Capcom unleashed its free Resident Evil 2, 3 and 7 upgrades yesterday following their live showcase, and we've had a bit of a go testing out the two remakes: Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. These were no slouches on last gen systems, especially Xbox One X, but Capcom felt the need to bring these into the current generation. Well, are they worth another playthrough on Xbox Series X? We've spent a short amount of time testing them both — from various save points — to try and find out.
The big new features included with the two upgrades are ray tracing modes, and high performance options. Starting with the former, ray tracing adds a nice, 'natural' look to both Resident Evil 2 and 3, and its enhancements are particularly noticeable in the R.P.D. station, where you'll spend much of your time in RE2. Lighting and reflections look less 'artificially glossy', an effect which is really noticeable in the standard rendering mode. Here's a quick comparison shot of Resident Evil 2 with ray tracing on and off on Xbox Series X:
Unfortunately, the RT mode comes at a big cost to performance. Without variable refresh rate, Resident Evil 2 with ray tracing runs fairly poorly, with noticeable stuttering throughout. VRR improves things somewhat, but it still feels inconsistent. However, if you prefer the look of RT mode and have VRR, this is still a decent option, considering Resident Evil 2 is played at a pretty slow pace and doesn't benefit quite as much from high performance.
Speaking of high performance though, turning ray tracing off provides a nice smooth 60 frames per-second for all players. Better yet, if you have a 120hz TV, the 'High Frame Rate Mode' runs up to 120fps, and feels buttery smooth throughout with the help of VRR. If you're a sucker for high performance, we recommend the 'High Frame Rate Mode' here to activate the ability to go above 60 frames per-second.
Resident Evil 3's results are much the same - they're both built off the same RE Engine tech after all. However, Resident Evil 3 is a much faster paced affair, therefore, we recommend higher performance at all costs here. If you have either a 60hz or 120hz TV, get rid of ray tracing and go for the highest performance option your setup provides (ray tracing set to "off" / High Frame Rate Mode turned "on"). It delivers a much better experience that way.
As for the games themselves? Of course they're worth another playthrough on Xbox Series X|S, especially the utterly brilliant Resident Evil 2. Ideally, you'll want a 120hz / VRR display to take full advantage of these upgrades, but they contain noticeable changes nonetheless, especially if you played them previously on a base Xbox One.
Right, is that Mr. X we can hear again?!
Will you be returning to the RPD station with these free upgrades? Let us know down below.