Welcome stranger…to a relatively spoiler free review of Resident Evil 4 Remake. In this review, I’m going to talk about overall gameplay, combat, some of the changes and my first-hand experience of playing the revamped Resident Evil 4 Remake. The title has undergone some changes, improvements and now looks much more modern. Is it worth a buy? Should you play even if you haven’t played the previous titles? Let’s get into it.
Resident Evil 4 Remake – Hands-On Impressions Review – Refreshed and REloaded
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Developed by: Capcom
- Published by: Capcom
- Release date: March 24th
- Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 (code provided by Capcom), PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S
- Price at the time of review: 59.99 USD Standard Edition/69.99 USD Deluxe Edition
If you haven’t played the original let me give you a quick rundown of the premise of Resident Evil 4. The story follows the original 2005 title, featuring Leon a special agent on a mission to save the US president’s daughter who has been kidnapped. This leads him to a remote village in Europe only to find that something is definitely not right with the villagers. Rumours of strange a cult are also circling, making for a great setting for survival horror no doubt.
The events of the fourth entry are roughly 6 years after the biological disaster of Raccoon City. It looks like the effects of these events are only getting started. Much like the original the game focuses on characters that you know and love, with some modern reworkings.
Even if you haven’t played any of the previous titles, the game does a good job of giving a little background about the whole situation. Since the game mainly focuses on Leon, you won’t have a hard time following what’s going on. You will find pieces of law dotted around the game, which helps build a greater picture. While still part of the main story, its focus is on the rescue and the strange happenings in the remote village.
Players will enjoy the same third-person perspective they experience in the original. Of course, the remake has undergone a major graphics upgrade to suit modern consoles. It’s also been given much-needed updates to controls. No constant snap back (at least on the Switch version) when you’re trying to look around which was a particular gripe of mine in the original. Everything feels smooth and as it should be. You can actually now take in all the details, look at the ground and take in the morbid scenery. You can still use quick turns which are a staple in RE games.
One noticeable absence is the lack of Quick Time Events during cut scenes. I’m not such a fan of these kinds of interactions, as they always caught me off guard when watching a cutscene, and I’m enjoying it then bam! QTE go. Now developers can implement much better interactions that match the modern-day consoles. Some may miss them but I honestly don’t think it’s a loss.
Instead, you now have combat mechanics to enjoy such as a new knife interaction, letting you stab up close. However, knives degrade over time meaning you will have to use them sparingly or they will break. This is a great addition as it gives another option when in combat, however still has the adds double edged blade as the knife can be destroyed in the process.
Playing on standard I still felt the same the sense of dread as playing the game for the first time. Mobs now work together to hold you in place, while you mash down X to get yourself free. If you’re not careful they can really pin you in a corner, especially if you break the first rule of an RE game and spend too much ammo. I am guilty of this and there are definitely moments when you deeply regret your decisions in doing this.
As the game relies heavily on the knife mechanics though, you’re going to have to really weigh your options when you’re given the choice stabbing directly or choose to risk some health. This does shake up the combat, making the fights feel more dynamic. The improvements to the weapons system loadout makes it easy to swap between guns mid-fight. So you don’t really have to worry about which one you want to select, you can simply assign them to your weapons loadout and that makes things so much easier than compared to the original.
If you’ve played the demo, you will know too well that mini-bosses in the game like the Chainsaw guy are unrelenting. Running away from the more challenging foes while being surrounded by a group of villagers puts your skills to the test. Often in these moments, your aim needs to be true. Of course, upgrades can help to improve damage, reload speed etc. You will need some cash to get the ball rolling.
Puzzles and More
This leads me to one of my favourite parts of the game, puzzles. RE is known for setting players on a path of mystery to unlock treasures and useful items through puzzles. Puzzles have been revamped but without giving too much away, they still, feel like the classic enigmas you know and love. These often lead to precious items, which may be invaluable for your survival. There’s nothing like being chased down by enemies while you try to remember to locate parts of a puzzles or be on the lookout for items. This just makes things so much more unnerving and the RE4 Remake does a great job in certain places of making very intense situations.
Sound & Visuals
Be prepared for some gore. Since the game has had a major boost in the graphics department, you can see all the blood and guts as well as some really lovely crunchy ASMR to accompany all its gory detail. Rain cascades down, making the games iconic moments that more gloomy and intense. Bosses, characters, and locations have all been given some work. While murkier settings are still quite dark, it’s still quite the contrast from the original game.
I checked out the game on a PS4 and it ran really well. Obviously playing on current-gen platforms such as Playstation 5 or PC will probably result in faster load times down to SSD, I didn’t find loads too cumbersome. Graphics are sharp and characters now look more crisp, they have been reworked but are in keeping with the style of the game. The environments are highly detailed with some areas having been reworked to fit in with gameplay and just looks stunning. Marvelling at the surroundings when you have time to catch your breath that is.
Voice acting is superb with some new lines that fit in with the RE4’s cheesy humour at times to lighten the mood. The merchant is by far my favourite, as he always has some banter to welcome you. The music, ambient sounds and sound effects add to the tense moments in the game, and adds new heights to the horror you will engage in.
Honestly I had a lot of fun playing this game, revisiting the locations and seeing the familiar characters again. Resident Evil is one of those iconic franchises that you know you’re in for a good zombie-filled time from the moment you start. Resident Evil 4 is a classic title that honestly needed just some love when it came to controls. The remake does all that and more to satisfy those who are looking for the thrill ride of horror survival. For those experiencing it for the first time, you’re in for a treat as now the game runs smoother and has some great graphics to boot.
For those who are revisiting RE4 you’re in for some changes. Gameplay feels much more fluid, and the chapters seem to flow a little better. While the game has had a refresh, you will still get that nostalgic feel of the original title but now with tweaks here and there as well as some surprises. The overall feeling is the game has been given some enhancements, reworking what could have been better and just adding to what already works. However, there’s definitely enough to make the game feel up-to-date, refreshed and worth playing through. One thing is for certain you’re in for a wild ride.
This title is a great survival horror for those who like a challenge and for those who loved the original. While I would have been open to more changes, I understand why it’s been kept close to its core. Overall if you’re a fan of RE and looking for a refreshed experience you will have a great time.
We hope enjoy our Resident Evil 4 Remake review. Be sure to check out more of our videos on our channel and if you want to experience the game with us when it launches on March 24th be sure to drop by our Twitch channel.
Resident Evil 4 Remake releases on March 24th for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
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