Horizon Forbidden West Image Shows How Much The Visuals Improved Since 2021's State of Play – GameRant

While there’s plenty examples of visual downgrades, Horizon: Forbidden West bucks that trend with a clear visual upgrade in the final version.
For many video game fans, graphics and visual fidelity remain a major topic of conversation, especially with promotional or marketing trailers. While pre-release trailers are meant to get the fan base excited about a game's eventual launch, much of the time, the visuals become a focal point of online discussion. In fact, the prospect of an eventual graphics downgrade has even been addressed by the development team, such as BioWare reassuring fans that Anthem's visual fidelity wouldn't be downgraded from the initial E3 reveal trailer.
One of the more high profile instances is Ubisoft's open world hacker game, Watch Dogs, which received an impressive E3 2012 reveal trailer. However, when the final game launched, the graphics didn't quite match what was initially shown in Watch Dogs E3 reveal. Senior producer Dominic Guay addressed the concerns, admitting that the trailer was created prior to the Xbox One and PS4 specs being revealed and overestimating what would be available. While visual downgrades get a bulk of the commentary, the recently launched Horizon: Forbidden West shows that sometimes, games do in fact improve the visuals during development.
RELATED: Horizon Forbidden West Was Delayed to Avoid Crunch
In a thread on the PlayStation subReddit, a user known as CptnCASx took a screenshot from the State of Play demonstration for Horizon: Forbidden West from 2021 and managed to find that exact area in the final version. While most would agree that the State of Play demonstration was visually impressive, CptnCASx has managed to prove that the final retail version of the game has managed to push the visual details even further.
In the screenshot, which shows protagonist Aloy swimming through some ruins, players can see a big difference between the 2021 demo and the final product. The water alone shows a deeper blue with more light reflecting off of it. In addition to the higher resolution, there's more detail work on the stone walls and the bits of nature reclaiming the building. Overall, the final version of Horizon: Forbidden West is certainly impressive, and the comments to this post reflect how much people would rather marketing teams approach pre-release material.
While many folks seemingly made jokes at Ubisoft's expense, there were more than a few people who mentioned Cyberpunk 2077 which continues to have its own struggles well over a year after it launched. While the game is in a much better state than when it launched in December 2020, the retail game arrived with tons of bugs, problems, and missing features which were either shown or mentioned during marketing. Features like wall running and next-gen crowds were clearly missing from the final product.
Horizon Forbidden West is available now on PS4 and PS5.
MORE: The Best Tips To Get Started With Horizon Forbidden West
Derek’s love of games came at an early age when his parents first brought home the Nintendo Entertainment System. From then on, countless nights were spent hunting ducks, stomping turtles, exploring far off planets, and combing through dungeons with a trusty sword and shield. Originally growing up exclusively with Nintendo products, Derek’s perspective grew to include other platforms ranging from Sony, to Microsoft, the PC, and more. As his views and opinions grew, so did the desire to connect with other players and video game fans. In 2011, his blogging and writing adventure began at his personal site Gamercrash.com. While he continues to write there, he eventually joined up with the Game Rant crew in 2015, writing everything from features and guides, to the latest breaking video game news. You can find Derek here, at his personal website Gamercrash.com, or @GamerCrash on Twitter.

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