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Resident Evil 4 Remake Review

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Resident Evil 4 Remake Review

🖥️ Our PC Specs 

OS: Windows 10 64-bit
CPU Processor:
AMD RYZEN 9 300XT (12 Core Processor)
Memory: 32 GB RAM DDR4
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
DirectX: Version 12
Install Size: 60 GB

Whaddaya Buyin'?... 

The Resident Evil Remake series are proven to be a leading example of how an esteemed property should be revisited decades after its primary release. The RE Engine is an unequivocal success, giving Capcom’s survival-horror a new lease on life after its seventh chapter – all the puns intended. From winding the clock back to Leon’s first foray, the series has introduced an entirely new audience to Resident Evil’s early entries, that have been starved of a re-imagining. From an initial reappraisal in Resident Evil 2 in 2019, the early tales of the survival horror has made a deserved impact, exceeding all expectations that have earned the franchise the standard bearer of all horror gaming. An accomplished time warp that has been hailed by fans and gamers for astounding design and gameplay, Resident Evil’s re-entry resurfaces a dominating factor that’s inspired a wave of gaming classics to be re-instituted with a complete overhaul.

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Resident Evil 4 may well be the series’ pinnacle in this example, with prime performance, mechanics, design and an established campaign plotline all amalgamating one of Resident Evil’s greatest entries of yesteryear into the modern era. As someone incredibly in love with the franchise from its humble beginnings, I was thrilled to see the once, short-time GameCube exclusive getting Capcom’s royal treatment. Resident Evil 4’s impact on the entire franchise was monumental, a paradigm shift for how its mechanics and evolution of its foundation is still felt through multiple iterations after its initiation. It goes without saying that Resident Evil 4 moulded the very core of its franchises future, with sequels adapting and capitalising on its successes that ultimately takes us around the bend right back to it in its remake.

Baby Eagle has left the nest...

From what has been achieved in its direct predecessors, Resident Evil 4 Remake has taken the formula of its classic counterpart’s successors, and capitalised on Resident Evil 2 and 3’s remakes, inheriting its best qualities, but by improving a multitude of facets that has been boosted by next generation hardware for home console and PC. It’s without a doubt the best looking Resident Evil title of remake trilogies, but it comes with the caveat of dependency. The great thing about its optimisation is customising your Resident Evil 4 experience, and adjusting quality options before diving into the deathly hallows of the infected cultists. This of course is part-in-part of the PC gamer process, as I’m sure the title has been streamlined for a quick commence on PS5 and XBOX Series X. But for PC users, there will be some tweaks needed before you get to German suplexing dear ol’ Granny.

After I had personally tweaked my settings to suit my hardware – both on PC and Steam Deck – the opening moments of Resident Evil 4 gives us a quick backstory cinematic of Leon Kennedy’s life after Raccoon City, then the all too familiar scene with our perturbed looking protagonist seated in the back of a Police car, escorted toward an undisclosed location somewhere within Europe. The former police officer turned special agent is dispatched and given the task of locating the President’s daughter, Ashley, after being taken hostage by the Los Illuminados – translates to “The Enlightened Ones”. The cult pledges their allegiance to the parasite known as Las Plagas, which is widespread throughout the small village, and has corrupted the minds of its patrons. Operation “Baby Eagle” sends Leon to explore the remote area, all while surviving waves of chainsaw wielding, pitchfork swinging, blood thirsty and ignorant infected.

A confrontation with the town folk, leads Leon to escaping the masked Chainsaw attacker after a live sacrifice with one of the police officers that escorted Leon to the location is burnt alive, at the stake. He is then captured by Chief Bitores Mendez, a looming figure dressed in ministerial garb, leads an agenda to infect everyone with the Plagas. The Chief lures the agent into a trap, where he renders Leon dazed before using a syringe to inject him with the parasite before he passes out. He’s then awoken and held captive by restraints shared with former Umbrella Corp’s assistant scientist turned private investigator Luis Serra. Trying to barter a deal with Kennedy, Serra clues the agent in on Ashley’s whereabouts not before the pair are attacked by an unhinged guard that looks to butcher them. The duo work in tandem to detain and eventually kill the guard that held the key to the pair’s cuffs. Serra unlocks himself first while making a getaway, with first point of contact Ingrid Hunnigan running a background check on Serra, finding out his history with Umbrella Corp.

Resident Evil 4 Remake isn’t as far a stray as other remakes by comparison, given its ongoing upgrades and updates on multiple platforms that followed. The third-person perspective of the original is akin to the remake, but a far departure in terms of polish and design, and some story elements that are made to differentiate and justify its worthwhile, without completely eradicating its core plot. Fundamentals remain the same for those already familiar with the title’s classic version, but are vastly superior. Load-outs are seamless and easy to equip, with little no hassle in quick-time action within a variety of areas that call upon it. It’s as simple as pressing down ‘X’ on your controller. While using Mouse and Keyboard were a respectable choice, I opted for the Dualsense controller which the title quickly recognised. Your shoulder buttons and bumpers will get a decent workout during your time in-game, with R1 for running, L2 and R2 to aim and fire your equipped ranged weapon of choice, or without any arms to blast your way through, you can carve your way through the tendrils of slimy tentacular contaminates with your trusty knife, but be aware that you’ll only have limited usage with the weapon before having to repair it, repeatedly.

Resident Evil 4 Remake is a calamitous call back that welcomes all horror fans with a gruesome greeting of grisly gaming, that's impact will certainly be felt upon RE's promising prospects.

A litany of other offense can be executed with direct contact or interactive items within the area. A simple roundhouse hick can take down a dazed undead, or you may in fact wear down an opponent to perform a belly-to-back suplex – also known as a German Suplex for any wrestling enthusiasts out there – drilling them neck first on the floor. Explosives such as TNT Barrels can be shot at to slow down oncoming threats, splattering their entrails all over the place.  As it was and has been within Resident Evil, comes the element of puzzle and exploration aplenty that will keep you disposed throughout its 20hr campaign. A series of collectable items will give you clues and insight into locked doors and chests. Different puzzles will include multiple items and clues to unlock such as stone grafts that need to be placed within inlays while being flipped or rotated. Other items stored that are of little to no use can be sold to the notorious merchant. Spanish Pesetas (Ptas) are RE4’s in-game currency, which can be found or earned. Using the cash, you can purchase a tonne of weaponry or upgrades from the merchant, while he may trade you small amounts for trinkets but more for rare items.

Live parasites sprawling throughout multiple areas will crawl along walls and ceilings, decapitate and utilise an infected as their vessel to attack Leon, while many that are far too gone with the Plagas will have the parasite growing within them, that after you kill an enemy they may come back to life with the parasite peeking out of a deep laceration or cavity – and I don’t mean the dental type. Unlike the original, Leon’s health depletes faster with fewer attack from enemies. You can quickly heal by equipping your first-aid spray located in your Attache case alongside weapons, or other collectables. You will be limited to how much the briefcase can hold, which does mean some sacrifice, but the option to upgrade your case to a bigger size will be available later in the campaign. Boss battles are some of the most entertaining portions of the campaign, as you battle an assortment of behemoths in an array of size and offense type. Some may call for a direct approach, but others later on will call on Leon to use the environment around him while avoiding swarms of the relentless infected.

Kumbaya...

SOLID POINTS

✔️ The greatest RE gets the royal treatment with relentless butchery and slaughter.

✔️ Leon’s trademark one-liners are translated over to the current generation with great style to accompany RE4’s detailed violence.

✔️ Specific story changes are justified to make RE4’s revisit a necessary one.

❌ Some minor framerate dips in busy locations, but this is dependent on respective hardware.

It goes without saying, Resident Evil 4 Remake has had serious work go into modernising its overall presentation. From aesthetic value, environment design to character models for real time in-game cinematics. While RE2 and RE3 were astounding by their classic counterparts, Resident Evil 4 takes it up a notch, knowing it had more of a lasting impression to make by way of its initial iteration. All working in tandem with audio design, the slaughters, butchers and murderous attacks laid upon the infected or Leon himself are a deviously delectable design. Various death animations make you want to see what twisted ideas the developers had in mind, such as straight amputation, or stripping chunks of meat right off the bone in multiple areas the anatomy.

The disgusting detail is excellently crafted, and well thought from an artistic standpoint. The growls and howls of mutated wolves attacking Leon and Ashley within the lush labyrinth of antagonist Salazar’s courtyard garden is unquestionably horrifying. Moments of solace are immediately spun into turmoil with surprise attacks from different threats. Unlike the original, when you think you’re safe from said creatures, some may scale walls and gates until they reach you. I was genuinely afraid at one point while surrounded by four infected canines and zero ammunition. I had no choice but to restart from the last checkpoint. While stealth isn’t Resident Evil’s strong suit, there are moments of dependence that will require you to quietly sneak past certain areas without getting caught.

In-game UI will indicate what position your characters are in, and whether or not they may alert anyone within the vicinity. While crouching, you will stay quiet, but the faster you move, the more noise you make. Speaking of UI, RE4 Remake’s cleaner aesthetic makes it a hell of a lot easier to navigate while purchasing items or sorting through the Attache. One of my deepest gripes of its earlier iterations was its abstract design, to the point of its properties being almost unreadable. With obvious limitation came some limited abilities to polish the original’s menu options, but its slick upgrades are exponentially superior to search through. Saving is mutual with other entries, just head toward the typewriter normally located near a merchant and save your progress. However, I would have preferred if the remakes were to adapt a modern auto-save system much like all third-person action adventures.

Cheesy quips and colloquy are a Leon Kennedy staple, and there’s no shortage of excellent dialogue delivered throughout your time within the campaign. The difference between the original is personality where the 2005 version of the title wouldn’t do itself any favours with its terribly disingenuous and cartoon-like delivery, while the remake would give Leon a more believable tone but with similar conveyance. To take your mind off the campaign for a few minutes, you may visit the merchant’s shooting range where you can kill some time and acquaint yourself with the title’s shooting physics. The recoil on respective hand guns are extraordinarily tough to grasp at the beginning, but semi-automatic shotguns are smooth and seamless to grasp hold of. Sawn-off shotguns will blast your way through the weakest of wooden shields, but will make a dent on the toughest of enemies should it be called upon. Each piece of kit will be detailed before you purchase and equip to see its strengths, accuracy and other attributes.

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RE4 Remake’s performance on PC – with the specs listed atop this review – runs at a smooth 60FPS with pre-set qualities turned to High. I had a few dips in framerate as I went when things got a little busy on-screen, but nothing that would be deemed immersion breaking. The one thing I would have loved to be included was a benchmark adjustment option that allows the system to tweak each setting to suit your needs. However, the predetermined picks give you a general idea of what you will need to get the game running adequately, but I would highly advise checking out your respective settings and giving it a quick run-through to see if you can optimise your experience for perfect in-game performance. Running RE4 on the Steam Deck was quite smooth after setting my graphical options all to low. With only a seven-inch touch screen, its pixel density was enough to grasp the title’s detail without having to blast each option to its max potential. Obviously the handheld PC would not be capable of running it at such settings, but tweaking it to your personal preference will justify a moderate experience.

Resident Evil 4 is already an early Game of the Year contender. In what is quite possibly the most detailed work of art early on this generation, it takes the core successes of its classic release, adds layers of needed polish and retains the undeniable element of horror that satiates that bloodlust of its fanbase. For what was the greatest Resident Evil campaign, its what it is all over again. The best writing, the most immersive plotline, fan favourite characters and just good ol’ fashioned horror-flick cheese to emphasize its established narrative. The Remake revitalises the original’s quality of life with improvements all-round for a younger generation. While it’s a definite blast from the past to those that may still enjoy the GameCube version – or the later PS2 version – it’s an introductory for a new wave of fans that encompass our current generation of gaming that weren’t quite acclimated with Resident Evil’s rich history. Resident Evil 4 Remake is a calamitous call back that welcomes all horror fans with a gruesome greeting of grisly gaming, that’s impact will certainly be felt upon RE’s promising prospects.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review

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Resident Evil 4 is a 2023 survival horror game developed and published by Capcom. A remake of the 2005 game Resident Evil 4, it was released on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S on March 24, 2023.

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Story
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Gameplay
10
Presentation
10
Sound
10
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