Capcom will address PC performance issues with Resident Evil Village, after reports noted pirated versions of the game without DRM ran better.
For those unfamiliar, Denuvo anti-piracy DRM has been criticized for allegations of its effectiveness. These include the need for a constant and uninterrupted online connection even on single-player games, and allegations of causing severe performance inhibition.
When it was announced that Doom Eternal would use Denvo anti-cheat software for its multiplayer, id Software soon after had to look into claims of crashes and performance issues. Denuvo was removed just one week after it was introduced. Whether this latest iteration will continue to have issues will remain to be seen.
Titles that have removed Denuvo anti-piracy DRM (albeit some after a year from launch) include Devil May Cry 5, Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil 2, Octopath Traveler, and Sonic Mania. Recent titles to add Denuvo anti-piracy DRM have include Evil Genius 2: World Domination, Persona 5 Strikers, and Deathloop.
Some may have hoped Resident Evil Village would join their ranks, as multiple reviews and gamers criticized the game’s performance on PC. Our own review noted that on PC the game “suffers from stuttering when shooting enemies, and sometimes dropping frames hard in certain situations or rooms. Sometimes these can inhibit gameplay but hopefully it can be resolved with a future patch.”
While an earlier July 10th video claimed the pirated version of the game (without Denuvo) ran without stuttering, a July 14th video by Digital Foundry gathered more attention of press and gamers alike.
Digital Foundry tested the cracked version and the official version with DRM. They noted that on the same computer, in the same area and scenario, the official version suffered “horrendous frame times and a collapsed frame rate on the official version, and a gigantic improvement with the crack installed.”
In the example scenario, the pirated version stayed around 100 to 120 FPS, while the DRM version fell to almost 30 FPS. Meanwhile on consoles, the games ran smoothly and without issue. Digital Foundry did note how while most of the PC plays fine, there are notable frame-dips during certain animation, especially during combat or when the Maidens appear in a flurry of insects.
However; Denuvo may not be entirely at fault. Digital Foundry note that in notes in pirated copies of the game, the pirates note Capcom had their own copy protection as well.
They claim Capcom’s own anti-piracy measures are embedded within Denuvo, making the game even less optimal. By stripping out Capcom’s entry points for the DRM- which are tied to events such as combat and the Maidens appearing- those events no longer suffer frame dips.
A mere 24 hours after the story hit the mainstream, Capcom issued a statement to EuroGamer (who owns Digital Foundry). They stated “The team are working on a patch to address PC performance issues, it should be available soon – we’ll have more details shortly.”
Will this update involve removal of Capcom’s own DRM, Denuvo, or even both? Or will the DRM remain while the performance improves? We will keep you informed as we learn more.
However, its not all good news. On top of this recent admittance that Resident Evil Village on PC has issues, Resident Evil Re:Verse was delayed yet again; to 2022.
The game was intended as a free multiplayer game for those who purchase Resident Evil Village (launched May 7th). The open beta for Re:Verse was met with issues with matchmaking on launch, causing it to be temporarily suspended.
Even so, the Mostly Negative reviews on Steam note the game being poor quality overall. Many even wished that Capcom had not created the game, with the extra budget then going into Village.
The situation can be compared to Resident Evil 3 (2020), and Resident Evil Resistance; a stand-alone multiplayer game that was free with the former. Our own review noted how it would quickly become passed-over, and likely made Resident Evil 3 a worse game because of its existence.
Resident Evil Village is available on Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Google Stadia. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will support upgrades to the next generation. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we highly recommend it!)