A ganado with a chainsaw.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review


need to know

what is it? A remake of one of the best action games of all time.
expect to pay $60/£50
release date March 24, 2023
developer Capcom
publisher Capcom
Reviewed on Windows 10, i5-12400F, 16GB DDR4 RAM, RTX 2060
steam deck to be determined
associate Official Website(opens in a new tab)

Like Leon S. Kennedy, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Capcom. There are great games, and there are classics, games so forward-thinking and complete that they shape every corner of our industry. In the case of Resident Evil 4, every third-person game since has worn the love of Capcom’s masterpiece on the yoke sleeve: everything from Gears of War to Dead Space to The Last of Us is running because Capcom showed them how to walk. Remaking a game that remakes its own genre is tantamount to trying to catch lightning in a bottle all over again.

Capcom almost did it, and for a long time, you’d think it did. Resident Evil 4 Remake’s opening scene is excellent, simplifying the original route into the village a bit in order to get you to the first big scene: an almost immediate knocked-out drag out of the village brawl as its owner chases Leon around , The sound of the chainsaw turning continuously.

I play it on hardcore difficulty and recommend it to those who have already finished the original game, and the name fits the bill. I must have died a half-dozen times in this encounter before retuning and starting to figure out the endless little tricks incorporated into Leon’s movement and enemy behavior. One difference you’ll notice almost immediately on this difficulty is that running away isn’t the god-level strategy it used to be: these ganados will not only chase you down, they’ll grab you and deal serious damage. If there’s one thing you realize quickly in this game, it’s that after the rather lackluster Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, Capcom has rediscovered the joy of brutally killing players.

It will do this to you again and again. Leon’s death animation in the original was another standout feature (Dead Space in particular worked hard to recreate this), and you can get the sense that the animation team here wanted to outdo Dad, making some of your scariest, grim, sometimes Also interesting death will keep watching I’ve seen Leon lifted into the air by a chainsaw, I’ve seen giants bite off his head, cultists gouged out his eyes, dogs rip out his throat, claw like Fingers poking through his brains, giant worms wriggling across his face, sharp tendrils slicing through his soft parts… Honestly, I could write five paragraphs about the way I saw Leon die and I’ll probably still miss it Some.

buddy show

Capcom has rediscovered the joy of brutally killing players.

That’s the power of Resident Evil 4 Remake. Where the original presented a new threat, more like human ganados and their swarming tactics, the remake doubles down on making the enemy stronger and more stubborn, while subtly altering Leon’s toolkit to deal with it. This has always been a game about crowd control: keeping things away from you, cutting a seemingly invincible mob down to the last member, gritting your teeth and exploding in a sea of ​​corpses and tentacles. The remake throws everything at you, and then, as you fall to the floor gasping for air, the kitchen sink flies in the air above your head.

This can be very exhilarating. Resident Evil 4’s best battles are here, bigger than ever, and feel better than ever. The heart of combat is still positional damage, shooting enemies in the legs or head to stagger them, followed by a melee attack–a brilliant push-pull dynamic that keeps you on the edge of the mob until you need to dash in to unleash a gyro house or townhouse. An excellent new addition is the ability to parry with your knife (not all attacks can be parried, of course), leading to these extended sequences of utter chaos where, through some combination of instinct and extreme firepower, Leon somehow Left the army without a single scratch.

One element that’s done particularly well is the reticle swings if you’re into mental drumming. I know, I know, this doesn’t seem like much, but the original game incorporated the idea that Leon’s goals would always be very volatile, and the remake takes that and keeps going. Hold out your pistol, and after a few seconds the reticle wiggles vaguely around the point you’re aiming at, then settles down and tightens to a smaller area. Enemies won’t wait to give you time to get ready to shoot, so you’ll need cold nerves if you want to be an accurate shooter.

The fast-moving combat is as good as Resident Evil is, and that says something: the cries of “Un forastero!” Still sends chills down my spine every time. The remake is also initially relatively faithful to the original game’s excellent structure and pacing, but once you leave the village things change, and not for the better.

The Resident Evil 4 remake made some bold decisions about elements of the original, and in many cases, the decision was simply to remove them. Capcom has been removing QTE elements from the game early (although these are still part of dodge combat, even parrying), but it has no idea what to replace them with, and moments of drama and danger – I think Memorable little snippet – just not here. The review embargo prevents me from saying exactly what’s here and what’s not, but if you know anything about the game you’ll notice one is missing, then another, and then as you get closer to the end, sadly draw Conclusion This doesn’t deliver most of what it should.

(Image source: Capcom)

cover version

This seems to qualify. But Resident Evil 4 was always a slightly crazy game. Where the first game’s mansion was coherent and semi-believable as a backdrop, Resident Evil 4 takes place in an unspecified European wonderland of bizarre contraptions, shooting ranges, medieval castles, and endless grotesque and toothy experiments zoo. And a lot of them haven’t worked out yet. One later sequence in particular, where in the original you’d be chased by a hulking statue, is replaced here by a completely innocuous short section that doesn’t fit at all on the original’s boots.

As the game progresses into its second half, this element of the remake begins to intrude more and more in ways that I can only describe as timid. The original felt like it was always crossing the line, constantly surprising players with new demands, new environments, and wild one-off challenges that seemed content to fit into more standard corridor shooter rhythms. Combat is so good that even if the game isn’t ambitious, it’s held aloft by a pile of shotgun shells, but the further you get into its underbelly, the less ambitious it becomes.

Memories are obviously hazy stuff, but the castle has always seemed to me one giant playground, full of warrens to and fro and secrets to be uncovered. It feels like something Naughty Dog designed here, regal and flashy and fun, but there’s always a very obvious big finger pointing out where to go next. I’m not saying the original game was some expansive freeform epic, because it wasn’t. Everything is linear like this. But it feels much bigger and keeps getting ahead of itself until the end, which isn’t the case.

(Image source: Capcom)

I believe that for players who have never played “Resident Evil 4”, the experience of the remake should be the discovery of a very good third-person shooter game. I don’t know why everyone made such a fuss. Sadly, the original game set a precedent and ended up defining a genre, and this remake is bound by that tradition, and by its Resident Evil 4 successors (almost all of which were bad titles) ) constraints on what the template does.

Especially during some of the boss fights and more extreme encounters, you feel it, like Capcom lowered the threat level a bit so everyone can get through it. There’s an infamous room in the castle where Leon and Ashley had to weave their way through hordes of enemies and then operate a contraption while Leon was guarding Ashley, and the version here feels like a normal one Encounter, you wonder why they would dial back such a notoriously difficult challenge in a game where other places are happy to beat you. It felt like some of the encounters were out of balance, and there was a lot of mystery and horror in parts. The less said the better for gimmicky versions of some other classic boss fights.

And yet… that core is still so strong, so vital, and the old rhythm beats beneath it. The joy of acquiring a Red9 pistol made me feel 20 years younger, and the upgrade path has a familiar pattern, gradually turning the hulking peashooter into every agent’s dream hand cannon. The sprawling armory that really blossoms after a few chapters quickly forces you to choose which weapons to carry around, upgrade, and tinker with, and while the differences between them aren’t surprising, it’s the efficacy in different situations that puts Leon in those busy guns. Toggle the chaotic moments of big throws and it feels like some high-tech rambo.

(Image source: Capcom)

Writhing in my torture cage, my friend

The Resident Evil 4 remake ditched many of the parts that made the original so great without knowing what to replace them with.

The Resident Evil 4 remake definitely improves on the original in some ways. Personally, I will always miss the line “Did your right hand fall?” But the B-movie script has improved a lot, the way the storylines have been tweaked (in some cases dramatically) has been handled well, and enough of the schlock factor of personality shines through. Ashley, doomed forever to be a hapless damsel, is now a more forthright and capable companion, while Louis’ reinvention retains the rogue’s charm and smooths away his more devious edges.

However, maybe something like that is the real problem here. Resident Evil 4 may be one of the best games ever made, but it’s also very uneven in places, and this remake feels like it’s been sanded away from those spikes and protruding edges. It’s an experience that’s smoother than the original from start to finish. It doesn’t have these distant detours, and with a few notable exceptions, it recreates the surprises of the original in new ways, and you’re totally amazed at how it does it.

If Resident Evil 4 Remake was an original standalone game, it would be a really good game, and anyone who plays it will have a great time (although probably not in expert mode: this really brutal). But this isn’t a stand-alone game, it’s a remake of one of the greatest games of all time, and at key moments, it’s not perfect. In places where the original felt expansive, in places where the original felt cramped, in places where the original took breathless tangents and threw one idea after another at the player, it felt (especially in the second half) like being stuck and against the It’s not particularly interested in getting rid of it.

Much of it is forgotten as you survive the maelstrom of combat and burst through seas of limbs and teeth with blade-like parries and outrageous firepower. But outside of this refined action core, the Resident Evil 4 remake feels like an uninspired game, most inexcusable for throwing away a lot of what made the original so great without knowing what to replace it with they.

Resident Evil 4 reinvented third-person action, and ever since it came out, I’ve been waiting for another game to blast the gore its way. But it’s not a successor to Resident Evil 4, so much a tribute. Resident Evil 4 Remake is just a great…

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.