The ‘Resident Evil 4’ Remake Puts a Brand New Engine in Capcom’s Rusty Old Car

The ‘Resident Evil 4’ Remake Puts a Brand New Engine in Capcom’s Rusty Old Car

The Resident Evil franchise appears to have discovered new life by means of its current slate of remakes. 

There’s undoubtedly a pun or two in there concerning the sequence getting back from the useless, however I’ll intention to carry onto your goodwill for a bit longer, and as an alternative dive into every part that makes the Resident Evil 4 remake one of many franchise’s greatest. The actual entry follows returning character Leon Kennedy, performed by Nick Apostolides, on his quest to rescue the U.S. president’s daughter from the insidious Los Illuminados cult.

Let me preface the subsequent bit by laying out my longstanding ardour for the unique, which was considered one of my very first online game obsessions when it was launched again in 2005. It completely dazzled me, sparking a love for motion shooters that’s solely grown through the years. It’s my consolation sport, one which I returned to again and again by means of the practically twenty years that now separate me from that long-ago launch. 

All of this to say — I used to be just about sure to like the remake. It takes just a few dozen steps up from the unique when it comes to high quality, story, and, specifically, ambiance, but it surely nonetheless retains the soul of that beloved basic, and most significantly, maintains the ever-necessary “enjoyable” issue of the unique. 

With this in thoughts — and noting that my assessment comes from time spent with the PlayStation 4 model, somewhat than the shinier PS5, and thus variations in high quality are to be anticipated — let’s dig into every part that makes the Resident Evil 4 remake considered one of Capcom’s greatest.

Screenshot through Capcom

This new Resident Evil 4 reminds you that it’s a remake, not a remaster, from the very starting, making minor alterations to the opening story and, most significantly, introducing a model new voice solid. Leon maintains a well-recognized air of tacky, however devoted, confidence, however lacks among the extra immersion-breaking — however nostalgic — line supply. Gone is his terrible demise groan, changed by a slew of up to date — and totally brutal — demise sequences, however little gems like “The place’s everybody going, bingo?” stay. 

Longtime followers may miss a few of Leon’s cheesier traces, however the contemporary voice solid does a wonderful job of updating the expertise. Unsurprisingly, the entire fan-favorite characters from the unique make a return for the remake, and most get a significant improve when it comes to characterization. Ashley continues to be obnoxious (would she be Ashley if she wasn’t?) however she’s rather more palatable, and the sport makes positive to reshape every of its characters in order that they really feel extra like actual individuals. The identical might be mentioned for Luis and Ada, whose further dialogue and minor background moments really lend to the story, somewhat than feeling like shoehorned inclusions that solely serve to drive the plot ahead.

Upon launching a brand new sport, followers of the unique will rapidly understand that this isn’t the identical sport you’ve been throwing time at for the final twenty years. The phases are acquainted, however contemporary, and when you’ll discover just a few goodies of their acquainted places, lots of collectibles have been switched as much as preserve you guessing. The identical might be mentioned for lots of the environments, which keep a taste — and typically loads extra — of what you recall, whereas altering issues up simply sufficient to shock gamers. One thing so simple as getting into a brand new space from a distinct location can actually change how the sport feels and performs, and this — mixed with the title’s rather more fleshed-out and fully-realized world — equates to a comfortingly acquainted, however brand-new, expertise. 

Resident Evil 4 Parry
Screenshot through Capcom

Certainly, the villagers and enemies you recognize and hate have all acquired a facelift forward of their return on this remake, however Capcom sprinkled in just a few modifications to throw longtime followers off their sport. A number of new enemy varieties function a mid-level menace between the bog-standard villager and extra menacing chainsaw-wielding nightmares, and every new space usually brings alongside a brand new enemy for the journey. Burly villagers swinging heavy hammers and twisted undead with gristly damaged necks now hunt you in your quest to search out Ashley, every of whom takes far quite a lot of well-aimed pictures to dispatch.

Minor, irritating points that plagued the unique sport are all smoothed out within the new Resident Evil 4. Leon — who final time took a job in rural Spain with out talking the language — is definitely in a position to perceive some Spanish. It additionally fleshes out present facets of the story, like Sadler’s thoughts management capability, and tidies up tiny, messy particulars — like enemies merely giving up and strolling away on the finish of an encounter. These tweaks enrich the unique’s comparatively barebones narrative and make for a much more seamless expertise, as do the added aspect quests, which give gamers quite a lot of blue medallions to look out for.

The map itself is especially satisfying — Resident Evil 4 is decidedly linear and doesn’t provide up an open world, but it surely invitations gamers to discover its nooks and crannies within the hopes of discovering a shadowy nook rife with hidden treasures, and possibly an sudden enemy or two. It’s all tied along with extra concerned enemy encounters, which typically require a eager eye to evaluate. You’ll be able to method enemies in a wide range of methods, however you received’t have lengthy to make a plan earlier than the primary opponent strikes.

Resident Evil 4 Exploration
Screenshot through Capcom

Rigidity is a continuing companion as you wander by means of Resident Evil 4‘s dilapidated, dirty cities; dingy, dripping caves; and gaudy citadel halls, with a possible shock (or ambush) all the time lurking across the subsequent nook. Ammo continues to be comparatively plentiful — however simple to make use of up — as you end up confronted with a much more numerous vary of enemies. Planning is a necessity, and adopting the identical method hardly ever works twice in a row. As an alternative, the sport urges gamers to adapt to new enemies and contemporary environments, some cramped and maze-like, others dangerously open, as they work their manner throughout the map. Swapping between a shotgun, handgun, and people ever-necessary flash grenades will grow to be second nature when confronted with Plagas-ravaged hordes, however a level of precision could make all of the distinction when dealing with off towards lots of the higher-level enemies. 

The moment-to-moment gameplay has been revamped, including the power to parry assaults (in addition to some thrown objects) and crouch to sneak round and keep away from detection. The shortcoming to correctly dodge is (largely) offset by the previous, which makes fight way more seamless in up shut and private encounters. With out a dodge capability, nevertheless, fight — notably towards bosses — can grow to be irritating, and a bit formulaic. Positive, all of this harkens again to the unique, but it surely’s a bit too irritating to come back throughout as amusing nostalgia, and as an alternative seems like a missed alternative. You’ll get used to timing these crouches and cautious parries, however the lack of a devoted dodge feels misplaced for a personality who’s so obsessed with rolling out of home windows and backflipping over enemy assaults. Fortunately, Leon’s continued use of “The Kick” — which noticed us by means of many low-ammo moments within the authentic sport — helps to alleviate among the remake’s extra irritating exclusions.

Stealth is a distinct story. It’s massively useful in sections that appear intentionally designed for it, but it surely’s clear that Resident Evil 4‘s remake by no means meant to be stealth-heavy. You may dispatch an enemy or two within the vein of The Final of Us‘ Ellie, however you received’t be capable to preserve your gun holstered for lengthy. Quickly, waves of enemies will come flooding in, forcing you to depend on your numerous weapons and the encircling setting to forestall yet one more agonizing demise scene.

Essentially the most acquainted parts are maybe present in boss encounters, which observe the unique sport’s system to close perfection. The identical techniques you floor into your mind again within the mid-2000s received’t work to defeat characters like Mendez — notably if you issue within the up to date assaults and skills most bosses make use of — however you’ll discover {that a} comparable technique nonetheless pays off.

Resident Evil 4 Combat
Screenshot through Capcom

Puzzles observe the identical development. They’re completely different, and loads of them are model new, however you’ll acknowledge facets of practically all of them. They nonetheless observe the overall system of discovering this to mix with this and open that, however inject a bit extra problem to maintain issues fascinating. A number of further mind teasers may journey up extra action-oriented gamers, however none current a large impediment.

I may go on for ages as I reminisce on the sport’s sound design — which has a big effect on the ambiance and incorporates the controller’s built-in speaker for an extra sense of immersion — the tidied-up visuals, and the introduction of six potential management schemes, together with one which mimics the unique. That being mentioned, none of these touches actually lean into an important query: whether or not or not it’s price enjoying. And, in my humble opinion, the Resident Evil 4 remake very a lot is. Notably for followers of the unique, it’s a beautiful return to a world that delivered a lot enjoyable by means of its janky controls and delightfully terrible dialogue. Even for newcomers, the sport seems like a hit, following within the development of Capcom’s different Resident Evil remakes — ramping up the strain and scare issue by a number of levels all whereas retaining the attraction and attraction of the unique.

Make no mistake — Capcom is completely beating a useless horse with its continued Resident Evil remakes. It’s leeching each little bit of life it could from this franchise, however in doing so, it’s respiration contemporary life into growing old classics that — regardless of sometimes being subpar — delighted thousands and thousands. These remakes really feel infinitely higher to play, and the brand new Resident Evil 4 isn’t any completely different. It completely balances a strong story teeming with horror, elevated — however removed from impassable — problem, and fluid fight to ship an expertise that drips with nostalgia however nonetheless feels model new.

This assessment relies on the PlayStation 4 model of the sport. A duplicate was offered to us by Capcom.


Following within the footsteps of its different remakes, Capcom smashes ‘Resident Evil 4’ out of the park. The gameplay, controls, and story are all splendidly acquainted but nonetheless really feel up to date and contemporary. The remake cranks the ambiance as much as a 12, and pressure serves as a continuing companion when you make your manner by means of the sport’s gorgeously rejuvenated world.

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