It would be fair to say that the system requirements for Dead Rising 3 are absolutely astronomical, so we were naturally keen to get our hands on it and put those requirements to the test. Demanding a GeForce GTX 570, 6GB of RAM and a Phenom II X4 945 at a minimum, the system requirements are absolutely eye-watering.

We've got a our trusty mid-lower tier gaming rig at PC that comes in well beneath these system requirements, so we thought it would be a great time to see what we can get away with when it comes to Capcom's zombie-fuelled slaughterhouse. First up in our series of Dead Rising 3 benchmarks we've an Nvidia GTX 650 2GB graphics card, an AMD FX 4100 processor and just 4GB of RAM, so let’s see how this rig handles Dead Rising 3.

The Dead Rising 3 Graphics Engine

Dead Rising 3 runs on a proprietary graphics engine created in-house by Capcom Vancouver called The Forge. It's the same engine used to creating Dead Rising 2 but Capcom has had to make a number of updates to increase the size of the world and the zombie density, as well having one single world with no loading zones and seamless streaming.

Dead Rising 3 Graphics Setting Screens

Dead Rising 3 Basic Visuals Settings

The visuals section of the Dead Rising 3 graphics options screen just offers some very basic settings like Resolution, the general Graphics Quality, a VSync toggle, and Gamma settings. If you want to get a bit more in-depth then the Advanced Options sections has all the goodies.

Dead Rising 3 Visuals: Advanced Options

There's quite a bit to play around with here in the Dead Rising 3 advanced graphics options screen, and here's a full list of option that is available to you.

Level of Detail - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Game Quality - 720p, 900p, 1080p

Ambient Occlusion - Off, On

Antialiasing Type - None, FXAA, SMAA, SMAA T2X

Motion Blur - Off, On

Depth of Field - Off, On

Zombie Quality - Low, Medium, High

Shadow Quality - Low, Medium, High

Texture Quality - Low, Medium High

Texture Filtering - Trilinear, 4x Anisotropic Filtering,  8x Anisotropic FIltering, 16x Anisotropic Filtering

Subsurface Scattering - Off, On

Mirror Quality - Off, Low, Medium, High

Sky Quality - Low, Medium, High

Most of these settings are self explanatory but the Game Quality referring to resolution is unusual. The basic settings screen provides the option for resolution changes, and this is yet another opportunity to select the resolution. Altering this causes a noticeable change in the sharpness of the image quality, but at a massive hit to performance. Moving it off 720p in this rig cause the game to be totally unplayable, often dropping as low as 1 or 2 FPS, so all of the benchmarks done below were at 720p Game Quality. To see for yourself the difference Game Quality makes, check out the comparison screens below. 

Dead Rising 3 Most Demanding Graphics Option

Dead Rising 3 720p Game Quality

Dead Rising 3 1080p Game Quality


Dead Rising 3 GeForce GTX 650 Benchmarks

 As it stands at launch Dead Rising 3 is unfortunately capped at a maximum of just 30 frames per second until someone wiser than me manages to bust it wide open. All of these benchmarks had to be performed at 720p Game Quality to get it running, and were performed while smashing through the scene pictured above. We ran through on three different resolutions; 1280 x 720, 1600 x 900, and 1920 x 1280, on Low, Medium, and High graphics settings (This did not affect the Game Quality setting).

Benchmarks for Dead Rising performed on AMD FX 4100 with 4GB RAM and Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 2GB Graphics Card

As you can see you can definitely get a playable game out of Dead Rising 3 despite this rig not matching Capcom's minimum settings in any of the critical departments. Anything above 22 or so was a very playable experience, aided by the fact it's third-person so it's a little easier on the eye. One thing to note is that Dead Rising 3 can at times be quite stuttery, which is probably related to loading the large open environment. The 4GB RAM definitely hinders us here but Dead Rising 3's lack of reliance of precision means this has little impact on gameplay. Playing at Low it certainly looks worse but it's by no means a bad-looking game, as you can see in the screens below, with the sheer quantity of zombies impressing over any previous title in the series. Or any zombie game at all for that matter.  

Dead Rising 3 FX-4100 CPU And 4GB RAM Game Performance

With this system coming in below the Dead Rising 3 minimum system requirements for RAM we though we’d take a look at the CPU and Memory requirements of Watch Dogs using the performance panel of Windows Task Manager. The CPU usage has dropped in the time that it took to grab the screen but as you can see it's the memory usage that's getting really stretched. This was taken on low settings, notch it up a bit and it quickly becomes clear the 4GB RAM is holding it back.

 

The processor is certainly underpowered for Dead Rising 3's demands but it's the memory which is the biggest worry, and we'd expect using 6GB+ will result in a far more playable experience. The sheer number of enemies certainly takes its toll at times and if you're going to want to hit those higher settings then 8GB RAM and a pretty hefty CPU are a must. 

Dead Rising 3 Low And High Graphics Comparison Screens

Dead Rising 3 Low Level Of Detail Graphics Setting

Dead Rising 3 High Level Of Detail Graphics Setting

The difference here is actually pretty negligible, so you're not going to lose out on too much of what Dead Rising 3 offers by cranking it down a notch. You'll notice a definite increase in shadow quality in the bottom pic, as well as detail on distant objects.

It's the Graphics Quality where the real difference can be found though, but lower-end systems can certainly still get a nice looking game. Dead Rising 3's mantra is quantity not quality when it comes to the zombies, and this applies to graphics. You'll be spending a lot more time decapitating them than staring at their textures so I would recommend gamers with similar spec rigs to consider picking it up.

For further Dead Rising 3 benchmarking be sure to keep an eye our for our future articles on the GeForce GTX 750 Ti and the Radeon 6670, as well as a review later in the week.