Here we go again with Capcom and PC ports, as anyone who’s seen the First Impressions of Resident Evil Revelations 2 on our YouTube channel may remember. A controversy regarding local co-op being left out of Resident Evil Relevations 2 (only to later be added in via a modder, and then Capcom themselves) lays the backdrop for the newest problems regarding their PC porting woes. This time it deals with the Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition, and in particular, the Untold Stories DLC. It took a while for the DLC to make it’s way over, with the original Resident Evil 5 port coming out in 2009. Now note, the base game of Resident Evil 5 did not have local co-op, well at least not maintained by Capcom. However, the modding community was able to add it, and now, it looks like that “fix” is unable to be done. Now note, the console versions of the game do have local co-op, however, when the game initially came to Steam in it’s first form, it did not.
First reported by Eurogamer, within the games files, you can follow several changes made during the development process that removed the code in question, specifically dealing with the split screen and motion controller code. Now one may argue on why to rip out the code to begin with, but it could have been for code cleanliness (the use of the term orphaned can indicate this). Wbacon, who is a representative of Capcom, noted that “The crux of the issue is that the PC code base has no concept of multiple controllers. In other words, if you plugged in two Xbox controllers, RE5 has no way of figuring out which gamepad controls which character — or what happens if one player uses a key board and mouse versus a gamepad.” Part of the process also has to do with the transition from GFWL (Games for Windows Live) to just Steamworks.
The modding community responded to that with disagreement, as one of the original creators of the mod, TheBlade, responded, and noted that Capcom themselves shouldn’t have a problem getting it working, considering their history with Resident Evil Revelations 2. “I don’t understand why you claim the code “simply does not work on the PC”, as I was one of the key people who worked on the split-screen mod that enabled it on the GFWL initial release versions for PC…..We did not add anything extra to the game at all, it was simply enabled. The only problem was that the keyboard would control both characters, so it was forcibly disabled.” He went on to add that for the Steamworks version: “I got into the split-screen menus and can confirm that all the code has been removed to enable split-screen functionality. Within the menus the second controller will work fine but it just loads the standard 1P game. Why can’t this feature be added into the PC version? Majority of the code from the Xbox/PS3 SKUs is still compatible in many ways.”
A second modder, Sectus called out wbacon’s statement regarding the multiple controller handling of the PC version. “PC version does at least have some code for handling multiple controllers. There’s an array defining which controller ID each player is using, and if you change player two’s ID from -1 to 1, then you’ll have two controllers controlling player 1 and 2.” This seems to contradict the statement by Capcom. In fact, it seems like the modder may have already gotten a step in terms of making it run, adding “I was able to get split screen coop working fairly well except for a major problem with the game thinking player two is supposed to have their own save game.” He goes on to suggest source code access, but realizes that is most likely not a possibility. In the end, inconsistencies regarding the ability to mod and the statement made by Capcom exist, and adds to what it’s already shaky trust of Capcom’s PC ports. Even though Capcom has gone on to say through a statement provided to Eurogamer that “Some game code from the original GFWL release did have to be changed in the porting process so both Resident Evil 5 and the new Untold Stories Bundle add-on content worked seamlessly together”, it is again inconsistent with the original statements put out. In addition, what’s even more interesting is that because the Untold Stories is technically DLC, this actually makes modifications to the base game as well in order to get it to work.
Does the developer have the right to change a game with a PC port to make the game work with their system, especially when the game content is technically DLC? Do you buy Capcom’s explanation regarding the PC port, or does the evidence show inconsistencies that you don’t buy?