There are games that break paradigms despite not being the first to start a saga. It is the case of resident evil 4, the fourth installment of the survival horror series of Capcom which was an important leap in the already familiar gameplay of scenarios with fixed views and camera changes, scarce resources and puzzle solving that was becoming obsolete.
Taking advantage of the remakes of the Resident Evil series that Capcom has been launching in recent years, it was the turn of one of the most beloved games, precisely Resident Evil 4. It must be said that if there is any doubt that it will turn out like Resident Evil 3 Remake As far as content or story cuts, there is nothing to fear. The game brings not only impressive graphics, but also new gameplay mechanics while leaving nothing behind on what made the original title great at the time.
Dying is living
Resident Evil 4 is an inter-generational game, that is, it continues to be sold even on modern platforms, jumping from the sixth generation of consoles to the present day. The above is highlighted because today, it is difficult for someone not to know the history of the fourth installment. However, spoilers of major events will be avoided.
The daughter of the President of the United States, Ashley Graham, She has been kidnapped by a mysterious European sect and clues indicate that she was taken to a very remote rural Spanish town. The president entrusts the rescue mission to Leon S.Kennedy, whom we already saw in RE2. Upon arriving at the town, Leon realizes that the townspeople have been infected by a strange parasite called The pests. In addition to having to rescue Ashley, he must also discover and stop this dangerous cult.
At the narrative level, the game is very close to the original, although with specific changes that adapt the plot in a more realistic way. It delves, for example, into how Leon became the seasoned agent he is now, after having been a rookie police officer. Other characters have a better backstory than in the original, helping to further enrich the plots that many of us know.
Also, another way to expand is through the different documents that we will find throughout the game. Besides,
!Behind you stupid
The original Resident Evil 4 laid the foundation for many future games in the genre. Survival Horror or not, with the change of camera behind the shoulder. He went down a path, more attached to the action, but without leaving that horror component that fans love so much. Well, basically many of those gameplay elements are maintained with the changes that make a game in the modern era.
For starters, exploration is again in third person with the camera behind the character’s shoulder. The game keeps the mapping of the locations almost intact, although some areas were expanded or restructured. We may remember some item in a place and there is something of interest to gain from passing by. Sure, though there were structural changes that we’ll notice instantly, but if we’ve played the original RE4 things will taste familiar, which isn’t a bad thing at all. However, when going from one area to another, there will no longer be loading times, which is a success by not dividing the maps by sectors and giving them the broadest treatment.
Inventory management returns with the famous briefcases, which, although the game is Survival Horror, we will not be able to carry everything we find. We will constantly have to decide what to take and what to leave along the way, accessing the inventory most of the time to organize our objects and have more space. We will find countless breakable boxes, cabinets, filing cabinets and drawers with objects, although some will be closed with keys that can be opened after we get them; so resources will not always be so scarce.
One of the changes added has been the riddles that we will find, now they can be in different places and they will not be the ones we have already seen, in addition to gaining in complexity. Although they are not numerous, but this was one of the complaints from the original game that have been amended.
The use of DualSense refers to the resistance of the adaptive triggers for the shots, as long as we have ammunition in the chamber of the weapons, they will present resistance. Once the bullets are exhausted, the triggers will loosen, indicating that we must reload.
Most of the changes added to the gameplay have to do with combat against enemies, and many of them make the game feel fresh, almost like something new. First of all, the weapon handling of the recent behind-the-shoulder camera remakes has been adopted and if we hold the aim button down long enough it will fire a critical shot. It is a very intuitive system but the numerical superiority of the enemies will not make things easy.
Human enemies have different reactions to being shot depending on the area and the weapon used. Attacks to the torso require several shots to take them down, while shots to the arms and legs will cause them to lose their weapons and drop to their knees, respectively. For their part, attacks to the head stun them momentarily (if they don’t die) and we can make a melee attack that will do them a lot of damage. However, by using a powerful weapon, such as a shotgun, we can either rip off a limb or split them in half. It’s great to see the different reactions that enemies have to our attacks.
Another change has been the much talked about elimination of the Quick Time Events that some purists may not like or there will be those who do not miss them. As such, they weren’t completely removed as there are times when you’ll have to press buttons quickly and reflexively. Where the QTEs were eliminated was the cinematic scenes, which we can now enjoy without fear of something happening that will catch us off guard. On the other hand, the use of the knife is limited by a use bar, which prevents abuse as it is no longer an infinite weapon. Once the bar is shaken the knife is useless until we can repair it. This is mentioned, because with the knife we can perform the QTE within the fights.
One of the most beloved secondary characters in the entire series is undoubtedly The Merchant, which we could already see in the announcement trailers. This character continues to maintain his aura of mystery that characterizes him, but now he has more lines of dialogue, which, if we liked him before, now we will love him for his sarcastic comments. He will be the one who sells us many of the weapons and consumables to help us on our adventure. Now, in addition to selling us items and improving our weapons, he will also offer us a series of challenges in the different areas of the game that bring interesting rewards.
The use of Pesetas as currency returns. Money can be obtained in boxes, enemies and from the different treasures hidden in the different areas of the game. We will have two types of treasures, simple jewels and those that can be combined with gems to increase their value, being the most profitable way to get money.
Enemies are now more numerous, with some new additions and changes to both the number we see on screen and the new species. That also includes boss battles, which have now featured changes in the way we remember them. This is what makes the game feel fresh and new since the changes have been spot on.
The sum of all graphs
I have to say, Resident Evil 4 Remake looks better than RE Village. The use of RE Engine surprises us once again with its impressive graphic section. Starting with the environments, each one differentiated from each other that makes us feel that we are in a remote place far from civilization. Then we have the models of each character, with convincing facial expressions, independent hair movement, blood stains on the clothes, etc. Other effects such as light occlusion in real time, dynamic shadows, particle effects, make this the best RE at a graphic level.
In addition to lip synchronization in the English language, the movement of the mouth when speaking is the same as that of words. Also the damage to the enemies when shooting them depending on the area is noticeable, being able to see the entrails and dismemberments. Quite a visual spectacle.
The sound section stands out for its gloomy, tense and distressing themes. It comes dubbed in multiple languages, with Leon reprising the same voice actor at least in English. As for the dubbing into Castilian Spanish, it’s a good job, although Leon has a much older voice than his age in the game, but he generally does his job.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is everything fans have been waiting for and more. The added changes make the game feel like a new game that doesn’t feel like there’s an old version out there yet that we’ve played ad nauseam. The changes in the story are enough to the point of further expanding the backgrounds of some secondary and main characters. About the fighting, now the enemy AI has been improved and it will make things difficult. Gunfights feel fun and intuitive, even more so than in the original. Regarding the graphic section, there is nothing left but to praise the work with the RE Engine, which I did not think that much more could be obtained from it.
Note: This review was made on the PS5 version and the code was provided thanks to Capcom.