It's an unfortunate reality that modern games are rarely finished at release, with publishers relying on post-release patches more than ever. Resident Evil Revelations 2 is no exception, and with the PlayStation 4 version suffering poor performance results, a new patch seemed inevitable. Well, Capcom stepped up this week with a brand new update for the PS4 version promising performance improvements. Hopeful, we updated our copy of the game and set out to see if the title's puzzling performance issues have been sorted.
Jumping straight to the second chapter, we're joined by the loveable Barry Burton as he enters the mysterious Forest of Low Frame-Rate. Right out of the gate, the introduction cut-scene and opening areas show significant improvements, delivering a locked 60fps with the latest patch - results that are even smoother than the Xbox One version. Excited by this, we quickly scrambled through the interior of the complex towards the notorious forest sequence to see if the problem really has been solved.
Our hopes were dashed quickly as the frame-rate buckled under the pressure of copious vegetation and dynamic lighting. While there is a tangible improvement throughout the game, results in vegetation heavy areas still fall below the Xbox One version of the game. Still, we're looking at roughly 10-15 per cent improvement across the board, which is just enough to boost playability closer to the desired 60fps in most sequences - indeed, some areas now operate at a smoother frame-rate than Xbox One. The overall issues on PS4 remain the same though: areas rich in vegetation, combined with the flashlight, drop well below the 60fps target. The frame-rate no longer dips under 30fps thankfully, but it still hovers dangerously close at times.
|Resident Evil Revelations 2||PS4 Unpatched||PS4 Patched||Xbox One|
|Dropped Frames (from 11590 total)||2986 (25.8%)||1351 (11.7%)||657 (5.7%)|
Ultimately, the patch is a genuine improvement, if not the complete cure-all we were hoping for. The Xbox One version already delivers 60fps in many of these situations and now the PS4 version does too. We haven't had the chance to finish the game as a whole, but after playing through the first five chapters, it's the initial brace of episodes featuring Barry that still suffer the most. By comparison, Claire's sequences deliver a much more consistent, though not entirely perfect, experience.
Overall though, there's still the sense that Resident Evil Revelations 2 is one of the more poorly optimised titles based on the mature MT Framework engine. When we first looked at the game, we noted that our test PC (featuring a Core i5 3570K and a GTX 780) was able to deliver a smooth, consistent experience but only at moderate PC gaming resolutions, like 1080p. Despite its relatively simplistic nature, our system couldn't even maintain a locked 60fps at 1440p - a strange state of affairs bearing in mind the capabilities of the Nvidia GPU.
As a test, we went back and loaded up previously MT Framework titles - namely Resident Evil 5 and its sequel, along with Lost Planet 2 - and were surprised to find that all three were playable at much higher resolutions than the visually inferior Revelations 2, to the point where we could even enjoy locked 60fps gameplay at 4K. We wouldn't want to presume too much, but this sort of evidence suggests that Revelations 2 simply isn't as well optimised as previous MT Framework titles, leaving us to wonder if the game's overall performance profile will ever match those older, more complex titles. However, at least the PS4's puzzlingly poor frame-rates have definitely improved. The results may still fall below our expectations for the platform, but it's good news overall: Resident Evil Revelations 2 is now smoother and more playable on Sony's console, and dramatically improved in some scenarios.