2022 has taught players to be skeptics. 2023 returns faith in the gaming industry, and the remake of Resident Evil 4 leads this triumphal procession. 18 years ago it was considered the best – it is still the best. RE 4 Remake’s gameplay videos have been repulsed by a longtime fan of the series like me. Breaking knives, parry mechanics, crafting, the lack of a health bar for a companion – there were so many complaints, it’s impossible to list everything. But the developers from Capcom stood their ground until the very release and were right. The perfect game from 2005 was made perfect in 2023 – Resident Evil 4 Remake will easily take the honorary title of “Game of the Year” at The Game Awards in December.
Movie category “B”
Following the precepts of Shinji Mikami, the developers did not turn Resident Evil 4 into pure horror – it’s still the same horror action movie as 18 years ago.
The main character, Leon Scott Kennedy, after the events of the second part, becomes a special agent in the service of the president. For six years, he was trained as a first-class special soldier, and it’s time to prove himself on a dangerous mission – to save the daughter of the President of the United States of America. Ashley Graham was kidnapped by cultists from Spain, and Leon is also staying there.
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Do you feel how close this plot is to the action movies of the early 2000s? The main distinguishing feature of the remake is that the scriptwriters removed the clowning and nonsense, leaving only a couple of dialogues as if they were from B-movies – they set and continue to set the charm of the characters and what is happening on the screen.
Leon throws catchphrases at the villains, the antagonists pompously introduce themselves and try to kill the main character, Ada Wong is still the same fatal “lady in red”, and Jack Crowser has now become obsessed with power! Each character was prescribed an adequate backstory, in which there is no place for magical animations, the restoration of Umbrella to control the world, stupid things for the sake of the player’s fun – the story in the remake tries to be serious, but not go too far. And it turns out great!
But the main revelation was the changed Ashley Graham – the president’s daughter rightfully took first place in the selection of the most enraging heroes in the history of video games. In the remake, the girl was given a character, showed her development from a bullied teenager to a brave assistant to the protagonist.
This rarely happens, but I have to admit it – the voice acting of Resident Evil 4 came out better than the original. The voices are chosen for the types of characters, the actors tried and gave their best. Yes, sometimes there are small problems, like incorrect intonations, but you hear this once or twice in the whole game and not even in videos, but during the gameplay. Nevertheless, Capcom for such an initiative I want to praise only.
The secondary characters and events before the start of the game were revealed more for those who explore the locations in Resident Evil 4. Bitores Mendez, the head of the village, received a backstory – as did the main antagonist Osmund Saddler. Luis Serra now does not appear for 15 minutes, but plays an important role in the plot. They also told the full story of the village infected with the Las Plagas parasite, and the family castle of Ramon Salazar. Yes, in the game of 2005 there were hints and short notes, but now they communicate with the players directly – through notes, murals, paintings, documents, computers and comments of the protagonist.
Honed to perfection
The gameplay of the original Resident Evil 4 today is perceived … With understanding. In 2005, tank controls on the Gamecube were the norm, with a waist-high wooden shooter part maintaining the balance of horror and fast-paced action. But today it hurts to play the original – especially before the release of the remake, I decided to replay the game once again in order to refresh my memory of how it was then. And to be honest, I couldn’t.
Modern video games are so spoiled that from old projects, no matter how much you love them, you want beautiful animations, a dynamic combat system with constant movement in space, and the use of the environment in skirmishes with enemies. And the developers of the remake clearly understood this, and therefore made Resident Evil 4 perfect again – by the standards of 2023.
The main character moves and shoots at the same time, melee and ranged combat animations flow into one another. Stealth has appeared, which helps to slightly clear the battlefield – you still have to fight and there are a lot of enemies. Parry, which was perceived as a tribute to modern games, turned out to be such a useful and enjoyable tool for fighting Spanish mutants that it is now impossible to imagine Resident Evil 4 without it.
And so the knife-breaking mechanic was added to the remake – it’s too powerful a move in Leon Kennedy’s arsenal to give it to your hands on the first playthrough. However, when all collectible figurines are destroyed – 16 in total, one per chapter – and after the first playthrough, the player will be given a knife that never breaks. This is where the fun begins for those who want to replay the game again!
The Jack Krauser fight, which was the game’s signature in 2005, is now much better with parry mechanics and updated knife combat. Now the player does not press two buttons at the right time, but takes the fight against former teacher Leon himself – parries blows, dodges attacks, runs away, stuns and attacks back. And the battle with Krauser in the arena no longer forces the player to run from side to side for pieces of the coat of arms – now it is a battle of two characters and two former comrades. Albeit a little orchestrated.
That being said, Resident Evil 4’s difficulty isn’t based on the player’s cap. The game provides all the tools – on “Hardcore” generously shares supplies depending on the events taking place. There are always a handful of resources in the arenas to survive in an unequal battle with a crowd of cultists, but this is not a panacea. You need to manage supplies skillfully – once during the passage you had to load an early save and roll back the progress about an hour ago, because there were no cartridges and first-aid kits left.
The linear narrative of the original 2005 game was changed for the better – removing unnecessary, drawn-out and stupid moments. Searching for an eye to open a door, riding a cable car, moving through the floors of the castle in the arms of a huge statue of Ramon Salazar and then escaping from this robotic monster – such crazy things are in the past and they belong there.
Another innovation of the merchant is additional tasks – they come down to shooting medallions, rats or opponents. These are routine tasks that are not a burden, because you want to walk around local locations, collect treasures and return for missed good, fight new waves of opponents and destroy mini-bosses under contracts. There are also amusing ones – like a request to spoil the picture of Ramon Salazar.
The game also experiences not only reaction and makes you think tactically in battles, but you also have to work with gray matter while solving puzzles. Yes, some of them have become simpler, disappeared or remained almost unchanged, but there are also more evil examples.
For example, the console in the freezer of the laboratory – I spent almost half an hour with it, connecting the electrical network and turning the power circuits, cutting off unnecessary combinations. The search for a wrench in the incubation lab also drank blood – while the game hinted where to look for the item, but I did not want to think and decided to spend an hour combing all the surroundings. When it turned out that the key was under my nose, and I had to turn on my brain and use the search tool issued by the game, I felt stupid and at the same time pleased. Not every modern game can evoke these two feelings at once.
Capcom’s approach to creating a remake pleases – the developers have improved and made more convenient what they did not change and left in their original form. Installing gems in jewelry now has a sign with a description of all combinations of gems; crafting has a separate window and a drop-down menu in the inventory for convenience; there are more things to create – arrows, grenades, cartridges – and mechanics will have to be used constantly for the sake of survival; The shooting range no longer gives money as a prize, but trinkets for a case that improve crafting chances, increase trade profits, or affect the hero himself. Every little thing like that complements the game and does not make it worse.
Resident Evil 4 was a perfect game back in 2005, and thanks to the hard work of the developers, the remake takes over this baton. The studio removed unnecessary and stupid moments in the script, added meaningfulness and seriousness to the characters, revealing even secondary characters. RE4 not only improved the old combat system, but also introduced new elements, like parrying, and built an entire boss fight around it. The levels began to change more strongly as you progress through, and the locations are much more interesting to explore and return to already visited places due to additional tasks from the merchant.
Orthodox fans of Resident Evil 4 will find a ton of inconsistencies with the original in it and will be indignant – they have every right to do so. But Capcom not only did not break, but also brought to mind the formula for the perfect horror action movie from the zero. The remake was made with love for the original, modernized in the best sense of the word, and after passing it causes only one desire – to start going through the project again. Such feelings are given by single video games and Resident Evil 4 released in 2023 is one of them.
- The plot and characters have become adequate
- Gameplay perfected to perfection
- Levels change as you progress
- Additional tasks of the merchant
- Improvement of the mechanic from the original
- Graphics and technical execution of the remake flawlessly
- There are only a few such games
Questions about this game:
RE4 Remake release date – March 24, 2023.
Resident Evil 4 Remake consists of a total of 16 chapters. These chapters are divided into different segments of the game’s story and gameplay, each with its own objectives and challenges. The length of each chapter can vary depending on the player’s skill level and playstyle. Additionally, the game includes several bonus chapters and additional content that can be unlocked upon completing the main story.