The Pathless, the next game from Abzu developer Giant Squid, is hitting the PS5 on the new console’s launch day, alongside PS4, PC, and Apple Arcade versions of the game. And as one of the first games for PlayStation’s next-gen console, it’ll be taking advantage of the new DualSense controller and its higher specs.
Speaking to journalists during a demo presentation — be sure to check out our hands-on preview of The Pathless — Giant Squid’s Matt Nava spoke to the ways the new open-world adventure uses PS5’s new capabilities.
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Nava confirmed The Pathless will employ the DualSense’s new haptic feedback, specifically around the game’s shooting mechanic. The Pathless involves archery as one of its main mechanics, but it takes the focus away from precise aiming and puts it more on exact timing — to keep your character’s speedy momentum up, you need to shoot the plentiful red markers floating around the world. As you shoot them, a red bar fills up around the marker, and if you release the trigger to shoot at the halfway mark, you actually will get even more out of each hit.
For the PS5, players will be able to feel the tension of the main character’s bow pull in the trigger, and the additional feedback will help register when it’s the best time to release the arrow. Nava noted he thought at first the trigger rumble would be just some extra feedback, but that it actually helps to read the timing of your shots.
“After going back to playing on a PS4 controller, I realized I missed that extra indicator of the timing,” he said.
Nava also confirmed that, for PS5, The Pathless will have multiple performance options for players to choose: one at 4K/30 fps, and another at 60 fps with a lower resolution. Nava said the game will default to the 60 fps version, but that players can change it if they choose.
Meanwhile, for those playing on touchscreens via the Apple Arcade, The Pathless splits the screen in two, letting players drag their finger around on the screen to move on the left side while controlling the camera on the right. Tap anywhere on the right side to jump, while a single button on screen is used to shoot. The developers decided to not use an on-screen, virtual controller, because they believed having to make players worry too much about where they were pressing without the tactile feedback of buttons would take people out of the experience. Players can also toggle an auto-run option so they don’t have to keep dragging their finger on the left side of the screen to keep movement going.