Resident Evil 2, 3, and 7 Next-Gen Update Graphics Comparison

resident Evil is one of the most celebrated and enduring IPs in Capcom’s catalog. Since 1996, the series has received numerous entries and remakes, constantly evolving the graphics of each game. Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake is another anticipated re-imagining of a fan-favorite title, joining a growing list of resident Evil remakes that will undoubtedly feature the latest improvements in the RE Engine.

Before fans can get their hands on Resident Evil 4Capcom has brought its remakes of RE2 and 3, along with Resident Evil 7, to the next generation with the ray-tracing capabilities of modern PC and console hardware. Some fans may wonder how much these games could benefit from these upgrades, as Resident Evil 2, 3and 7 already look quite impressive. However, diving into each game’s next-gen uplift showcases some significant improvements.

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Resident Evil 2: A Cleaner RCPD

the older RE remake is Resident Evil 2, which looked exceptional in 2019 and still looks great today. Taking place mainly within the claustrophobic corridors of the Raccoon City Police Department, RE2‘s setting litters each scene with ceramic tile floors, wooden beams, and marble statues that reflect and diffuse light. As impressive as the RE Engine is, it has some graphical shortcomings, like graphical artifacting around Leon and the office chairs at the Racoon City Police Department entrance.

That strange white halo effect is the product of RE Engine’s screen space reflection, which is imperfect and prevalent throughout Resident Evil 2‘s settings. RE2‘s next-gen update cleans up this effect through real-time ray tracing, which accurately calculates how these surfaces should reflect and diffuse light on each surface. RCPD is remarkably cleaner, visually speaking, and illuminated better as a result. Players should also note how Leon’s jacket looks true to its polyester texture instead of a glossy leather appearance resulting from inaccurate screen space reflections.


Resident Evil 3: Subtle Yet Effective Changes

unlike Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3 features busier scenes throughout the open sections of Raccoon City. Ray-traced lighting in RE3 is subtle and doesn’t affect the visual look as much as the other next-gen upgrades. However, as the game is filled with subway cars and rain puddles, RE3 becomes a prime candidate to showcase underappreciated benefits of ray-tracing. Reflections in Resident Evil 3 are much improved and benefit more than in RE2 and 7​​​​​.

the original version of Resident Evil 3 lacks Jill’s character model reflected on surfaces like subway cars, which some players may not notice but would be difficult to ignore after switching to the enhanced version. With the next-gen update, RE3‘s metallic surfaces now render Jill in real-time thanks to the implementation of ray-traced reflections. Reflections are also prominently displayed across Raccoon City through wet surfaces and rain puddles. Screen space reflections in RE3 suffer from the same graphical artifacts as RE2, but these are also removed with next-gen enhancements.


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Resident Evil 7: Ray-Tracing In Full Effect

Any fan that has stepped foot inside the Baker House would know that Resident Evil 7 ramps up the scare factor with dark corridors and moody lighting. However, Resident Evil 7‘s lighting techniques seem limited compared to current games, particularly in terms of bounce lighting. Light posts in the Baker House only illuminate in pockets, making more ominous scenes – but also unrealistic ones.

Non-RT versions are shrouded in total darkness. With ray-traced lighting in full effect, the scene composition in Resident Evil 7‘s darkest corridors change significantly. Light scatters across the narrow hallway, even illuminating the corridors of a scene thanks to ray-traced global illumination and bounce lighting. The light post behind the player now brightens the gun model, which was almost invisible in the original version. as the oldest resident Evil title receiving a next-generation upgrade, RE7 manages to look better than Resident 2 and 3 in some instances, and showcases how far the RE Engine has come.


Resident Evil 2, 3, and 7 are available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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