Horizon Forbidden West Will Have "Virtually No Loading Screens," Aiming For 2021

Horizon Forbidden West Will Have "Virtually No Loading Screens," Aiming For 2021

Aloy's next venture will have fewer opportunities for you to check your phone.

Guerrilla Games is looking to make use of the PlayStation 5's power for its next game. Horizon Forbidden West, the sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn, was unveiled during last week's PS5 showcase, and game director Mathijs de Jonge says it will be making use of the next-gen console's architecture.

In a video posted today on the PlayStation YouTube channel, de Jonge says Guerrilla Games wanted to go wider and deeper with the Western area depicted in Forbidden West, which will stretch from Utah to the Pacific Ocean. But just because the world is "a bit bigger" than Zero Dawn doesn't mean it will be filled with pauses and breaks.

"With the PS5's SSD, there will be virtually no loading screens," said de Jonge. "So in an open-world video game like Horizon Forbidden West, if you open up the map and fast travel from one end to the other, restarting from a checkpoint will be super fast. When you boot up the game, you're right there, in the action."

Many developers have already spoken out about how the new SSD architecture inside the PS5 will make big changes in game design. The ability to cut down on, if not eliminate load times, is certainly a major move. Even Epic CEO Tim Sweeney referred to the storage system as "god-tier."

It will be a little while until we see those goals come to fruition, however. De Jonge says that Guerrilla Games is aiming for a 2021 launch for Horizon Forbidden West, taking it out of the picture for the PlayStation 5's launch, currently set for holiday 2020. Still, a showcase of the system's ability to cut down on load times within a year of launch can make an impressive case for those holding out and waiting to see which next-gen box emerges on top.

We finally saw what the two versions of the PlayStation 5 will look like last week, during Sony's PS5 showcase that revealed Horizon Forbidden West. It's set to launch both a standard version and a digital one, sans disc drive, sometime this coming holiday season.

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Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

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