Horizon Forbidden West's Burning Shores DLC is right around the corner, and excitement continues to mount. Guerrilla Games has been revealing new information slowly as the launch date approaches, with today a recent Meet the Machine highlight covering the Waterwing. This new bird-type machine will not only soar the skies with Aloy on its back in Horizon Forbidden West the Burning Shores but can dive beneath the waves for further underwater exploration. This new feature truly showcases the technological marvel of the PS5.
When Horizon Forbidden West launched in February 2022, many fans were elated that the game allowed Aloy to mount a Sunwing and take to the skies. Furthermore, while the graphics and performance were largely fine for the PS4 and PS4 Pro, the decision to make Burning Shores a PS5 exclusive has left some fans unhappy; however, seeing what is in store for Burning Shores, it does make sense to embark on this route.
What the PS5 Can Accomplish With Burning Shores
Guerrilla Games and PlayStation have been providing more context regarding the decision to move the Burning Shores to PS5, with a recent PS Blog post featuring an interview with Game Director Mathijs de Jonge. One of the first elements discussed was how incredibly visual the Horizon games are, which means the added CPU power and memory allow that creative quality to be further enhanced. The ability to play the game in a constant state of 60fps was also highlighted, a feature usually desired by fans and very well-known for PC games that can feature 4K gameplay at 60fps or higher.
Mathijs also elaborated that while Horizon Forbidden West wasn't limited in its capabilities to optimize for the PS4, Guerrilla did have to plan around how to express their content for both systems. With Burning Shores, Mathijs says the focus was solely on the PS5, allowing Guerrilla to charge forward with their creative vision unabated. He further explains that the ruins of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas, especially a settlement in and around the ruins, will be highly detailed and full of activity - requiring a lot of processing power. This also applies to a particular Burning Shores boss battle that Mathijs claims could only be handled on the PS5.
Clouds have also been enhanced with the power of the PS5 using voxel technology for generating dense, dynamic results at low and high altitudes. Clouds will feature lightning and landscapes like tunnels, caves, and other surprises. This addition highlights critical elements Mathijs explained when it came to harnessing the power of the PS5 with draw distance, in which details can be displayed at a much further distance, especially with players utilizing flying mechanics. This further verifies a PS5-only DLC, as passing through cloudscapes will be as accurately varied as the land below.
How the Waterwing Will Work in Burning Shores
With this information regarding the power of the PS5, it only makes sense that Burning Shores is a PS5 exclusive, especially when you enter the new Waterwing into the equation. As showcased in the new Meet the Machine, the Waterwing will not only take Aloy through the gorgeous newly rendered cloudscapes but diving underwater for further exploration. Burning Shores has highlighted Los Angeles as a volcanic archipelago - emphasizing new aerial and underwater traversal.
In the trailer, the Waterwing is seen nose-diving underwater, fully capable of swimming with Aloy on its back as she maneuvers around the underwater ruins of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas. This adds an entirely new element for underwater exploration that wasn't featured in the base game, possibly adding a level of protection from other underwater threats. Furthermore, Guerrilla claims that the Waterwing is a highly maneuverable and unrelenting foe when disturbed. This information may mean that underwater combat will be feasible in Burning Shores on the back of a Waterwing.
Horizon Forbidden West is available on PS4 and PS5, and the Burning Shores DLC is scheduled to release on April 19 on PS5.