Resident Evil 4 Remake game review: A much-needed update to make the game reach its full potential

Capcom remakes an absolute horror classic for a new generation with the right tweaks while retaining the original’s spirit

Published - April 08, 2023 03:27 pm IST

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Gaming company Capcom’s rejuvenation strategy of remaking Resident Evil games has paid off in the last few years. Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes did not just come with better graphics but also with updated mechanics to suit the modern-day gamer. Despite being a mainstay in many best games of all-time lists, Resident Evil 4, released in 2004, has not aged too well. Fortunately, Capcom has revived the game by remastering it to suit today’s technology. The updated version justifies the game’s vision more than the original did.

The game resumes the story of Resident Evil 2‘s protagonist, Leon S Kennedy. The US President asks her to find his daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been abducted by a mysterious cult in a village in Spain. There is something off about the villagers. Right from your first encounter, it is apparent that Leon is up against a very different kind of zombie. 

While the story mostly remains the same as the original, the remake offers a lot more in terms of exploring the game’s environment. The horror elements from the original have been accentuated. So, you will feel a lot more tension as you fight mind-controlled monsters across Spanish villages and castles. Even the campy-looking merchant who appears out of nowhere to peddle his guns in the original is more mysterious in the remake.

The original pioneered a unique third-person view, where you hold the trigger button to aim and zoom into the enemy. This technique was later adopted by games like Gears of War, and Dead Space and perfected by The Last of Us. So, Capcom has added these modern tweaks to the aim-and-movement mechanics, making them a lot more fluid and dynamic.

Given that bullets are scarce, the remake forces you to take advantage of everything in the environment. So encounters with enemies are tense moments where you scramble to defend against them with whatever is around you. Early in the game, you fight frantically through a village full of enemies, only to find a maniac with a chainsaw charging towards you. Enemies are unpredictable and difficult. Fortunately, the sequence where you have to escort Ashley has been made easier — you need not use your precious healing items if she is hit. 

Capcom’s RE engine is built for gore, and the remake of Resident Evil 4 has a lot of blood. It is not as gory as Resident Evil 7, with its infamous dinner table scene, but there are sufficient bloody scenes. Headshots, in particular, have a certain pop to them, with syrupy blood exploding. The level of detail is astounding — from the opening sequence in the moody jungle to the design of the village with Spanish aesthetics. Overall, the game looks fantastic, setting the right tone to kill some gruesome zombies. 

Resident Evil 4’s remake takes the spirit of its original and helps it reach its true potential. It is worth a revisit for returning players. The new ones, unfamiliar with the original, will love it too.

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