Was Horizon Zero Dawn ever bested on a visual level?

leng jai

Member
Nov 2, 2017
10,961
Volumetric lighting for starters, the god rays look like they are rendering in 480p on 1X even if the overall image output is native 4K. Water reflections are pretty terrible too.

Draw Distance is the biggy.

Stacked up against the PC release, it's running a combination of lower than low, low, and medium settings. Textures are at Ultra. I feel like going for a full fat 3840x2160 was kind of a waste when other areas could have been improved on.
RDR 2's IQ and TAA was made to be played at 4K though, I've played it on PC and it looks pretty horrible at times in motion at 1080p/1440p. Overall they did a good job with the 1X version outside of the lighting quality and water. Before the PC version existed everyone was saying the draw distance was fantastic on 1X.
 

Maxey

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,653
Portugal
Draw Distance is the biggy.

Stacked up against the PC release, it's running a combination of lower than low, low, and medium settings. Textures are at Ultra. I feel like going for a full fat 3840x2160 was kind of a waste when other areas could have been improved on.
Fair enough, although since I imagine that the bulk of the work when making the game was to have it run as well as it does on the base hardware in the first place, they might have decided to not give too much priority to the 4K upgrades.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,060
RDR2 is gorgeous and probably better technically, but I still prefer HZD from an aesthetic standpoint. It's just more vibrant and creative, which I prefer.
 

Grimminski

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,948
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
What does that even mean? Console versions of games never stack up well to maxed out pc settings. Shit, what specs do you need to max out rdr2 on pc?
It's not about stacking up to the PC version at its maxed settings, it's about the game not really holding up all that way a short way into the distance.

V

Draw Distance is the biggy.

Stacked up against the PC release, it's running a combination of lower than low, low, and medium settings. Textures are at Ultra. I feel like going for a full fat 3840x2160 was kind of a waste when other areas could have been improved on.
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,447
It's not about stacking up to the PC version at its maxed settings, it's about the game not really holding up all that way a short way into the distance.

V
You are stacking it up to the pc release though...

The settings are only “low” when compared to the pc version. Not only does RDR2 have an insane draw distance for objects and shadows compared to any other console title, but there isn’t a console that beats the X in this regard.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
11,102
I havent played rdr2 because it looks shitty lol. But the graphics seem amazing. I want to see them in person!!
 

AegonSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,038
I feel like a lot of these games are really close. i remember playing horizon and being blown away over and over again because of the cinematography alone. i dont think ive ever seen a game or tv show or movie that looked that good so consistently.

until i played rdr2. rdr2 has that same level of consistently beautiful vistas with the added benefit of having gran turismo quality lighting that gives it that realistic look other games simply cannot match. forza and forza horizon can push literally push millions more pixels but that lighting in gran turismo will always give it that edge. death stranding also has some extremely realistic looking lighting but it doesnt manage LODs as well as RDR2.

That said, RDR2 doesnt do everything well. game looks fantastic in the country side but towns dont look as good. st. denis isnt as populated as you would expect and it takes away from the immersion. instead of just picking one game that looks the best, i think we need to look a bit deeper and we will see rdr2 has some stiff competition despite looking best overall.

  • Lighting - we've already covered this. rdr2 with death stranding as a close second.
  • Foliage - horizon. nothing comes close.
  • Character models - death stranding. Mads especially looks great especially in the finale.
  • Most CGi looking game - the order. this game still looks like a cg movie. i cant find a single fault with its picture and asset quality.
  • Weather effects - driveclub. nothing comes close.
  • Animations - RDR2. another thing that sets rdr2 apart from pretty much every other game. tlou2 is set to overtake it come may.
  • Level of detail - RDR2. yes, 3000 people worked on this game but ubisoft has a 1000 people work on every AC game and they dont even come close to matching the detail rockstar employees manage to put in games.
  • Cutscenes - uncharted 4 - no one does facial capture like naughty dog.
 

Grassy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
384
Horizon Zero Dawn is pretty amazing for base PS4. It's pretty interesting reading how they got it to look "unnaturally" good at all times.

"In Horizon we wanted to give them the sense of being in a 24/7 version of BBC's nature, where it is always at its most epic, most impressive," Beek said. "Anything less than the best look, we would simply remove. So to some degree we indeed make it unnatural.

"But it was not a matter of turning the beauty to 11. It was a matter of removing anything less than a 9.5 on the epic nature scale. It's not a 'reality' simulation, it's all very controlled. If we like a certain amount of fog at a particular time-of-day because of the nice lighting effect it gave, we simply set it up so that amount of fog was the ONLY amount of fog ever allowed at that time of day. If we only liked a certain amount of snowfall, then that would be the only amount of snowfall ever allowed."

Although for me, playing RDR2 on PC with a 2080 Ti at high resolution & framerates takes the cake. It just looks fucking insane. The IQ is crisp as fuck and it looks amazing. Same as Forza Horizon 4 on PC which is stunning too, especially for an open-world racing game.
 

georaldc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,321
It's not about stacking up to the PC version at its maxed settings, it's about the game not really holding up all that way a short way into the distance.

V
I don't get this. Wasn't RDR 2 on consoles known for having great draw distance rendering and lod management? Now that the PC version is out, this is now seen as a negative just because some equivalent console settings are categorized under something called "low" (or lower than low)?
 

Grimminski

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,948
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I don't get this. Wasn't RDR 2 on consoles known for having great draw distance rendering and lod management? Now that the PC version is out, this is now seen as a negative just because some equivalent console settings are categorized under something called "low" (or lower than low)?
It's got great LOD, just like the last 2 Assassin's Creed games, but the draw distance on objects and grass is really rather poor.
 
Jun 23, 2019
2,480
I thought RDR2 might be the winner, but then Death Stranding went and flipped the whole game around. Only games I’m looking at now for this gen are FFVIIR and The Last of Us Part 2 where I think a lot of people are underestimating Naughty Dog in this aspect.
 

leng jai

Member
Nov 2, 2017
10,961
Horizon 4 always gets overlooked because it's a racing game but that running at 4K60 on PC is actually insane.
 

mxbison

Member
Jan 14, 2019
1,884
Anyone saying stuff like "no contest", "not even close" etc. is just being hyperbolic and silly.

I do have to agree that RDR2 graphics beat it even though I hated that game.
 

georaldc

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,321
Horizon 4 always gets overlooked because it's a racing game but that running at 4K60 on PC is actually insane.
Currently playing it at 120hz 3440x1440 and it does look amazing when hitting high framerates. I sometimes switch over to the One X version in performance mode and it just doesn't compare. I think those headlight shadows make a big difference.

One cool detail I noticed with Forza Horizon 4 while playing around in photo mode was my character's glasses reflecting the environment accurately. You could even see the hot air balloons reflected on the lens
 

Cripterion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
827
I guess Death Stranding looks better?

Not open world but to me, Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy are still the best graphical showcase on PS4. I'm more wowed replaying UC4 than I was playing Metro Exodus for the first time (Actually could barely stomach 30 mns of that game before uninstalling).
 

leng jai

Member
Nov 2, 2017
10,961
Currently playing it at 120hz 3440x1440 and it does look amazing when hitting high framerates. I sometimes switch over to the One X version in performance mode and it just doesn't compare. I think those headlight shadows make a big difference.

One cool detail I noticed with Forza Horizon 4 while playing around in photo mode was my character's glasses reflecting the environment accurately. You could even see the hot air balloons reflected on the lens
Yeah the 60fps mode on the X is only 1080p and lacks quite a few of the quality settings like night shadow. Can't complain when you're getting an open world racer running at locked 60 on a Jaguar though.

Still can't get over how beautiful the pastel skyboxes are in Winter, by far the best looking season.
 

almutama

Member
Oct 27, 2017
139
I might be in the minority, but I never liked horizon's color palette very much. Too much orange for me. Fantastic overall visuals though
 

JDSpades

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,447
Both games are pushing really good LOD meshes/textures, but the up close stuff (grass, rocks, crates, people), the stuff that's drawing in as you move through the world, doesn't hold up.
Nah, again, you can’t compare the two. Distant foliage, objects, and natural structures such as mountains hold up way better on rdr2, and I’m playing Odyssey on the X. Individual detail holds up way better in rdr2 as well (shadows etc.)
 

nickfrancis86

Member
Nov 10, 2017
282
Death Stranding is one of the cleanest most bug free games I have ever played in recent times. I found it to be visually stunning too. I can't wait for it to come to PC and see how it looks on a high end rig. It'll be a good indication of the scaleability of Decima and maybe give us an insight to what a PC version of Horizon may look like.
 

nelsonroyale

Banned
Oct 28, 2017
3,845
As of right now, I would probably give Death Stranding and RDR2 the nod, then Horizon, Spider-Man, Detroit. Death Stranding, while more sparse has the best character models and terrain geometry. RDR2 just has insane attention to detail and consistency. Horizon probably beats RDR 2 in terms of asset quality up close, but it doesn't do as well across scale...the world just seems a bit compressed, while DS then RDR2 then AC games do scale best.

It terms of upcoming games though, I think FFVII R is probably the best looking over all to me. The asset quality is insane, it defintely beats out the Order in terms of the CG look and it has crazy effects. The geometry is also insane in parts, particularly the fight under the massive bridge in the trailer...

 

Nintendo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
9,979
I think they tried to patch it so it looks better than launch, but its still fake as shit.
It's not fake. The problem is that the filmic tonemapping is still there and it affects the black levels. The game clearly wasn't designed with HDR in mind. Maybe we can mod the tonemapping out once OpenIV supports it.
 

MadMod

Member
Dec 4, 2017
985
Death Stranding and RDR2, GOW, Uncharted 4 and I'd say thats basically it, Horizon did look fucking amazing in HDR though, probs the best game for it. Looked great on my oled.
 

dskzero

Member
Oct 30, 2019
413
Plenty of games. RDR2, GoW, Gears 5, Battlefield 5, Metro Exodus, Modern Warfare, etc etc.

Not to take away from the game though, it still looks gorgeous.
I must have played a different Metro Exodus than everyone else.

The character animations totally killed whatever beauty the scenerios had.
 

Dphex

Member
Oct 27, 2017
8,154
Cologne, Germany
Horizon has such a tiny FOV, it feels downright claustrophobic. and the talking scenes are completely uncanny valley. also, too much motion blur for my liking.

Horizon has an somewhat artificial look, can´t describe why but it all looks artificial to me.
 

Caio Loco

Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,449
Brasil
Technically speaking yes, by Death Stranding and Red Dead Redemption 2.

But if we would add art style to the mix, Horizon is still the King. Looks absolutely gorgeous.
 

Mr.Deadshot

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,133
Technically speaking yes, by Death Stranding and Red Dead Redemption 2.

But if we would add art style to the mix, Horizon is still the King. Looks absolutely gorgeous.
What exactly makes these games clearly better on a technical level? I think people tend to forget that Horizon features massive creatures battling each other with lots of special effects on screen and rather fast gameplay. Neither RDR2 or Death Stranding offer something on that scale.