Resident Evil 4 is now out in a new HD remaster, and the whole Resident Evil series has been a powerhouse in survival horror for the past 20 years, since its debut on the Playstation in 1996. This fourth entry changed the genre from survival horror to action horror and surprisingly successfully, even after several changes to the project – for example, the first draft of Resident Evil 4 became a very popular game called Devil May Cry. However, it has arguably become the best game in the Resident Evil franchise, beloved by many fans and now, eleven years later, old and new fans can pick up the newly remastered edition on PC, Xbox one or PS4. Question is – does the game still hold up after 11 years and several console generations later?
You are Leon Kennedy, a survivor of the G-Virus outbreak that happened in Raccoon city on his first day on the job as a cop for the R.P.D., who now works for the government. Under the orders of the President, you must travel to a strange village in an unknown location in Spain to rescue the president’s daughter, Ashley. Upon entering the village, Leon finds that the locals are not normal as they turn on him and mutate into biological weapons. Leon must rescue Ashley and take down the Los Illuminados cult, as well as their virus, Las Plagas, before it can be used against humanity in a sinister plot by the cult leader Osmund Saddler.
The plot is straight-forward but enjoyable, with many cheesy lines throughout in true Resident Evil fashion, which will give anyone a good laugh.
Resident Evil 4 is a third-person-shooter which has a weapon case style inventory which you can upgrade in size and add more and more of an arsenal to along the way. There are many enemy types that you go up against in different-styled scenarios, the first main boss being a large mutated sea creature whom you can harpoon while attached by anchor on a small wooden boat, taking down a large beast known as El Gigante with a dog who you save early in the game. Unloading upon a swarm of enemies while you are a passenger on a large demolition truck, the game keeps you on your toes the whole way through.
Although almost half of the game is an escort mission, with a very annoyingly-voiced companion, the game keeps you on your toes and invested with its tense moments, especially in those moments where you need Ashley to help you progress. Personally I have owned a copy of this on the Gamecube since the day of release and also have a copy on my Xbox 360 for handiness. I’ve beaten this game probably over 20 times and I keep enjoying coming back for more, especially when playing a new round with all my weapons and the RPD uniform.
Quick-time events appear from time to time, but unlike most games where I despise QTEs, I find they keep the games tensions high. However, I found the new port to have an issue in locking you out from firing if a kick prompt appears. Hopefully they will patch this soon as possible since, when fighting the flying bugs, especially in hoards, it can leave you wide open for attack.
I’ve also noticed several problems with this port with which im not happy. Though the game runs a lot better during gameplay, there is some noticeable slowdown when reloading sniper rifles, and when Las Plagas enemies mutate, some FMVs appear grainy while others are clear. Quick-side aiming (turning left or right while pressing aim at the same time) is a new and unwelcome option, as its easily used by mistake, leaving you vulnerable.
The graphics have not much difference compared to the previous console port, slight polishing for high definition but background textures appear very blurry when close-up. In all honesty, it may not look up to today’s spec, but still looks great for an 11-year-old game with its extra polish on character visuals. One issue I found with the graphics on the current port is that some explosive visuals don’t register at times. I noticed this only on the final boss, when shooting barrels or throwing grenades.
The music has a very ‘Resident Evil‘ feel, with some tracks reminding me of my personal favourite in the series: Resident Evil 2. The safe rooms always had a soothing, yet unsettling, feeling to the rhythm chosen. I have, however, occasionally noticed sound clipping issues when picking up money or shooting.
Lastability: Along with a new game, plus style system where you can replay with all your weapons and gold intact from your previous playthrough, there are several modes to indulge in, such as ‘Assignment Ada’, where you play as Ada Wong working for Albert Wesker to procure the Las Plagas sample. There’s also ‘Mercenaries mode’ which is a fun mini-game, playing as characters in the game including a character from past Resident Evil games to unlock new items if you play well enough. I still have a lot of fun playing through this entry in the series, and all its modes, and I’m sure I will say the same 11 years from now.
Final Notes: There are definitely problems with the current post whic Oneed a patch. on the second day, an update occurred which I hoped would solve these issues among others I found – the game failed to work for me twice on boot up; once my system crashed when trying. I have also seen reports online where an update would show, but would fail when installing which prevents play. Hopefully, this is patched soon also if people are still experiencing it. All in all, Resident Evil 4 still holds up really well after its decade-and-a-year-long lifespan.
Graphics: 8/10 – A nice polish in the right areas which keeps the game looking fresh for its age.
Sound: 8/10 – rare sound clip issues but they happened only 3 times over my playthrough.
Gameplay: 8/10 – On every other version of this game before I would give this a 10 but the noticeable differences and bugs in the new port hold it back.
Fun/Lastability: 10/10 – Ive played this game again and again over the past 11 years and I don’t see me stopping this habit, enough to keep anyone playing especially with the sub-games.
Overall score: 8.5/10 – Just like I said in gameplay, any other port, I would give this a 10/10. Perfect score for an amazing game, but due to the issues found on this port, I had to give this a lower score than I would like.
Thanks to the Youtube channels featured for the gaming footage.
- Publisher: Capcom
- Players: single-player
- HDTV options: up to 1080p
- Sound: DTS 5.1
Directors: Kuniomi Matsushita (PS2 version) and Shinji Mikami (GameCube version)
Producers: Keiji Inafune, Masachika Kawata and Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Writers: Shinsaku Ohara, Haruo Murata, David Crislip, Eric Bailey, Haruo Murata, Noboru Sugimura and Yasuhisa Kawamura
Music: Misao Senbongi and Shusaku Uchiyama
Leon S. Kennedy/Merchant: Paul Mercier
Ashley Graham: Carolyn Lawrence
Luis Sera: Rino Romano
Ingrid Hunnigan: Salli Saffioti
Ada Wong: Sally Cahill
Ramon Salazar: Rene Mujica
Bitores Mendez: Jesse Corti
Jack Krauser: Jim Ward
Osmund Saddler: Michael Gough
Albert Wesker: Richard Waugh
Villagers & Zealots: Carlos Carrasco
Villagers & Zealots: Alex Mendoza
Villagers & Zealots: Carol Bach-Y-Rita
Title Call: Ward E Sexton
Retro game fan, comic book reader, board game lover and film fanatic. I have loved videogames since I was 5 years old after visiting my first arcade, I have grown up with gaming since having my Atari 2600 then Commodore 64. I ended up building my own career crafting pixelised characters and have had the pleasure of meeting many of my retro gaming heroes who developed some of my absolute favourite games.