Hello everyone! My name is Eric Chahi, and I’m the creative director at Pixel Reef. For the upcoming release of our game, Paper Beast Enhanced Edition on PS5 and PS VR2, I wanted to share with you the game’s evolution compared to the original version released on PS4 in 2020.
Paper Beast is one of those unique games that have left an unforgettable mark in the memory of players, largely because of the bonds and connections they formed with the creatures. Cooperation is essential to confront the dangers of the game’s harsh and often surreal environments, while terraforming and manipulating the environment plays a significant role. Exploring this raw and unique wilderness exudes a fascinating aura of mystery, where the intrigue is heightened by the absence of UI and dialogue. With the release of the PS VR2, and thanks largely to the power of the PS5, the opportunity to renew Paper Beast was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss. This new VR platform brings fresh new features and unrivaled rendering that we wanted to explore. Better yet, this edition of Paper Beast can also be played without VR.
First, let’s talk about visual improvements.
Dynamic textures for water and sand
Paper Beast is now in 4K and offers superb sharpness and we have increased the resolution of textures and shadows. Players can now see the shimmering details on paper or the animals’ carapace. The most impressive thing is the sand grain; it’s precise, while the animated texture follows the unique simulations. You can see the sand flowing at grain level, it’s very beautiful in VR. The same goes for the water; you can see the current in motion.
Bright lights now illuminate the atmosphere, a feature that François Sahy, the rendering programmer, was very keen on, and we were also able to integrate it thanks to the power of the PS5 and his persistence in optimizing the code! You can see rays of light filtering through and these light rays give a striking impression of volume in VR, making the game’s atmosphere tangible. Furthermore, the image has been adjusted for the PS VR2’s HDR. Essentially, colors are both more vibrant and softer. Each level has been finely tuned directly with the PS VR2 on the eyes.
But it’s not just the visuals that got a boost. The gameplay has also evolved!
Continuous locomotion to enjoy an enhanced immersion
This is a very important improvement. In addition to teleportation, you can now move smoothly and continuously: it’s much more immersive. Approaching the game’s living beings with precision strengthens the emotional connection with the animals, and it’s an aspect of the game that is central to the adventure. Playing in this way also allows for more precise manipulation of entities.
An expanded sandbox
The sandbox of Paper Beast has also evolved. The terrain is larger, the total number of entities has been significantly increased. Further, entities that impact the terrain are more numerous, with more combinations to play with. A major novelty is that trees and plants beautify over time, with vegetation specific to the present ecosystem. For example, when predators reproduce around a tree, the vegetation will take on their visual signature.
We hope you’ll be eager to play Paper Beast and explore its mysterious universe, with or without VR.