10 Ways Video Games Blew Your Mind (Without You Even Realising)

9. Only What You Can See Is Rendered - Horizon Zero Dawn

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Horizon Zero Dawn is a stunningly beautiful open world title, and remains one of the most visually impressive games on the PS4. This is even more impressive given that developers Guerrilla Games are known primarily for the Killzone series - linear first person shooters with very little in terms of open world features. So how, I hear you ask, have they managed to achieve an open world with such lavish detail that doesn't run with the frame rate of a slide show?

Guerrilla Games used a system which allows the game to render only what the player can see, effectively unloading everything off to the side of, or behind, the character's field of view.

This, along with a great deal more trickery such as switching out distant objects with 2D images, allows for the creation of a beautiful playable environment with significantly less processor load.

With massive, sumptuous, open world games being the norm in AAA development, techniques such as these have become commonplace, but Guerrilla giving us a window into these tricks just makes us appreciate their craft even more.


Neo-noir enjoyer, lover of the 1990s Lucasarts adventure games and detractor of just about everything else. An insufferable, over-opinionated pillock.