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News video games 06 August 2020, 14:00

author: Adrian Werner

Horizon Zero Dawn PC Has Problems With Optimization After All

The PC edition of Horizon: Zero Dawn has a lot of technical problems after all. The creators promise that fixes are on their way. Some extensive videos showing the PC version in action have also been uploaded.

Horizon: Zero Dawn PC is not as refined as we'd like it to be.

Tomorrow's launch of the PC edition of Horizon: Zero Dawn, a game that was one of the most important PlayStation 4 exclusives, will be launched. Several videos showing the PC version in action have already been uploaded. Unfortunately, there have been reports suggesting that the port leaves a little to be desired in terms of technical polish. This may come as a surprise, as we wrote about the praising reviews of the project yesterday, but in reality there is no contradiction here. The industry media appreciate the wealth of options and the game's support of mouse and keyboard control. The problems are mainly about performance in some situations and with some options.

Ars Technica got access to the full version of the game a few days ago, soon afterwards the editors received an update, but even with it, Horizon: Zero Dawn is said to be far from perfect. According to them, the most important problem is the disappointing optimization. The port was tested on a PC with an i7-8700K CPU (overclocked to 4.8GHz), 32GB of RAM, DDR4-3000 RAM, an SSD, and a Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti GPU, which has no problem running most modern games in 60FPS in 4K. Unfortunately, in the case of Horizon: Zero Dawn it was not enough. To achieve these values, it was necessary to reduce the rendered resolution by 40%, and then use an in-game option to scale the image to 4K. In 1440p (about 44% of full 4K) an average of 68 frames per second was obtained.

Moreover, the automatic resolution scaling system on the PC doesn't work as well as the one known from PlayStation 4. The image is more blurred than in the console edition.

The game was also tested on a laptop with i7-8750H and a Nvidia GTX 1070 Max-Q. Here, on average settings, the game was running in about 48 FPS at 1080p resolution. In addition, Horizon: Zero Dawn seems to have additional problems with CPU optimization, as the frame rate could suddenly drop dramatically when, for example, a group of characters showed up on the screen. Such fluctuations in the FPS number occur even at low details.

What's worse, the option maintaining the game at 30 frames per second does not work either. Despite the dynamic resolution system offered by Horizon: Zero Dawn, it can sometimes go below this value. There are also problems with anisotropic filtering. Its settings do not work properly and often the effect is not working at all.

Fixes inbound

All these imperfections are all the more surprising because the PC version of Death Stranding was more refined and both games use the same engine. The consolation is that the developers of Horizon: Zero Dawn PC are already working on fixing the problems with anisotropic filtering, some animations that only work in 30 FPS when the rest of the game displays more frames per second, and performance drops that occur when traveling or updating interface information or camera changes in cut-scenes, among other things.

However, technical flaws are unlikely to prevent the PC version from succeeding. The game has already topped the Steam bestseller list, and the first reviews are very positive, praising, among other things, the great visuals that overshadow what the PS4 offered, at least on strong PCs. Everything seems to indicate that the existing problems do not overshadow the whole.

  1. Horizon: Zero Dawn - official website
  2. Horizon Zero Dawn - game guide

Adrian Werner

Adrian Werner

A true veteran of the Gamepressure newsroom, writing continuously since 2009 and still not having enough. He caught the gaming bug thanks to playing on his friend's ZX Spectrum. Then he switched to his own Commodore 64, and after a short adventure with 16-bit consoles, he forever entrusted his heart to PC games. A fan of niche productions, especially adventure games, RPGs and games of the immersive sim genre, as well as a mod enthusiast. Apart from games, he devourers stories in every form - books, series, movies, and comics.


Horizon: Zero Dawn - Complete Edition

Horizon: Zero Dawn - Complete Edition