DISCLOSURE: This game was reviewed on the following platform: PC – Check out our Review Policy page for more information.
Picture this: a young little me, probably age 4 or 5, getting the original PlayStation as a birthday gift. Before this, I only had my action figures to play with, as I had no idea that video games existed. The original PlayStation came with a disc full of game demos that I could play, and play I did. While they were fun, I grew tired and bored of having to play the same level over and over again.
Until I received my next gift.
Upon looking at the case for Resident Evil 2, my heart started to beat faster. My little brain immediately registered it as a horror game, and I was deathly afraid of horror games (or anything horror). It’s in the name, after all. Plus, I was a young kid. I shouldn’t be playing this game. But I got it as a gift, so why not? I took the disc out of the case and popped it into the PlayStation.
I was watching the intro cutscene where we see the truck driver get into his truck after getting bit. I then heard the fear-inducing noise that scarred young me. The zombie noise. Seeing the man get up and moaning was fear-inducing, and I was scared to watch more so I skipped the cutscene. This was a big mistake because I was thrown into the game with no idea of what was happening.
All I could remember was watching Leon standing idly because young me did not read the instructions and did not know how to move. Furiously pressing the Square button to attack, because before this I only played games where I had to use one button to attack. I kept mashing Square to attack, only to watch Leon do nothing as the zombies approached. Then the zombies got to Leon and they started biting on him until eventually…
He dies. I sat there, watching zombies eat Leon’s dead body as they begin to pile on him. I closed my eyes and rushed to turn off the console, only hearing the loud noises of the zombies tearing apart Leon’s flesh as they consume him. I was practically in tears afterward, and I never touched another Resident Evil game after that.
So as the years go by, I missed out on some great Resident Evil games because I was scared. I watched the movies by Paulk W. S. Anderson and thought they were much better than the games (don’t come after me, I was a stupid kid that didn’t appreciate horror games).
Around the late 2000s, I decided I was brave enough to get back into Resident Evil, and I did with Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 4 became my favorite game of all time. It was still a little scary, but the gameplay kept me captivated as I played. In two days, I was able to complete the game. After setting down the controller, I thought to myself:
“I have been missing out my whole life.”
Since then, I have been a huge Resident Evil fan. I went back and played Resident Evil 2 and finished it with Leon A and Claire B. Then I played and finished Resident Evil 3. When I finally got myself an Xbox 360, I bought and played Resident Evil 5 and 6. I still loved them, because I love Resident Evil. Then I bought Resident Evil HD Remaster (the remake of the first one) and beat that one too.
Similar to Dead Space, I am a huge fan of this franchise. I love the characters and I love the story they tell. I love the cheesiness and corny one-liners. But I always knew that deep in my heart, no Resident Evil game would top Resident Evil 4. Not even Resident Evil 7 and Village could do it. But one game managed to top Resident Evil 4 eventually.
And it was none other than Resident Evil 4’s Remake.
Resident Evil 4 Remake Is Another Remake Done Right, Especially with Its Characters
Remember when I mentioned in my Dead Space Remake review that the Dead Space Remake was a remake done right that is in another league of its own? Well, it better move over, because Resident Evil 4 Remake is joining that league. Resident Evil 4 Remake takes everything the original had and amplifies it, same with the Dead Space Remake.
And just like the Dead Space Remake, it made some changes for the betterment of the game as a whole. The one change that everyone can agree on is that Ashley is no longer a nuisance and an annoying spoiled brat. Instead, she conveys that she is a frightened college student that has been kidnapped and taken somewhere she doesn’t know.
The first time Ashley shows symptoms of her infection and then proceeds to run away from Leon in the original game is rage-inducing, because it makes no sense and just shows her bratty nature. In the remake, they changed it so that it makes sense as to why she would run away. It doesn’t show that she’s spoiled, it shows that she’s scared.
She isn’t a trained agent like Leon, she’s going to be terrified of what’s happening around to her, which made me feel like I should protect her. Unlike the original Ashley where it makes me want to just turn a blind eye whenever she gets caught. Another character that got massive character development is none other than Luis Serra.
Luis Serra was a beloved character in the original Resident Evil 4 because of his charm and wit. Although his time in the game was short-lived as he was killed by Osmund Saddler with his tentacle that strangely comes out of the front of his robe. His death did not do anything for me and a lot of people, because we didn’t know him that well. But that changes in the remake.
Luis has the same role as he did in the original but with a lot more screen time and involvement with the plot. Unlike his previous iteration, remake Luis’ gets fleshed out more and spends more time with Leon after the housing segment, allowing the player to build a connection with Luis more so that the impact of his death feels all the more emotional.
Yes, not a lot of things have changed from the game’s story. While there are some additional story and lore that were added into the game, as well as some areas from the original that were cut (including a boss, but I’ll get into that later), this game is the graphically intense and high-budget version of the game we all know and love.
Gameplay Makes You Feel Like John Wick
Resident Evil 4’s change from the fixed camera angles to a third-person perspective was one that many weren’t so sure would work. The thrill of seeing an enemy walk into a frame while you stand idle is no longer possible and instead, you will be able to see them. That decision turned out to be the best thing for the game because the original was able to implement the melee system that future RE games would improve upon.
In Resident Evil 4, Leon is a trained professional, a man of focus, commitment, and sheer will. Whatever his objective is, he will stop at nothing until he gets it done, and if that means having to go through a secret cult that worships a virus that infects people and brainwashes them, he won’t care. Because no matter how many people Saddler sends to kill Leon, Leon will kill them all.
Leon is no longer a laughing stock because he has been trained by Krauser to be a deadly killing machine. You can parry incoming attacks from pitchforks, axes, knives, arrows, bombs, and even chainsaws with Leon’s trusty knife. However, you best use that knife wisely because the more you use it, the knife will eventually break.
Aside from his knife, Leon can use a variety of weapons. These are weapons that appeared in the original game, as well as a couple of new ones. Leon can also switch weapons on the fly. Say goodbye to opening your case and equipping your weapon, because you can now assign a weapon to a shortcut that you can press to equip the weapon.
But even with all the weapons in the game, the handgun is Leon’s trusty weapon (aside from his knife). Shotguns and SMG’s are all great and fun, but both of those weapons cannot compare to the importance of the handgun.
The handgun is Leon’s weapon of choice, and for good reason. It doesn’t take too much space in the case, you can easily craft ammo with it, a single shot to the head with the handgun will let you do melee attacks, and depending on what handgun you use, it will have a fast rate of fire with decent damage.
The handgun that I used the most is the Blacktail. Not only does it have a fast rate of fire, it can also do large damage that comes close to the fully upgraded Red9. The second handgun I would use the most is the SG-09 R. It is the weapon you start with and fully upgrading it will increase the critical hit rate by 5 times, meaning a single headshot can blow up a Ganados’ head.
The Boss Fights Are Even Better
When playing the original Resident Evil 4, I always thought the boss fights were great. Bitores “The Big Cheese” Mendez, Ramon Salazar, Verdugo, El Gigante, and Krauser. This was in a game where aiming means you cannot move, so you had to make sure that the spot you are staying is safe and secure while you attack.
In the remake, the boss fights have lost a little bit of their difficulty due to the parry mechanic and dodge mechanics. But is that a bad thing? Absolutely not, because the game just feels more cinematic and actiony when you are fighting against the bosses, especially with Krauser.
The knife QTE is gone and is replaced with an in-game knife fight with Krauser. Not only does it feel awesome to actually fight against Krauser, knife to knife, but it also shows that Resident Evil 4 Remake put effort into making the boss fights enjoyable.
Side Missions Aren’t What I Expected, But That’s Okay
When Dead Space Remake added side missions to the game, I was worried they were going to be pointless side missions that would take too long to complete. However, I was pleasantly surprised that the side missions actually felt important to the overall story, and in some cases, felt like it should have been part of the main story.
In Resident Evil 4 Remake, the side missions are not of that same level of quality. In fact, the side missions mostly include “shoot X rats” or “get me this and sell it to me”. These kinds of side missions usually annoy me because they are just busy work, but they don’t bother me as much here.
These side missions are simple and can easily be done in a couple of minutes. However, there are some side missions that require you to hunt down a more powerful version of an enemy, and those can take quite a bit of ammo depending on your difficulty.
Performance Is Great, and So Are the Graphics
When I was waiting for this game, I was dreading the possibility that this game might not run so well and that no matter how much tweaking I do, the game will be too demanding for me to play. Thankfully, the game runs so smooth, it’s almost like butter. Thank Capcom for creating the RE Engine because it is the only one that may rival Unreal Engine and the Decima Engine from Kojima Studios.
The graphics are spectacular. The environment looks so lifelike, you can take a screenshot and go around telling people it’s a photo you took and they’ll believe it. The RE Engine is a fantastic engine that continues to produce realistic games.
My Final Rating and Recommendation
I fully recommend this game to anyone that is even mildly interested in the game. I usually recommend people wait until the game is on sale, but this time I am recommending you get the game as soon as possible so you can experience why the best game of 2004’s remake is the best game of 2023. The overall score is 5/5.
And for those who have beaten the game, I look forward to seeing you all in the inevitable Resident Evil 5 Remake.
Resident Evil 4 Remake Review
Resident Evil 4 Remake is now the new golden standard on how a remake should be done. It, alongside the Dead Space Remake, is proof that great games back then can become greater games with the technology that we have now.
All remakes shouldn’t be seen as a soulless cash grab (some of them are, but I’m not naming any names), because some remakes are proof that we can have better versions of classic games.
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