This is where we discuss the graphics. It’s also where all the good news about Resident Evil 5
is concentrated into single, focused page of good news.
Resident Evil 5
looks amazing. Simply, jaw-droopingly beautiful.
Well, actually it doesn’t look all that
different to how it did on consoles, except that you can now push the AA up through the roof if you want, smoothing out those jaggies and giving the game a graphical edge.
The minimum requirements for the game are pretty modest too, with Capcom adamant that Resident Evil 5
will run on a GeForce 6800 or Radeon HD 2400 Pro or higher, provided you’ve got 256MB of video RAM. You’ll also need 1GB of system RAM, 8GB of hard drive space and a Pentium D or Athlon64 X2 or high. Hardly cutting edge technology.
Those are just the minimums though. To really get a decent performance out of the game (and to run it in DirectX 10 mode, where the visual splendour really lies) you’ll need Core2Duo 2.4GHz or Phenom X4 or better, 2GB of RAM and an 8800GT or HD4850 or higher with 512MB of RAM.
Resident Evil 5 on (left to right) DX 9 mode with low settings, DX9 mode with medium settings and DX10 mode with high settings, click to enlarge
If you’re really interested in getting the absolute maximum possible immersion out of the game then you’ll possibly be interested in Nvidia’s 3DVision too, which lets you view the game in true stereoscopic 3D provided you don’t mind wearing silly-looking glasses for hours and forking out for a 120Hz screen. The benefits of 3DVision themselves are always a love-it-or-hate-it type of thing, so you can trust us to play devil’s advocate and not really take a strong position one way or the other. It’s a cool effect and there’s always a sector of the market out there interested in this type of thing – but you’re not really missing anything by passing it over except possible headaches.
If you’re interested in seeing if your system can handle the 3D effects then you can download the Nvidia Resident Evil 5
benchmark to test it out.
One thing it’s almost definitely worth investing in for the game though is a decent gamepad if you don’t already have one, as the one place where Resident Evil 5
really shines is when you get a second player to jump in with you. Sheva’s AI is pretty good for the most part, mainly because all she has to do is follow you around and kick down the occasional door, but a second player always makes things a lot more fun.
This is possibly the only early cutscene that doesn't start with a close-up of Sheva's private areas
If you’re low on friends (or just loathe gamepads) then Resident Evil
does let you take your co-op experience online, but moaners should probably be warned that the game also uses Games For Windows Live.
If you’re going to raise graphical complaints about the game though then it’s likely that they’ll arise from the style that Capcom has opted to use and which strays even further from the dark, gothic roots than the franchise has ever gone before. Nearly all the areas in the game are saturated with light and Capcom has gone the unusual root of making the really bright areas stay fairly whited out, rather than having them fade back in to viewable limits ala HDR.
The graphical style is obviously not for everyone, and there were a few points where the high contrast visuals chafed even our well worn eyes. On the whole though, it works really well and the game looks both striking and engaging.
There are a few different effects you can toggle in Resident Evil 5
to customise the look of the game to your hardware. We’ve snapped some comparative screenshots above to help you give a rough idea of what the game can look like. Performance-wise we ran the game on full settings with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 280 with 4X AA and the game was perfectly playable.