(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXZGCwAJpbM (/ embed)
Update: A Capcom spokesman tells PC Gamer that the company "is currently studying PC performance reporting issues."
Original story: An interesting statement came up over the weekend: that a broken version of Resident Evil Village not only ignores Capcom’s DRM, but works better than the Steam version. The technical journalists of Digital casting puts this claim to the test, comparing the normal, broken versions of Resident Evil Village, and what do you know, it’s true: the pirated version doesn’t stutter like the retail version, says Digital Foundry.
For the most part, the two executables perform identically, as Rich Leadbetter of DF explains in the video embedded above. To be clear, the broken version does not provide an overall increase in frame rate. However, at certain times, the time it takes to represent a frame suddenly increases in the retail version, causing a noticeable pause or stutter. Digital Foundry shows that this stuttering doesn’t happen at all in the cracked version, suggesting that DRM processes occasionally interfere with Resident Evil Village’s ability to render new frames.
The inconsistency seems especially annoying in combat: in his video, DF shows the screen pausing momentarily the moment an enemy is hit. The site says the same issue does not appear in console versions.
Defeat Lady D with these Resident Evil Village guides
The claim that PC DRM solutions hinder game performance is common, but is often difficult to prove, because we don't have many opportunities to test game executables that are identical outside of one, including DRM and the other. no. In this case, we don't know all the variables: DRM may not be the only difference between retail copies and Village copies. As Leadbetter points out, however, if DRM is not to blame for the stutter, the only conclusion left is that the broken version ignores DRM and fixes a non-DRM-related performance issue. Of course possible, but I think it’s safe to say “oops, we accidentally fixed the stutter” as an explanation here (and it doesn’t really reflect the game better).
Denuvo anti-manipulation technology, which announces "zero impact on the gaming experience," is often the target of DRM performance allegations. In a 2016 test, we found it Denuvo DRM did not affect performance in Final Fantasy 15, but others have seen apparent performance hits related to Denuvo in different games, such as Devil May Cry 5. This case does not resolve Denuvo's question, as while the cracker says Denuvo is Used in Resident Evil Village, Capcom's own DRM technology is also at stake and could be the main contributor to the stuttering problem.
I've contacted Capcom and Denuvo's parent company, Irdeto, to comment, but I haven't received any news yet.
Some good news, perhaps, is that the DRM aspects of Resident Evil Village are likely to be removed in the future. Capcom hasn’t said much, but it’s something the company does: it unlocked Denuvo from Devil May Cry 5 about a year after the release, and dropped it from Resident Evil 7 two years after the release.