Guerrilla’s Killzone Shadow Fall Demo Broken Down Technically

Killzone Shadow Fall, one of Sony’s big titles during its PlayStation 4 reveal, used just 3 of the system’s 8GB of RAM for video. That’s according to a new 100 page technical breakdown published by the developer today and available online.

The presentation highlights a couple of key bullet-points, namely that Guerrilla are working on two games (one is an unannounced new IP), and that Killzone Shadow Fall will be a PS4 launch title.

It goes on to demonstrate some technical elements to the demo, highlighted in the YouTube clip above. The demo offered up 60 AI characters, 940 entities, 8,200 physics objects, 500 particle systems, 120 voices and 110 ray casts.

There’re a lot of slides about their own profiler, which Guerrilla say they had to produce because SCE’s tools weren’t quite there yet.

Characters are built from around 40,000 polygons, that’s four times as complex as those seen in Killzone 3. There’s also plenty of lighting discussion, if you’re that way inclined.

Guerrilla say the PS4 is “really easy to program for”, the GPU is “really fast” and the speedy RAM is “awesome”. Obvious words from a first party developer, but good to hear all the same – it does feel like Sony have completely changed their approach to hardware this generation.

Read our earlier preview here, and you can read the full PDF referenced here.



  1. Can always further optimise & streamline memory usage too so this memory capacity will allow devs to not have to spend time optimising.
    Wonder who’ll be first to run bad, bloated code to max it out then use the maxed out RAM as a sales tactic

    • So true. Maxing out RAM will be to next-gen what Blu-ray Disc usage was to the current gen. “Omg, ‘Resistance’ will use up almost a whole single-layer BD and its a launch title!”


    • Bethesda.

  2. None of this good tech data will make much difference if they have yet another poor script and some of the cheesiest and most cliched voice acting known to gaming. The latter is truly awful – have they learned nothing from their siblings in Naughty Dog? Character development and high quality performances can make a good game great.

    • totally disagree love the style of Killzone.

      Ray Winston, Brian Cox, Malcolm McDowell, James Remar, Sean Pertwee there very talented actors.

  3. I sympathise with the helghast actually so if the story is told from their side displaying their vengeance, I’m definitely sold. Totally sick of the crummy Isa.

  4. I remember reading an article ages ago about them only using a small amount of the RAM but good to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Cant wait to see what they can pull out of the bag when they’re using all of it.

  5. Interesting breakdown, something which does the developer a lot of credit. Its funny reading through it because it makes me realise that this is truly next generation with the level of assets their pushing on. It will take a time before PCs catch up despite the technology out there. GDDR5 (for system) and 8 core APUs (which are super efficient) are still not around commercially. 8 core CPUs are fine, but they still lack that RAM. Although its easy to push quite a bit on the GPUs I guess.

    Depending on how complex their AI are (and it might be quite complex knowing Guerrilla) I still reckon it could handle more than 60 even taking into account the 2k x 2k textures to map the models. Plus with all the large scales I can’t wait for a developer to come along and make some medevil dragon age style world with an in game scene of 200-300 low budget assets and AI, aww.

  6. I love Killzone. It’s my favourite FPS and Online Mulitiplayer. Such a cracking series.

  7. Years down the line when code for the PS4 is optimised, there’s gonna be some absolutely crazy stuff from first party developers that’ll compete with PCs. Sure, people can and probably will upgrade their systems to something like 16 gigs of Ram but one of the reasons consoles can last a fair while is because its fixed hardware developers can get used to. (Don’t intend to sound like a console warrior, I love my PC! :) )

    I do wonder what Naughty Dog will pull off with this hardware.

    • 16GB of RAM? I have that in my Mac Mini, that doesn’t make it comparable to the PS4. 16BG of GDDR5 RAM, ain’t gonna happen in a long while.

  8. Did KZ3 only have 10k polys per character? Uncharted 2s Drake is about 30k. (or is that just the cut-scene model perhaps?)

    Anyway, if this is what Guerrilla can do for a launch game, image the sequel.

  9. Don’t be scared by the technical doc, its worth a nosy just for all of the pretty screenshots in there! :)

    • Agreed. Well worth a thumb through. Lovely stuff.

  10. Hopefully the fact they are just using 3 of the 8 Gb available is indicative of the efficient coding practises they’ve no doubt acquired while working with the PS3 RAM limitations.

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