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Resident Evil 3 demo analysis: the game’s brilliant but something’s up with Xbox One X

Another superb remake is on the horizon from Capcom with the Resident Evil 3 demo hitting PS4 and Xbox One consoles – showing how its RE Engine has evolved since the Resi 2 remake. Fans of the original Playstation game will be well prepared for what’s to come: it’s a more action-orientated take on the series from the word go – fewer puzzles and more focus on firepower to push through – with the threat of Nemesis looming around every corner. This is a marked departure from the last game too, not just in tone but also in how the RE Engine is deployed, with some major change seen in the Xbox One X rendition of the game.

The demo itself is a relatively lean slice of the action, delivering about 30 minutes of gameplay in all – and after a few attempts, you could probably speed-run it in under 10. So what we’re seeing here is very much an small sample of a greater whole, and we have no real idea of how close to completion this demo actually is. The demo is seemingly configured for this play length too, even down to the layout of zombies, weapons, and Nemesis encounters. Expect things to be shaken up here for the final game – and I hope that changes extend to the default brightness too, which is simply too dark by default. The tools are there to calibrate the game more effectively, but the standard preset really need some work.

In terms of image quality, there are some parallels with RE2 Remake, but there is a twist. Xbox One X now targets a full 4K as opposed to the 1620p target from the prior game, though once again it does look like reconstruction techniques are used to generate its 2160p framebuffer. The results aren’t necessarily as sharp as you might expect, but the improvement to clarity over the PS4 Pro version is clear (Sony’s enhanced machine remains at the same 1620p as RE2). Again, the Pro version also seems to be reconstructing with stippling checkerboard-stye artefacts in play. The resolution parity we saw in RE2 Remake is gone, then – X pushes more pixels and this does result in a significant performance penalty.

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