It turns out that Resident Evil Village's DRM may be causing its stuttering issues on PC, and a hacker believes cracking the software completely fixes the issues.
One of the biggest bugs that has been affecting the PC version of Resident Evil Village since its launch on the platform is its traversal stutter, caused by moving through the level or triggering certain events, such as zombie kills. Only by turning off ray-tracing could you mitigate the stutter (which causes huge frame drops fairly often in the game), and even then it wouldn't eliminate the problem entirely.
Thanks to an enterprising hacker, via DSOGaming, it looks like we might have found the cause of the issue: Capcom's DRM.
"All in-game shutters like the one from when you kill a zombie are fixed because Capcom DRM's entry points are patched out so most of their functions are never executed anymore. This results in much smoother game experience," explained hacker Empress, noting the game runs far better as a pirated copy than it does as an official version of the game.
DSOGaming itself has tried out the cracked version of the game, and the results are encouraging. Reporters at the site "did not get a single stutter during these two hours" and "even the catacombs at Lady Dimitrescu’s castle, an area notorious for its stuttering issues when killing enemies, was stutter-free".
This isn't the first time we've seen issues with DRM: a couple of years back, we saw that Metal Gear Rising's DRM disabled the game’s Mac edition, we saw Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time lock players out of a single-player game because of DRM, and there have been many more controversies besides.
Obviously, we'll never encourage anyone to pirate the game, but hopefully drawing attention to this issue will make publishers aware of how impactful badly-realized DRM can affect the reputation of what is otherwise an incredibly popular game.