top of page
  • Writer's pictureAbhinav Sharma

Resident Evil 4 (2023)

PLAYED ON: PC & PS4


Capcom recently has been on a roll with the Resident Evil franchise, pushing out amazing new titles like RE7 & RE8 which revitalized the series but they have also not fallen short when it comes to remakes like RE2 (2019) & RE3 (2020). So it was no surprise when they announced the remake of the highly acclaimed and arguably one of the best games ever made, Resident Evil 4, back in June 2022, I was sure as hell excited. Fast forward to 2023 and having played through the entire game, I can confidently say that Capcom has successfully made a great remake which rightly preserves the legacy of the original.



Many believe the original RE4 (2005) to be one of the greatest games ever made and rightly so as it defined the third-person shooters and its impact can be felt in the other games that came after it. So, it was no easy task to remake a game that effectively reshaped the action genre and so instead of trying to invent something new, Capcom decided to focus and capitalize on what made the original so good and polished and ironed it out in the areas it was lacking, to reintroduce an all-time classic to the newer generation as well as old-time fans of the series like me.

Resident Evil 4 Remake is an exceptional survival horror game that successfully revitalizes a timeless masterpiece.

The game takes place 6 years after the events of RE2 & RE3 and puts you in control of the blonde and handsome Leon S. Kennedy who you may remember from his time as a rookie cop entangled in the horrors of the Raccoon City incident in RE2. He is now a Government agent sent to rural Spain to rescue the US President’s daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult. Upon arrival, Leon realizes that something ain’t right as he surrounded by a horde of hostile villagers who are infected by a parasite known as the Las Plagas and from here on your journey starts as you crawl your way through hordes of infected villagers known as “Ganado” trying to locate Ashley and later on trying to protect her as you make your way through the various locations in the game besieged by parasitic mindless cultists, nightmarish and horrifying mutations and eccentric and deadly antagonists. The areas are filled with a variety of terrifying enemies, puzzles and mazes.


The remake closely follows the storyline of the original but makes the characters feel more humane. Leon feels more human-like and you can feel that he has matured a lot since his time as a rookie cop in Raccoon City. This makes the interactions between Leon, Ashley and the others more lively and real due to the improved storytelling and dialogue delivery. Though more humane Leon, he still retains his old-school charm and cheesiness with the constant delivery of his cheeky one-liners.


Fighting off against the enemies is even more stress-inducing and engaging now as the erratic and deadly Ganados are even more frightening than before. The enemies now have a revamped AI which takes their old unexpected and frantic movements and attacks and makes it more even challenging and vicious. They now use cunning tactics to overwhelm you and lay even more of those goddamn bear traps than the original game. The Ganados will now try to feint you and dodge your attacks while at the same time trying to surround you. This makes your encounters with the Ganados more panic-inducing as they constantly try to dodge your aim and push through each other to get to you which will often make you feel outnumbered and requires a more tactical approach as you try to find your way out of such situations.


To take on these more advanced enemies, Leon has been given more combat abilities and his controls have been polished out. The tank controls from the original are gone and are replaced with modern control schemes. The overhauled controls and improved camera tracking and angles makes the combat more fluid keeping the adrenaline high and momentum going in fights and action scenarios. A vital part of the original RE4 gameplay, the knife, has also been redesigned. Old players will surely remember how important the knife was. The knives now have a durability rating (Taken from the RE2 remake) which lowers with more use. You can use the knife to parry attacks and break out of the hold of the enemies. Breaking boxes for ammo and supplies is more simple now and takes the press of a single button which makes it easier to rummage for supplies while fighting a large horde of enemies. The resource management system from the original is also back and improved to feel more modern which further emphasizes the survival aspect of the game. Weapon switching is also faster than before as you don’t have to constantly open your resource menu to switch weapons. The combat is now a combo of gunplay, resource management and executing parries while also being fast thinking and tactical to outplay your enemies which I thoroughly enjoyed as it always keeps you on your toes while also being really exciting. Some old-time fans may be against these changes stating that it feels different from the original experience but it is a welcome change in my opinion.


The gameplay is really fulfilling thanks to the massive arsenal of weapons available to Leon which he can buy from the iconic merchant just like in the original. The newer engine brings improvements to the way the guns feel and handle. Shooting down enemies is extremely satisfying as the game doesn’t hold back on the gore with blood flying everywhere and lets you obliterate your foes by ripping them in half, tearing holes in their sides, and much more.

Some changes have also been made to the way Ashley acts. She no longer has a health bar which you have to constantly manage instead, she’ll fall to the ground in an incapacitated state, if she takes damage, waiting for you to revive her. If she takes another hit, she’ll die and trigger a game over. And unlike the original, she can no longer hide and constantly follows Leon which makes her more susceptible to dangers and makes protecting her a much more vital part of the gameplay.


Capcom did a really good job of ironing out the flaws in the original in this modern remake. The things I mentioned above like the improved enemy AI, better controls, better camera angles, more humane characters and storytelling and improved combat options make the game feel modern while still retaining the charms of the original which made it so great. While remaking it Capcom had to take some decisions to remove some things that were present in the original but at the same time, they add something new and meaningful to fill its void. The new RE engine used by Capcom makes the game look stunning. The graphics in Resident Evil 4 Remake are nothing short of breathtaking. The developers have done an outstanding job of revamping the game's environments, character models, and atmospheric effects. Every detail is meticulously crafted, from the eerie village to the decrepit castle and beyond. The updated lighting makes the dark and uncanny environments even more creepy. The updated visuals truly bring the game to life and immerse players in its nightmarish world. The audio design in Resident Evil 4 Remake is another standout feature. The haunting soundtrack perfectly complements the atmosphere, heightening the sense of dread and anxiety. The sound effects, from the creaking doors to the chilling growls of the enemies, add an extra layer of immersion, making each encounter pulse-pounding and memorable.


While it is an excellent remake and a great game in its own right, there are a few drawbacks. As a huge fan of the original, I found the lack of additional content, a bit disappointing. There is additional content like the blue medallion hunt from the original and additional side missions which makes you spend more time in the game’s environment but it doesn’t feel enough. Though the mercenaries mode was added in a free update in April 2023, the absence of bonus modes Assignment Ada and Separate Ways which were present in older versions of Resident Evil 4, feels a bit disappointing. I can only hope that Capcom adds them in a future update or DLC as the game, in and itself, is so amazing that any more reasons to play it again are highly welcomed. Some may also say that it doesn’t feel as revolutionary as the original, which was a genre-defining classic and the players may not experience the same scale of impact with this remake as many of the things that the original did, were considered new at its time of release, are a common trope in most video games now, but in my opinion, it doesn’t matter much as the game is terrific on its own and can be enjoyed by both new players as well as long time fans of the series.


TSHC SCORE: 10/10

CONCLUSION:

Overall, Resident Evil 4 Remake is an exceptional survival horror game that successfully revitalizes a timeless masterpiece. For longtime fans like me, it feels like a blast of nostalgia and a pleasant return to a classic that I thoroughly enjoyed. It feels fresh and modern but at its heart still retains the charm and qualities that made the original so great. It may not be a genre-defining hit as the one before but is still a fantastic experience that can be enjoyed by both die-hard fans of the original and newcomers to the series. With a score of 10/10, it stands as one of the finest remakes and a testament to the enduring legacy of the Resident Evil franchise.


Available on: PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC

 

Other Ratings:





94 views

Related Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page