Horizon Forbidden West was taking around a minute to load before the solid-state drive of PlayStation 5 brought the loading times down to just a few seconds.
Speaking with Engadget in a recent interview, game director Mathijs de Jonge pointed out that the reduced loading times of PlayStation 5 were actually a concern for developer Guerrilla Games.
Horizon Forbidden West was loading so fast that players would be unable to read the on-screen hints and tips. Hence, the developer decided to deliberately slow the loading down in order to give players just enough time to read the given text.
“In Horizon Zero Dawn, we called it fast travel, but it could take maybe a minute to actually load,” said de Jonge. “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.”
Horizon Forbidden West tasks players to press X to move past their loading screens when playing on PlayStation 5 which is a simple but efficient way of ensuring readability. The feature can though be disabled through the in-game settings, found under Stand By Screen Mode, so that the game loads automatically without any manual inputs.
Horizon Forbidden West is not the first PlayStation game to slow down its loading times. Ghost of Tsushima did something similar to allow players to read its on-screen gameplay tips, but on PlayStation 4.
Horizon: Forbidden West was released last week and has already become the second largest launch in the history of PlayStation 5. Sony Interactive Entertainment has not provided any sales figures but third-party trackers have confirmed the physical release to be just behind Spider-Man: Miles Morales and ahead of FIFA 22.