Killzone: Shadow Fall is a massive game, one that is bound to test our patience as console gamers’ who are used to quick and speedy access to our launch day copies. At 50GB, those who purchase the game as a Day-One Digital might have to wait some time for an essential download before playing it.

However, this is nothing compared to the original horror Guerrilla Games had cooked up, which Technical Director Michiel van der Leeuw said could have clocked in at 290GB.

“I think at some point the disc image that we were generating was around 180 gigs,” he said in an interview with Eurogamer. “And if we would have put all the levels in, which we didn’t, because then the disc image generator broke, it would have been around 290 gigs of data.”

“So we had to completely re-architect how we deal with data. And we did a lot of work — this is actually something I’m extremely proud of — to optimize our disc access pattern. Sony made special libraries for us because we were the first ones hitting these sort of problems. I think it’s something that a lot of people will need to be doing in future.”

The European version of the game, which is smaller only thanks to less vocal tracks, has a file size which clocks in around 39GB, and that actually comes in lighter than the file size for Killzone 3.

It’s been Nintendo of all companies to make me into a believer of digital distribution, but that’s because I can fit tons of 3DS games onto a 32GB sim card. If Microsoft and Sony want me to play along, then its time to start chipping away at these file sizes because I don’t feel like buying two hard drives to play a single game.

Cramming 290GB down into 50GB couldn’t have been easy to do, and it is a good show of faith for the future.

To his credit, van der Leeuw is also very pleased in another area I commend him for, making the menu screen pop right almost immediately after the disc is put it, just like a good old-fashioned NES game.

“To me, that’s still something that fills my heart with joy when I see it. You insert the disc and go straight to menu. People here worked very hard… We had to ask legal and Dolby, the epilepsy warning stuff, the logos from Havok – we had to negotiate with them that we could put it in the credits and not the title screen.”

This is a great idea, one I am 100% behind because who has the time to look at the Havoc logo for the seven hundredth time in their life?

Killzone: Shadow Fall will be released on the PlayStation 4 on Nov. 15.

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