Resident Evil 2

Posted:  Jan 31, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
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Review

Re-imagined from the original PS1 release, Resident Evil 2 brings you back to the classic that stunned the world. As Leon Kennedy, you are stuck in a zombie epidemic and must work with Claire Redfield to make it out of Raccoon City alive. Using an over-the-shoulder camera, you will solve puzzles and take down zombies to survive the horrors that await. Will you be able to discover what is happening and get out with your life intact?

Resident Evil 2 is a full remake from the original 1998 version and overhauls a lot. Along with the updated visuals and new gameplay elements, the majority of the story is intact. You can still play through the story from different perspectives, but some changes like enemy designs and some small narrative backgrounds exist. But the changes are minor compared to how much the game keeps from its original. That being said, let's take a look and see if this experience can be enjoyed on the Steam Deck.

Resident Evil 2: Max Performance

Before I get into this, let me say the RE Engine is amazing. The engine this game is based off of is so well optimized that it was able to run this game at the max quality settings, to a degree. While it is possible to play in some areas at 60, there are massive drops that happen in most other areas, especially corridors where the framerate can drop to 39-40 FPS with a 24W drain. But we don't have to make many sacrifices for Resident Evil 2 to really shine.

RE2Max

Survive with Optimization

Knowing how amazing the RE Engine is, I decided to see how far down the settings needed to go to get a solid 60 FPS and luckily, they didn't need to go down too far. The engine is well optimized enough to handle decent looking graphics, but it does drain the battery a bit more than I would like. So, I turned up the settings a bit and shot for 45 FPS, which altogether gave me an average of 11W - 13W for a solid 3 - 3.5 hours of battery life. This had a 100% render scale with native resolution and it looked incredible.

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Max Settings
Recommended Settings
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Recommended Settings
Max Settings

One of the big ways I was able to get a stable 45 FPS with low battery drain is due to the interlaced rendering mode being used instead of the normal. I honestly didn't notice a ton of visual difference, but it did save on battery and kept the game very stable at this framerate, so it feels like a win-win.

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Normal
Interlaced
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Interlaced
Normal

After that, I decided to try shooting for the highest quality possible. I turned up almost everything to max, a normal render mode, and boosted resolution scale to 120%. This allowed a TDP of 14, or no limit if preferred, and 40 FPS. Resident Evil 2 definitely looked incredible here, but it did have a reduction in framerate and didn't feel as smooth.

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Resolution 100%
Resolution 120%
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Resolution 120%
Resolution 100%

And then I elected to record and finalize a 60 FPS build. I already had a general idea of it from before, but I took a little closer look and made a couple of adjustments to improve stability. The game does have spots where it stutters a moment, generally when loading in, and playing on 60 makes it feel a little bit worse than it has to. Framerate dips below this are much more noticeable too, but it with these settings, it doesn't happen often.

Saying No to FSR

On the Steam Deck, we use FSR for a lot of bigger games to make them run as optimally as possible, but Resident Evil 2 is the first game I decided against using it. I noticed that in some scenes, and especially in cutscenes, it was very jarring to watch as some thinner bars or far away objects looked like they were shining and going in and out. With how optimized this engine is, I didn't feel it was necessary at all to have it enabled as there were enough options to really configure the game the way we want.

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FSR Off
FSR On
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FSR On
FSR Off

Other than this, I really didn't notice any issues with playing Resident Evil 2 on the Steam Deck. Controls were great, visuals were amazing, and text was a good size.

Conclusion

Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic game and part of the remake series for the older games that Capcom is putting out. Survival horror was defined by the Resident Evil games and this one captures the awesome feeling from the original while modernizing it. On top of that, this is a clear example of how amazing the RE Engine is. And if this and RE3 are anything to go by, the upcoming RE4 remake will run beautifully on the Steam Deck.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Resident Evil 2 is a fantastic remake of the original game that shaped the survival horror genre. And thankfully, enjoying this on the Steam Deck is a guarantee.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull Star
Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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Community Rating

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Let us know what level of playability you consider Resident Evil 2 to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$9.99
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Other Builds
Quality Build
SteamOS

Limit

40

Refresh Rate

40

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

14

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Resolution: 1280x800

Rendering Mode: Normal

Image Quality: 120%

FidelityFX Super Resolution: Off

Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Frame Rate: Variable

Anti-Aliasing: SMAA

Texture Quality: High (1Gb)

Texture Filter Quality: High (ANISO x16)

Mesh Quality: Max

Shadow Quality: High

Shadow Cache: On

Contact Shadows: On

Screen Space Reflections: On

Subsurface Scattering: On

Volumetric Lighting Quality: High

Particle Lighting Quality: High

Ambient Occlusion: SSAO (Set Areas Only)

Bloom: On

Lens Flair: On

Motion Blur: Off (Personal Preference)

Depth of Field: On

Lens Distortion: (On + Chromatic Aberration)

Film Noise: Off (Personal Preference)

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

15W - 23W

72c - 82c

1.5 - 2 hours

60 FPS Build
SteamOS

Limit

60

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

10

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Resolution: 1280x800

Rendering Mode: Interlaced

Image Quality: 100%

FidelityFX Super Resolution: Off

Refresh Rate: 60Hz

Frame Rate: Variable

Anti-Aliasing: SMAA

Texture Quality: High (0.25Gb)

Texture Filter Quality: High (ANISO x4)

Mesh Quality: High

Shadow Quality: Medium

Shadow Cache: On

Contact Shadows: On

Screen Space Reflections: On

Subsurface Scattering: On

Volumetric Lighting Quality: Medium

Particle Lighting Quality: High

Ambient Occlusion: SSAO (Set Areas Only)

Bloom: On

Lens Flair: On

Motion Blur: Off (Personal Preference)

Depth of Field: On

Lens Distortion: (On + Chromatic Aberration)

Film Noise: Off (Personal Preference)

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

13W - 17W

69c - 74c

~2.5 hours

related Settings

7 comments on “Resident Evil 2”

  1. Is this the new Dx12 version or the beta drop down to get the Dx11 version? Since they added Dx12 and ray tracing in line with the PS5/Xbox Series update. Performance got much worse over all. Not sure if it's different today but this new broke over summer.

    1. I didn’t go into the drop-down and select the beta. My review is on the default version that is downloadable without any changes. I do remember that performance got worse overall from that, but it genuinely still performs very well on the default DX12 version. I will do a quick test to compare though.

      1. Considering those tests Digital Foundary did and my own experiences were on Windows. Dx12 might be better to vulkan than Dx11 to vulkan in the steam deck's case. Honestly amazed by your results. Never would have even thought to run this game on deck.

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