2001, four years before the original Resident Evil 4 was released, Capcom knew there was a problem. The Resident Evil series came in a cookie cutter, producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi said at the time. “The whole concept of RE4 was to reinvent the game,” he said. “We wanted to offer the players something new.”
The result was a fierce reboot of the series that reexamined and reassessed its survival horror roots Resident Evil 2 Co-stars Leon S. Kennedy as an international action hero on a mission to rescue the US President’s daughter from a cult. resident Evil 4 was hailed as a masterpiece that breathed new life into the franchise that would only be balanced more Action-focused in subsequent sequels – ultimately leading to yet another reinvention of the series with the back-to-basics horror game Resident Evil 7 Biohazard.
Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 4 reinvents the most popular and influential entry in the series with lavish details and modernizes the game from top to bottom. The developers have reimagined Leon’s adventures through the lens of other recent Resident Evil remakes, taking it to new levels of beauty and gooey goo Resident Evil 4 while also updating the controls and story. The result is a clear demonstration that the developers understand their source material and want to make it sing by fleshing out every possible detail.
The game also clearly signals that Resident Evil may need to be reinvented yet again.
Resident Evil 4The core elements of are present in the remake. Leon S. Kennedy, now a dashing government agent, is sent on a single covert mission to Spain, where he searches for a target codenamed “Baby Eagle” – real name Ashley Graham, the daughter of US President Graham. A group of cultists kidnapped her in order to infect her with a parasite and eventually make her their puppet. As Leon searches for Ashley, he encounters a remote rural village that has been overrun by the parasite. Its angry denizens – and a host of ultra-powerful men and monsters – stand between Leon and his savior.
Leon is no longer the rookie cop of his previous game, and he no longer faces the danger of one or two shambling zombies at a time. Instead, he is well-armed and ready for battle, facing swarms of armed, infected humans known as Ganados. While resource management and ammo shortages were at the core of early Resident Evil gameplay, in 4players are more concerned with crowd control and – especially in the remake – parrying attacks from all sides. Resident Evil 4 presents a new kind of challenge: survival against overwhelming odds.
In the remake, the dance to avoid death can be daunting. Ganados and burly men with chainsaws or giant hammers can quickly surround Leon. But Leon can parry or dodge almost any attack. He can hit baddies with a roundhouse kick or suplex before finishing them off with a knife through the skull. Or he can take on encounters stealthily, sneaking in behind unsuspecting enemies and finishing them off with a silent execution. All of these options make each combat encounter exciting and flexible in its requirements; At times they can be frustrating, as the game pours waves of enemies onto Leon in set pieces that feel more like an exercise in trial-and-error than finding a solution.
“I guess that’s your idea of a warm welcome” – Leon S. Kennedy
As in the original, Leon must also protect Ashley from harm in several, albeit brief, sections in which the two team up. Ashley is totally vulnerable in these moments and Leon has to fight not only for his own survival but also for hers. This time it’s a far less complicated babysitting task; Their healthcare system has been greatly simplified. Ashley’s presence was a notoriously divisive element of the original, but she’s less disruptive here and can be instructed to stay close to Leon (during chases) or keep her distance (during combat). The two work well together and are fun to watch while flirting.
Between RE4The action-packed set pieces of is a series of puzzles, many of them unfathomable and ornate in classic Resident Evil style, along with fetch quests. Those lock-and-key tricks still take a backseat to combat and still feel shallow after all this time in the grand scheme of game design – even the remake-specific puzzles feel like an afterthought on the part of the developers at .
Players are likely to spend more time figuring out how best to gear up Leon, as a mystical, ubiquitous vendor offers a huge selection of upgrades, new weapons, armor, repairs, and recipes for Leon to purchase. (The retailer jokes, as fans would demand of him, “What are you buying?” but only sometimes, in a magnificent and rare display of designer reticence.) Capcom has added a new layer to Leon’s upgrades in the remake, which can do so he not only enlarges the briefcase in which his items are stored, but also the case itself, with variants that offer different benefits and attachable charms that offer even more buffs. Players can earn these spells in the Shooting Range mini-game, a fun, highly replayable distraction that appears at multiple points in the game – I wasted way too much time there trying to unlock the best spells RE4based on RNG.
This is where the fun begins.
Resident Evil 4 also differs in its linearity from previous games. There’s very little to do here, as the game aggressively pushes Leon into new areas and new scenarios. While the same sequence of events from the original is intact, the overall flow and dynamic has been both shaken up and smoothed out. Capcom has wisely cut back by eliminating or redesigning the original game’s sillier components. Recontextualized quick time events from the original where Leon had to overtake boulders or a misplaced giant mechanized statue, only to potentially fail within milliseconds before doing it again. The most striking and welcome example is how Capcom redesigned the central character of Ramón Salazar, who seems less like a bleached Chucky doll and more like a distinguished but decaying old man.
For all the rough edges it smoothes RE4 pulls the same trick that RE2 did so in 2019, making a groundbreaking but now outdated game feel brand new again. But after four Resident Evil games in as many years, even the current incarnations of the franchise feel a little familiar — there are hints of the cookie-cutter form Kobayashi sought to shed more than 20 years ago, even in Capcom’s nifty and great produced remakes. This last one is not an anomaly.
Resident Evil 7 Biohazard And Village shown exactly like the original RE4that Capcom can adapt and reinvent. After completion 4 Once again, the most obvious question the remake left with me was: Where do you go from here?
Resident Evil 4 will be available on March 24th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Window PC and Xbox Series X. The game has been verified at retail with a PlayStation 5 final download code provided by Capcom. For more information on Polygon’s Ethics Policy, click here.