Capcom’s series of Resident Evil remakes has finally come to one of the franchise’s most beloved entry…and somehow they made it even better.
Resident Evil is known worldwide for its wild zombie stories that push the limit of thrill-riding experiences. Over the last few years, Capcom has recently remade the first three games in the series and made fans fall back in love with why Resident Evil is a beloved franchise.
With the obvious success of Resident Evil 7, the level of detail, storytelling, and gameplay was pushed far beyond what we had seen before. With that, could Capcom remake Resident Evil 4 and make it greater than it already was? Let’s dive in and find out…
THIS IS HOW TO MAKE GREATNESS EVEN BETTER
Before we dive into this review, if you aren’t familiar with the story of Resident Evil 4, here is a brief intro to the events of the game;
Six years passing since the biological events of Raccoon City. Leon Kennedy finds himself pulled back into the hero role once again. After being recruited as an agent for the US government, he is tasked to save the President’s Daughter from her kidnappers. After tracking her to a secluded European village, Leon soon learns there is much more afoot, and recent foes have the evil hand around his throat more than he knows.
Now that we are all caught up, though the story is pretty similar to the original, Capcom made some changes to the story that I found helped the mystery and overall storytelling feel much smoother. Small changes like how someone was found or died, and even event placements just made the story feel more cinematic. These story changes helped me feel more connected with the overall cast of characters.
Resident Evil 4 Remake
Release date: March 23, 2023
Writer: Matthew J. Costello
Publishers: Capcom, Capcom U.S.A., Inc., CE EUROPE LIMITED
Platforms: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
Having the small changes are nice, but the big changes come to the main storyline. I don’t plan to spoil the game in this review so I will tell you this, Capcom has added a ton more lore into this game. When I say lore I mean actual backstories for the characters that connect them to events of the RE titles, meaning full connections to the world, and overall better explanations of how some of the characters came to their current situations.
Some more changes that we saw were to the locations in the world. As we played through the game, we noticed not just small detail changes but overall from the ground up changes to some iconic locations. Right off the bat, we see the Hunters Lodge has been completely redesigned, from this point on I realized this was no remake. This was a game rebuilt and reimagined from the ground up by fans for fans.
Some of the locations and moments in the original could get very frustrating because of how the locations were designed. Then adding the controls of the time made many moments for me just feel far too difficult. In this remake, the locations were much more open and free-flowing. Even having gameplay moments that give you the option of how you wanted to proceed. This was not the case in the original and adds a more diverse style of play to the game.
The controls and graphics, of course, were overhauled as well. First, the controls of the game are extremely smooth. Even though I reviewed this game on PC, using the Xbox controller, with this game felt just right. Compared to the original, Leon’s movements in the world are so much faster and more realistic. The smallest, but biggest, improvement is of course Leon’s movements while aiming down the barrel of a gun. This changes the entire dynamic of the game since in the original you were not able to move whilst shooting your weapon.
Next up is the graphical overhaul of the game. Boy is it fucking beautiful. The RE Engine has proved time and time again it’s one of the best graphical engines in the games industry and Resident Evil 4 just takes the cake. The breathtaking scenes from this game push this game past even the recently released CGI films released. The RE Engine makes every little detail in the game look stunning down to the minute details of blood and gore.
Many times I felt just engrossed in the sprawling remade world, with the new lore added, new controls, and beautiful visuals, Resident Evil 4 felts like a completely new experience and will be something I play over and over again for many years to come.
A CINEMATIC JOURNEY WITH LESS THAN EXPECTED
Something I always focus on in my reviews is the connection between the music of the game and the overall cinematic quality it presents. Though Resident Evil 4 does have a soundtrack in the game, many times I felt it missed its mark in making certain moments more cinematic.
Though we did hear the soundtracks at times, there were a lot of moments outside of the sound effects of the world, there was little to no audio presentation of the game. I think many moments in the game should have been filled with more soundtrack bits to get the blood pumping. One of my favorite tracks from the game is of course “The Drive” This song itself got me excited at the beginning of the game, but once I heard it in the Merchants shooting range I was excited!
The biggest cinematic battle in the game of course came with its moments of background music, but the moments that didn’t just made those fights and moments feel a bit stale. There was even a point when I was playing the original game’s soundtrack at a low volume to make the moments a bit more engrossing. This didn’t ruin my full experience it just lessened the excitement of certain moments.
With that said, something else I would have liked at launch is The Mercenaries mode and new. This is an arcade mode that you can play with different characters in the main location of the game. After putting in 88.26 hours of gameplay in Resident Evil 4, I got to the point of wanting a bit more from my experience. Yes, I know that seems like I am just complaining, but we have seen this happening recently with Capcom.
With Resident Evil Village, I like a lot of fans were excited to hear the announcement of Resident Evil Re: Verse, a multiplayer mode for the game. After two delays the game mode was finally released on October 28, 2022, and to my surprise, the game mode was not as good as I thought it would be. Though this case is technically not the same, Mercenaries just launched yesterday and I have not had time to play the game mode to include it in my review.
Lastly, I can say a new games plus mode would have been a nice addition to the game at launch as well. This is something that we see a lot of in the game industry though, game releasing, then months or a year after the release of the game a New Games+ mode finally being revealed.
New games plus mode helps gamers like myself be better equipped while trying to find every little Easter egg and hidden gems in the game. As said before, this didn’t ruin my gameplay, but I feel with recent titles being so Easter egg heavy, it would have been nice to already start a New Game+ run through the game.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is a game that showcases how much Capcom cares about this series. This is more than just a normal remake, it is a ground-up rebuild of everything from the controls, the gameplay, the graphical presentation, and even the story. Though a few things were missing from the game I would have liked on day one, Resident Evil 4, once again has made itself known as the best Resident Evil year to date. This is a pure love note to fans of the original and shows us just how invested Capcom is in its fanbase.
CHECK OUT OUR FULL WALKTHROUGH HERE!