Resident Evil 4 May Give Skyrim A Run For Its Money When It Comes To Re-Releases – PS2, PC, Wii, iPhone (opens in a new tab), PC again, etc. It’s funny, but I bought three of those reissues myself. RE4 is a near-perfect shooter with a long and generous campaign, clever encounters, a unique atmosphere, and perhaps the best inventory screen ever. It’s so good that we practically begged Capcom not to bother remaking it. (opens in a new tab).
good capcom it is remaking Resident Evil 4 (opens in a new tab), and I owe it to my seventh-grade self (who’s blasting cattle with a Wiimote in the living room) to try and figure out how they’ll do it. What can we expect when we enter the world of survival horror? one more time?
how to play
Resident Evil 4 landed on something special with its mix of tank controls, swarming enemies, and explosive melee combos triggered by shooting weak points. We’ve seen knockoffs since then, but nothing quite matched RE4 until the Resident Evil 2 remake, which achieved a similar feel along with quality of life improvements like being able to move while aiming.
Take the RE2 remake’s gunplay and technological advances and replace those tight corridors and bullet-resistant zombies with wider arenas and flimsier cattle, and I think the RE4 remake could be an easy winner. It wouldn’t be necessary to reinvent the wheel, since the RE2 remake’s gameplay is already so close to RE4, but it would be fun. I’ll be curious to see if the new version of RE4 reintroduces more action elements absent in the new version of RE2, like the aforementioned contextual takedowns, but one thing I won’t miss is the quick-time events. If I never see a flashing button to get past a rock again, it will be too soon.
Modern remakes of games from the 2000s often lose some of the art style of the original. The widespread praise of the Demon’s Souls remake always makes me feel crazy: it’s graphically advanced, sure, but it doesn’t have any, well, soul.
I’ve seen similar concerns raised about the RE4 remake, and while we don’t have much to do yet, I’m cautiously optimistic about its art style and atmosphere. Capcom has a good track record with reimagining Resident Evils, with the new versions of RE2 and RE1 arguably surpassing the atmosphere of the originals. I’m curious to see how the new version of RE4 handles the game’s third act on a militarized industrial island. Despite solid pieces like fighting Krauser or being chased by Iron Maidens, it’s by far the weakest part of the game and the one most likely to benefit from some overhaul.
Going by the Resident Evils 1-3 remakes, we can probably expect the characters and story of RE4 to remain intact. The trailer provided glimpses of Ada Wong, Luis Sera (and her bad ass red9 (opens in a new tab) gun), Ashley, and the Act 1 boss, Bitores Mendez. Presumably, the final game will include fan favorites Ramón Salazar (Spanish Napoleon) and the Merchant (weird (opens in a new tab).)
These sillier elements may clash with the more serious direction Resident Evil has taken at times, but I’d say the tension was present in the original Resident Evil 4, and even a major draw. Despite the goofiness and one-liners, the game has a real undercurrent of horror and melancholy, and the exaggerated elements serve to make it even more surreal. One of the scariest parts of the game, the cat and mouse with the xenomorph-style executioner, is preceded by a legendarily absurd exchange (opens in a new tab) with that aforementioned garish Spanish Napoleon, Salazar.
keep the briefcase
I beg you. It’s one of the best inventory screens in gaming – detailed 3D models of your weapons rest there, the click-clack sound effects as you reposition everything, the goofy poses Leon does while you equip it. If they somehow spoil the combat and the atmosphere, I’ll calm down if they let me play Tetris with boxes of 9mm pistol bullets.