It’s rare that you get to review a game you played over a decade ago, and rarer that the game is considered one of the best of all time. But that’s what’s happened, and the Resident Evil 4 remake is not one to disappoint.
RESIDENT EVIL… FOUR
First off, no one yells “RESIDENT EVIL… FOUR” when you boot up the RE4 remake, so instant points off for taking away the best part of the game. Some might say it’s the gunplay, or the story, or improved visuals, but they are wrong. The best part was the guy yelling the title of the game.
RE4, of course, features everyone’s favourite twink cop Leon S Kennedy travelling to somewhere vaguely European to rescue the US President’s daughter. A contrived and silly plot, but that’s why it’s so endearing; for a horror action game, Resident Evil 4 never took itself too seriously. Some minor dialogue changes have, unfortunately, toned down the ridiculous and upped the grit, but we take that in stride as a necessary evil of remastering a classic.
“Ashley no!” “Ashley yes.”
An important thing to remember in Resident Evil 4, and one I constantly forget, is that you don’t need to defeat EVERY enemy. The game eggs you on and pretends you do, but absolutely booking it past a minotaur lad and his farmer buds is often totally viable and better for you, Baby Eagle, and your supply of crafting materials and ammo.
Speaking of Ashley…
Look the AI isn’t bad, and definitely better than the original. Ashley runs past most enemies without too much effort, except when she gets bodied for standing directly behind you sometimes. But it’s still annoying to hear someone howling “LEON!!” for the fifth time in as many minutes. Am I just bad at the game? No. That’s not helping, admittedly, but the issue is that Ashley is extremely grabbabble by the Plagas and, frankly, seems to enjoy it.
‘Whatcha playin’, stranger?”
RE4 was always the turning point in the series where the horror took a backseat. That’s still true; I got spooked by some new jumpscares, and overwhelmed by enemies more than once, but it’s nothing like the tension of the RE2 and RE3 remakes. This is a shooty shooty bang game, not a survival horror, and on the rare times I ran out of ammo for one weapon I always had a plethora of other options available.
Does this mean I didn’t enjoy Resident Evil 4? Of course not; this is absolutely one of the best games ever made in the genre. I think it’s just the diminishing returns of remakes; the older Resident Evil games benefitted much more from their RE Engine upgrades, while RE4 is still relatively the same. Still great, but it doesn’t get the same scale of improvement as the others.
Ultimately, Resident Evil 4 Remake is worth getting for accessibility, visual improvements, and to be seen.
Resident Evil More
Resident Evil 4 was and is a gem of a game. The balance between action, jumpscares, and hilarious dialogue has never been beaten by any other. Is this remake perfect? No. Could it have been perfect by adding back in that guy saying RESIDENT EVIL FOUR at the start? Almost. This is on you, Capcom.