Two of the biggest games of 2022 are dropping within one week of each other in February, a month that already gave us the much anticipated Dying Light 2. We’re talking about Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring, both titles that gamers everywhere have been looking forward to for years. Come to think of it, these may be the biggest releases of the 2020s overall so far.
Horizon Forbidden West by Guerrilla and Sony at long last provides a sequel to 2017’s brilliant Horizon Zero Dawn. It’s a PS4/PS5 exclusive for now, though we expect a PC version will arrive in the next couple of years.
As for Elden Ring, it’s yet another Dark Souls-related title by From Software and Bandai Namco. By now the Souls formula is quite familiar to many gamers, but Elden Ring promises a more accessible take on the successful franchise, helped by creative input from Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin.
The two games have more in common than releasing within a week of each other. They’re both graphically intricate third person action and exploration games set in open area/open world environments. Both require swift responses and precision timing, but not so much extreme frame rates, and may even be hampered by anything over 120Hz due to “overshoot”. With that in mind, what kind of frame rate and resolution should you aim for with these two?
That’s right, we think good old 4K 60Hz is where the sweet spot lies for this kind of game. Having played the similar God of War on PC in 120Hz, we found that aiming Kratos’ hammer throws in such a high refresh rate could feel very twitchy and too sensitive. Lowering the refresh to 60Hz proved quite helpful. Unlike reflex-based twitch shooters, third person action adventures rarely require rapid aiming at quickly moving targets. We believe this will hold true for Horizon Forbidden West, as from what we’ve seen so far the core gameplay hasn’t changed at all from Horizon Zero Dawn, and that’s a good thing indeed. Similarly, From Software and Bandai Namco have made it clear that Elden Ring is Dark Souls in everything but name, with some movement and traversal innovations, but essentially the same gameplay. There is very little benefit for 120Hz in Dark Souls games, if any.
What you do want in all of these games is to experience as much visual detail and richness as possible while making sure you get a solid 60Hz, which is great for smooth gameplay. This type of game puts a big emphasis on environments, collectibles, resources, enemy attack hints, enemy details, and hidden treasures, plus draw distance, of course.
A gaming monitor that supports 4K 60Hz but gives you the option of higher framerates would be a good choice, because for Elden Ring you could lower the resolution to 1440p and play in 144Hz, if you really wanted to. Also, on PS5 it’s possible Horizon Forbidden West will have a 1080p 120Hz performance mode, but we’re just speculating. It sure helps if your monitor has HDMI 2.1, which offers FreeSync Premium Plus and auto low latency mode.
If you prefer a projector and a big screen experience, make sure to choose a gaming projector with low input lag and true 4K, with technologies optimized to support large format display gaming. The X3000i gaming projector supports 1080p at up to a massive 240Hz, providing even more room for high refresh rates if needed.
Graphics are the most notable aspect of games like Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring. Unlike esports titles, they’re not meant to be played in low resolution and low settings, but the opposite. To get the best experience, you want a display that supports 10-bit color and wide color gamut, such a 98% of DCI-P3 on the MOBIUZ EX3210U. HDR is further a priority, as the two major releases were designed for high dynamic range displays. On the monitor front, look for DisplayHDR 600 or more, while on the projector, 3000 lumens 100% DCI-P3 will be excellent, and the X3000i we recommend has that.
BenQ gaming monitors have HDRi, or smart and reactive HDR with multiple modes that adjust screen parameters based on your environment and preferences. In addition to standard HDR, you get more options to experiment with and find an image type that’s most appealing to you. Furthermore, you get advanced versions of Light Tuner and Black eQualizer, which make sure detail isn’t crushed in dark portions of the screen or gets washed out in bright segments. This fine-tuning of detail retention certainly works in your favor when playing a third person action adventure where environmental exploration is top priority.
Due to our recommendation of 4K 60Hz, we think a 27” screen will be a bit too cramped for the two games in question. Thus, a 32” display is much better, and if you have the room, then a 100” projection is best. Keep in mind both Horizon Forbidden West and Elden Ring will have a ton of detail and plenty of reading to be done, and so a small display could lead to eye strain.
We’re fully excited about Horizon Forbidden West and look forward to rejoining Aloy and her friends on the epic quest for answers that we left off in late 2017. Likewise, we can’t wait for Elden Ring to finally arrive, being huge Soulsborne fans. And in both cases we don’t expect to be disappointed!
Thanks for your feedback!