Resident Evil PC Technical Review



Company: Capcom Entertainment, Inc.
Author: Sean Ridgeley
Editor: Sean Ridgeley
Date: January 16th, 2015

Graphics options and visuals, performance, controls and user interface, conclusion

Graphics options, visuals

Resident Evil includes nine graphics options, among them V Sync, Frame Rate (30, 60, and Variable, which caps at 120), anti-aliasing (three different levels of FXAA), Shadow Quality, Texture Quality, and aspect ratio (original 4:3 or 16:9). Missing options include Fullscreen Borderless mode, 16:10 resolution support, and any options for post-processing effects.

Like Resident Evil 4 HD, this game features a very mixed set of textures. Roughly half look high quality, modern, and better from the new effects like Bloom, whereas the other half look almost straight out of the original, which is to say they're extremely low resolution, don't benefit from new effects, and prove extremely distracting. Shadows are similar: thick and immersive in parts, and unnvervingly low quality in others. Cutscenes are full resolution, but also suffer from inconsistency.

What does work works extremely well. To be sure, it's a real treat to see the visuals updated so heavily; it's just a shame the experience is so inconsistent. Hopefully the Resident Evil 4 texture mod project is eventually followed by similar work for this title, then it can be enjoyed as it's meant to.

Performance

I put the Frame Rate setting on Variable and turned V Sync off for my testing and had no issues maintaining 120fps or seeing very smooth gameplay at almost all times. There were occasional dips by one fps or three, which did not correlate to any kind of stuttering, and there was no tearing to be seen.

Controls and user interface

Capcom offers a more modern control scheme (W to go forward) as well as the reverse-style original controls here. I went with the modern and found it mostly enjoyable and recognizable, though due to its roots, there isn't as much freedom of movement as you might like, so your character will sometimes not walk in the exact direction you want them to. Not a huge deal, and some might find the clunkiness charming, but a little annoying when you're used to the precision movement of modern games.

The interface is very much inherited from an old-fashioned console game, which is to say it has a big, chunky presentation (I'm referring mainly to the weapons and items screen). Thankfully, Resident Evil doesn't require a ton of micromanagement, and the menus respond well to the mouse (with the exception of the scroll wheel and extra mouse buttons, which aren't supported), so it's not as bothersome as it could be.

Controllers are supported fully, for those interested.

Conclusion

The remastered version of Resident Evil isn't all it could be; those expecting a completely updated for the modern day experience will be dissappointed with the mixed quality of visuals (by far the biggest issue), and to a lesser extent, with the sometimes clunky controls and interface (the latter of which I acknowledge might be impossible to bring to standard without remaking the title from the ground up). But the improvements do make a big difference regardless, and accomplish the goal of making the classic game digestable for modern tastes, so it's worth considering, particularly if you're a diehard Resident Evil fan.