Long awaited by fans of the Resident Evil franchise, this seventh installment brings back basics that made the series so successful: wave goodbye to the action genre and say hello to survival/horror with a good dose of exploration, all in first-person. In short, everything is meant to scare you, even more so since the game is designed for VR, and available for Sony's PSVR.
|WARNING: Before getting into specifics, the game's Mature 17+ rating is completely justified; numerous scenes may shock the sensitivity of many players!|
From the technical side, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is based on Capcom's new RE Engine. Forget about the first- and second-gen MT Framework foundation used to develop previous Resident Evil games. This is a new multi-platform engine (Windows, Xbox One, PS4) optimized to accelerate the development of future titles, and offer the best possible experience in and out of VR. We're only disappointed that Resident Evil 7 is not DirectX 12-enabled. On the flip side, it's playable in HDR if you have a compatible display.
Minimum and Recommended Configurations
Steam's page on Resident Evil 7 includes a list of minimum and recommended system requirements for play on a PC. The lowest-end configuration aims for at least 30 frames per second in Full HD (with texture quality compromises, since higher settings gobble up on-board memory), while the recommended hardware makes it possible to hit 60 FPS, also at 1920x1080.
|Processor||Core i5-4460 or FX-6300||Core i7-3770|
|Graphics Card||GeForce GTX 760 or Radeon R7 260X (at least 2GB)||GeForce GTX 1060 (at least 3GB)|
|Operating System||Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit only)||Windows 7, 8, 8.1, 10 (64-bit only)|
|Audio||DirectSound Compatible||DirectSound Compatible|
Radeon vs GeForce
While Resident Evil 7 is part of Nvidia's “The Way It's Meant to be Played” program, it's also optimized for current-gen consoles packed full of AMD's Graphics Core Next architecture. It's hard to imagine that one company or the other got a significant leg up, given the stakes.
Based on our analysis, you can be sure that GeForce and Radeon cards serve up the same picture at comparable graphics settings, aside from a few small differences attributable to anti-aliasing algorithms. In the end, though, their output is otherwise identical.
Graphics Options: Highly Configurable
Capcom imbues the PC version of Resident Evil 7 with a large number of detail settings. The resolution is configurable, of course, but so is texture quality, texture filtering, mesh quality, anti-aliasing technology, effects, shadow quality, ambient occlusion, volumetric lighting, lens flares, reflection and diffusion quality, chromatic aberrations, and even color space.
Naturally, we wanted to gauge the picture quality difference with these settings turned off and on. The table below shows the three combinations of quality options we're using. All tests were then run at Full HD with the options cranked up as high as they go.
|Texture Quality, Texture Filtering, Mesh Quality||Very Low||Medium||Very High|
|Anti-Aliasing||FXAA + TAA||FXAA + TAA||FXAA + TAA|
|Shadow Quality||Very Low||Medium||Very High|
|Volumetric Lighting Quality||None||Low||High|
|Motion Blur, Bloom, Lens Flare, Reflections, Subsurface Scattering, Chromatic Aberration||Off||On||On|
Unsurprisingly, there's not much difference between our Medium and High modes. The middle configuration yields good texture quality at 1920x1080. At 1440p and 4K, you're better off using the Very High preset, even if that setting is quite a bit more demanding. You'll want a graphics card with plenty of on-board memory.
By reducing all of the options to their minimums, the quality drops noticeably.
To better understand the picture quality with Resident Evil 7's detail settings dialed all of the way down, check out the image below and its artifacts on the walls, ground, ceiling, and objects around the room.
If you need to, we recommend dipping down to our Medium quality level for higher frame rates. Below that, expect the game experience to suffer quite a bit. Really, there are enough modifiable settings to dial in playable performance on almost any modern graphics card.
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