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July 13, 2024

Resident Evil 4 Remake | Review

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Initial Release Date: March 24, 2023

Writer: Matthew J. Costello

Publishers: Capcom, Capcom U.S.A., Inc.

Mode: Single-Player

Composer: Ko-Ta

Genres: Action-Adventure, Survival Horror, Shooter

Introduction

Back in 2005 Resident 4 was considered by many as the greatest video game ever created due to it’s masterful presentation of it’s third person action shooting gameplay along with it’s adrenaline pumping survival horror aspects.

I mean, I get it, I beaten Resident Evil 4 on my Gamecube in 2005. There was no video game on the market that blended survival horror with third person action like Resident Evil 4 did. It was novel for it’s time.

Fast forward into 2023. Things have changed in the gaming landscape. You have mobile games, battle royale games. Which is why it’s stunning what Capcom was able to pull off with Resident Evil 4 Remake.

You have a old-school-ish masterpiece that has been modernized for today’s 2023 gamer. And to me, it’s a better video game than the original was. Keep reading to find out why I know Resident Evil 4 Remake is better than the original.

Presentation

Resident Evil 4 Remake’s presentation is borderline flawless from a technical perspective. I played Resident Evil 4 Remake on my Playstation 5 in Ray Tracing FPS Mode. The camera did get wonky at times when backed into a corner by a horde of Ganados trying to kill Leon.

But for the most part, I don’t remember seeing any framerate dips or odd glitches of any sort. I did see pop-in maybe two or three times when loading a typewriter saved game. However, for the most part, overall my experience was near perfect.

Resident Evil 4 is modernized for today’s gamer with major upgrades to it’s main gameplay mechanics, auto-saves, story beats and quality of life improvements. Biggest gameplay aspect that’s been modernized are Leon’s shooting, aiming, CQC and mobility mechanics.

Story

The story of Resident Evil 4 Remake goes as Leon S. Kennedy a special agent who must track down and secure President Graham’s daughter, Ashley Graham who’s been adducted by the Spanish cult Los Illuminados lead by Osmund Saddler.

It’s difficult for me to remember every little thing about the original Resident Evil 4’s story. With that said, I can say after completing the Remake that the Remake has a better story due to better writing and the use of modernization of character development tactics.

Leon S. Kennedy now has a more a fleshed out backstory. There are scenes of him talking to Ashley, Jack Krauser and Ada Wong about his past and it’s difficulties. I’ll go as far to say all characters in Resident Evil 4 Remake were better written and fleshed out compared to the original.

The story had it’s cheesy moments but are overshadowed by the roller-coaster ups and downs of Leon and Ashley’s adventure. Leon and Ashley developed a realistic bond over the course of the story. They helped each other, argue with one another yet developed a strong bond by the conclusion of the story.

Gameplay

Resident Evil 4 Remake’s gameplay is sublime, incredible, engaging and challenging at times. I haven’t played a video game with such masterclass level action and survivor horror elements since well, the original Resident Evil 4.

Leon can now use a knife for the full game (granted you repair it) for parrying attacks and deflecting flying objects. Major Jack Krauser’s boss fight is basically a CQC fight with Leon parrying and deflecting Krauser in a one on one battle.

Parrying attacks felt great and can break the enemy’s stamina bar stun locking them. Inventory and item management were modernized. You can use the typewriter to upgrade your attaché case with charms that add perks to Leon.

Playing the shooting gallery nets you said case charms. The Merchant is such an amazing NPC. From his hidden away locations to his banter. I always felt relieved when I found The Merchant. Merchant sells weapons, upgrades and items of all kinds.

You can sell and or inlay gemstone treasures to be sold for massive coin. Enemy variety with their various gameplay mechanics are engaging and visceral. From parrying a simple village Ganado’s axe attack to the Las Plagas Type-Cs. Combat felt fair, yet challenging and scary.

Boss fights can be made totally trivial if you have a Rocket Launcher which one shots them. Enemy variety was amazing. You had Giants with Armor, flying insects, Cultists, lake creatures and soldier gatling gun types.

In-game Side Missions called “Blue Requests” were added to Resident Evil 4 Remake. Side Missions net you Spinels which allow you to buy special items and weapons at the Merchant. Blue Requests usually involve you backtracking to destroy Blue Medallions and or killing infesting rats.

Other Blue Requests involve you defacing Ramon Salazar’s portrait with a golden egg or collecting a scratced emerald from a crow. Do you remember how cumbersome and confusing that maze sequence was in the original Resident Evil 4?

It’s been completely redone. You lower three flags to open the gate by using levers found in towers. Trust me, it’s less confusing and more fun then the original’s. I had a blast going around each amazing location trying to find loot and treasure to sell.

The gameplay in Resident Evil 4 Remake does something rare in video games. It has that old schoolish gameplay mixed with modern gameplay of 2023. It’s quite amazing what Capcom pulled off here.

There was a gameplay sequence on Chapter 15 where you had to escape two Regenerator Bioweapons (creepy looking mofos). Anyways, talk about intense gameplay. Survival Horror personified. Bravo Capcom!

You had to evade these two monstrosities while locating and turning two wheels in a enclosed room with hanging bags blocking your view. It made me feel claustrophobic, blind and gave me some anxiety. It was an amazing gameplay sequence which sums up Resident Evil 4 Remake’s amazing experience.

Ashley Graham castle’s gameplay sequence was intense, well designed and a bit scary. You use a blue lantern to hold off las plagas armor suits while solving puzzles and to get back to Leon. It was all very well designed.

Visuals/Graphics

So I played Resident Evil 4 Remake on my Playstation 5 with ray tracing turned on with FPS mode. Image quality did seem to take a hit compared to other RE-Engine games I played recently. Make no mistake though this game can look stunning at times even though it’s cross-gen.

Resident Evil 4 Remake’s atmosphere is top notch featuring great artstyle for architecture, enemies and NPCs. The lighting was amazing thanks to the minor ray tracing visual bump. Frame rate was smooth the entire playthrough for the most part. So yeah, a really good-looking game but not on say Horizon: Forbidden West’s level on PS5.

Sound/Music

There was some silly controvsy about Ada Wong’s voice actress’s performance. Nonsense. I thought Ada Wong’s voiced dialogue was great along with Leon, Ashley and Luis Navarro. Resident Evil 4 Remake’s music score was good with great sound design layered on top.

Resident Evil 4 Remake has tons of atmosphere, from the crows, to Ganados, farm animals etc. The wind, weather everything has it;s own sound and contributed to the game’s presentation. Music during boss fights had that AAA-Action movie vibe. Lots of rock & roll music in Resident Evil 4 Remake.

Tips & Tricks

The main tips for Resident Evil 4 Remake is to first upgrade your combat knife and get used to parrying and perfomring finishers with it. Next, try and do all of the Blue Requests Side Missions for spinels.

Blue Requests are fairly easy except for the strong enemy type ones that can net you the most spinel. Pick a weapon you like and focus on upgrading it. A fully modded Blacktail pistol helped me a lot during the latter chapters. Shoot at kneecaps then finish them with knife or suplex.

If you want to one-shot bosses buy a Rocket Launcher. Do the shooting gallery so you can unlock charms that gives Leon permanent stat buffs via his attaché case. Buy body armor. Run if you have to. Try and collect as many treasures and inlay as many gemstones in them for maximum coin.

Final Verdict

As of April 2, 2023 Resident Evil 4 Remake is my GOTY pick. I know a lot can change from now till the end of the year. But let me tell you Resident Evil 4 Remake is amazing and a masterclass class in how remakes should be done. I have yet to play a game like this that has old school values with new age modernized gameplay that’s actually great. It’s an amazing game.

9/10

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Jason

Jason Flowers
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