Was Horizon Zero Dawn ever bested on a visual level?

Chaz

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,146
Scotland, UK
I dont understand how anyone can class Horizon as the best graphical game currently when it has frankly mediocre facial animation and lip-sync. The environments are gorgeous but you can clearly see the dip in quality when any character other than Aloy is speaking. Even then, Aloy's facial capture and lip sync do not compare to Nate, Morgan & Sam in their respective games.
 

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,192
I dont understand how anyone can class Horizon as the best graphical game currently when it has frankly mediocre facial animation and lip-sync. The environments are gorgeous but you can clearly see the dip in quality when any character other than Aloy is speaking. Even then, Aloy's facial capture and lip sync do not compare to Nate, Morgan & Sam in their respective games.
As gorgeous as the screen shots in this thread have been, I agree with this.

In this sense God of War surpassed it.
 

Arrahant

Member
Nov 6, 2017
322
NL
If you want to include PC versions... I'd say it's not hard to argue the PC version of The Division 2 or AC Oddyssey can be more impressive on a visual level. Have you also been following Star Citizen by any chance OP? The world generation stuff in there makes planets look amazing.
 
Jan 21, 2019
1,229
If you want to include PC versions... I'd say it's not hard to argue the PC version of The Division 2 or AC Oddyssey can be more impressive on a visual level. Have you also been following Star Citizen by any chance OP? The world generation stuff in there makes planets look amazing.
Do you have some quality Star Citizen pictures. I have seen all digital foundry videos on the game and it never impressed me visually. To me it looks like a current gen mass effect without the great art direction.
 

Retroarnold

Member
Nov 5, 2017
3,013
On PS4 RDR2 and Death Stranding also look fantastic. I'd throw in God of War as well. That game had some amazing graphics and art direction.
 

KKRT

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,142
If you want to include PC versions... I'd say it's not hard to argue the PC version of The Division 2 or AC Oddyssey can be more impressive on a visual level. Have you also been following Star Citizen by any chance OP? The world generation stuff in there makes planets look amazing.
Yep, i would put PC version of Division 2 on the list. Every time i play it, i cannot stop being impressed by how pretty it is, especially lighting in combat, also that asset density, my god.

--
Do you have some quality Star Citizen pictures. I have seen all digital foundry videos on the game and it never impressed me visually. To me it looks like a current gen mass effect without the great art direction.
Have fun :)
 

10101

Member
Dec 11, 2017
65
For me RDR2 just about tops it, but its close. Death Stranding was OK, but too much aliasing for me to say it was the 'best'. Aliasing hurts my eyes :-(
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,948
Of course. Because HZD isn't the best. In fact, there's not a game that is "'best" in every graphical departments. There are games with better animations. Better 3D models. Better lighting. Better physics. For every game that has amazing visuals, there's a visual department in which a game is doing better and another where they're doing worse.
 

Waveset

Member
Oct 30, 2017
320
I dont understand the praise for RDR2, it didnt look bad by any means, I thought it looked fine but nothing special, Horizon easily beat it as the best looking game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
585
Add me onto the horizon zero dawn's in cutscene animation, lipsync, and presentation lets it down in a massive way pile. By the end of my playthrough I was so tired of that sideways headshake animation I'd lose my shit everytime I saw it and it played virtually every single conversation.
 

FlintSpace

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,521
Memories a little iffy now but we will get our definite answer once HZD launches on PC. Man its gonna be glorious.
 

Mr.Deadshot

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,133
I dont understand how anyone can class Horizon as the best graphical game currently when it has frankly mediocre facial animation and lip-sync. The environments are gorgeous but you can clearly see the dip in quality when any character other than Aloy is speaking. Even then, Aloy's facial capture and lip sync do not compare to Nate, Morgan & Sam in their respective games.
Because no game is best in all areas. It's the overall picture that counts. And even with not being the best in this class, Horizon still has pretty damn great character models. Not Uncharted, God of War or Death Stranding great, but still great. If you look hard enough you will find things that are better done in other games in any game.
 

Onikage

Member
Feb 21, 2018
379
Death Stranding with 4k, 120fps and ray tracing will be out of this world.
Also, you guys should search for Kingdom Come Deliverance ray tracing videos. Next gen stuff.
 

NHarmonic.

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
6,674
Add me onto the horizon zero dawn's in cutscene animation, lipsync, and presentation lets it down in a massive way pile. By the end of my playthrough I was so tired of that sideways headshake animation I'd lose my shit everytime I saw it and it played virtually every single conversation.
Pro tip: don't play Fire emblem: three houses then.
 

dodo021

Member
Oct 27, 2017
50
Forza Horizon 4 is the best game in terme of lighting. The radiosity that the engine can produce is breathtaking.

 

MechaMarmaset

Member
Nov 20, 2017
642
Death stranding has better mocap than anything else and I've never looked at the ground as much as I have in that game. Best ground. Better facial animations than everything else (except I think TLOU2 will kill that)

Horizon has it on visual style, but it had terrible FOV, water physics, and facial animations. Though I do like the technology they use to get the faces the way they are. The eyes are great.

RDR2 has it on a realism level. It's a damn good looking game. I did find myself going, "holy shit, how'd they do that?" a lot. But its animations aren't the best. They're floaty.
 

Crossing Eden

Member
Oct 26, 2017
23,159
I dont understand the praise for RDR2, it didnt look bad by any means, I thought it looked fine but nothing special, Horizon easily beat it as the best looking game.
I mean aside from some of the breathtakingly lighting and vistas. The amount of polish and attention to detail in the animation, especially with the sheer amount of set pieces compared to pretty much EVERY other game this gen, is a huge accomplishment in and of itself. Like there's so much detail that it's literally to the detriment of the play experience.
 

VeePs

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,137
Forza Horizon 4 is the best game in terme of lighting. The radiosity that the engine can produce is breathtaking.

Two racers made my jaw drop this gen.

The first was Driveclub. The weather effects, nighttime, etc etc. It was just... gorgeous. Shame we never saw a PS4 (or PS5) Motorstorm from them.

The second was FH4. The open-world, seasonal changes, lighting. I'm really looking forward to seeing Playgrounds RPG project.
 

Cloud-Strife

Member
Sep 27, 2019
650
After all the comments and screens from different games.. now I'm 100% sure that Horizon is one step above all of them.
 

DrDeckard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,260
UK
I'm surprised this is still going. I'm playing horizon right now and it's a great looking game but faaaaar from the best.
 

Rion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,348
Do you have some quality Star Citizen pictures. I have seen all digital foundry videos on the game and it never impressed me visually. To me it looks like a current gen mass effect without the great art direction.
I’ve always thought the same. It’s going to look outdated very quickly once people see PS5 exclusives. It looks great in terms of gameplay though. A realistic looking No Mans Sky is exciting.
 

chris 1515

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,403
Barcelona Spain
Of course. Because HZD isn't the best. In fact, there's not a game that is "'best" in every graphical departments. There are games with better animations. Better 3D models. Better lighting. Better physics. For every game that has amazing visuals, there's a visual department in which a game is doing better and another where they're doing worse.
At least someone with a good comment. No games is the best on everything.
 
Nov 15, 2018
630
I dont understand how anyone can class Horizon as the best graphical game currently when it has frankly mediocre facial animation and lip-sync. The environments are gorgeous but you can clearly see the dip in quality when any character other than Aloy is speaking. Even then, Aloy's facial capture and lip sync do not compare to Nate, Morgan & Sam in their respective games.
About the facial animations. I've been playing Death Stranding lately...and that's something i realized on that game as well. Is that something related to the Decima engine?
 

ghibli99

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,602
USA
At least someone with a good comment. No games is the best on everything.
Yeah, and I think it's important to understand what developers prioritize. With limitless time, budget, resources, and power, sure, you could have the best of everything, but that just isn't the case. There was a good video a few years ago that showed how little world/geometry interaction there is in HZD's world compared to BOTW's, but it's obvious that this wasn't what Guerrilla put their priority on vs. what Nintendo focused on. In that sense, I always thought BOTW's world was more "believable" and "alive", even though in terms of pure looks, HZD's was tough to beat. It's difficult for me to completely separate pure graphics from everything else that is part of a game, and there is also the subjective angle of us as humans, where what is beautiful/best is something we'll never all agree on. LOL
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,572
USA
The Order looks the best. Still looks like CGI in much of its campaign.

RDR2 looks overall more accomplished graphically than Horizon, and the facial animation in Horizon is really bad at times.

Also shoutout to the Forza Horizon 4 clip above. Easily better than Horizon as well.
 

chris 1515

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,403
Barcelona Spain
Yeah, and I think it's important to understand what developers prioritize. With limitless time, budget, resources, and power, sure, you could have the best of everything, but that just isn't the case. There was a good video a few years ago that showed how little world/geometry interaction there is in HZD's world compared to BOTW's, but it's obvious that this wasn't what Guerrilla put their priority on vs. what Nintendo focused on. In that sense, I always thought BOTW's world was more "believable" and "alive", even though in terms of pure looks, HZD's was tough to beat. It's difficult for me to completely separate pure graphics from everything else that is part of a game, and there is also the subjective angle of us as humans, where what is beautiful/best is something we'll never all agree on. LOL
The problem of HZD is simple they have too much grass to be able to be interactive with everything without using hack. They will do a hack and use the system they use for snow for multiple other system.


But they had a first version of grass fully geometric they created before having access to PS4 console and it was working but it was taking all the GPU power.

Current and past real-time rasterization pipelines don't work well with micropolygons, for example, fo the size of a pixel. Rasterization loses efficiency and this the reason use geometric vegetation or having hair is so expensive.


The explanation is here, I am surprised Unreal engine and Frostbite choose triangle for hair.


This method is better for example but not fully based on the polygon strand.

EDIT: Very funny they only used photogrammetry for the Frozen Wild DLC. I suppose they have better lighting and after in post-process they reach the artstyle they want.
 
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Dr Pears

Member
Sep 9, 2018
1,422
Gran Turismo Sport in HDR at certain lighting conditions particularly sunset can really fool me into thinking it's real life footage.

The car models look borderline real life too. I think if you show replay footage to a non-gamer, they'd really struggle to tell it's a game.
 

chris 1515

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,403
Barcelona Spain
The Order looks the best. Still looks like CGI in much of its campaign.

RDR2 looks overall more accomplished graphically than Horizon, and the facial animation in Horizon is really bad at times.

Also shoutout to the Forza Horizon 4 clip above. Easily better than Horizon as well.
I disagree, all is a question of art style and choice for the game engine. Same the requirement for Forza Horizon 4 a car game as nothing to do with an open-world game. This is the reason the second team of Playground games uses a modified Unreal Engine 4. And I would even separate open-world game in a city like Batman Arkham knight or Spiderman compared to games like RDR 2 or HZD. HZD is very different than RDR 2 because they needed to dedicate a big part of the rendering to the Dinobots and they decided to sacrifice some draw distance and FOV to have higher details at a lower distance more than other open world. And they have great VFX too.

RDR2 is the best production value of the industry with the bigger budget, there is an attention to details no other game can reach. After they have a great unified volumetric system, great lighting and shader, and crazy draw distance; much better city than Horizon Zero Dawn where the engine is much more limited.

They all use the same base machine and they have some hardware limitation and they all have different requirements depending on the art direction. RDR 2 needed to look like a western with huge draw distance and huge FOV.

EDIT: As much as I find TO 1886 looking good, the game is very linear and the environments are very static.
 
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AegonSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,038
I dont understand how anyone can class Horizon as the best graphical game currently when it has frankly mediocre facial animation and lip-sync. The environments are gorgeous but you can clearly see the dip in quality when any character other than Aloy is speaking. Even then, Aloy's facial capture and lip sync do not compare to Nate, Morgan & Sam in their respective games.
Name one RPG this gen with dialogue screens that look better. Of course the lip syncing and facial animations during those scenes wouldnt be as good as Uncharted 4 and GoW. They dont have rando dialogue trees with NPCs. Compared to Fallout, Mass Effect and other RPGs with dialogue trees, Horizon is in a league of its own.

The more choreographed cimematic cutscenes might not have facial animation as good RDR2 or Uncharted 4, but they are up there among the best of them.














 

Tyaren

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,419
Every view in Horizon is a piece of art:










Here on HZD the mix of handcrafted work and procedural placement show a bit from time to time.
I think many misunderstood the procedual placement thing in Horizon. Procedual placement is used to create the maps, which happens in all modern open world games. Rocks, trees, bushes, grass patches etc. are not all placed singularly by hand. Afterwards every map is still edited and polished by hand though. Every location in the game is unique, has some interesting landmark and an artist's touch. Some even misunderstood the procedual placement thing to mean the game is procedually generating the world in real-time as one plays the game. Meaning that every player would have a different world. That is not true at all. The world is the same for every player down to every rock or bush on the wayside.
 
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