The ‘Resident Evil 4’ Remake Puts a Brand New Engine in Capcom’s Rusty Old Car


The Resident Evil franchise appears to have discovered new life by means of its current slate of remakes. 

There’s undoubtedly a pun or two in there concerning the sequence coming back from the lifeless, however I’ll intention to carry onto your goodwill for a bit longer, and as a substitute dive into all the things that makes the Resident Evil 4 remake one of many franchise’s finest. The actual entry follows returning character Leon Kennedy, performed by Nick Apostolides, on his quest to rescue the U.S. president’s daughter from the insidious Los Illuminados cult.

Let me preface the following bit by laying out my longstanding ardour for the unique, which was one in all my very first online game obsessions when it was launched again in 2005. It completely dazzled me, sparking a love for motion shooters that’s solely grown through the years. It’s my consolation sport, one which I returned to time and again by means of the almost twenty years that now separate me from that long-ago launch. 

All of this to say — I used to be just about certain to like the remake. It takes a number of dozen steps up from the unique by way of high quality, story, and, specifically, ambiance, however it nonetheless retains the soul of that beloved basic, and most significantly, maintains the ever-necessary “enjoyable” issue of the unique. 

With this in thoughts — and noting that my evaluate comes from time spent with the PlayStation 4 model, somewhat than the shinier PS5, and thus variations in high quality are to be anticipated — let’s dig into all the things that makes the Resident Evil 4 remake one in all Capcom’s finest.

Screenshot by way of Capcom

This new Resident Evil 4 reminds you that it’s a remake, not a remaster, from the very starting, making minor alterations to the opening story and, most significantly, introducing a model new voice forged. Leon maintains a well-recognized air of tacky, however devoted, confidence, however lacks a few of the extra immersion-breaking — however nostalgic — line supply. Gone is his terrible demise groan, changed by a slew of up to date — and completely brutal — demise sequences, however little gems like “The place’s everybody going, bingo?” stay. 

Longtime followers may miss a few of Leon’s cheesier strains, however the contemporary voice forged does a wonderful job of updating the expertise. Unsurprisingly, the entire fan-favorite characters from the unique make a return for the remake, and most get a significant improve by way of characterization. Ashley remains to be obnoxious (would she be Ashley if she wasn’t?) however she’s rather more palatable, and the sport makes certain to reshape every of its characters so that they really feel extra like actual individuals. The identical will be stated for Luis and Ada, whose further dialogue and minor background moments truly lend to the story, somewhat than feeling like shoehorned inclusions that solely serve to drive the plot ahead.

Upon launching a brand new sport, followers of the unique will shortly understand that this isn’t the identical sport you’ve been throwing time at for the final twenty years. The levels are acquainted, however contemporary, and whilst you’ll discover a number of goodies of their acquainted areas, a whole lot of collectibles have been switched as much as hold you guessing. The identical will be stated for most of the environments, which preserve a taste — and typically lots extra — of what you recall, whereas altering issues up simply sufficient to shock gamers. One thing so simple as getting into a brand new space from a unique location can actually change how the sport feels and performs, and this — mixed with the title’s rather more fleshed-out and fully-realized world — equates to a comfortingly acquainted, however brand-new, expertise. 

Resident Evil 4 Parry
Screenshot by way of Capcom

Certainly, the villagers and enemies you recognize and hate have all obtained a facelift forward of their return on this remake, however Capcom sprinkled in a number of adjustments to throw longtime followers off their sport. A number of new enemy varieties function a mid-level menace between the bog-standard villager and extra menacing chainsaw-wielding nightmares, and every new space sometimes brings alongside a brand new enemy for the trip. Burly villagers swinging heavy hammers and twisted undead with gristly damaged necks now hunt you in your quest to seek out Ashley, every of whom takes far various well-aimed pictures to dispatch.

Minor, irritating points that plagued the unique sport are all smoothed out within the new Resident Evil 4. Leon — who final time took a job in rural Spain with out talking the language — is definitely in a position to perceive some Spanish. It additionally fleshes out present facets of the story, like Sadler’s thoughts management means, and tidies up tiny, messy particulars — like enemies merely giving up and strolling away on the finish of an encounter. These tweaks enrich the unique’s comparatively barebones narrative and make for a much more seamless expertise, as do the added facet quests, which give gamers various blue medallions to look out for.

The map itself is especially satisfying — Resident Evil 4 is decidedly linear and doesn’t supply up an open world, however it invitations gamers to discover its nooks and crannies within the hopes of discovering a shadowy nook rife with hidden treasures, and perhaps an sudden enemy or two. It’s all tied along with extra concerned enemy encounters, which typically require a eager eye to evaluate. You possibly can strategy enemies in quite a lot of methods, however you received’t have lengthy to make a plan earlier than the primary opponent strikes.

Resident Evil 4 Exploration
Screenshot by way of Capcom

Stress is a continuing companion as you wander by means of Resident Evil 4‘s dilapidated, dirty cities; dingy, dripping caves; and gaudy fortress halls, with a possible shock (or ambush) all the time lurking across the subsequent nook. Ammo remains to be comparatively plentiful — however simple to make use of up — as you end up confronted with a much more various vary of enemies. Planning is a necessity, and adopting the identical strategy hardly ever works twice in a row. As a substitute, the sport urges gamers to adapt to new enemies and contemporary environments, some cramped and maze-like, others dangerously open, as they work their means throughout the map. Swapping between a shotgun, handgun, and people ever-necessary flash grenades will turn into second nature when confronted with Plagas-ravaged hordes, however a level of precision could make all of the distinction when going through off towards most of the higher-level enemies. 

The moment-to-moment gameplay has been revamped, including the flexibility to parry assaults (in addition to some thrown objects) and crouch to sneak round and keep away from detection. The shortcoming to correctly dodge is (largely) offset by the previous, which makes fight way more seamless in up shut and private encounters. And not using a dodge means, nonetheless, fight — significantly towards bosses — can turn into irritating, and a bit formulaic. Certain, all of this harkens again to the unique, however it’s a bit too irritating to return throughout as amusing nostalgia, and as a substitute looks like a missed alternative. You’ll get used to timing these crouches and cautious parries, however the lack of a devoted dodge feels misplaced for a personality who’s so keen about rolling out of home windows and backflipping over enemy assaults. Fortunately, Leon’s continued use of “The Kick” — which noticed us by means of many low-ammo moments within the unique sport — helps to alleviate a few of the remake’s extra irritating exclusions.

Stealth is a unique story. It’s vastly useful in sections that appear intentionally designed for it, however it’s clear that Resident Evil 4‘s remake by no means supposed to be stealth-heavy. You may dispatch an enemy or two within the vein of The Final of Us‘ Ellie, however you received’t be capable to hold your gun holstered for lengthy. Quickly, waves of enemies will come flooding in, forcing you to depend on your varied weapons and the encompassing surroundings to stop one more agonizing demise scene.

Essentially the most acquainted parts are maybe present in boss encounters, which comply with the unique sport’s components to close perfection. The identical ways you floor into your mind again within the mid-2000s received’t work to defeat characters like Mendez — significantly once you issue within the up to date assaults and talents most bosses make use of — however you’ll discover {that a} comparable technique nonetheless pays off.

Resident Evil 4 Combat
Screenshot by way of Capcom

Puzzles comply with the identical development. They’re totally different, and loads of them are model new, however you’ll acknowledge facets of almost all of them. They nonetheless comply with the final components of discovering this to mix with this and open that, however inject a bit extra problem to maintain issues attention-grabbing. Just a few further mind teasers may journey up extra action-oriented gamers, however none current a large impediment.

I might go on for ages as I reminisce on the sport’s sound design — which has a huge impact on the ambiance and incorporates the controller’s built-in speaker for an extra sense of immersion — the tidied-up visuals, and the introduction of six potential management schemes, together with one which mimics the unique. That being stated, none of these touches actually lean into a very powerful query: whether or not or not it’s value taking part in. And, in my humble opinion, the Resident Evil 4 remake very a lot is. Significantly for followers of the unique, it’s an exquisite return to a world that delivered a lot enjoyable by means of its janky controls and delightfully terrible dialogue. Even for newcomers, the sport looks like successful, following within the development of Capcom’s different Resident Evil remakes — ramping up the stress and scare issue by a number of levels all whereas retaining the enchantment and attraction of the unique.

Make no mistake — Capcom is totally beating a lifeless horse with its continued Resident Evil remakes. It’s leeching each little bit of life it could from this franchise, however in doing so, it’s respiration contemporary life into getting old classics that — regardless of often being subpar — delighted tens of millions. These remakes really feel infinitely higher to play, and the brand new Resident Evil 4 is not any totally different. It completely balances a stable story teeming with horror, elevated — however removed from impassable — problem, and fluid fight to ship an expertise that drips with nostalgia however nonetheless feels model new.

This evaluate relies on the PlayStation 4 model of the sport. A duplicate was supplied to us by Capcom.


Following within the footsteps of its different remakes, Capcom smashes ‘Resident Evil 4’ out of the park. The gameplay, controls, and story are all splendidly acquainted but nonetheless really feel up to date and contemporary. The remake cranks the ambiance as much as a 12, and stress serves as a relentless companion whilst you make your means by means of the sport’s gorgeously rejuvenated world.