Horizon Forbidden West loads so fast on the PS5’s SSD that developer Guerrilla Games actually had to deliberately slow them down in order to provide players enough time to read the loading screen tool tips.
In a conversation with Engadget, Forbidden West’s game director Mathijs de Jonge spoke of the incredibly fast load times the PlayStation 5 is capable of, and how that compared to the Horizon Zero Dawn experience on PS4.
“In Horizon Zero Dawn, we called it fast travel, but it could take maybe a minute to actually load,” de Jonge said.
“With the PS5, it’s maybe four or five seconds, it loads so quickly that players can’t even read the hints.
“We had to add a very simple feature where it hangs on the loading screen for enough time so you can actually read at least one hint while it loads.”
If you’re playing Horizon Forbidden West on PS5, you’ll notice that you have to tap X to move on past the loading screen, so you definitely have as much time as you need to read those gameplay tips. (Update: you can actually turn this off in the settings menu so the game loads right away without the need to press X. Just look for the option for ‘Stand By Screen Mode’.)
Personally, I’d rather the game loaded instantly – gameplay tips on loading screens were put there to add something valuable to a moment where you can’t do anything else, and made sense in an era when load times were much longer. If we can simply get on with the game then we don’t need those tips, especially since Horizon Forbidden West provides plenty of tips in-game.
Horizon Forbidden West Screenshots
This isn’t the first time a Sony studio has done this. Incredibly, Ghost of Tsushima also slowed down its load times to allow gameplay tips to be read, and that was running on the PS4’s old-school mechanical hard drive.
For more on Horizon Forbidden West, check out our review and our rundown of how long the campaign takes to complete. We’ve also collected together the 12 biggest changes from the original game, too.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.