Horizon Forbidden West will be getting released on the Playstation 5 when it comes out, and with a new console comes a new engine, or at least one evolved from the original. The evolved Decima engine that Forbidden West will be running on will be doing great things for the Playstation 5.
The Decima Engine will not only be getting shown on the Playstation 5, but also on the PC for the PC launch of Horizon Zero Dawn and the launch of the PC version of Death Stranding. Now that the game is engine isn’t shackled to a console from 2013, Guerrilla Games can really make big changes with it.
While Horizon Zero Dawn already looked amazing, Guerrilla has since figured out how to make it even better. To start with, foliage interaction has already been drastically improved, as we saw in the trailer where grass moved with the wind and the foliage on the back of the huge robot turtle shifted with its movements.
Even though foliage may not look like much of an improvement for the evolved Decima engine, foliage is surprisingly expensive to animate, and the details that it would need to behave realistically often aren’t used due to expense or console limitations.
The greater capacity of the evolved engine can also help with rendering objects at a greater distance. In Horizon Zero Dawn, most detail was focused on Aloy and the area immediately around her. Forbidden West, however, will be able to render things at a greater distance in more detail, and the evolved Decima engine can even cast precision shadows at a distance.
The foliage isn’t the only part, either. The sky has also been given extra detail with the Decima engine, especially considering enormous and devastating storms are going to be a big part of Horizon Forbidden West’s story.
And of course you can’t talk about land and sky without mentioning the sea, as well. Water rendering has been improved a huge amount as well, with waves that actually break and warp as they come to shore or hit rocks, and even will move various objects that are light enough, such as the injured fox seen in the trailer.
Terrain in general appears to have been drastically improved with the help of the Decima engine’s improvements, including detail, ranging from the placement of pebbles on the beach to two incredibly detailed crabs.
Terrain and environments aren’t the only new things, either. The evolved Decima engine has also improved character models, though in less obvious amounts. For instance, Aloy’s less-obvious body hair can be seen silhouetted by the sun in one shot, a rendering decision that’s often not taken for most games.
While all of the stuff we’ve seen so far is in a trailer that could obviously just have been touched up, if it does turn out to have been running on the Decima engine, then what we saw in that advertisement was only the beginning. Horizon Forbidden West won’t be a launch title for the Playstation 5, but hopefully it will showcase all the things the console is now capable of.