[Review] Resident Evil 4


REVIEW # 00000000 01010000

Monsters. Guess after this, there’ll be one less to worry about.

My heart says…

If RE4 had been the first games of the Resident Evil saga, I would have said “That’s the best”. If I have to be honest before playing it I wasn’t completely sure I would like it: the changes in the gameplay were substantial, especially for the over-the-shoulder visual instead of the third person view, more “cinematographic”. But as soon as I started playing it I’ve been blown away by the exceptional graphics and I still can’t believe that this game is on the same console that brought us Code Veronica that has visuals that still remind the ones of the PS1. Plus the plot has been totally changed from the first games and this twist instead of ruining the game, gave it a breath of fresh air.

Splash screen

Graphics

Si ply over the top. As I’ve said it’s unbelievable that the console that gave us Code Veronica was capable of displayinf full 3D environments with such a precision. The detail level it’s incredible and the cutscened have been immensely improved from the first games. Plus the variesty of the sceneries, the alternance between night and day, closed and open settings have been made with great care. So, really nothing to say about it, it’s simply great!

Narrative

For the purists of the RE saga, RE4 is a complete change. The games are connected only throught the character of Leon Kennedy, who appeared on RE2, but this time the setting and the story are completely different.

Leon Kennedy, one of the survivors of Raccoon City it’s now an agent of the government and has been sent to a remote spanish village to rescue the daughter of the President, Ashley Graham (no, not her but it would have been a further motivation for Leon…) The inhabitants of the village are under the influence of a parasite, Las Plagas whit which an obscure organization, “Los Illumnados” can mind-control the persons.

During the game we will meet some old RE characters as the damn sexy Ada Wong and Albert Wesler who’s the first person behind the commercialization on the black market of Las Plagas a very old natural parasite discovered in Spain in 1834.

There are always some super scary momens or situations when your heart start to beat at 180bpm, like almost at the end of the game when in an abandoned garbage can you find a creature stuffed in a dirty sack that starts moving. I thought it was the beginning of a nightmare of monsters (and it actually almost was…).

The change in the plot is an appreciated change, but being devote to the original “trilogy” of games this time I cannot give a 10/10. But, I repeat, it’s only a matter of personal taste, this could be a solid 10/10 for everyone else.

Gameplay

RE4 represents a major change in the survival horror saga and dthe most important example of contamination of the genre with action genre features. Don’t get me wrong, if you’ve feared the original Resident Evil games (like I did) and if you’re terrified at the thought to set your foot in a new scenario (like I am) you’ll be scared as hell as always, but the game now is more focused on the action, more like an FPS, than on puzzle solving and horror atmospheres.

The switch to a 1,5 person view with the camera over the shoulders of the protagonists is a big twist. Sometimes it could be a bit tricky to move and shoot since your perspective is always a bit “decentered” but as you get to grips it becomes natural.

The change of the setting, now a remote village in the spanish mountains stuck in the middle ages involve also a change in the natural antagonists of Leon & co.: no more zombies but ganados, the citizens of El Pueblo who got infected by Las Plagas and other abherrant creatures under the influence of the parasite.

Being more an action game, a particular care has been put in the weaponry. You can customize, enhance and trade guns, shells and other items througout all the game with a mysterious dealer who also accept gemstones in exchange of money.

RE4 still uses the old typewriter saving method popularized by the first chapters but in the game are also included some “Checkpoints” that allow the player to restart from the last point without having to restart from the previous save point. This is absolutely necessary before epic battles where otherwise you’ll be comdemned to go back to the last typewriter and do it all over agan. This new feature surely makes the game a bit easier but in the end do no affect that muche the way you usually play a Resident game.

Controls

For an old fart like me, getting to grips with “modern” controls, like using two analog sticks at a time it’s a nightmare. Luckily for me RE4 is still an old school game and I can come using the classsic D-pad. The controls are natural and fluent, aiming a foe is easy and when you pull the trigger it’s damn satisfying. From time to time during the game you’ll be required to try some fast button combination in order to escape a dangerous situation. Something that usually takes me at least three attempts and this is a nice new feature of the game that make use of all the buttons of the PS2 controller.

Sound

As per the usual Resident Evil tradition is always scary as hell. Most of time, as in the other games, is the absence of sound that relaly gives the thriil, but the background noises and music of the game assure shivers down your spine every step you take.

Longevity

RE4 is one of the longest RE games ever produced. Being absolutely frightened and sometimes paralyzed by the game it took me like 50 hours to complete but for a normal person it should take way less. The replayability of the games in ensure unlocking the Separate Ways campaign in which you embody Ada Wong on the traces of Leon. There are some tricky parts of the game in which you have to master all of your ability to get past and avoid to spend hours on a single enemy and most of times you’ll be “wasting” your time in some side quests, but in the end you have enough stuff to keep you entertained…

If I can move a critic to the game (and I can) I’ve found the final boss a bit disappointing. After hours and hours spent killing enemies and tough bosses, I’ve liquidated the last one at the first attempt without even being hit. In my opinion they wanted to recreate a great setting like the fight agains the first Tyrant in RE1 but this time they failed in terms of difficulty.

Final score 96/100

 


Year: 2005

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Genre: Survival Horror

Game Mode: Single Player

Original Platform: PlayStation 2

From same developers/editors:

Inspired to:

  • Splatterhouse (1988)
  • Sweet Home (1989)
  • Alone in the Dark (1992) and sequels

If you liked it you can also try:

  • Silent Hill (1999) and sequels
  • Dino Crisis (1999) and sequels
  • Project Zero (2001) and sequels
  • Forbidden Siren (2003) and sequels

Other chapters of the saga:

  • Resident Evil (1996)
  • Resident Evil: Director’s Cut (1997)
  • Resident Evil: Director’s Cut Dual Shock (1998)
  • Resident Evil 2 (1998)
  • Resident Evil 2: Dual Shock (1998)
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (1999)
  • Resident Evil: Survivor (2000)
  • Resident Evil Code: Veronica (2000)
  • Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (2001)
  • Resident Evil Gaiden (2001)
  • Resident Evil: Survivor 2 Code: Veronica (2001)
  • Resident Evil Zero (2002)
  • Resident Evil: Dead Aim (2003)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak (2003)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak File 2 (2004)
  • Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (2006)
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles (2007)
  • Resident Evil 5 (2009)
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (2009)
  • Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition (2010)
  • Resident Evil Outbreak Survive (2011)
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries Vs. (2011)
  • Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D (2011)
  • Resident Evil 4 HD (2011)
  • Resident Evil Code: Veronica X HD (2011)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations (2012)
  • Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (2012)
  • Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles HD (2012)
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles HD (2012)
  • Resident Evil 6 (2012)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations HD (2013)
  • Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD (2014)
  • Resident Evil HD Remaster (2014)
  • Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (2015)
  • Resident Evil Zero HD Remaster (2016)
  • Resident Evil: Origins Collection (2016)
  • Resident Evil 6 Remastered (2016)
  • Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps (2016)
  • Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition Remastered (2016)
  • Resident Evil 4 Remastered (2016)
  • Resident Evil 7 Biohazard (2017)

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. A brilliant game, but sadly I’ve never finished it. One day!

    Like

    1. benez256 says:

      You can do it! I did it with my eyes half closed and the volume set almost to zero because I was scared as hell but after dozens of hours of play I made it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is tense isn’t it? I

        I’ve got the PS4 version, waiting g on my hard drive. It’s definitely one of my top ten games I need to beat!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. benez256 says:

        Really tense…but I get scared easily with the RE games so my opinion is too biased…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I’m not that brave either, so I’m probably of the same opinion as you!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. benez256 says:

        I confess I spent most of the time waiting in a corner because I feared someone could appear and kill me…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s pretty sensible – I would do the same!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hundstrasse says:

    Nice review! I have to admit that I gave it a solid go a while back (being a huuuggee fan of the originals) but wasn’t won over and ended up abandoning it. So many people rate it as the best in the series, but for me it just didn’t feel like a resident evil game.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      In a certain way you’re right, it doesn’t feel like a Resident Evil game. I’m a huge fan of the series as well and it’s my favourite franchise by far (you can read a ton of posts on my blog where I spread my love for the RE games). Before playing it I thought the same, “this os not a Resident game”, but even though is less focused on survival and on puzzles and more on action ia still a great game. Of course the story is completely different and it’s only loosely tied to the original trilogy (probably the best trilogy of games ever) but RE4 scared the s#!t out of me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. thedeviot says:

    RE IV is largely regarded as the apex of the series. I liked the move away from sluggish tank controls. The Wii version was especially nice, as the pointer made the game feel much closer to a keyboard, and mouse set up too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. benez256 says:

      I still need to get the Wii version, but I always throw an eye to find all the games I miss to complete my RE collection…

      Like

  4. I always feel 4 should be my favourite, but the last 3rd becomes a bit too quick time heavy for my liking.

    Like

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