Horizon: Zero Dawn Performance Test: PS4’s Best Title?

Thanks to the skill of the team at Guerrilla Games and its powerful Decima engine, Horizon: Zero Dawn may be the most technically adept game for the PS4 yet.

The launch date for Horizon: Zero Dawn is only a week away and the first reviews of this exciting new title by Guerrilla Games are already rolling in, generally extolling the open-world feel and the depth of Aloy’s story. However, there is more to games than just their story and graphics, especially when they’re exclusive to a console like the PS4: namely how they run and if there is any funny business going on with CPU stutters, frame flickers and the like.

Eurogamer dived into the tech behind the game and came to the conclusion that Horizon: Zero Dawn may be one of the best games for the PS4 in that department. Not only has the studio been able to iron out all the small problems, including the frame-rate stutter seen in the very first gameplay trailer of Horizon: Zero Dawn, Guerrilla Games has also managed to strike a balance between the demands of the regular PS4 on the one hand and its Pro cousin on the other.

The Pro, quite simply, can do a lot more than the PS4: its CPU is a lot more powerful, almost two-and-half times so, and graphically it not only just looks better thanks to its 4K resolution, but it also renders a lot faster. The trick when developing for Sony’s console is then to make something that takes advantage of the PS4 Pro’s power, while also keeping it adjustable in such a way that regular PS4 gamers can still enjoy themselves while playing Horizon: Zero Dawn, without the frame rate dropping into the single digits every time they blow up a robotic dinosaur.

No mean feat, indeed, but Guerrilla Games has pulled it off, in no small way thanks to its Decima Engine, which has proven uniquely flexible and thus perfect for the stated goal. Between the engine, originally developed for Killzone, and some good, old-fashioned Dutch ingenuity and know-how, Horizon: Zero Dawn scales almost imperceptibly between the two Sony consoles with nary a dropped frame.

Of course, gamers that want the best possible graphics while playing Horizon: Zero Dawn are best off getting a PS4 Pro, but besides sparkly visuals the gameplay experience is identical, which makes it, if not unique, very special indeed. As an advertisement for the Decima engine and with it the skill of the team at Guerrilla Games, it’s unparalleled and may perhaps be the technically most proficient game on the PS4 to date.

Horizon: Zero Dawn will release for the PlayStation 4 on February 28, 2017.

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