Capcom's Resident Evil series is going through a major second wave of popularity lately, mostly on the back of the excellent Resident Evil 2 remake and the lesser, but still fun, Resident Evil 3 remake. The operative word here is remake, because these, indeed, are reinterpretations of old games that once graced the PC. Bizarrely, the classic versions of those games don't have modern PC ports. So it's not really a surprise that Capcom's Dino Crisis, a survival horror series made in the mold of the older Resident Evil games, hasn't gotten the remake treatment or even modern PC ports, either.
Dino Crisis was ported to PC way back in 2000, but that old version is just stagnating on dusty disks somewhere, with no way to download the games or easily get them running. Let us shoot the dinosaurs, Capcom.
As we're used to, rightfully impatient PC gamers have largely solved the problem for us. A collaborative unofficial patch from the folks over at The Apple of Eden (opens in new tab), the Dino Crisis Classic REbirth update (opens in new tab) adds a suite of features and improvements that make an old, abandoned game run perfectly on today's PC hardware.
The update adds support for high resolutions, high frames per second, DirectX9 support for better comparability with modern GPUs (OpenGL and DirectX11 are in progress), new input detection tech for native keyboard and broad controller support, and plenty more. Check out the full list of updates below.
Does it work? You betcha. I've given it a go myself and getting it running is a breeze. Check out 30 minutes of 16:9, 2560x1440 gameplay in the video up top. It's been a minute since I played, so please excuse my inability to grasp what the hell a DDK lock is.
A few caveats and requirements, though:
- You need a legit copy of the Japanese Sourcenext version of Dino Crisis
- Adaptive widescreen highlights missing geometry, because the game wasn't built to fill out those spaces
- Higher framerate support doesn't mean every animation will run at a high framerate, so expect some jittery movement from characters and the camera
- Shooting dinos is kinda sad
High quality moves and audio mods are also available on the Dino Crisis Classic REbirth page (opens in new tab). You might as well check out the RE1 (opens in new tab) and RE2 REbirth (opens in new tab) mods, too, since Capcom is still sitting on those original PC ports. Preservation has been left to PC gamers, it seems.
- Replaces DirectDraw 5.00 with DirectX 9, for improved compatibility with modern GPUs (and prevents rundll32.exe from executing for no good reason). Will implement OpenGL and DirectX11 in a later revision.
- Replaces DirectInput 3.00/5.00 with new input methods such as XInput, RawInput, DirectInput 8.0 (also native keyboard support), effectively allowing most controllers to be detected and supported by the game.
- Replaces DirectShow video playback with a custom video player that doesn’t depend on deprecated Microsoft technologies. No codecs required, FFmpeg takes care of Indeo5 and adds native MP4 + AAC support.
- Adds a new 3D rendering mode with more precise transformation methods that fix wobbliness and texture warping.
- Improves sound capabilities of the game, making the audio driver switch from 22050Hz 8bit audio driver to 44100Hz 16bits. It also fixes a bug that causes music to increasingly speed up when player gets damaged across rooms without healing.
- Adds resolutions higher than 640×480 (supports 4K too), adds a hotkey to switch resolution in game, and provides a more stable borderless window mode to replace glitchy fullscreen.
- Adds an optional adaptative wide screen mode to fill the whole screen area (i.e. 16:9 & 16:10 ratios or even ultra widescreen, you name it).
- Fixes frame rate issue to provide smooth 30/60 fps support.
- Removes the need to install the game or to launch it via a dedicated launcher. Just copy your data from the install disk, add the DLL, executhe game and you are ready to go. If your copy was already installed, the DLL will convert Registry settings on the fly.