Resident Evil Village’s PC port is disappointing and needs work •

Resident Evil Village's PC port is disappointing and needs work •

We loved Resident Evil Village on consoles, but unfortunately my opinion on the PC port is not as positive. On the one hand, I like what the RE engine does technologically and the game itself is fantastic, but on the other hand, I’m really stumped and disappointed with some of the design choices, bugs, problems and performance issues. This conversion is really not where it should be right now.

It starts with the in-game menu system and settings which are both great and clunky. In terms of features, the graphics options are great – there’s a lot to tweak, along with preview images showing you what the settings actually do, and a rough idea of ​​the performance implications. The problem stems from the way the user navigates through the menu. Scrolling through the options is so slow and as long as the keyboard is working you can’t actually exit a submenu without pressing the right mouse button (and no, ESC doesn’t work). Everything is counterintuitive to the point where, remarkably, menu navigation is actually much, much faster using a controller.

I’m also having issues with the graphics presets themselves. For starters, I was excited to see support for Level 2 Variable Rate Shading (VRS) – which looks so good in Gears 5 and Wolfenstein Youngblood, and effectively gives you free performance without noticeable visual drawbacks. AMD’s FidelityFX implementation is used here and it’s immediately obvious that something is wrong. Details are lost and you don’t need to look at the screenshots or zoom in to 400% to see the problem. The fact that this is the AMD implementation is doubly disappointing: you would expect a standard vendor solution to work well, but it doesn’t happen here. It really needs to be looked at and corrected.

A detailed video of the PC port of Resident Evil Village.

Ray tracing is integrated more efficiently, but its implementation still puzzles me and want more. RT media consists of both ray-traced specular reflections and diffuse local bounce illumination from local light sources – or even the sun. GI replaces the ambient occlusion of screen space and is so much better than standard SSAO or AMD’s FidelityFX CACAO, as you will see in the embedded video. However, in layman’s terms, going for RT results in more realistic lighting and real directional shadows. There are problems, however: Even at the highest settings, RT operates at a quarter-screen resolution with no option to go higher. It’s better than consoles, but it could be a lot more. A low ray count can also produce grainy side effects in some scenarios, while an odd-looking light leak also looks odd.

These issues also trickle down to the in-game ray tracing reflections, where the resolution can be so low that you can even see the underlying pixel grid in the reflections … a screen gate-like effect, though. you want. So while RT reflections can show off-screen objects (which is such a big advantage), their low resolution which cannot be changed, increasing game aliasing in a way where anti-aliasing cannot be changed. can nothing fix it. In general, this means that any surface with RT reflections looks out of place and at low resolution and sticks out somewhat. In my opinion, ray tracing in Resident Evil Village is greatly appreciated, but for some reason the developers have targeted an extremely low ray count with a lot of screen space reuse resulting in grainy artifacts at points. . I can only assume that a low-spec console iteration is at work here, but PC could have offered a lot more.

Recommended setting Xbox Series X setting Interlacing Optional On Mesh quality Max Medium RT GI + Reflections Medium Medium Light reflection High High Volumetric quality Medium Medium (probable) Shadow cache On (probable) Volumetric quality Medium Medium Shadow quality High Medium Shadows Contact Switch Activated Activated

I also have other areas of concern. First of all, there is no in-game control over the field of view, and it feels very, very tight when you play the game. Maybe it works in a living room environment where you sit. at some distance from the screen, but not a good match for a PC game configured at standard monitor distances. Anti-aliasing also appears to be problematic. Comparing PC with “ interlacing ” enabled, which matches the checkerboard pattern on consoles, it’s easy to see that the PC version lacks a lot of edge smoothing and offers a lot more untreated edges. Even when switching to native resolution rendering, the PC version still seems to receive less AA filtering than the X Series version, while shadow raster artifacts also seem to increase as a result.

As for the optimized settings, I’ve found that most of my performance improvements with the least visual impact resulted in a presentation that was roughly in line with consoles – which makes a lot of sense, to be fair. Reducing the volumetric light quality to medium or even low is an easy win, while using the interlacing option can also be a good idea – but only if you’re using very high resolution, like 4K. Anything lower and I would give it a fake. Disabling ray tracing essentially doubles performance, but if you want to use it I would recommend medium over high settings. The other RT setting on PC only affects RT reflections and their roughness threshold – high surfaces with duller surfaces receive more subtle reflections than medium or low. Here I recommend high even though the medium can have a nine percent performance improvement. As you might expect, the Xbox Series X uses the high setting.

The last setting that has a big performance boost is the shadow cache setting – increasing saw performance on an RTX 2060 by up to 35%. This setting increases the amount of VRAM used, but the performance gain is undeniable. After that, the possible performance gains from configuring tweaks become less impressive and more dependent on your PC configuration. For example, the mesh quality setting (which adjusts the range at which higher quality models are displayed in distance) barely moves the needle, but maybe if you’re using a low-end processor or a GPU with less than eight GB of RAM. The shadow setting in the game controls the resolution of shadows and generally affects VRAM consumption more than raw frame rate. Finally, there’s the touch shadow option – it seems to add a touch of ambient shadow in the form of a non-cast shadow in a very subtle way. It costs next to nothing to turn on and I recommend leaving it on – which is what the Xbox Series X also does.

In total, the optimized settings give you 33% more performance on an RTX 2060 with no real visual drawback compared to running everything to the max – and the game absolutely flies, especially without ray tracing enabled. RT seems to come with some additional issues that I haven’t noticed on consoles: traversal stuttering is a real problem on the PC version, causing gigantic frames and there isn’t much you can do to stop it. except to deactivate the traced ray.

Even so, there are some real performance issues that need to be addressed – an attack by one of the girls sees the frame rate go to the pot when it dissolves into her constituent flies. I also noted frame time spikes of 66.6ms introducing obvious stuttering in various scenarios – getting caught by an enemy or watching an enemy die are the main culprits. Typically, however, when configured with similar settings, an RTX 3090 produced twice the performance of the Xbox Series X, while the closest GPU equivalent I could find for the Microsoft machine. turned out to be an RTX 2070 Super. So the performance is generally not too bad, but the experience is definitely marred by the various stuttering issues I encountered with RT on and off.

All in all, I think there’s the basis for a good port here, but we’re a patch or two away from a game that would be everything I think it should be. I would like to see the menu navigation issues fixed, the current state of anti-aliasing needs to be improved, the FidelityFX VRS solution needs serious work, while the various performance issues need to be addressed as a priority. Beyond that I can’t help but think Capcom’s RT solution should offer more and with the PC we have the power to do it. As it stands, Resident Evil Village on PC is failing – and I hope to see its many issues resolved.

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