The technology behind the PlayStation 4 has allowed Guerilla Games to vastly reduce load times in Killzone: Shadow Fall, according to managing director Hermen Hulst.
Demoing the game on PS4 to Polygon today, Hulst said the studio timed how long it takes for the game to start up from when the player inserts a physical disc into their PS4 to when they begin playing the single-player campaign. According to Hulst, from disc insertion to the 1.5 minute introductory movie to profile creation to getting into the game takes 2 minutes 44 seconds.
"The experience when you have a disc and you put it in the PlayStation 4 is so much more seamless compared to that of current-gen gaming," he told Polygon. "There's no more loading screens between levels, and I think that's a massive technical achievement. When we commenced this project, we actually weren't convinced it was going to be possible."
Hulst said in hindsight, load screens are a bit "retro" and that, somehow, over the past seven to eight years, it's become acceptable for players to have to wait. "We're very proud that you no longer have to do that," he said. "You put in a disc and it's going to take 30 seconds to get into the menu. Then if you immediately press X to start the single-player campaign, a 1.5 minute introduction video that explains what happened at the end of Killzone 3 will play." After that, players will be thrown straight into the game.
If players opt to start playing the game as it downloads, Hulst explained that the game will download the first two levels, and as players play through these levels the rest of the game will download in the background. In the case where players have a relatively fast internet connection, the game should transition to the next level seamlessly. If players finish the first few levels and put the PS4 into standby mode, the game will continue to download in the background. Once it finishes downloading the single-player campaign, it will download the multiplayer game.
Killzone: Shadow Fall is a PlayStation 4 launch title.
Brian Crecente contributed to this story.