Horizon Zero Dawn: Is 30fps a Crutch or Asset?

Horizon Zero Dawn was recently fully confirmed to be 30fps, so is this good or bad news for Horizon Zero Dawn?

Horizon Zero Dawn is fast approaching the release date and fans could not be more excited. However, with the release date right around the corner, new information has come out about the specs and performance that may turn some players off. Of course, the die hard fans that want to know all about the storyline, the canon and many more intricacies may not care, but for those players that are performance based and scrutinize every fine detail of the processes, the new information that Horizon Zero Dawn is locked at 30fps may alarm some.

The news was officially broken earlier in the week as confirmation came along in the wake of early copies being found on the streets. Users reported that the game, while available on the PS4 Pro, did not offer the option to go higher than 30fps. While at the time of its reveal at the PlayStation conference it was only considered to be a 30fps title, skeptics wondered if there would be a higher performance level with the PS4 Pro, being that the console totes superior hardware, the (at the time) unknown Boost Mode, and of course, 4k support. It turns out, those factors aren’t anything that can sway the development decision of Guerrilla.

So now that the news is out of the way, just how much does this affect the game and its performance as a whole? Is this something that gamers should be worried about? Is this something that will contribute to a colossal collapse in hype and player base? Probably not. While it is rather unusual for a game to currently be released on the AAA level at 30fps in this day and age, it might actually not be a half bad idea to keep the game at 30fps.

Consider this: An open world game with massive amounts of rendering processes, NPCs and beasts of all sorts present at every turn in the environment, lush landscapes… You understand the picture that is being painted. Point being is that there’s a lot of things this game has to consider at all times and a lot of things that will stress console processes for making sure those things are up and running. The choice to lock Horizon Zero Dawn to 30fps may actually be a smart one as this make sure that there is no frame rate drop, no frame rate fluctuation, it’s a solid and stable experience that players won’t have to worry about any choppiness or any tearing at any point during their experience. If the game were developed and to be played at 60fps, it more than likely would have that happen. Sometimes the vast unknown that is the world in a game can overwhelm a console. While the PS4 Pro even is a fantastic feat of tech, it still would be pressing some component limits with a 60fps variation of Horizon Zero Dawn (and don’t even try to think about 4k 60fps…)

So how does this play? That’s the next big question. Gamers who, undoubtedly, play a plethora of games at 60fps may initially notice a difference in frame rate, but over time your eyes will adjust and it will feel considerably comfortable. It’s possible 60fps and 120fps spoils players; think of Horizon Zero Dawn as a cinematic experience, being that major motion pictures you see in the cinema are shot and distributed in 24fps. According to players who have had their hands-on experience with the game, it is a solid and stable build, something that is “without noticeable slowdowns”. Essentially, the game will feel just fine to players of all walks of gaming.

So while initially, that 30fps denotation may scare some players, if you’re really hyped for the game, don’t let it bother you or don’t let it make you lose sleep. The game will be playable at a smooth rate with no risk of problems occurring during the process. If you’re looking for a smooth, stable experience for your explorations into the unknown, then welcome this change because Horizon Zero Dawn has it covered. The vast expanses are yours for the taking. Hopefully, this does not scare off many players as the title itself looks fantastic and we couldn’t be more excited. Horizon Zero Dawn launches February 28th.

P.S. Just a fun little frame rate comparison:

Jordan Gable

Creator, social media & game addict, student. I travel the world sometimes to play video games.

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