Resident Evil 4 Remake Review
- Story And Setting
- Visuals And Performance
Resident Evil 4 Remake is a flawless recreation of an already phenomenal game, and I absolutely cannot wait for fans of the original to get blown away by the sheer quality of content on display here.
- Visual Overhaul
- Flawless Combat
- Parrying And Weapon Variety
- Level Design And Puzzles
- New Enemies And Areas
- No Performance Issues
- Cut Content
If you had told me a few years ago that I would be writing a brand new review for a game called Resident Evil 4 Remake in 2023, then I would have probably believed you. Because this is only the latest in a string of remakes that Capcom has been working on over the years, but it’s perhaps the one that has already seen the most re-releases.
Over the years, this game has been ported to various different consoles, and that’s all due to its sheer popularity. And so fans were nervous about a remake of the best game in the franchise. However, I’m happy to report that Capcom has done a marvelous job with the project, and you will soon find out why it’s back to reclaim its long-vacant throne.
Story And Setting
Fans of the original game already know about the story, but if you’re coming into the remake fresh, then I will get you up to speed quickly.
After the events of Resident Evil 2, our protagonist Leon Kennedy was forced to become a government special agent, and the subsequent training he receives turns him into something akin to a hardened killer. Now in this game, he has been tasked with finding the president’s daughter, Ashley Graham, who was kidnapped on her way back from college.
And so, Leon has to head to Spain to save her, where she has been spotted in an isolated rural village. But things are hardly ever as simple as they seem, and our hero and his party are almost immediately attacked by the locals when they arrive.
We soon learn that these villagers are the followers of a strange cult and that they have been infected with a virus known as the Plaga. So now Leon has to do what he does best, and in doing so he comes face-to-face with some of the most grotesque creatures he has ever come across, and fights his way through a countryside filled with infected zombies and murderous cultists.
The game starts off in the small little village mentioned above, but the map quickly expands and you will soon find yourself exploring a wide variety of locations, including a large heavily-fortified castle, which makes for one of the best dungeons in the game.
The remake has a lot to offer as compared to the original. Environments are much larger than before, the hallways are much darker, and Leon even uses a torch in certain areas now. Basically, everything has been expanded on, and I don’t wanna discuss too much out of fear that I might spoil the game for returning players.
The story isn’t generally something that you should look out for in Resident Evil games, but this entry in particular has always had a charm that’s hard to ignore. From Ashley herself, to the charming Ada Wong, and even the multiple other side characters, the whole plot is held together by an incredible cast of personalities. Leon’s own calm and collected demeanor, paired with his crisp one-liners, will also keep you entertained throughout.
There are various control schemes to choose from, and the tank controls of the original game have been swapped with a more intuitive movement system, which makes Leon feel more fine-tuned. However, if you were a fan of the original controls, then there is still the option to choose between the two, but it is recommended to play with the new scheme since the enemies are much harder here.
The gameplay at its core is similar to the original, with the player exploring various areas and shooting his way through villagers plagued with the virus. There are various quality-of-life changes that you will find in the remake, however, since Leon can now switch his weapons seamlessly without having to open the Suitcase again and again. And that change is really what makes the gameplay feel more organic.
All the weapons that you know and love are back, including the various upgrades that you get for them. But the major change in combat is definitely the Knife, since it does not have unlimited durability anymore and can break after a few uses. However, with that change also comes new mechanics that you can pull off using that weapon.
Firstly, enemy attacks can be parried if you time your knife perfectly, and Leon can follow up with a melee attack after pulling off a perfect parry which can lead to you doing some absolutely sick counterattacks. You can also choose to shoot at an enemy’s head or legs to make them vulnerable, and then follow up with a devastating melee attack. Leon can even suplex villagers if you initiate the attacks from behind.
So as you can tell, combat is really fast-paced now, and the developers have made sure to equip Leon with the mechanics needed to match the game’s new pace. But as luck would have it, stealth is also a thing now. You can crouch, sneak up behind enemies and dispatch them silently when the situation calls for it.
The new knife mechanics, stealth, melee attacks, and weapons, paired with Leon’s new movement, make for one of the smoothest combat systems in the third-person shooting genre. Additionally, the game keeps introducing new enemies, and there is enough variety here to keep you hooked for the entirety of the game. There is even a new enemy type that was not present in the original and is only introduced in the remake, but we won’t spoil that here.
Ashley also does not have a health bar anymore, so you don’t have to keep focusing on her health or have to waste any of your healing items on her, so that’s a relief. This gives you more room to deal with enemies directly, even if protecting Ashley is still your primary goal in the game.
Inventory management is also as important in the remake as it was in the original, and moving around items in your suitcase and rotating them to fit in small corners makes for a fun little mini-game, and I’m personally really happy that this feature was not abandoned.
The merchant is also here, and you can purchase weapons, including upgrades, from him as you progress through the story. You can even test out your shooting skills at the shooting range provided by him, and that mini-game has also been revamped in the remake.
Exploration is now more rewarding, with a plethora of new side-quests that you can take on and complete when you want a break from the main narrative. The New Game Plus mode is also present for players who are not satisfied with a single run or who are going on a trophy hunt, and the game holds up incredibly well on subsequent playthroughs. Now let’s move on to the part of our Resident Evil 4 Remake review that deals with the graphics
Visuals And Performance
Resident Evil 4 Remake is a complete overhaul of the original in terms of visuals, and the new visuals not only capture the aesthetic of the original game but also add to the horror with the newer environments and enemy designs.
It truly feels like a next-gen title that is able to run on most modern PCs. Even the PS4 is are able to hit 60 FPS, which is honestly astounding. As expected from a Capcom game, there are absolutely no stutters whatsoever on PC, and the game is probably one of the best Triple-A PC ports that we’ve ever seen.
There are also many settings that you can toggle on PC, and even the next-gen consoles offer a great variety of options to play around with.
We also tested Resident Evil 4 Remake on consoles for our review, and we noticed that you can toggle between Performance and Fidelity modes on the PS5 and Series X/S. There is even a separate setting for enabling Ray Tracing.
However, I must mention that textures look a bit downgraded on the PS5 and Series X as compared with the PC version, but I’m hopeful that Capcom will fix it in the Day 1 Patch. The performance is stable in the framerate mode, and the game generally runs at a fixed 60 FPS.
There is DualSense support as well, and adaptive triggers are also utilized in the game. The game isn’t officially supported on Steam Deck right now, but we ran the demo on it, and the game was generally playable, sitting mostly around 30 FPS. So we decided to add this little information in our review for all the Deck users.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is a flawless recreation of an already phenomenal game, and I absolutely cannot wait for fans of the original to get blown away by the sheer quality of content on display here. Even newer players who have never experienced RE4 before are in for one of the best experiences in the world of gaming.
This game is the best release of 2023 so far and is a definite contender for GOTY. The love and passion that the developers have put into developing this masterclass of a remake is something that everyone should experience for themselves.
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