The remake of Resident Evil 4 follows familiar ground but lacks originality
Putting our hands on Capcom’s remake.
The fact that Resident Evil 4 is over 2 decades old makes me want to disintegrate into dust. On paper, the idea of a remake doesn’t seem all that unpleasant given the period of time, but the original is so widely accessible, so adored, and is still entirely playable in 2022, thus the question around this remake has frequently been: Does it deserve its existence? This will certainly be among the best action horror games for novices in 2023. This will be a fun journey down memory lane for those who are familiar with the original, albeit it may suffer from sticking too closely to the original source.
The greatest concern I noticed among fans was that a more self-serious plot would replace the one-liners and comedy. It’s not as if jokes haven’t appeared in recent remakes; the Resident Evil 3 remake is chock full of them, but if that was your concern, I’m happy to inform you that, despite a little change in tone, your corny dialogue is still present and is just as silly and hilarious as ever. “Were all of them going?” Leon speaks out to no one at all despite being nearly killed by a stabbing and a head wound just moments before. What bingo? But it brings attention to the peculiar space that this recreation takes up. It offers less to offer returning players because it stays close to the original. Shouldn’t the goal of a remake be to try something fresh and radically alter the original idea?
It has something to offer those who come back, though. Not at all. This is an improved version of the original game with new controls that let you move and shoot. Even Leon’s animations have changed, making it appear that he is now a little more self-assured as a result of the training he had between 1998 and 2004. He can even parry blows now, which will surely make some enemy interactions later in the game easier. Naturally, the graphics of the remake have undergone the most significant modification. Every bloodthirsty villager you come across has a crazy gaze that begs you to stare into their detailed character models and settings. Leon’s jacket seems to be really cozy. The color palette has also gotten more varied and vibrant.
I’d need to spend more time with the game to ensure how I feel about the overall aesthetic, but even though it’s undeniably a very beautiful game in and of itself, my first thought was that I missed the sepia tone of the original’s decaying landscapes and woodlands. Starting in a dreary early morning twilight that lacks the same sensation of a desolate woodland, the time of day is also different at first. Although it manages in selling the village’s deterioration through props and other visual cues, the original’s washed-out, brown setting told you everything you wanted to know.
town with paint
Except for the graphics, creeping up on the famous central town spot is almost exactly as you recall it. When you use your binoculars to survey the area, you may see the locals immersing one of the missing police officers in a fire that is being burned. When it’s time to enter, one obvious difference is that Leon can now sneak. Earlier in the demo, I use stealth to entirely dodge an attacker. The town invites more crouched creeping and, despite being quite simplistic, it offers me the chance to kill a few inhabitants (primarily old grans) before the action starts. It doesn’t seem like a people acquire, more like a change to the formula. No matter how sneaky you are, you’ll inevitably stumble into a town of people who want to run a pitchfork through you. The idea of Leon as an outsider under siege is completely intact, so cue the bookcases blocking doors and the ladders being kicked out of windows. The reinvigorated perspective on the remake is now realized.
In comparison to the original, there are a lot more villagers in the remake, and the town square itself is a little larger with additional roads and spots to explore. Leon handles more authentically in the remake thanks to his ability to sprint and maneuver while aiming, enabling frantic hiding from adversaries behind barns and across fences. This article needs the slow rhythm of Resident Evil Village from the previous year, in addition to being rife with references to 4. There is no guarding or blocking. Instead of circling around to allow the player a window of opportunity, enemies would furiously wrestle with Leon and ram their axes into him or even throw weapons.
They also don’t move very slowly like the villagers in the original game or like the undead in recent remakes; instead, your enemies will run and lunge at you in this version, easily matching Leon’s mobility thanks to the controls. However, despite his mobility, he lacks Jill Valentine’s useful dodge move, making avoiding adversaries much riskier than it was in 3. However, you do have the ability to parry, which allows for further attacks first from the enemy. In the remake, the knife is no longer a weapon that must be equipped; instead, it is a tool that is always ready and connected to a melee button for faster use. However, it has a depleting meter, so if you use it repeatedly it will break and leave you slightly less protected. But Leon is never really powerless. As long as you can stun one enemy, you will still be able to roundhouse kick a large group of them. Which was really Resident Evil 4’s magic: coming up with unique ways to beat supposedly significant obstacles.
Chainsaw massacre in Spain
The traditional village set piece is given new life by this rapid tempo, which makes the setting significantly bigger and busier than it was in the original. Every moment feels a little bit more frantic and desperate when the pace is cranked up. Standing your stand is rarely sustainable. Turning the tide entails moving a bit more quickly and not lining up flawless shot after flawless shot.
Additionally, it is full of fresh, exciting moments. Like when the recognizable chainsaw boy destroys a balcony, blocking a path through the village and leaving me without a choice. Or later, when he destroys the floor I was standing on. You better believe I squealed in shock. Even a bull can be lit on fire and converted into a furious battering ram, but to be completely honest, I would rather spare the unhappy cow. I’m obviously interested in how the remake will handle other set pieces from the original game if it can keep this level of complexity across the entire game.
The part I played experienced all the same moments as the original, despite all this new energy. Become surrounded in the home, watch for Dr. Salvador to arrive with his chainsaw, and endure until the bell rings and the villagers are ordered out. Greeting with a one-liner. I’m not immune to the allure of nostalgia, and let’s face it: Resident Evil 4 and its remake are both still good games. I just can’t get rid of the idea that all this work is a little bit in vain for something I could memorize despite a few tiny twists.
It feels shameful to put that effort into a remake of a game that fans would be familiar with this because these remakes have brought the franchise to an unmatched degree of polish and slickness and have used its capabilities so well. I can’t help but think how amazing it would be if all this skill were applied to a new get, one with its own voice and distinctive moments, despite all the clever tweaks and promises of larger divergences. The Resident Evil 4 remake will be a blast for product players since it stays loyal to the original’s vision while realizing a scope that the original could only dream of.
But if all of this were put to something brand-new, where I didn’t know every turn in the road, I’d be much more delighted. Through these three remakes, Capcom has refined its action design; I only wish it wasn’t confined by the past.