Horizon Forbidden West is among the most impressive PlayStation 5 titles shown so far, and the reveal trailer showed some glimpses of how developer Guerilla is evolving its Decima Engine.
Digital Foundry released today an in-depth look at the game's reveal trailer, highlighting the engine's improvements seen in it, such as increased foliage density, improved texture detail, upgraded sky rendering, and more.
Interestingly enough, the Horizon Forbidden West footage included in the trailer doesn't seem to use ray tracing for reflections. As noted by Alex Battaglia, ray tracing may not be a very good fit for the game due to the natural scenes and rough surfaces that will be featured in it.
That said, Horizon Forbidden West doesn't seem to be using ray tracing for reflections in the footage seen so far. Decima-flavour screen-space reflection is used on reflections for distant water, at least. In one of the last shots in the trailer, pterodactyls obscure the terrain in the distance and as a consequence, the reflection beneath lacks that information. While PS5 offers up hardware accelerated ray tracing as a tool for Guerrilla to utilise, it may not be the best fit for a game like this, which has a lot of organic, natural scenes and rough surfaces.
Thanks to the power of the PlayStation 5, Guerilla will not only be able to make the Horizon Forbidden West visuals better than ever but also make the world more immersive, as the game will virtually have no loading screens.
On the PS5, we can make the world even more detailed and more vibrant and more immersive. With the PS5's SSD, there will be virtually no loading screens. So, in an open world game like Horizon Forbidden West, if you open up the map and fast travel from one end to the other [or] restarting from a checkpoint will be super fast. When you boot up the game, you're right there in the action
Horizon Forbidden West releases sometime in 2021 on PlayStation 5. A final release date has yet to be confirmed.