The Resident Evil 4 remake plays well on PC – but tech issues compromise the experience

The Resident Evil 4 remake plays well on PC - but tech issues compromise the experience

The full Resident Evil 4 remake has landed on PC, bringing almost exactly the same performance and graphics features as the demo – for better and for worse. That means you can expect better performance and image quality than the console, but Capcom still needs to make improvements – and some serious bugs you’ll want to avoid. With this in mind, we will focus our analysis on the optimized settings that will help you get the most out of the game.

Let’s start with the most important setting first: image scaling. This is essential as the game’s Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) unfortunately doesn’t produce great results, while a boosted sharpening filter tends to further degrade the image. Even with a static camera, you’ll notice the vegetation creeping, the edges constantly flickering, and the whole scene has a posterized look.

Normally we would turn to DLSS, XeSS or FSR2 to solve these problems, but although FSR2 is available, it does not seem correct. Presentation with FSR2 enabled is too soft, shimmery and some areas are visibly jagged. We really only recommend it at 4K, where the base resolution is enough to produce a reasonable result. FSR1 is also available, but it’s even worse, as it compounds image quality issues by sharpening and scaling an already too sharp and poorly aliased image.

Here’s the full DF video review of the Resi 4 remake on PC, warts and all.

This isn’t the first Capcom game to face these kinds of aliasing and over-sharpening issues on PC, and so there is a community fix for the problem. Use Shiny Mod REFramework developed by Praydog, you can inject DLSS or XeSS to dramatically improve the visuals. There are still a few issues here common to modded upscalers, such as occasional flickering or smudging of HUD elements or weird specular highlights, but it still puts the built-in upscaling options to shame. On the one hand, it’s nice that this option exists for enterprising users, but it’s really a shame that Capcom’s own developers couldn’t implement a good enough upscaler themselves.

In general, I would suggest using native resolution rendering or using the REFramework mod; for my own testing, I went from native 1440p to 4K DLSS Performance and found that performance and image quality improved dramatically.

FSR2 vs FSR 1 vs Native – all have their issues, unfortunately.

Normally optimized settings aim to achieve a good balance between performance and fidelity, but with Resident Evil 4 trying to avoid crashes is also essential. We’ve seen numerous reports of game crashes due to VRAM limits being exceeded, and we’ve also successfully recreated the issue by playing the game at 2GB high textures at 1440p with high ray tracing and maximum settings elsewhere, the game crashed within seconds of starting the campaign. It probably goes without saying, but we generally expect games to run slower when they exceed VRAM limits because slower system memory is used instead, so outright crashes and simple result in a pretty poor user experience.

This crash is doubly serious in Resident Evil 4 as it requires serious investigation to find out why it is happening as the graphics menu does not provide many clues. In my experience with an 8 GB GPU, I could reliably crash with RT in normal or high mode and texture memory cache set to 3/4/6/8 GB and/or with resolution of maximum shade. However, reducing the texture memory cache to 2GB when running at 1440p seemed to fix the issue. On a 10GB card, I couldn’t crash at all, even at 4K and with RT enabled when using optimized settings, regardless of the texture cache setting. This was the case even though the game’s VRAM meter was reporting disastrous performance. So your mileage may vary, but I’ve found that an 8GB GPU can avoid crashes by using optimized settings, including reducing the quality of textures, shadows, and highlights.

The REFramework mod adds upscaling to RE4 and is an absolute boon for Intel or Nvidia GPU users.

Now let’s move on to the optimized settings themselves. First things first: disable RT. RE Engine games tend to disappoint in terms of ray tracing quality, as they seem to target console-equivalent settings, so by disabling them we both avoid poor quality RT artifacts and gain performance. Second, disable screen space reflections. It’s a similar story here: quality is often poor with aliasing and flickering, but they’re expensive, so turning them off makes a lot of sense.

Next, we’ll find out which texture quality setting to use. This was harder to research than you might think, as this setting seems to depend on your output resolution; the higher your resolution, the better quality textures you will get at a given setting. For our purposes though, I recommend leaving the texture setting at 8GB, as it won’t crash the game even on 8GB GPUs while RT is disabled. If you’re using RT, I recommend setting it to 2GB for a GPU with 8GB of VRAM or less; for 10 GB GPUs, 3 GB is recommended with RT enabled.

The remaining optimized settings are less critical, but can still recover a good amount of performance. Reducing Volumetric Lighting Quality to High saves about 8% performance and looks about the same at the highest setting. The Shadow Cache setting can also be enabled to improve performance by just under 10% in interior scenes. Shadow quality should also be set to high rather than max, which reduces the amount of VRAM used and therefore allows for higher quality textures. For ambient occlusion, try AMD’s CACAO option, which offers more subtle indirect shadow coverage and better looks than SSAO for a relatively low additional performance cost. And finally, disable the hair strand option, as it costs a lot of performance and probably isn’t worth the visual upgrade on mid-range GPUs.

CACAO looks better than SSAO with a minor drop in performance, while the advanced hair rendering doesn’t quite justify the cost.

So those are my optimized settings for Resident Evil 4 – a few small graphical quality tweaks, removal of the heaviest (and often artifact-prone) features, and the option of proper scaling if you’re up for it. to make the mod work.

Before we wrap up, it’s worth mentioning that the game still has occasional traversal issues, just like the demo. In short, there are invisible spots in the world that are rapidly loading data into VRAM, causing what appear to be CPU-related spikes in frame time. This means faster CPUs will suffer less, although running the game at a high frame rate will make those lurches more noticeable. Luckily, these issues are relatively spaced out and don’t tend to occur near combat areas like the Dead Space Remake, so they’re less of a bother. However, if Capcom was able to fix them, I certainly wouldn’t complain.

This PC version of the Resi 4 remake is nice to play with the right settings, but there are definitely more improvements that could be made. Anti-alising should be better out of the box and the muddled and soft FSR2 presentation should be fixed. Alternatively, adding DLSS and/or XeSS would provide a better experience for users who are not confident enough to install mods. Ray tracing would also benefit from higher quality presets that would make the effect actually worth using. Finally, the game shouldn’t crash due to VRAM issues, and its menus should help users avoid these issues in the first place. None of these demands seem impossible, but we’ll have to wait and see if there’s an appetite for improvement at Capcom HQ.

To view this content, please enable targeting cookies. Manage cookie settings

Article source


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here