Anytime you pick up a Resident Evil game, you expect things to go very wrong very fast. All you can do is survive the horror. That rings true with Resident Evil 4 Remake, the reimagining of the 2005 Nintendo GameCube classic.
In this case, Leon S. Kennedy has been placed on an assignment for the President of the United States. Unfortunately, things are not looking good for him when he sets foot in the village from the chainsaw man demo. Using the RE Engine, Capcom has come out of the gates swinging with this new remake. Compared to other Resident Evil remakes, it holds up exceptionally well. When comparing it to the original, however, I never played the original game. Nevertheless, I have watched videos of the original enough to speak about different aspects of the new game compared to the old.
So, as a newcomer, what are my thoughts? I am in absolute love with this installment of Resident Evil.
From the moment I gained control of Leon, I was hooked. Resident Evil 2 Remake was the last Resident Evil title that I loved. This one has now become my favorite. From the graphical updates to the feeling of dread in the world, I believe everyone will have similar feelings about how well it has been cared for.
Resident Evil 4 Remake Grabs Hold and Doesn’t Let Go
Narrative can help make or break a game. Thankfully, I can tell you that this story is engaging and keeps you interested to the point of not wanting to put it down. As mentioned earlier, Leon, a former Racoon City police officer, works with the federal government. He aims to locate and rescue the President’s daughter, Ashley Graham. Unfortunately, a group of cultists has kidnaped her, and it is up to you to save her. The mission is straightforward until Leon watches a police officer get lit on fire and a maniac with a chainsaw tries to cut him into pieces. From there, the amount of cult-crazed humans running around trying to stab, shoot, or blow you up never leaves you wanting something to shoot.
It is fun playing through a piece of the story where it seems like certain death. Furthermore, the intrigue of the cult, which leads to some mysterious disappearances, is doubly enjoyable. Maybe they all did go to bingo, Leon.
These one-liners and story alike continue as Leon faces off against a myriad of bosses and cultist characters that will have you wanting your mama to come to hug you. This is enhanced by the musical score created for this title. In certain areas, the music is quiet and non-threatening. Other times, when the tension is palpable, it can be fast and terrifying. How the music plays addressed the attention to detail in the world, the weather, and the time of day. It helps make the world feel alive.
How Capcom Improved on an All-Time Classic
The modernized controls help you to navigate around each level. Being able to walk or run around all of the enemies becomes paramount if your weapons run out of ammunition. This will happen. It is an assurance that you will run out of ammo at some point in your gameplay. Wandering around sometimes bears fruit, as you find hidden secrets around the map. Some of these include maps to tell you where treasures are. All of this helps direct the story in different ways as these treasures help you earn money to fight against all the evil. Utilizing your knife in a fight to fend off chainsaws, axes, and other weapons is a big help in tight spots. The ability to get out of the dangerous hold is worth the trade-off of weapon durability loss. At least the merchant is there to help with repairs.
After having watched a few short videos for graphic and mechanic comparisons, I can tell you that I am in love with the new visuals. The atmospheric updates help create a memorable world you want to experience. In addition, the shadow play throughout the game will leave you questioning everything you see out of the corner of your eyes. You’ll walk around a corner and think you know what is coming, but you don’t. I even shot a few shadows because I wasn’t sure, and I know those shadows died well.
Weather ties into the feeling of the game world. The varied effects, between bright sunshine, dark and cloudy terror, and a punishing monsoon, help make the world constantly feel different. Mix in the soundtrack of background noise and musical score, and it turns those feelings ominous.
The combat in this remake feels fluid and clean. Stabbing enemies with your knife is fun, but switching between knife, pistol, and shotgun is perfect. Throw in a random grenade or flashbang, and call it a party. Healing and storage of weapons are similar to Resident Evil 2 Remake. The durability stat for knives I previously mentioned is carried over from Resident Evil 2, and I am ok with this. At one point, I was struggling to get away from people without a knife. However, after I learned my lesson, I started carrying at least three knives at once.
As always, you will want to hoard your ammo and use it with precision and accuracy. Dodging attacks is one of the best ways to get away, as long as you have the option. A knife is also able to parry the attacks. Most of the enemies in Resident Evil 4 are slower than you, so running is always an option. As with other remakes versus the original comparisons, the combat stacks as some of the best third-person shooter combat I have played in a while. It is right up there with the Resident Evil 2 Remake.
If you have any good feelings about the original game, they will only become better after you try the remake. With a great musical score, graphical and combat updates, and a fantastic story based on a cool character in Leon, you will find it hard to put down. I had to pry myself away from it to write this review. Resident Evil 4 Remake is that good.