Resident Evil 4 review: History remade

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When Resident Evil 4 was released in 2005, it made history. Not only was it released exclusively to Nintendo Co., Ltd’s GameCube but it pioneered an over-the-shoulder third-person perspective still used in present day action games.

In 2023, Capcom Co., Ltd. has cemented the game’s legacy. Resident Evil 4 is a masterfully crafted remake that hones the original title’s survival action tone with updated gameplay, set pieces, and enemies that pummel the user with relentless intensity.

In the title, Leon S. Kennedy is recruited by the President to rescue his daughter Ashley from an unknown location in Europe. There he finds the local inhabitants to be exhibit unhinged behavior due to a mysterious virus.

New to Resident Evil 4 is a knife parry that allows users to deflect incoming attacks and setup enemies for a counter melee or knife attack. The parry function is a great way to conserve ammo and well-integrated in enemy battles, particularly against Leon’s nemesis Krauser.

The large action set pieces like the Village, Castle and Island have all been retained yet refined to more realistic standards. Mirror puzzles have been eliminated in favor of more timed survival stages and item fetching has been streamlined.

Unchanged is Resident Evil 4’s unrelenting gameplay, which involves clever enemy mobs suffocating the player in close quarters. An army of infected wielding pitchforks, dynamite, crossbows, spiked bats, in addition to massive bosses, unleash at a nonstop pace from start to finish.

To combat enemy waves, gameplay has been refined to allow users to map two different weapons in each d-pad direction. From the classic handgun to the Killer7 magnum, each gun can be upgraded at the Merchant who appears generously throughout the game. Like prior Resident Evil remakes, shooting and running have a great weighted dexterity.

Graphics are on par with recent remakes. Built with the RE Engine, photogrammetry results in photorealistic character models for a gritty Leon and more operatic bosses.

With all the perks in the update, there are a few downfalls. Ashley’s ally AI, which can be set to close or loose, isn’t up to par and is always prone to capture. In addition, the classic Resident Evil 4 did a better job to display enemy AI coordination with speech and finger pointing.

Still, the new Resident Evil 4 is rebuilt with such reverence to the original that it doesn’t miss a beat. The classic has not only survived intact, it has fully reawakened.

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