Resident Evil 4 Remake Review – R.E.turn of The King

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review
The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!
“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.
“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.
“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.
Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: March 24, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC
  • Genre: Survival Horror
  • Similar Games: Resident Evil Series
  • Price: Starts at PHP2,595

If you were a Gamecube owner and Resident Evil fan back in the early 2000s, consider yourself lucky since you got to enjoy not only the vastly improved remake of the first game but also the next mainline entry, Resident Evil 4. Little did everyone know how big of an impact the game would have on the genre, and games in general.

The game is celebrated for breathing new life into the franchise. The more action-oriented approach sprinkled with a good amount of horror was a fresh experience for everybody, with features like the 3rd person aiming system that went on to be a major influence in other games. It was widely considered as one of the greatest games of all time, so there was some creeping doubt that a remake could do it justice.

While the Resident Evil 2 remake was a shining example of how remakes should be done, Resident Evil 3 didn’t quite hit the mark. Will the beloved fourth entry steal the show or will it not live up to the high standards set by the original? Just to be quick about it, we’re here to tell you that the Resident Evil 4 Remake proudly honors the legacy of the original and is an instant Must-buy!

Past and Present Collide

Resident Evil 4 picks up 6 years after the Raccoon City incident in Resident Evil 2. Rookie RPD cop Leon S. Kennedy was recruited by the US Government and is now an agent assigned to travel to a remote area in Spain. His mission? To find the president’s missing daughter, Ashley Graham. Since this is a Resident Evil game, you know this won’t be a simple and clean search-and-rescue mission.

Quelling fears that this entry may cut too much content like Resident Evil 3, fans will be happy to know that despite some changes here and there, the story of Resident Evil 4 remains largely intact. We won’t mention specific plot points, but if the story of the original is still fresh in your mind, you can be sure that it’s going to generally play out like you think it will.

Not only that but the story of Resident Evil 4 is more fleshed out here, providing a clearer understanding of the events that transpired. There’s a better portrayal of Leon, who feels the heavy burden of the Raccoon City incident. While he didn’t exactly jump at the chance of this mission, immersing himself into this new role was his way of coping with that burden, giving him extra motivation to make this operation a success.

The look and feel of Resident Evil 4 will be very much familiar to anyone who has played both of the previous two remakes, which features the 3rd person manual aiming system. The similarity even extends to the game’s UI, where the menu also shows various challenges that you can earn points in, as well as a shop where you can spend said points to purchase collectibles like concept art and 3D models.  

Despite the familiarity, everything is taken up a notch, with the game looking scarier than ever thanks to the graphical details that all lend to the creepy atmosphere. Puzzles are still here but don’t expect them to wrack your brain because of the aforementioned inclination to action. There are also callbacks to the old heads, with the game including an optional control scheme that matches the 2005 release.

On the other hand, with how nearly faithful this remake is, fans might also notice certain elements missing. The Resident Evil 4 Remake may generally retain the overall feel of the original but if you’re a longtime fan, you’ll see areas like the corridor with the lasers as well as the U-3 boss not making their return.

There’s also the noticeable absence of the Separate Ways campaign that the previous ports had. This was significant as it lets you play another character, a certain double agent that Leon has a history with, which compliments the main campaign very well. Most likely as a future DLC?    

Where’s Everyone Going? Bingo?

Zombies take a backseat to the more aggressive Ganados in Resident Evil 4. They’re still as relentless as the original but come in more varieties here in the remake. If you remember the original, these Ganados have more surprises up their sleeve, so don’t think a clean headshot will be the end of it.

The Ganados are not the only recipients of the uptick in variety as the cultists also sport new looks and abilities, with red-robed ones able to chant and buff their allies. Your foes benefit from the overall visual upgrade, looking gruesome and more intimidating than they were before.

All of these enemies are set to make Leon’s mission a living hell, especially when he has to take care of Ashley throughout their journey. The original game made the whole babysitter aspect a bit frustrating, especially when you can accidentally shoot her while in a panic.

The Resident Evil 4 Remake tweaks the mechanic slightly by letting players command Ashlyey to stay close or back off a bit. The commands can get a bit finicky at times, and as with companions in other games, they don’t follow commands down to the letter.

Thankfully, Leon has got enough tricks up his sleeve to combat the horde while defending Ashley. Capcom has introduced a new parry system in the game that sets you up for a melee counterattack that saves you precious ammo in the long run.

On your way to becoming a parry god, you may want to consider that ammo is not your only precious commodity, but your knife is as well. Knife durability is back, and while new ones can be picked up on your travels, you’ll need to keep this in mind as you don’t want to get caught in a situation where it breaks while facing a chainsaw foe. That said, seeing Leon push back against a chainsaw with a plain knife is simply badass.

Resident Evil 4 SS5

A simple but very big addition to Resident Evil 4 is the ability to crouch and walk, which adds an element of stealth to the remake. By doing so, you lessen the risk of enemies detecting you, which lets you get in for a satisfying one-shot stealth kill.

While stealth isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, I did wish it could have been utilized more in this remake. Generally, you can perform stealth kills (there’s even a Challenge for doing a consecutive number) but only up to a certain point. Some enemies are positioned such that you’ll be detected no matter what, with no choice but to be seen and go back to the usual run and gun.

These stealth kills will also take a toll on your knife, so your resource and durability management needs to be at their best. You can repair it though, thanks to a returning fan favorite who’s all too eager to do business with you… stranger.

What’re you buying?

Pesetas are the currency in Resident Evil 4 and can be found everywhere, from breakable crates to enemy drops. Thankfully, there’s one NPC that’s ready to take it off your grubby hands. The game wouldn’t be complete without the iconic and quotable fan favorite, the Merchant. The dealer of death still has shops set up in various areas of the game, ready to offer you loads of services and a lot more in this remake.  

Resident Evil 4 SS7

Like in the original, the merchant offers weapons for sale as well as tune-up services to upgrade their performance like damage, ammo capacity, and reload speed. His services also include repairing Leon’s default knife, which can also be upgraded to have longer durability and damage. He even sells recipes for various items that you can now craft in the remake.

The Merchant also manages the shooting gallery, which makes a return in the remake, and it’s still as fun as ever. You’ll want to gun for the highest rank possible because you can earn tokens that can be used in the game’s gacha machine, which offers various trinkets you can decorate your attaché case with.

The Merchant in Resident Evil 4 does more than just sell and repair, and will have requests to offer Leon in exchange for spinels. Scattered around the game are blue notes with various requests like shooting medallions or other trinkets, with some unique requests snuck in. These are very tempting to accomplish because the spinels can be exchanged for valuable items not sold by the merchant.

Resident Evil 4 SS9

Treasure hunting is also back in Resident Evil 4, and there are heaps of them. From crowns to necklaces, to even statues, you’ll want to get a hold of them and even fuse them to increase their value, similar to Resident Evil Village.

The attaché case also makes a return in the Resident Evil 4 Remake and it’s personally a fun mechanic in and of itself. There’s nothing like a properly organized inventory so can still rotate and move items around to make space, but you’ll want to take advantage of the bigger cases from the merchant when you can afford them.

This is expanded even further, as one of the Spinel rewards is different colored cases that can provide buffs like increased drop rates of certain items. It’s a great way to incentivize playing through and engaging all of the game mechanics presented, which isn’t hard to do especially with such a fantastic game as Resident Evil 4.

What We Liked:

  • Retains the feel of the original
  • Expanded game mechanics
  • More fleshed out story
  • Rewards encourage multiple playthroughs

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some missing areas/features of the original
  • Stealth feature could have been expanded
  • Protecting Ashley can still get a little frustrating

Verdict: Buy it!

Editors choice

The Resident Evil 4 Remake is a prime example of how a proper remake is done. Pretty much like the Dead Space Remake before it, Resident Evil 4 retains almost every aspect of the original’s DNA and expands on them, making for a very nostalgic but also very refreshing and fun experience. Your initial playthrough may take you 20 hours or so, but like the original game, you know you won’t play it just once with all the goodies you can unlock.

The original Resident Evil 4 back in 2005 was a milestone that could still be enjoyed even today, so for a Remake to be able to be just as good as the original is an amazing achievement. The Resident Evil 4 Remake is a must-own title that deserves a spot in any survival horror fan’s library and is easily one of the best games of the year.

*Resident Evil 4 was reviewed on a PS4 and PS5 with a review code provided by the publisher.

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