Resident Evil Village for PC has finally been patched but gamers deserve more

Resident Evil Village for PC has finally been patched but gamers deserve more

"Changes have been made to optimize anti-piracy technology." It took 74 days from launch day for Capcom to release a patch that fixed the performance issues of the PC version of Resident Evil Village, an update that Capcom had to provide to address the evidence that the pirated version ran beautifully. And this little note is all that those who bought the game received as an explanation. We can confirm that the PC version of the title is indeed fixed now, but the lack of an official apology or at least an explanation leaves us a bit baffled.

We had already reported this story when a group of crackers known as " Empress "had managed to break through Denuvo's anti-piracy protection, pointing the finger at Capcom for injecting additional DRM code with Denuvo encryption causing problems. The problems highlighted were mainly two: first of all the combat animations such as those of the zombies that are thrown at you, or the recoil of the firearm, could cause freezes for a fraction of a second (up to 130ms according to our tests ) that affected the fluidity of the fight. The problem was even more evident during meetings with Lady Dimitrescu's daughters inside the castle, where multiple and consecutive stuttering could run the game on an RTX 3080 with variable frame-rates between 100fps and 30fps.

We have superimposed the data performance telemetry of the unpatched version, the cracked version and the new version with the latest patch and essentially the patched version runs identically to the cracked version. The changes made by Capcom to "optimize anti-piracy technology" work. But it's still a mystery why these issues weren't solved before the DRM trouble came to light. The patch effectively condemns anti-piracy technology without appeal, but does not explain why nothing was done even though the problem was there for all to see. Certainly those who have trusted the publisher by buying the game, even at full price, should receive an apology and explanation.

A video analysis of the patch for Resident Evil Village in the PC version, including performance analysis and an opinion on the AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution technology.

Watch on YouTube. But there is more to this patch anyway, so at least we have something positive to talk about. Resident Evil Village is an AMD sponsored title, so it's great to see AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) technology coming to the game. On both the RTX 3080 and Radeon RX 6800 XT, performance is well above 100fps with 'interlace' checkerboarding mode activated, while it is around 80fps with native rendering. Also, the addition of the FSR represents an interesting alternative to interlace mode that has problems, particularly in hair rendering and with double-width pixels in some content, causing specular aliasing.

The FidelityFX Super Resolution is a valid alternative. Thanks to the recent release of the source code (plus the developer notes) it seems that the FSR is based on the concept of upscaling with a simple Lanczos filter, but with changes to the algorithm in order to better preserve the detail in the edges and reduce artifacts in curved surfaces. FDR is recommended for low-end GPUs and laptops, a whole other stuff than the 4K upscaling we're employing here. We came to the same conclusions our colleague Alex Battaglia did in his review of the FSR: edge preservation is good, but the more you go down with the resolution (the ultra quality mode starts at 1662p to get to that performance. 1080p), the more you notice that you are looking at an upscaled image with basic algorithms. That's not a totally bad thing for Resident Evil Village, however, as the low-contrast nature of the game masks blur a lot, and these are the situations where FSR works best.

There are brighter areas, however. , in higher contrast, and that's where the FSR appears more for what it is, which is an upscaled presentation. Based on the code notes, the FSR algorithm is based on a simple Lanczos scaler but faster, so we decided to compare the FSR with a GPU scaler, specifically that of AMD active on the Xbox Series X. We captured the same scene at 4K FSR in performance mode (which renders internally at 1080p), and then captured the same scene at native 1080p and left the Series X's built-in media player upscaling it. If the FSR evolves and remains a spatial scaler, perhaps improving on the quality of the scaler but maintaining the edge preservation technique, it might be the right way.

The FSR looks nice here. Edge preservation is solid and only a little bit of sharpness is lost. The quality level of the FSR varies greatly depending on the quality preset chosen. Generally bleak content ends up benefiting all upscaled versions. Hair rendering looks its best at native resolution but there is still a break in the sub-pixel detail. Interlacing struggles a lot here, but since the FSR has no time component it has the same problems as the native presentation, but in greater form starting from a lower core resolution. The wall and door on the left are worthy of attention here. Interlacing has a noticeable specular shimming artifact, but appears sharper than FSR. With higher contrast materials the FSR begins to appear for what it is, which is an upscaled image. Despite the artifacts, the interlaced checkerboard mode appears sharper and cleaner than the FSR. Hardware GPU scalers use the same Lanczos technique used by the FSR, but with more losses. Here is the native 4K image once again compared to the FSR in performance mode scaled from 1080p, plus a native 1080p capture upscaled by the Xbox Series X hardware scaler. Capcom's interlace cherckerboarding is an interesting comparison for the FSR. . Capcom's technique is cleaner and sharper but has problems with hair, generating artifacts and specular aliasing. However, it is much more powerful than the only two FSR options that we consider valid (FSR ultra quality at 1662p upscaled and FSR quality at 1440p upscaled).

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In theory, a 4K checkerboarded should sit between the two and we found it to be 41% better than the FSR with an additional 32% if we choose the quality mode and a further disappointing + 21% if we choose the ultra quality one. All of this on a Radeon RX 6800 XT, so perhaps the RT adds a fixed cost in performance that scales the advantage of the FSR, but we found that while the FSR is able to better handle some elements of image quality than the existing checkerboarding modes, surface detail is blurrier without receiving any performance gains in return.

We've spent a lot of time with FSR modes for a variety of reasons. First off, Resident Evil Village is an AMD-sponsored title, so we expect a top-notch implementation overall, and we believe the ultra-quality mode is perfect for those who play in 4K. Second, we've been revisiting the FSR since its launch and were interested in seeing the results on a high-profile release. Ultimately, this is the only real addition to this title. In addition to the performance issues, a lot of requests have been made, including a slider for the field of view and also for temporal anti-aliasing, which is a bit crude and not up to par with the one implemented in the console versions. br>
However, the FSR is the only addition to this update and it is hard not to imagine that Capcom could not have done more for PC users who already felt damaged having learned that the included anti-piracy system sabotaged the game they had bought, while the pirate was getting a much better experience.

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