We are living in an age of horror video game remakes.
This year alone, we have had the Dead Space remake, which is pretty spectacular, if you ask me, and the Silent Hill 2 remake might just come out out later this year.
Then, of course, there is the recently released Resident Evil 4 remake, which is not only the most beloved Resident Evil game but one of the most beloved video games of all time.
It served as an inspiration for countless other games.
However, despite knowing this, I never got around to playing the original Resident Evil 4.
The most I did was look up a few clips of the gameplay to see how it had inspired Village.
So this was an opportunity for me to play an updated version of it to see why the game was so lauded.
After playing it, I can say that I get it.
Resident Evil 4 is a fantastic experience from start to finish with a good story and characters, exhilarating gameplay, and a few terrifying moments.
You play as Leon Kennedy (Nick Apostolides) who, after the events of Resident Evil 2, was unwillingly recruited by the US government to become one of their top agents.
After the President’s daughter Ashley Graham (Genevieve Buechner) is kidnapped and taken to a village in Spain by a cult known as the Los Illuminados, headed by Osmund Saddler (Christopher Jane), Leon is sent to rescue her.
On his mission, Leon encounters many colourful characters, such as the shady yet charasmatic Luis Serra (André Peña), Leon’s even shadier acquaintance Ada Wong (Lily Gao), Saddler’s devout follower Ramon Salazar (Marcio Moreno), and, of course, a friendly merchant (Michael Adamthwaite) who we buy from and sell supplies to and upgrades out weapons.
The story of Resident Evil 4 has a classic B-movie feel to it, while also carrying a feeling of seriousness that is key to the other Resident Evil remakes.
The game juggles these two tones effortlessly, providing a fun story for the player.
What is even funner, though, is the gameplay, as fighting against wave upon wave of Las Plagas infected villagers never became dull, with numerous ways of taking them out.
I found shooting one in the head to stun them, and then running forward to deliver a roundhouse kick, knocking them and any surrounding villagers to the ground, to be the most entertaining way of dealing with these waves.
This technique will not work with all enemies, however, so you will have to be constantly managing your ammo, herbs, and other supplies to be prepared for each possible encounter.
Such becomes particularly nerve wracking when the game truly gets into the horror Resident Evil is known for.
There is the Verdugo fight, and the remake original section where you play as Ashley running away from Plagas controlled suits of armour.
The most terrifying part of the game, however, is the Regenerators, where my panicking lead me to constantly missing their weak points, which then lead to me constantly dying against them.
Speaking of dying, this happened quite a few times on some of the bosses, most notably Salazar, who must have killed me at least ten times.
It was satisfying to finally defeat him but easily the most satisfying boss of the game for me was Major Krauser (Mike Kovac).
He destroyed me in my first attempt against him but our roles reversed in my second attempt, where I destroyed him, after learning from my failures.
Honestly, the only boss that disappointed me in this game was the final one, although that may be more my fault than the game’s.
I still had an RPG in my inventory so I used that to pretty much one-shot him.
However, an argument could be made that I should not be able to one-shot the final boss in the first place because then there’s no challenge.
Another issue I have is how the escorting Ashley segments play out sometimes.
From what I hear, the remake did this much better than the original but there were still some frustrating moments, like a cannon section where Ashley kept going into a death loop.
A criticism I have also heard many people bring up is Lily Gao’s performance as Ada Wong.
And by “bring up”, I mean harass her online because people are terrible.
In my opinion, there was nothing wrong with Gao’s performance.
Sure it wasn’t fantastic but she got the job done.
One criticism I do find to be entirely legitimate is the recent addition of microtransactions for weapon upgrades.
It was pretty scummy of Capcom to add these only after all the positive reviews had come out, and it is extremely difficult to get the ticket used to upgrade the weapons completley without paying up, which is a shame for me because I have never bought a micotransaction and never will.
They are a predatory practice, designed to manipulate you into paying up in a game you have already bought, and sometimes they are even outright gambling.
Microtransactions have no place in a Resident Evil game, (or any game really, if you ask me).
This problem aside, I found the Resident Evil 4 Remake to be a truly fantastic game that lives up to the hype of the original.
It provides a fun story with likeable characters, along with fantastic and sometimes terrifying gameplay.
I hope Capcom continues to do remakes of their older Resident Evil games so I can play updated versions of ones I never have previously, like Code Veronica for instance.