The next release from Guerrilla Games, Horizon Forbidden West, is steadily growing closer to its release in February 2022. The long-awaited sequel to Horizon Zero Dawn is launching cross-generationally on both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5. The developers have assured those who have yet to enter the new console generation that in a Forbidden West is just as immersive on PS4, but the PS5 version will undoubtedly take advantage of the new hardware in multiple ways, including utilization of the DualSense controller’s special features.
With the PlayStation 5 available for just about a year now, many have gotten their hands on the DualSense and experienced its haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. First-party PlayStation games especially have taken advantage of the new technology. Anyone who has bought a PS5 has had access to Astro’s Playroom, which is a tech demo disguised as a platformer, and still gives the most well-rounded showcase of what the DualSense is capable of. Horizon Forbidden West will likely put the controller to good use, but it’s following other PS5 titles that have used it in a similar capacity.
News regarding Guerrilla Games’ next title has been steadily streaming out of the studio and Sony for the last few months, and a recent PlayStation Blog post discussing Aloy’s new abilities in Horizon Forbidden West makes passing mention of what players can expect from the game’s DualSense functionality. Like most other games, promotional material has focused on how the haptics and triggers add to immersion. Forbidden West seems to make special use of the DualSense for interacting with objects, from pushing a crate, to using a winch or shooting one of Aloy’s bows.
When compared to other PlayStation 5 games, however, Horizon Forbidden West‘s use of the DualSense does not appear especially unique. Perhaps the most interesting use for it is actually the lack of tension in the adaptive triggers when players run out of arrows. Normally, when firing a bow, the adaptive triggers are utilized while drawing an arrow, with a “pop of the adaptive trigger as [players] reach maximum draw.” This sounds like a welcome bit of sensory feedback for combat, but the exact same sensation has been used by Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut when attaching Jin’s grappling hook to boards that can be torn down.
Similarly, Death Stranding Director’s Cut use of the DualSense is exceptional, providing a wide range of tactile feedback connected to the game’s terrain and various items. Forbidden West using haptics for “the scrape of rubble [when pushing] a crate,” and “the increased adaptive trigger tension” when pulling a winch will almost certainly add another dimension to immersion, but it doesn’t sound groundbreaking. This isn’t necessarily bad; DualSense support is better than no DualSense support, and it becoming more commonplace is only a good thing. The DualSense’s features have so far been used quite effectively for first-party PS5 games, and Horizon Forbidden West appears to be continuing that trend.
Source: PlayStation Blog