Thinking back to the first time we played Resident Evil 4 back in 2005, it is hard to find a game that replicates that feeling. We came from playing the first Resident Evil titles with the same formula. The fixed camera, tanky controls, and the old graphics. But once we all got to play Resident Evil 4, that was a game-changer. Literally. This game not only set the bar high for the genre and the franchise, but it also set the bar high for us as gamers. It introduced us to a new way to play survival horror games. The mechanics were brand new. The horror was original in many ways. All the scenarios of that title were perfectly crafted to immerse us in that world. Then here we wonder, how did Capcom manage to improve upon that? Resident Evil 4 Remake manages to recreate the feelings the original game gave us while also bringing a lot of new things to the table, which we’ll mention in this review.
Story: The good old one we love with some new twists
We truly believe that one of the best things about the original game is its story. The first game gave us one of the most beloved characters of the franchise with some of the crazy and silly action that has become a staple in Resident Evil games. But beyond that, the plot, the mystery, and how it was presented were great.
The 2005 title had a way to grab you during the first hour. The way it set the story around the village had a magic of its own. For new and old players, the same applies to Resident Evil 4 Remake. While the story is practically the same, it adds new stuff to give Leon more background. We get to see him training with a key character of the game and even meeting the President for his assignment. While it is a small detail, it gives more flair to our protagonist. And if that wasn’t enough, the way the village is presented this time around is even more terrifying.
The cult theme is everywhere. From the first moment you arrive at the house to finding the secret Altar in the Woods, it all fits perfectly. And that is just the village. The castle is even better this time around. You can see the broken-down walls, the abandoned halls, and the messy dining rooms. Everything is crafted to perfection thanks to the RE Engine, which really pushes boundaries here.
Aside from the environmental storytelling, the characters are just even more fantastic now. You have no idea how amazing Luis is now with more screen time. And in the case of Ashley, we can’t believe we’re saying this, but…she’s the best. The way her character progresses through the game, her conflict, her relationship with Leon and even details such as the way she cheers up for you are fantastic. Capcom really heard players and turned Ashley into one of the best girls in the franchise.
Gameplay: A not-so-easy experience for veterans
If you’re good at shooters, you’ll be great in this game, but if you aren’t, you might struggle. This isn’t a bad thing, though. Survival-horror games need to be challenging. We loved the new way the guns work in the game and how agile Leon is this time around. However, learning the new mechanics was a bit difficult after using the laser sight so much. Spoiler alert: you can get it in the Remake.
Some people might be turned off by the crafting part, but we actually liked it. We know that some purists might think that there’s no need for that system in Resident Evil 4 Remake, but we think it is necessary to mention it in our review. The system is fantastic, and it really brings something new to the game in terms of resource management. While you’ll be finding a lot of gunpowder and handgun ammo, you’ll need to manage your resources, whether they are big or small. Crafting ammo is great, and it gives you the hard choice of deciding which one you’ll take.
One controversial feature is knife durability. Yes, it can be a bit annoying to see the knife breaking down but trust us, it is overpowered. The way you can parry everything in the game is silly, but when you’re running low on bullets, you’ll be praying for a new knife. Yes, you’ll find a lot of them, so be sure to stock them.
Besides that, there are some new fights in the game and some that were cut, but that wasn’t really that relevant to the story though. While we missed the crossroads part in the village where you choose the Bella Sisters or El Gigante, we’re glad about how this part played out. Again, Capcom managed to improve upon an already perfect game by modernizing its gameplay without changing the core too much.
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Graphics/Audio: It’s even scarier this time around
We admit that Resident Evil 2 and 3 are a lot scarier than this one. After all, we’re in smaller spaces in these games, and there are plenty of jumpscares; however, the locations of Resident Evil 4 Remake are pretty creepy, and they deserver their space in this review. We think that Resident Evil 4 Remake as a game is a bit more focused on the action part, and that is the same for the original one. What we love this time is how evident and clear the cult theme is all around the place.
In the first game, we had a village full of horrors, but the cult element was a bit scarce. This time Capcom managed to combine both things to leave the village almost intact while adding cult stuff in every corner. This is something that we welcome as it sets the stage for the game in a more faithful way. Yet, one thing that we didn’t like too much was the rain. It is too heavy, and the effects can get a bit annoying, but that’s the only gripe we have in terms of graphics.
The audio is a marvel. Be it with headphones or speakers, you’ll really feel the echo around the castle halls, the bullets flying when you land on the island, and the prayers of people around the village. This is fantastic as it elevates the tension and the fear players feel when playing. The people behind the audio design of the game deserve a raise because they knocked it out of the park.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is a game that deserves a perfect review. Not only does it make its best to recreate an already fantastic game, but it does it in a perfect way. While some systems might be a bit too modern for veterans of the saga, we think that every industry needs to modernize itself. We can see this happening in many remakes, and we’re happy with how the developers handled it. With just a bit of cut content but a lot more new things to see, Resident Evil 4 Remake is a must-play for anyone who is a fan of the series. If you loved the 2005 title, you’ll have a blast playing this game again.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
Resident Evil 4 Review
- Bad rain effects
- Not all content available at launch