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Resident Evil 2: Remake – Graphics & Performance analysis | Every version tested from PC to consoles

Posted on January 14, 2019 by Michael Thompson

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     Capcom are on a roll and bringing back dem 90’s feels. Not only with new DMC titles that I have already covered but now one of the greatest horror games ever made. The pre-millennium feels continue with a demo, just as we got with Resident Evil directors cut and its packed in demo, we now get a 30 minute slice of the remake, yes this is a remake plain an simple, an incredible one at that. Before I get to dive into the full game which releases  on the 25th January. I wanted to hit the facts across all versions which saw a demo released yesterday. Here I look at the PC, premium consoles and base models in a demo head to head.

Pixel Performance

 First up resolution, PC is obviously dependent on your cash supply but 4K native resolutions are possible with a collection of options that I will cover in-depth in a future video. For now we have the choice here to max the settings on my Ryzen 2700 and RTX2070 GPU at 4K with a 60fps target. The main benefits here over the consoles stem from the increased resolutions, with screen space reflections, volumetrics and textures all benefiting here with the extra GPU headroom afforded. The option to adjust TAA, FXAA or off along with film grain ,which can also be disabled on console, help to sharpen what is a soft image be design. This sits well inside the RE engine style and material system we saw in Resident Evil 7. Currently though this is likely the E3 build and as such I would suspect not as tightly optimised as the final release with it being a good 6 months or more old, but a stable vertical slice for this demo. Ray traced reflections are also an option here but not for this demo as they are very exclusive to just the RTX owners for now, the majority of PC players will use SSR like console does.
 Next we have the premium consoles in the x and Pro, they share identical visual quality from shadow resolution, cascade distance, volumetrics, SSR, textures right down to an identical resolution of 2880×1620 on both. This leaves a clean but soft film image that suffers less from specular aliasing than the E3 demo but that could be footage quality rather than a change. One addition is the X does look to be running FXAA or a stronger TAA than the Pro which does reduce the aliasing on edges over the Pro, the other possibility is the X is running native 1620P here with the Pro using a checkerboard solution or interlaced mode. This can be seen in the post effects such as the DoF backdrops here which have that tell tale stretched, fringe look over the X, we have seen this many times before and I have covered in detail such as my Horizon Zero Dawn analysis. As the game employs a reconstruction element they refer to as interlaced in the PC menu. I picked this up in my Resident Evil 7 demo analysis when this was not known and I think I was alone in spotting that. This has continued here and maybe the method they are using again here on the Pro which was also used on 7 as I again covered in my analysis. This would explain the reason the X can suffer less on aliasing at times with slightly softer texture details than the Pro but materials and textures are very, very close indeed that are much harder to spot.
 This interlaced mode is used on the Xboxone S here which still delivers a final 1920x 1080p image in it and the PS4, but like 7 it seems more obvious on the Xbox so either the PS4 is a better method or that renders natively and the OneS uses this mode to deliver the image. This again leaves a softer and more jagged image at times on the Xbox that shows break up and the reconstruction elements easier than the PS4. As this is a demo I am not going to spend an age analysing this but the result is the PS4 does look slightly cleaner and sharper than the Xbox but the overall presentation and image quality is very close across all aside the increased resolution choices, 1080p players need not worry to much with 4K screen best suited with premium consoles or PC at this point.

Performance Tests

 So we see a very close level at this point across all with the obvious PC and resolution boosts being present, so what about performance then. All versions target 60fps but the results here vary widely with the base consoles being some way off a locked level and almost pointless on the one. As it stands in like for like tests as you see here the PS4 can be 40-55% faster than one over close game-play or real-time cut-scene moments. Microsoft’s console rarely strays outside of the 30Hz level for prolonged periods and as such the controller response and visual update is the most inconsistent. At the very least, based on this demo code, an option to cap the frame-rate to 33ms limit and as such 30fps is what it obviously needed. A fixed cap may be better but some moments do suggest it may present bad pacing issues if introduced, again this is an old build so I suspect either a cap is introduced in the final release or significant improvements are made to draw it closer to the PS4 level.
 This (PS4) again is far from a locked 60 but does introduce a higher consistency with my real-time frame-rate average in the video showing you the clear benefit between the 2 platforms. Again though I feel an option is the best choice here so that those who prefer the higher average can keep this active while a locked 30 is just a menu switch away. I am impressed that such a visually splendid game with so many effects and elements runs this well, the RE engine is quickly becoming one of my favorites when wielded by the talent clearly present in Capcom.
On PC we see DX12 causing some longer stutters and approximately 18% lower performance levels than the DirectX11 API which is the recommended API to use for this demo. My lower level AMD FX8350 with a GTX750Ti needs more reductions to close in on that 60fps target, 70% of a native 1920x1080P resolution and interlaced option with other reductions on that 2GB Vram limit are required. The game it very V-ram dependent with it being able to exceed the 8GB of my RTX2070 machine paired with a ZEN 2700 CPU. 4K at max settings shows that this is not a locked 60 with some tweaks though I think this card can deliver that when taking some settings down from max, check the video to see much more on this and the console versions during performance.
  The demo is a short aperitif for the main course due at the end of this month, what it already delivers will entice anyone with a desire to relive such a horror classic. It looks, runs and plays as smooth and as impressive as those E3 demo’s led us to believe and I cannot wait to sink my teeth into much more Raccoon City action when it lands on PC and console. Join me then for a full in-depth analysis of all versions and the rest of the Rectify Team with a full review.

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