the "tropical" looking one in the screenshots above without spoiling the game?
R&C Rift Apart truly looks like a 100 million dollar first class animated film. I loved that game so much.
@__jamiie so what is then?
@Rafie It's certainly an amazing looking game but I don't think there is one best looking game ever. It's all subjective.
Forza Horizon 5, Crash Bandicoot 4, Guilty Gear Strive, AstroBot Rescue Mission, God of War Ragnarok, MS Flight Simulator, Callisto Protocol. Those are some that have impressed me most recently.
But then I still have a soft spot for beautiful pixel art games like Octopath Traveller and Shovel Knight.
@Razrye888 There isn't one. That's the point. That's like saying, 'What's the best film or album'.
@Ralizah If I didn't abuse the emoji people would take my endless sarcasm as trolling 😂 😶 👍
Seriously though didn't guerilla say back at hfw launch that quality mode on PS5 uses a lighting rig on alloy they normally use for cutscenes? That's certainly where the glow is coming from, and it's intentional for whatever reason.
On console, yes. It’s absolutely jaw dropping from a visual standpoint.
In the entire market? That has to go to Cyberpunk 2077 with the new Path Tracing update.
My God path tracing transformed that game.
Hey PS, can you at least add some 4k versions of those pictures? So we can "stare" O_O at them properly.
In those low res images the PS5 only DLC doesn't look much (any?) different from the main cross-gen title.
100%... stunning. It is going to be a pleasure to explore every inch of the world.
Simply amazing what Sony is doing right now.
Its definitely up there with the best.word up son
Press x for Doubt
Horizon and GOW Ragnarok were all held back by PS4 low spec hardware. It's a shame we missed out on what they could of been like if they were PS5 exclusives.
This looks exactly like the base game. If not less impressive ONLY because of the overuse of thin fog/steam. Which I get, if it's meant to be GEOthermal hotbed now. Can anyone pinpoint actual graphical fidelity Improvements clearly evident that justifies it being PS5 only aside from, err.... Clouds 🙄.
Don't get Me wrong the base game looks great foR SURE. Is it the best looking game though? I think the myriad of art styles out there can get in the way of making such a singular statement.
It's stunning for what it is nonetheless.
My vote goes to Ratchet but this is a close second together with Death Stranding. Actually, in some ways it is more impressive than Ratchet with that ridiculous amount of foliage.
@Intr1n5ic Demon Souls is scarily so good looking. Special shout outs to TLOU 2 & GOT as well especially considering they were made entirely for PS4
@Constable_What I have to agree. I actually find the game agonisingly annoying. I wanted to like it - of course I did! But I tried twice. Got somewhere towards the end of the main campaign. But … firstly every single time there’s a cutscene I find myself fidgeting and looking at my phone hoping it ends quickly. And … (shock horror I know) … I don’t actually like the combat. She seem to get knocked over a LOT and makes noises like the Williams sisters playing each other at Wimbledon.
Sorry - I just couldn’t like it. Scenery looks great though, even if I find the bright colour palate a little grating for personal taste!
Not bothering with it. Looks good, yeah. The amount of times i fell off mountains because of no lock on ffs. Never again.
Its a shame that PC games besides Doom
And Doom Eternal aren't optimized at all. I cannot even imagine a game with HFW or Ratchet/Clank performance looking the same on a machine with 8gb DRAM/8gb VRAM. No way. It would be screaming so loud you'd need noise canceling headphones and it would still stutter and screen tear.
This is why I appreciate my PS5 more than my PC on most games. You put a disc in and enjoy. You aren't googling niche issues that your particular drivers/windows settings/hardware create that may only impact your build. Sure you can play Cyberpunk 2077 on Path Tracing at 19 fps native or 50s-60s with DLSS frame-apeing with a 4090 but frankly its just a lot of Window Shopping at this point. We have all beaten the game as much as we care to. You only boot the .exe to see those cool graphics and then close out and do something else.
@NinjaNicky tell me what pc game looks better than this. i'll wait.
@mariomaster96 it has both soo.
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@middyone You completely missed the analogy. The poster said "art style > realism" but realism is an art style. So, because brown hair is a hair colour, it's the same as saying "hair colour > brown hair". Or anything else that fits the format, like "food > pizza" or "videogames > Mario". i.e. it's a nonsensical thing to say.
I still remember being in awe of the vistas in the main game. I used to just slow down and take in the scenery...and I never do that in games. I'm happy we're finally ditching last gen so the power of the PS5 can be put to proper use.
Best looking game on ps5, yes. Ghost of Tsushima in a very close second. And I bet Stellar Blade will look even better when it drops.
It is the best looking game this generation so far.
@Matroska oh you didn't at the poster so I didn't know what you meant. art style is just as important as realism I think...not necessarily the same thing. ghost of tsushima for example has a phenomenal art style but let's be honest here...still love the game though but the fidelity and textures and lighting is not realistic. i see now.
@middyone I don't really care what df says ,playing a game normally, without your face 1 inch from the screen you will not notice what they do ,horizons characters all have some weird ,ready brek glow around them, ragnarok just looks a cleaner image to me,and their faces have an artificial plastic look,if you don't agree ,thats fine,no need to be insulting,also forbidden west imo is pretty boring ,it didn't grab me as ragnarok did or zero dawn for that matter ,I just found aloy really annoying.
The Balanced mode is sooooo good. Smooth fps and crisp visuals. It works so well. Glad they ditched PS4
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@NinjaNicky that isn't true in the slightest. Where is this PC only game that blows everything away then? PC can turn up settings on older console games and make them look marginally better but when the game isn't actually out on PC it can easily look better. This is one.
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LOL... it's not all the time. Most of the time it doesn't break my immersion but when the perspective does change in my brain, everything looks plastic and small with fantastic detail. It's as if I am controlling the ultimate McFarland figure and interacting with the most detailed scale model of whatever world the character is in. Then as fast as the shift happens it switches back and I'm perceiving the character in their full size as intended.
This also only happens with third-person games as first-person games assume you are full-size and the world feels like you are.
@tallythwack how did you find aloy annoying lol. that's hilarious to me but whatever. you don't have to care what df says...but these people are experts and zoom in and spend hours analyzing and such. you may not agree and have an opinion...all i'm saying that OBJECTIVELY they are right. you have to remove your personal feeling about thinking the game is bad or anything else. even if I didn't agree with them...i'd be like well idk but ya'll are the experts that study this stuff all the time. it's like not agreeing with a doctor when they say you need medicine...just because you don't agree doesn't mean it's not objectively true. and you can't say that playing a game normally makes a difference when so most people say the exact same thing. look at what comments have to most likes here...the ones that say it is the best. even the biggest gow ragnorok fanboy on twitter i've seen say it looks better lol. the lighting is different so what? it's called hero light and that's just what the devs wanted to do with their artstyle...like I said if you prefer an artstyle fine. they already toned it down from how it used to be and I just looked up ready brek glow lol...it's nowhere near that bad. I mean even look at the character in my profile picture...that's in game. does that look "plasic" to you? lol the last game was plasticy you can't deny when it's right there in my pfp that looks phenomenal. didn't even realize I insulted you...sorry if I did. comparing two completely different games will get you nowhere...now zero dawn is just a matter of opinion and is debatable.
@grapetrap interesting...any idea what could be causing that though periodically? I don't think i've ever experienced that. dang sounds trippy...maybe you're experiencing vertigo?
Not sure. It's like an optical illusion where you can change perspectives on a picture and see 2 different things depending on how your mind perceives it. Like the ballerina that spins either clockwise or counterclockwise. One second I'm seeing ultra-detailed action figures in a diorama the next second it looks normal. Also, it only happens in 60FPS as 30FPS is too cinematic so it looks like a movie. I actually find it fascinating.
I wish the 2nd was as fun to play as it looked! F story DLCs!
Beautiful screenshots! Looking forward to playing the DLC eventually
@middyone how did I find aloy annoying ? I find her to be very condescending and with total lack of humour ,like I said we can't all like the same ,just as in real life some people find others endearing ,some find them intolerable, both ragnarok and horizon are similar games ,in the same way that cod and killzone are similar games ,and yes I can disagree with so called experts ,just because they do something for a living doesnt mean they are right on all occasions ,prime ministers and presidents are so called experts in their field,do you agree with everything they say without question? I didn't like forbidden west ,except it, you may not agree ,but thats not my problem ,its yours,I bought it with the money I earned ,I can feel about it any way I please.
@tallythwack condescending? that just gave me a good chuckle bro lol...the only time she is sassy is when people deserve it. yup we can't all like the same thing but i'm just glad the majority loves her. ragnorok and horizon are not similar at all and cod and killzone are not good examples at all. lol well you can keep you're uneducated opinion...me and the rest of us will believe the educated experts that job is analyzing graphics. very rarely are the experts wrong...whether you believe that doesn't matter. how is a prime minister and a president an expert at being that when it is their first time being that? lol bad example. you can question them but you ain't gonna always agree with anybody all the time. I could care less if you did or not like it and I have said so. also didn't you just say you said it was boring instead of it's bad? conflicting opinions lol.
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