Developers Detail Unique Ways They Are Using the PS5 DualSense Controller’s Adaptive Triggers and Haptic Feedback


Alongside the first official ad campaign for the PS5, Sony gathered multiple developers to talk about exactly how they are using the unique features of the DualSense controller for their games. Devs behind games like Spider-Man Miles Morales, Deathloop, Horizon Forbidden West, and Bluepoint’s Demon’s Souls remake all gave detailed ways they are implementing haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and other PS5 features in ways that the current DualShock 4 controller simply couldn’t do.

Spider-Man Miles Morales will give players a spidey sense of their own, using haptic feedback to communicate which direction danger is coming from. Creative Director Brian Horton also talked about making each of Miles’s abilities feel unique. “What does it feel like to use Miles’s stealth ability? How does a Venom Blast feel? Because of the high resolution of DualSense wireless controller’s haptics system, we can really push the dimensionality of the feedback. For instance, as you hold down Square to do a Venom Punch, you feel Spider-Man’s bio-electricity crackle across from the left side of the controller, culminating in the right side on impact.”

Deathloop Game Director Dinga Bakaba talked about the “physicality” that the DualSense brings to experiences. “Deathloop being a first-person shooter, we do a lot of things to make weapons feel differently from one another. One I like is blocking the triggers when your weapon jams, to give to the player an immediate feedback even before the animation plays out, which prompts the player in a physical way that they have to unjam their gun.”

Ghostwire: Tokyo Director Kenji Kimura talks about how the DualSense adds “textured nuance” to the game via the haptic feedback, and talks about how they can create a sense of persistent energy through the adaptive triggers. “A balance of forces if you will, and for perhaps actions such charging, loading, and a sense of accumulation of power or energy for things.”

In Horizon Forbidden West, the new weapons will “feel even more unique and satisfying to use,” designed in such a way to “feel unique and play a specific role in combat with machines and human opponents.” Of course, the big one we’ve all seen most prominently is the resistance of the bow string as Aloy draws it back.

Bluepoint says the Demon’s Souls will feel “grittier, darker, and deadlier” than ever before. Creative Director Gavin Moore expresses his excitement for all the little things they can do with the haptics. “Now you feel every blow as you strike down your enemies and cast each spell. You’ll experience the force of a titanic boss’ attack as you pull off a well-timed guard. Metal strikes metal when your foes block your attacks or you block theirs. That extra sensory feedback through the controller allows you to know your attack hit home and your perfectly-timed parry was a success, so you can react faster and more decisively,” he said. “We can also turn the simple act of pulling a lever to open a gate into a sensory experience. This is something that rumble could never do. It could never replicate the feeling of metal striking metal or fire crackling in your hand as you conjure magic. Haptics [are] integral to the experience, to immersing the player in the world and adding to the gameplay. The visual, aural, and tactile working together takes this new generation of gaming into the future.”

In regards to Godfall, Counterplay CEO Keith Lee says he’s excited to be able to feel what weapon is in his hands without needing to look at the UI. He also talked about a feature similar to Spider-Man Miles Morales, where you can “sense where an enemy is spatially, even outside your field of view.”

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart will feature a host of new weapons, just as past games in the series have. Creative Director Marcus Smith details one specific use of the adaptive triggers. “For instance, the Enforcer is a dual-barreled shotgun type weapon. As you pull the trigger, you’ll fire from one barrel, and you can feel resistance around halfway down the trigger. Need a bigger blast? Pull the trigger through that resistance point and you’ll fire both barrels at the same time.”

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The studio director at Japan Studio calls haptic feedback a game changer for Astro’s Playroom.”The concept of “feeling the world” is omnipresent, that’s a significant step forward in immersion. I tried turning haptic feedback off once, and could not believe how much I missed it,” said Nicolas Doucet. “We use haptic feedback throughout the entire game. The most striking are the surfaces because players will notice within the first few seconds. Astro’s steps can be felt running on plastic, metal, sand, and even splashing in water.”

Mirroring what other developers have said, Sackboy: A Big Adventure Design Director Ned Waterhouse said it’s about feeling what Sackboy would be feeling in game, both with the haptics and adaptive triggers. “For example, when picking objects up, there is a tension to each press which conveys that the little guy is struggling to carry it.”

And while we’ve heard talk of Gran Turismo 7 letting you feel the surfaces you are driving over, Polyphony Digital President Kazunori Yamauchi brings up another interesting use: antilock braking systems. “I think the most effective use of the adaptive trigger [in Gran Turismo 7] is for representing the operation of the antilock brake system (ABS) while braking. A typical ABS releases brake pressure intermittently while the driver applies pressure to the pedal. The adaptive trigger is suited for recreating this pedal feel, and it will allow the player to accurately feel and understand the relationship between the braking force they want and the tire’s grip.”

We’ve previously discussed how we think one of the biggest changes to next generation will not be in visuals, but in immersion through the DualSense controller. Sony recently talked about how the DualSense will be required for all PS5 games (though the DualShock 4 will work with PS4 games for backwards compatibility), and it seems like the enormous focus on the controller’s unique features are a continued effort to campaign on why it’s so necessary for the PlayStation 5 experience.

The new PS5 ad campaign focuses on ways the PS5 will immerse players in the game, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D audio. The ad does a great job of communicating these features via videography, visual effects, and sound, but it still won’t be anything like going hands on with the PS5 for ourselves. The more developers talk about just how unique the DualSense makes playing games, the harder it gets to wait for more PS5 news and the eventual release of the console.

The PlayStation 5 is expected to release this holiday, though Sony has not detailed a specific release date outside of “Holiday 2020.”

[Source: PS Blog]

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