Resident Evil 2 Remake PC Performance Review

Conclusion

Resident Evil 2 Remake PC Performance Review

Conclusion

Remakes, remasters and re-released are commonplace in today's gaming landscape, banking on the nostalgia of longtime fans while giving younger generations an opportunity to experience classic franchises for the first time, complete with modern visuals and graphical features. 

Resident Evil 2 (2019) is a remake, a version of the 1998 classic that's fully reconstructed within the confines of Capcom's RE engine. Thanks to the development efforts of Capcom's R&D Division 1, Resident Evil 2's remake has become a lot more than a 1:1 copy of the original with updated graphics. While the core story remains mostly unchanged, several events have been adjusted, placed in a new order or otherwise altered, while RE2's gameplay has moved to become a modern 3rd person gaming experience, a change which has a drastic impact on how the RE2 plays.

With this release, Capcom has managed to create a game that feels fresh to series veterans while offering a level of familiarity that cannot be denied. Newcomers to the series will also be able to avoid many of the original's shortcomings, many of which were due to limitations of the hardware of that era, namely the original Sony PlayStation. A prime example of this is moving from fixed camera angles to a player controlled 3rd person perspective. 

Capcom has fundamentally changed Resident Evil 2, creating what the game would have been if it were created today, not what the original would look like with enhanced visuals, forging a game that will surpass the original for many. On PC we also get to see the game push beyond the other versions of the remake on a technological level, supporting advanced HBAO+ ambient occlusion, AMD's Rapid Packed Math acceleration tech, FP16 compute and other graphical settings that can push past all of the game's console version. 

There is little to be negative about with Resident Evil 2's remake, aside from a few nitpicks. The game's DirectX 12 mode offered worse performance than DirectX 11 on every graphics card we tested, making the API's inclusion pointless. Perhaps the game's DirectX 12 performance will improve with future patches, but that remains to be seen. For now, PC gamers should avoid using RE2's DirectX 12 option.

Other nitpicks include the game's animation refresh rate changes when zombies are viewed at a distance, a performance optimisation that appears to come from the game's console version. This leaves distant zombies out of sync with the game's overall refresh rate, resulting in some strange looking animations. Most Gaming PCs should be more than capable of handling the extra work that more frames of animations will incur, so it would be nice to see this CPU saving feature have a toggle on PC in the future. 

As a whole, Resident Evil 2 cannot be called anything less than a high-quality PC game, offering fantastic performance on a wide range of hardware and incredible levels of scalability. Even the game's lowest "Performance Priority" preset offers compelling visuals, making the game incredibly appealing to users of older, or budget gaming hardware. Even 2GB graphics cards like the Radeon R9 380 and Geforce GTX 960 can run the game at 1080p 60 FPS, as we showcased on page 12 of this analysis.

When it comes to optimising this game's performance, our advice is to lower Resident Evil 2's Volumetric Lighting setting from High to Medium, a change that resulted in a 32% increase in the game's minimum framerates on our ASUS ROG GTX 1060 Strix (see page 10). This tweaked setting has a minimal impact on RE2's graphics as a whole but offers a hefty increase in overall game performance. 

Moving to the topic of CPUs, we found that it didn't take much to achieve an average framerate of over 60FPS, though we did experience some stuttering when both our Ryzen and Intel-based systems were using less than a simulated 4-core, 8-thread processor. Average and 1% minimum framerates didn't change much in our testing, but outlying framerates were noticeable. This will not be an issue to players with high core count systems, but it is worth taking note of. Games are starting to benefit from higher core counts. 
   
At 1080p, AMD's Radeon RX 580 and Nvidia's Geforce GTX 1060 are our picks for 1080p performance, with both offering the ability to deliver stable 60FPS framerates at almost maximum settings, minus Volumetric Lighting with should be set to medium. Much lower-end graphics hardware is capable of 1080p 60FPS with the correct settings. 

When cranking things up to 1440p, Nvidia's GTX 1080 and AMD's RX Vega 56 are ideal for 60FPS gameplay with Max settings minus Volumetric lighting (set to medium). This resolution/refresh rate is a nice sweet spot for PC, with 4K demanding a significant leap in graphics performance. 

We plan on updating this review with Nvidia's latest RTX series graphics cards at a later date, though we'd estimate that an RTX 2080 Ti will be able to achieve a steady 4K 60FPS in this game when using the same settings as our 1080p and 1440p recommendations. We will update this review with more data as soon as possible. 

Resident Evil 2 is how remakes should be done, transcending the original by delivering the same story beats as the original while offering the improved rhythm of modernised gameplay and the appeal of modern graphics. As far as PC ports go, Resident Evil 2 offers very little to be desired, delivering excellent performance on a wide range of hardware while also providing pleasing visuals under the game's lowest graphical preset. Capcom's R&D Division 1 should be very proud of what they have achieved here. 

You can join the discussion on Resident Evil 2's PC performance on the OC3D Forums

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Most Recent Comments

29-01-2019, 04:29:23

ET3D
I really enjoyed this article. Keep up the good work.Quote

29-01-2019, 05:09:54

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by ET3D View Post
I really enjoyed this article. Keep up the good work.
Thanks man. Your kind words are appreciated.

Tom and I are very excited about the future of our gaming content moving into 2019. Hopefully we can update this with Nvidia's RTX GPUs after a little while.Quote

30-01-2019, 08:04:49

Peace
Quote:
An oddity within the PC version of Resident Evil 4 is the game's use of low refresh rate animations
Page 6 I thought we were looking at RE 2 Remake


Is there even a difference in graphics quality between DX11 and DX12?



I just now noticed that you have to complete a game to be able to judge which scenes represent the vast majority of gameplay. So thanks for your effort and work!!


Would've loved to see a screenshot with Vol. Lighting turned off completely, for comparison, but that's also nitpicky, I guess.


Keep performance reviews as awesome as this one! Quote

30-01-2019, 08:27:27

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peace Ð View Post
Page 6 I thought we were looking at RE 2 Remake


Is there even a difference in graphics quality between DX11 and DX12?



I just now noticed that you have to complete a game to be able to judge which scenes represent the vast majority of gameplay. So thanks for your effort and work!!


Would've loved to see a screenshot with Vol. Lighting turned off completely, for comparison, but that's also nitpicky, I guess.


Keep performance reviews as awesome as this one!

Typo fixed, thanks for the spot.

As far as DX12 goes, the graphical quality appears to be identical. It's a strange one.

That's a good point, but my thinking at the time was that I wanted to recommend medium as it maintained the intended look of the game without much of a noticeable graphical sacrifice.

Thanks man. Your comments are appreciated.Quote

01-02-2019, 04:28:41

MacLeod
Got about 5 hours into this game and I really do like the graphics and it seems to run pretty well. The ammo rationing killed it for me, it just sucked the fun right out of it. You spend pretty much the whole game nearly out of ammo and running away from everything. That's just frustrating. I've got a few hours into it and while it looked like it was going to be a great game, I doubt I'll even finish it now.

It's a shame because I loved the original versions 25+ years ago.Quote
Reply
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