August 5, 2021

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Resident Evil 2 remake plays best on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X

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Among the best remakes in recent memory, Resident Evil 2 is a true survival horror classic, rebuilt on Capcom’s cutting edge RE Engine. Compared to the PlayStation and N64 originals there’s a satisfying technical upheaval to show for that 20 year gap. You get real-time cutscenes, volumetric lighting and the freeing of its camera to allow third person shooter controls. Better still? The team targets 60 frames per second, but sadly it only comes to full fruition on certain platforms. Indeed, comparing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today, it’s clear 60fps is better held on Pro and X models – while the base machines, especially Xbox One S, show signs of being left behind.

It’s worth touching on the visual points first. We saw it in the game’s ‘1-shot’ 30 minute demo, but with final code in hand it’s confirmed. Base PS4 and Xbox One each push for a 1920×1080 resolution, but in practise there’s more going on under the hood, notably on Microsoft’s console. Image quality is blurrier, despite resolving to the same 1080p pixel count – much like Resident Evil 7. One theory as to why: it’s using a form of temporal reconstruction, where camera changes during cutscenes show Xbox One has a rougher rendering of fine elements like hair. It only lasts for a few frames, and these details fill in eventually, but it’s clear there is a deeper compromise next to a base PS4, which runs natively.

So it goes for the enhanced machines too. The target resolution on PS4 Pro and Xbox One X is 2880×1620 (a 25 per cent cut on each axis from 4K) but this time there’s more evidence of reconstruction on Sony’s premium console. On top of that, each appears to use differing anti-aliasing methods as well. PS4 Pro offers up a sharper image that lets you see slightly more detail at range, but with the drawback of more pixel crawl and flicker on specular highlights. If you’ve seen our Resident Evil 7 coverage, this should ring a bell. As for X owners? Once again you get the more pristine, less noisy presentation; fewer jaggies, but at the cost of more blur overall.

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