Resident Evil 4
- Developers: Capcom, Capcom Production Studio 4
- Publisher: Capcom
- Genre: Action Adventure, Survival Horror
- Platforms: Gamecube, Wii, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 2, Playstation 3,PlayStation 4, Android, Microsoft Windows, iOS, Zeebo
- Release Date: 11th January 2005
- Microtransactions: No
Little Red Dress
Resident Evil 4, when originally released smashed the Resident Evil tradition of clunky tank controls and awkward combat, by introducing…less clunky-ish tank controls, but with refined shooting mechanics. Capcom also added regional damage reaction to the enemies, one of the greatest meta games known to man, weapon upgrades, and one of the scariest enemies in a Resident Evil games, even to now (note: Resident Evil 7 not released yet).
Story, terrorists in Spain Blah blah blah… Umbrella Corps Blah Blah Blah… Kidnapped the Presidents Daughter Blah Blah Blah…look, it’s Resident Evil, the story is silly cheesy horror movie silly, not Hideo Kojima absolute waste of time bollocks. Just 80’s-90’s action movie silly.
Who does the US government decide to send to rescue the first daughter?
Who else but…
Leon Scott Kennedy, former Raccoon City rookie cop, now the lone person you send to rescue the Presidents gob shite of a daughter. I don’t think the US liked Leon, in fact I don’t think they like the presidents daughter. I feel they sent him hoping he’d die, and the terrorists would just do her in too.
This is your plot for the next 20-24 hours. During such time the game does manage to mix things up a bit.
The main mechanical differences from this game to the previous games, is how you aim. Previously you could fire straight forward, up or down. Now, the camera comes and stands over your shoulder, whilst your firearm has a laser pointer attached, which you can aim anywhere. This at the time gave a great amount of freedom.
Now the ability to aim better leads on to another great addition to Resident Evil 4, and that is regional damage when attacking. In the first three Resident Evils head shots could happen, but this time round you can actually shoot folk dead bang between the peepers! Which is great, but the regional damage, allows other such wonderful things. Such as shooting weapons from the hands of a perpetually pissed off, parasite protecting prick.
Even better though, is leg shots. Dropping an opponent to his/her knee before following up with a kick, knee or suplex! Causing massive damage and saving precious ammo in the process. Prompted by another new addition QTEs.
The controls are still deliberately clunky, but the pacing of the game is such that it’s fine. You will have to get used to it because, if Dr. Salvador comes at you at full tilt, wishing to perform some rough neck surgery, your going to want to know how to quick turn and run.
Returning to this game again on the Xbox One recently, it took me awhile to reprogram my head, to get used to the controls again, due to becoming so familiar with dual stick shooters of recent years. After an hour or two of fighting I settled. It did make me aware though, that recommending this to someone who hasn’t played it, the controls may be the barrier which stops them.
Anyways, on with the waffle, QTE (Quick Time Events) were introduce to the Resident Evil series here. For the most part they work, not to intrusive or majorly difficult. But you have to keep your wits about you during cut scenes, because insta-death could be a button miss away.
Staggering or dropping an opponent to his knees, will give you the QTE prompt to perform a physical attack, something that masters of the game become extremely proficient at.
Besides a hilariously scripted knife fight during the second half of the game, the QTEs don’t overstay their welcome.
What Are You Buyin’?
Resident Evil 4, has a great selection of weapons, all of which can be upgraded in 4 categories (Firepower, Firing Speed, Reload Speed, and Capacity). Most weapons also, have a final special upgrade which will give the gun a special perk ie: the ability to shoot through 5 enemies, or and massive boost to damage.
Weapons are found, or purchased from a merchant, said merchant is one of the wonderful things about this game. He is random as all fuck, never appeared in any Resident Evil, before or since.
The inventory box is back, but this time can be upgraded. You will have to manoeuvre items around to fit weapons in at times, which turns into an awesome little mini-meta-game in and of itself. My general rule is keep the health to the right, and weapons to the left.
…Like You, I’m An American!
This games narrative is mental. Now I get the resident evil games are mental, seemingly written by a 13 boy with silly global big business conspiracies running through his head. This one however, the 13 year old, has matured, and refined his sense of humour, along with his ability to implement horror.
The game is quite random. It’s the random couldn’t give a toss elements that really solidify this game. The story is so stupid it’s brilliant.
The opening village is tense and terrifying, when a chainsaw wielding maniac comes smashing through a door you’ve just barricaded, and you hear the windows break upstairs. Pant browning tackle right there. Only to meet Johnny Deep tied up in a cupboard, and a random merchant wanting to flog stuff to you.
The game becomes very action heavy nearing the end, but still takes it’s time to scare the shit outta of you. The Regenerators are one of the scariest enemies I’ve ever faced in any horror game. You must use your sniper rifle in close quarters to shoot parasites in their body. All the while, they are panting in giddy lustful excitement over eating you. Truly horrific.
Resident Evil 4 runs the gambit of horror tropes, and pulls them off with a tongue planted firmly in it’s cheek.
We’ve got, creepy backwater towns, who’s resident want nothing more but to eviscerate you. A creepy old castle, filled with references to the occult, blood sacrifices and giant robot statues. Run down military encampments, were unholy experiments have been carried out, for god know how many years. All topped off with the titular twat Leon S. Kennedy, who’s lack of actual fucks given during his campaign is very comical.
So you beat the game, what next? Well, you can start again, but this time in Leon’s R.C.P.D costume on offer, along with the Matilda Pistol (also from Resident Evil 2), and an infinite rocket launcher now available to purchase from the shop. Pretty sweet right?
But wait, there’s more, you also unlock Professional difficulty, where once you finish you have access to another costume, and another unlockable weapon. But, but wait once more! You have also unlocked a time score challenge mode completely separate from the main game called Mercenaries. In which you kill waves of baddies, trying to achieve a S rating. If you do achieve this, you unlock another weapon for the story mode.
Double but, plus another but wait!! If you purchase the game nowadays on any of the newer consoles you will also unlock, two extra short campaigns where you play as Ada Wong, Assignment Ada, and Separate Ways. When you complete these you unlock further costumes and firearms.
For a game that is 12 years old (at the time of review), it gives you so much content, and hours of entertainment.
I’ve finished this game on the Gamecube multiple times, Playstation 2, Wii multiple times (Also my favourite version), Xbox 360 multiple times, and I’m currently on my 2nd play-through on the Xbox One. If you can get over the controls, this game is worth every penny. It’s also a great pass the pad type game, for having someone round and just having a gaming session.
- So much content
- Fun campaign
- Massive replay ability
- Graphics are dated
- controls are a pain at first