REVIEW: Resident Evil 4 Remake Transforms the Franchise’s Best Game into a Modern Classic

Resident Evil 4’s remake is finally available. It reimagines the classic survival horror title and gives new life to a beloved game. Here’s CBR’s review.

2005’s Resident Evil is widely recognized as one of the most outstanding games in the entire Resident Evil franchise. This game combines survival horror elements with action-oriented gameplay. Capcom’s top-down remake, Resident Evil 4, has been released for modern consoles almost 20 years after the Resident Evil 2 remake and Resident Evil 3. The Resident Evil4 remake is faithful to the spirit and broad strokes of the original survival horror title. However, it has enough personality to be worthy of its existence.

Resident Evil 4 is a continuation of the original story. It takes place six years after the events in Resident Evil 2, Leon Kennedy serves as the President of the United States. Leon is sent to rescue Ashley Graham’s daughter from a sinister cult located in an unknown European country. But he soon discovers the cult is infected. Leon’s mission becomes more difficult as he realizes that Ashley’s captors are only the beginning.

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As the promotional and most recent demo suggests, Resident Evil 4 is much scarier and more brutal than the original. In the prologue of the game, players are invited to revisit the Resident Evil4 village fighting sequence. This is a more abstract moment that shows the Resident Evil 4 remake. It presents the same structure as the classic game but also shows the potential of the remake with new enemy behavior and twists to keep even seasoned Resident Evil4 players engaged.

It’s not to say that there aren’t major changes from the original Resident Evil 4. These differences are more apparent as the remake progresses. These changes don’t diminish the original game’s spirit. They allow the remake to improve and refine certain moments, such as how Leon and Ashley interact or the combat system. Side-by-side with Resident Evil4, this remake is more like a next-generation reskin than a copy of the original.

Resident Evil4 plays more like the Resident Evil2 redesign than the Resident Evil3 rebuild. This is mainly due to the removal of the dodge mechanic. Many of the original Resident Evil’‘s weaponry, inventory, and system is still the same. However, Leon’s knives now have a durability/parry mechanic. Leon’s movements are smoother than those of the Resident Evil remakes. They also have more environmental interactions, the return to melee combat on wounded opponents, and a sneak mechanic which adds a stealth element.

Expectations for the remake were high considering Resident Evil4 is an iconic game. The Resident Evil 4 remake delivers on these expectations. It preserves much of what made Resident Evil 4 so memorable while still retaining the best qualities of the more recent entries. Resident Evil4 is a treat for longtime and new fans alike. This Dead Space remaster serves as an argument for modernizing classic titles.

Resident Evil 4 is now available for purchase on March 24, 2014, by Capcom. It will be available for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and Xbox Series X

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