Resident Evil 2, 3 and 7: comparison of the next generation update graphics

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Resident Evil is one of the most famous and stable intellectual games in the Capcom catalog. Since 1996, the series has received many recordings and remakes, constantly changing the graphics of each game. Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake is another anticipated reimagining of the fan—favorite game, joining the growing list of Resident Evil remakes that will undoubtedly include the latest improvements to the RE Engine.

Before fans can get their hands on Resident Evil 4, Capcom has unveiled its remakes of RE2 and 3, as well as Resident Evil 7, for the next generation with ray tracing capabilities of modern PC and console hardware. Some fans may wonder how much these games can benefit from these updates, as Resident Evil 2, 3 and 7 already look pretty impressive. However, if you delve into each new generation game, you can see some significant improvements.

Resident Evil 2: The R.C.P.D. Cleaner

The older remake of RE is Resident Evil 2, which looked exclusively in 2019 and still looks great. RE2 takes place mainly in the claustrophobic corridors of the Raccoon City Police Department. The RE2 setting sprinkles each scene with ceramic tile floors, wooden beams and marble statues that reflect and scatter light. As impressive as the RE Engine is, it has some graphical flaws, such as the graphic artifacts around Leon and the office chairs at the entrance to the Raccoon City Police Department.

This strange white halo effect is the result of the reflection of the RE Engine screen space, which is imperfect and common in all Resident Evil 2 settings. The next-generation RE2 update removes this effect with real-time ray tracing, which calculates exactly how these surfaces should reflect and scatter light on each surface. R.C.P.D. significantly cleaner, visually speaking, and as a result better lit. Players should also pay attention to the fact that Leon’s jacket looks realistic due to the polyester texture, and does not look like glossy leather due to inaccurate reflections of space on the screen.

Resident Evil 3: Subtle but effective changes

Unlike Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 3 has more lively scenes in open parts of Raccoon City. The ray-tracing lighting in RE3 is subtle and doesn’t affect the look as much as other next-generation updates. However, since the game is filled with subway cars and rain puddles, RE3 becomes a prime candidate for demonstrating the underappreciated benefits of ray tracing. Reflections in Resident Evil 3 are significantly improved and bring more benefits than in RE2 and 7.

In the original version of Resident Evil 3, there is no Jill character model reflected on surfaces such as subway cars, which some players may not notice, but they will be difficult to ignore after switching to the expanded version. In the next generation update, RE3 metal surfaces now display Jill in real time thanks to the introduction of ray-traced reflections. Reflections are also prominently displayed throughout Raccoon City through wet surfaces and rain puddles. The reflections on the screen in RE3 have the same graphical artifacts as RE2, but they are also eliminated with next-generation improvements.

Resident Evil 7: Ray tracing in full

Any fan who has set foot in Baker House knows that Resident Evil 7 enhances the fear factor with dark corridors and gloomy lighting. However, Resident Evil 7’s lighting techniques seem limited compared to current games, especially in terms of reflected lighting. The light poles in Baker’s House illuminate only the pockets, creating more sinister scenes— but also unreal.

Versions without RT are shrouded in complete darkness. With the full ray-tracing lighting effect, the composition of the scene in the darkest corridors of Resident Evil 7 changes significantly. The light is scattered along the narrow corridor, even illuminating the corridors of the stage thanks to global ray tracing lighting and reflected lighting. The light pole behind the player now illuminates the weapon model, which in the original version was almost invisible. As the oldest Resident Evil game to receive a next-generation update, RE7 looks better in some cases than Resident 2 and 3, and demonstrates how far the RE Engine has come.

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