Resident Evil Village demo tried and tested on PlayStation 5, PS4 and Pro •

Resident Evil Village demo tried and tested on PlayStation 5, PS4 and Pro •

What is really happening with the “45 fps” modes?

Last weekend, Capcom launched the first in a series of time-limited demos for Resident Evil Village. First, we got to see the Village demo for PS4, Pro, and PlayStation 5, with the promise of a Castle demo next week on the same systems, followed by a cross-platform version for both segments this week. next. We took a look at the initial demo to see how Capcom plans to evolve the game through the generations, what ray tracing looks like, and how performance adds up. Against this background, the developer told us to expect 45 fps on some consoles and game modes – confusing messaging that we can clear up after getting practical.

So a demo, three systems, and a total of five different game variations to run through – but it turned out to be relatively easy. The truth is, there isn’t much to do in the village demo. There’s a small exploration segment to start with, but we quickly move on to what is effectively a series of cutscenes related to the most minimal player interactions. The demo is good at demonstrating the power and versatility of the RE Engine, it gives us a strong indication of the beauty of the end game, but as an actual sampler for the experience it’s minimal.

Let’s start with PlayStation 5, which renders at 4K resolution, but with evidence reconstruction via the checkerboard. CBR artifacts are only present on the foliage and hair and they are barely noticeable and it feels like a game that looks really good on a 4K screen. Run with ray tracing turned off and the experience is fully locked in at 60 fps. Turn on ray tracing and it’s effectively the same – but with a few drops in the 50s. It’s not the Capcom 45fps mentioned, but it could be the worst-case scenario. Truly, RE Village works with unlocked frame rate in all modes and all systems.

Digital Foundry gets to grips with last weekend’s Resident Evil Village time-limited demo, tested on all systems.

Is ray tracing worth the performance? We would say no based on what we’ve seen so far. RT offers low-resolution reflections and diffuse GI passing (which also replaces the ambient occlusion of screen space), as well as a little extra smoke in the fire sequence, but there’s certainly a feeling that RT is an added bonus grafted onto what is very much an intergenerational experience.

PlayStation 4 Pro? Obviously, there is no RT there, but there are modes to prioritize performance or quality. That last mode is to be missed: Capcom suggests we’ll get 30fps there, but what we’re really getting is an unsatisfactory 30-40fps experience with a 2160p rendering achieved by a lower quality checkerboard compared to the PS5. The performance mode is the one to choose – it runs at native 1080p but locks in at 60fps. That leaves the base PS4: it’s a true 900p but again running with an unlocked frame rate that basically ranges between 40 and 60 fps, mostly running midway. An optional 1080p30 mode with a capped frame rate would have been a good counterpoint, in addition to a similarly locked 2160p30 mode for the Pro.

In the end, it was a nice yet straightforward sampler for the full game and demonstrates a visually more complex game than its predecessor – but there’s so little to it that you’re hungry for it. And that’s exactly what we’ll have next weekend, where the action moves around the castle. Beyond that, we’ll definitely be interested to see how the experience plays out on Xbox consoles and report back when we can.

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