Capcom breathes new life into the iconic decades-old shooter game
Have you ever felt like an evil resident? I certainly did as I blasted through Resident Evil 4 Remake, beating down the forces of evil in my leather jacket with a veritable armory of weapons, all for the sake of saving a mildly-annoying character from an evil Spanish Priest.
That was probably a lot, so for those who have no idea what “Resident Evil” is, I’ll give a brief recap. In Resident Evil 4 Remake, the player takes control of Leon S. Kennedy, a U.S. agent sent on a mission to Spain to save the president’s daughter, who has been kidnapped by a cult, led by evil lord Saddler. As Leon explores the island, he finds that something has infected the villagers, making his job anything but simple.
Upon loading up the game, the first thing I noticed about the game is that it looks good. Really good. The Capcom team have outdone themselves with the new RE Engine, which manages to blend high-quality textures, excellent particle effects, and even ray-tracing into one amazing package. Playing through the game, the realistic character models, lighting, and detailed gore really add to the overall experience.
Sound plays another key component in the game. By listening to enemy footsteps and shouts, players can figure out where they are before ever seeing them. Moreover, the haunting music and drawn out ambient sounds create a fittingly depressing atmosphere, which is at times, terrifying. Each voice actor is also doing an amazing job, especially Nick Apostolides, who does an excellent job of portraying our well-meaning but jaded protagonist.
Then, there’s the gameplay, the bread and butter of this game. The action is fast-paced and dynamic. Players must juggle shooting, running, dodging, and jumping all at once as they maneuver past hordes of enemies who want nothing more than to send them to an early death.
Augmenting the fun of the combat is the wide variety of weapons that Leon can use. A lot of the game revolves around using Leon’s arsenal in creative ways to beat ever-evolving enemies as you progress in each level. As Leon upgrades his weapons, gains new attachments, or even unlocks new ones, each slightly transforms the combat meaning every playthrough is unique.
The game awards accuracy, with headshots dealing more damage and staggering enemies. As the difficulty of the game increases, missing even by a little bit can mean the difference between life and death. On higher difficulties, precision is a must, meaning that the skill ceiling is quite high, inviting players to come back and replay the game on a more difficult skill level.
But there’s more to it than just aiming and shooting. Perhaps the most difficult aspect of the game is collecting enough money, resources, and ammunition to just survive until the next encounter. Throughout the game, Leon burns through enough ammunition and medical equipment to bankrupt a small island nation, meaning that conserving it is extra important. If you run out of ammunition at a bad time, you’re dead.
The gameplay, visuals, and sound are excellent, so what’s the catch? Well, for starters, the plot kind of requires you to put your brain into low-power mode. It’s kind of ridiculous that a president would send one guy to save his daughter, with no backup and a measly 9mm pistol. If that happened in real life, especially in a NATO aligned country like Spain, I’m pretty sure Saddler would find out real quick why the U.S. doesn’t have free healthcare. Moreover, enemies will let Leon live with every opportunity to kill him, just so they can show him what big bad experiment they have for him to face next.
But these issues are forgivable. I don’t need my action game about evil Spanish priests to be written like Citizen Kane. What I do want is solid gameplay that lets me mindlessly mow down pseudo zombies like it’s the Walking Dead, and Resident Evil 4 Remake sure does deliver.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is rated Mature 17+ for featuring graphic violence, gore, and strong language. It is available for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
Alexander Liu. Hi, I'm Alex (he/him) and I'll be a staff writer for SCO this year. I'm passionate about public policy and international relations. In my free time, I enjoy drawing and watching terrible rom-coms. More »