Back when erstwhile PlayStation exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn launched on PC last year, it was a bit of a lucky dip whether you got a smooth-running port or a constantly crashing mess. These days, though, the PC version is in far better shape, and has just today received a major upgrade in the form of support for Nvidia DLSS (Deep Learning Super-Sampling) and AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution).
Announced in patch notes posted on Reddit, both forms of performance-boosting upscaling tech will be available in the main display settings menu once you’ve installed the patch. As ever, DLSS is exclusive to Nvidia GeForce RTX graphics cards, whereas FSR is available to both AMD and Nvidia GPUs – good news if you haven’t upgraded to one of the best graphics cards with RTX capabilities.
That said, I’ve just given both DLSS and FSR a quick test, and Nvidia’s version makes the verdant post-apocalypse of HZD look an awful lot better. On my RTX 3090 (tested with an Intel Core i9-10900K), both the Balanced and Quality settings for DLSS look just as good as native resolution, with less shimmering and aliasing than FSR. Remember that the latter doesn’t have anti-aliasing chops of its own, instead inheriting whatever native AA the game has selected – TAA, in this case.
More positively for AMD Radeon owners, FSR seems to push out a few more frames per second than the equivalent DLSS setting. Running HZD’s in-game benchmark at 2560x1440 and with the Ultra graphics preset, FSR’s Ultra Quality setting produced an average of 147fps; besides upgrading the 130fps of running non-upscaled TAA, that’s a smidge faster than ‘Quality’ DLSS’s 141fps. However, dropping DLSS to ‘Balanced’ still keeps the visuals looking sharper and smoother than FSR, while averaging 148fps, so that’s the setting to go for if you have an RTX graphics card.
Numbers game aside, it is nice that a game which first released on console nearly five years ago – and is one of my all-time favourites, for the record – is still getting significant updates on PC today. Though it also wouldn’t be such a bad thing if Guerrilla Games dropped it to work on a PC version of Horizon Forbidden West, eh Guerrilla? Eh? Eh? Eh?