Horizon Forbidden West is one of the most hotly anticipated sequels of 2022, and it's finally here. The original game came out of nowhere back in 2017 to swiftly become one of the best-received Sony games of its generation.
Since the game is dropping on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, it doesn't have as many graphics options as the average PC title. Instead, it launched with two different graphical modes with very different limits and goals.
Performance vs. Resolution Mode in Horizon Forbidden West
In Horizon Forbidden West, Performance Mode targets a frame rate of 60 FPS while running at a lower 1800p resolution. Resolution Mode runs in native 4K while targeting 30 FPS.
The graphical resolution figures are maximums, and the frame rate will dip below the target from time to time. Graphical quality will scale to meet the target frame rate. Frame rate dips most often during in-engine cutscenes, while it runs extremely well in gameplay.
According to Polygon quoting Sony, PS4s vary in their native maximum resolution. The original or slim variety defaults to 1080p, while the Pro hits 1800p in Resolution mode. The PS4 version of the game runs at 30 FPS in all settings.
The difference boils down to the player's selected priority: faster performance or higher resolution. Some have even suggested switching between the two. Using Resolution Mode when sight-seeing and Performance Mode when in combat might be a good idea.
The best graphics for Horizon Forbidden West
It goes without saying that the PS5 will provide the best graphics for this next-gen game. That standard is followed swiftly by the PS4 Pro, then by the base PS4.
Graphics are complex, and Performance Mode and Resolution Mode aren't in competition. The two methods prioritize different things. The game looks great in either case, but frame rate makes a difference.
Since the game will run at 30 FPS in either mode on PS4, it makes one wonder whether there's a difference between the two. Resolution Mode will scale the graphics to the previously mentioned benchmarks but will cause the frame rate to dip. The frame rate will stay more or less locked at 30 FPS in Performance Mode, while it will struggle occasionally in Resolution Mode.
The best-looking way to play Horizon Forbidden West is on PS5 in Resolution Mode. The most satisfying way to play is in Performance Mode. Switching between the two is a perfectly valid method. Even on older consoles, the game looks great.