Originally released back in 2005, Resident Evil 4 is a third person survival horror game that has been ported many times to various systems. This review being for the 2014 Steam release.
The Ultimate HD Edition brings some additions to the table such as allowing for widescreen, 1080p resolution, lockable framerate at 30 and 60, updated textures, faster load times, anti aliasing, and all additional extra content for the game. Mouse and keyboard support along with custom binding for keys is available for the plebs who play Resident Evil without a controller.
The game is set 6 years after the events of Resident Evil 2 and centres around Leon S. Kennedy being sent to retrieve the US President’s daughter who has been kidnapped by a cult in a village in rural Spain.
Resident Evil 4 was a departure from the traditional style of Resident Evil games with their fixed camera positions and tank controls which were somewhat intentionally clunky, inventory management, exploration and backtracking, and plenty of puzzles. This time around however the style was changed as director Shinji Mikami chose to shift to a new gameplay style which gave birth to the Resident Evil 4 which we know and love today with it’s attache case inventory system, over the shoulder shooting action, quick time events. This style projected the Resident Evil series into what it is nowadays, whether that be a good or bad thing.
If you haven’t yet played Resident Evil 4 then you’re in for a treat. The story is very much B movie style complete with all the action, and cheesy lines you’d come to expect from such a style. You’ll find yourself saying the classic lines after you’ve finished playing which only shows how this cult classic has stood the test of time. Don’t let this distract you from the fact that this is still a horror game at it’s core, throughout the game you’ll encounter a diverse array of enemies and environments.
Whether you’re a veteran of the series or not you’ll appreciate the creepy atmosphere of the game as you make your way through the games many interesting locations on your mission to find the President’s daughter through villages, woods and caves. Steel yourself for what you may find in them as the locals aren’t exactly the friendliest and welcoming.
As for the enemies themselves? A whole other kettle of fish. It’ll seem like everyone and everything is out to get you, from the locals to even the dogs. Except for the cow in the village, he’s cool. Although what may seem inconspicuous in the beginning of the game will shock you as time goes on and the enemies begin to turn more and more horrific as they lose their original forms. You’re going to need a lot more guns for this.
Which brings me onto the characters as there’s one in particular who everybody remembers from the game, the man simply known as the ‘Merchant’. This guy may have an ominous appearance but don’t be fooled as he’s one of your only friends in this cruel land. He will sell you various weapons and upgrades throughout the game which you’ll desperately need as time goes on unless you’re a masochist of sorts. The game has a diverse array of personalities who you’ll come to love as they’re introduced to you but I won’t spoil them for you.
The game still holds up well today gameplay wise and somewhat graphically although that being the case with 3D games. Some of the textures in the environments of the game still look how they did in the original version and don’t mix very will with the updated ones and can look quite ugly although this a minor issue. Some backgrounds can look shoddy when juxtaposed with the sharper imaging of the updated visuals although this isn’t much of a detriment to the gameplay so you’ll likely not notice unless you’re really looking for it. The character models still hold up very well although don’t expect them to have been updated as this is a remaster not a remake, they still have the same polygon count as before, if you’re the sort of person who gets uppity about that kind of thing.
Whether it’s your first time playing or your twentieth, overall I’d say this game has held up very well and is still a joy to play even after all these years and I would argue that it is rightly one of the greatest games ever made. It definitely warrants more than one playthrough which I would highly recommend you do for the bonus content.
In conclusion I’d rate this game 8/10 for it’s classic story, excellent atmosphere, great characters, plenty of weapons and action, and the nostalgia factor.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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