Capcom's staggered roll-out of Resident Evil demo code reached its conclusion last weekend as the Village and Castle gameplay segments previously available on PlayStation consoles rolled out to Xbox gamers. The results are pretty much in line with expectations based on prior experience with the RE Engine, but we do get our first look at how the technology's ray tracing performance scales onto Xbox Series S, having been left out of Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition.
So, having got the measure of the demo code from prior experience on PlayStation 5, how does Xbox Series X measure up? Perhaps inevitably, the results are very much in line with our findings on Devil May Cry 5 SE: despite having mentioned an expected frame-rate of 45fps at 4K resolution with ray tracing enabled (based on Capcom's spec sheet), both Series X and PlayStation 5 actually run with an unlocked level of performance and for the most part, actually run at 60 frames per second. Both versions use Capcom's image reconstruction tech to improve performance over native resolution rendering, and both consoles look nigh-on identical to one another.
The only tangible difference comes from performance: Series X has a more dogged grip on its target 60fps, with slightly less consistent throughput from PlayStation 5. At best though, Series X delivers 10 per cent more performance in stress-test scenes, but I did note one scene where both consoles dip from 60fps to exactly the same extent. Again, similar to DMC5 SE, Resident Evil Village's RT delivers low resolution reflections in combination with a lighting pass that replaces the non-RT version's screen-space ambient occlusion. There is a difference, but perhaps not a game-changing one. You can comfortably play the game without RT and still get a terrific-looking experience and in these scenarios, both Series X and PlayStation 5 are both locked at 4K60 in both demo areas.
So how does Series S fit in? Yes, there is an RT option and no, we don't recommend that you use it, as the hit to performance can be extraordinary. Where Series X runs just under 60fps, Series S lurks in the mid-30s and general consistency in performance is really poor. Image quality is quite impressive, however: where Series X renders at reconstructed 4K, Series S does it at a reconstructed 1440p instead - albeit with that big, big performance deficit. Thankfully there is a route forward for Series S owners. Turn off the ray tracing features and Resident Evil Village returns to the expected 60fps, with just the most minor of dips beneath - and even then, only fleetingly.
Capcom's spec sheet had flagged the Series S non-RT experience as running at 1440p with an expected frame-rate of 45fps, so it will be very interesting to see how the experience from this demo translates into the final game and to what extent these demos are representative of the full game. The trailer bundled with the demo certainly does seem to suggest much more of a varied, dynamic experience than either of the two demos, which are actually pretty basic in content terms. We'll have answers on that soon, along with a detailed look at the PC game as well.
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