Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the best games in the series, so the remake has some pretty big shoes to fill. Be it the story or the gameplay, the original had a very unique charm. Appreciating the original will always be incomplete without mentioning how it influenced third-person games in a big way. It removed the fixed camera angle view in favor of a third person view. Many may argue that there is no need for a remake of this game. This may be true to some extent, but once you must try this game. You’ll notice that there are a lot of things that go right. So here is my review of Resident Evil 4 Remake.
resident evil 4 remake review
The remake differs from the original in many ways, and not just the graphics. And in order to understand what these changes are and what makes them right and wrong, let us consider these aspects of the game.
- Gameplay and Features
- story and characters
Gameplay and Features
There are several quality-of-life changes to the gameplay mechanics and some changes that affect its difficulty.
For starters, you can now move while shooting. Those who have never played the original are probably wondering what it is about. In the original RE4 you stood in a certain spot when you brought out your gun. So when you can use your right stick to aim better. Your movement was severely restricted. This is one of the biggest changes to happen in the game and one that Capcom couldn’t leave out. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the original isn’t playable. It just takes a while to get used to its controls. Also, since you get better movement speed in the remake, the enemies are more aggressive and their attack patterns are different.
The next major change is that the game’s focus is more on story and action compared to its previous survival nature. This point is not as simple as good versus bad. The original game was notorious for its quick time events (QTEs). It has been toned down a lot in the remake. So if you fail to jump in time, you no longer have to play the mine section from the beginning. But it also means you have all the time in the world to fight Crusader instead of the urgency of killing him before the tower explodes.
parrying Now there is an alternative but at the cost of breaking your blade. One of the best ways to conserve ammo in the original game was to kick an enemy and stab them while they were down. This way you can not only get more ammo out of them but also save what you already have. But in Resident Evil 4 Remake you get more options to defend yourself using a knife. Parrying is easily one of its best uses. You can also use your knife for sneak kills. Or to strangle your enemy if they catch you. But every time you use your knife it wears down. And it tends to go bad quite easily depending on how you use it. Parrying won’t hurt his health much, but defending yourself with a chainsaw will. Don’t worry though, you can always get it repaired at a merchant. Not to mention you can now have more and different types of them.
You can now crouch, which gives you better stealth. And since we’re talking stealth kills, you should crouch down to quiet your steps and not alert nearby enemies. This will allow you to kill them in one swift move. So it’s another win for the remake.
Use the Weapon Wheel to quickly switch. Another feature the original lacked was the ability to quickly swap out your weapons. Make sure you can switch between your primary weapon and the knife. But that’s nothing compared to the modern weapon cycle that lets you choose from the weapons you have on hand right away. Just register them and you can use them via the number keys for keyboard/mouse players and the d-pad for players who prefer to use a controller.
You can craft ammo in Remake. Whereas it takes up your inventory and forces you to decide what type of ammo to craft. It also adds to the survival feel of the game. One who can surely feel that the game falls short at times.
Ashley no longer has a health bar. Yes, now you have all the herbs, eggs and first aid spray. But like most changes, this too comes at a cost. She is now incapacitated when killed by enemies, and will die Game Over if she takes damage again. And most importantly make sure she is safe, she is not the same as it was in the original game. The biggest change in her gameplay is that she now follows you closer or at a distance. These commands are called tight/loose depending on their formation. This makes him much harder to defend than in the original game.
The only complaint players have with this game are its puzzles. They are on the easy side, at least on standard difficulty. There is a possibility that they might turn a bit harsh in Hardcore or Professional mode.
story and characters
The next big concern for players is how much the remake follows the story of the original game, and how much content has been cut. Don’t worry the remake doesn’t make any major cuts to the material, rather mostly changes it up. It is also faithful to the original as far as the story is concerned. The narration is better at times and the direction they go in leads to more development for characters like Louis and Ashley.
Before we go ahead there are some spoilers for both games. If you don’t want any spoilers you might want to finish the remake or maybe both first.
Leon has changed in many ways. In the remake, he is much more serious and not as cocky as he used to be in the original. So you can expect less one-liners from him. You can see it in his interactions with Salazar or Sadler. But when it comes to choosing who should save Ashley, it’s safe to say that the President made the right choice.
Ashley isn’t just a damsel in distress anymore. In the original Resident Evil 4, the only two commands Ashley obeys are “follow” and “wait”. (Which was for the better considering she dies very easily in the remake). He had a section where you could play as him. Of course there was also the section where he drove a tractor. But those moments are just about it. These things are completely different in the remake, where she doesn’t need Leon to always hold her, she can now go up stairs on her own. She helps out more in the fight wherever she can and there are moments where you can see her grow. For example, the time she lashes out at Leon for use after Chief Mendez’s fight. There are other moments like this throughout the game.
Next, let’s talk about Louis, who has gone through the most changes in the remake. He’s no longer just a clumsy character who just happened to drop off a sample somewhere that the main characters can heal. Their actions are still the same as in the original game for the most part. But the remake does a better job of explaining why or what he does or why he disappears at times.
Krauser’s back story and relationship with Leon are also better explained in the RE4 remake. Although to be fair, he wasn’t introduced until the original game. So we can’t complain much about that game not having much Crusader, His boss fight in the remake is also interesting in more ways than one. Other than Crusader, I won’t talk much about the antagonists, those interactions and fights are best when you experience them yourself.
In the end, Ada is still almost as mysterious as she was in the original game. We just hope Capcom releases DLC in different ways so we can learn more about them.
So to answer the big question, should you be playing the new Resident Evil 4 Remake? Yes you must play this game whether you are fan of RE series or not, The game has a lot to offer to the players.
For fans of the series who haven’t played RE4, you not only get a great story but also get to know more about the characters. For players who have already completed the original game, you have plenty of Easter eggs and references to find related to the original. And finally, if you’ve never played a Resident Evil game before or want to try something in the horror survival genre. Then this game is definitely worth picking up.
Be it new weapons, enemies or areas to explore. Story moments and how they affect and shape the characters. Side missions that let you get spinels to trade with merchants. Something as simple as beautiful graphics complementing the world. Or the satisfying death animations of your enemies or the time when the chainsaw kills the enemy Leon. There is something in this game that most players might not only find enjoyable but also keep them coming back for another replay!
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