Resident Evil 4 is an iconic third-person shooter from Capcom, created with award-winning director Shinji Mikami and brilliant designers behind previous games in the series. Starring Leon Kennedy, it follows him into an Eastern European cult-infected Spanish village on a mission to free his daughter from its clutches.
For this title in the Resident Evil series, we leave behind Umbrella Corporation behind and head to an unnamed mountainous region of Spain. President’s daughter Ashley Graham has been kidnapped and agent Leon Kennedy is sent to investigate.
After a brief introduction, players are thrust into a small village plagued with Las Plagas – an evil parasite capable of mind control. Leon quickly discovers that even with their limited intelligence the residents of this small community are susceptible to its effects and that a mysterious cult is responsible for kidnapping backpackers and local law enforcement officers.
Jack Krauser, a former Special Forces comrade and his on-and-off love interest Ada Wong also make appearances in the village, each with their own ulterior motives. Additionally, Leon reconnects with his mysterious radio contact Ingrid Hunnigan during this process.
Though not particularly inventive, Resident Evil delivers on its core gameplay elements that have made the franchise so beloved. Leon travels around the world fighting off waves of enemies infected with various zombie-like mutations as he strives to stay alive.
One of the most significant improvements is the introduction of a dynamic camera system, which helps boost immersion and creates a more realistic world. This marks an improvement over previous Resident Evil games which typically featured fixed camera angles and slow-paced gameplay.
Furthermore, Resident Evil 4 Remake boasts an immersive environment with varied lighting conditions and vibrant color palette. Even on low settings, the visuals in the demo are stunning.
Thankfully, the game features an array of characters to interact with and some well-known voice actors, including Nicole Tompkins as Ashley Graham and Salli Saffioti as Ingrid Hunnigan. These two possess great chemistry together, making for some enjoyable interactions throughout the course of the game.
The game’s antagonists are masterfully designed, too – with self-proclaimed prophet Saddler and cunning nobleman Ramon Salazar providing plenty of thrills. Plus, we get to see a return of the series’ notorious arms dealer!
If you plan to play Resident Evil 4 on the Steam Deck, be sure to optimize your hardware as much as possible. The settings provided here serve as a general guideline but may vary based on individual hardware specs.
Resident Evil 4 is an ambitious reimagining of the classic fourth entry in the series, and it promises to be one of Capcom’s finest efforts yet. It takes what made the original great and improves upon it while maintaining its hallmark features – gore, giant monsters, and an intense sense of claustrophobia that’s both terrifying and exhilarating.
The storyline of this game takes place in a remote village in Spain, where Leon S. Kennedy embarks on an urgent top-secret mission to rescue President of the United States’ daughter Ashley Graham from an evil cult. However, as Leon progresses with his mission he encounters some truly horrific horrors and must uncover what lies behind this sinister plan.
As with previous games in the Resident Evil series, there are collectible notes scattered across levels that provide interesting insight into both the main villains and how this Spanish village became a living nightmare. These engaging fragments of story add an extra layer to what already feels like an intense experience.
Though the visuals are stunning, the game’s environments can become fairly repetitive over time. The village and castle, especially, lack character; some sections feature only identical buildings lining them up for most of the level – giving off an unsettling sense that you’re playing through identical levels repeatedly. Further compounding this issue is an early section set during a rainstorm which disorients players further.
Resident Evil 4’s combat improvements from its original counterpart are vast. While it still utilizes the signature over-the-shoulder third person perspective that launched so many action titles, this revamp has improved it to make it more fluid and responsive.
The developers have enhanced the ‘quick turn’ mechanic, making it simpler to move around the battlefield while keeping tabs on your enemies’ moves. Furthermore, they’ve enhanced the ‘dodging’ mechanism, enabling players to dodge away when enemies launch attacks from one side.
Resident Evil 4’s visuals were inspired by an intriguing tale. A team of individuals spent a week in Wales and Spain taking meticulous photos of stone walls and marble floors that would later be used as textures in the game’s world.
Playing this remake, it’s evident that Capcom recognizes how critical visuals are to the horror experience. The game is much more atmospheric than its original counterpart and relies on tension and atmosphere rather than large armies of zombies or crumbling buildings for building up scares.
This approach is a much more realistic way of creating the terrifying situations characteristic of the series. Additionally, some of its more cliched moments are retained here, such as Leon’s iconic “bingo” line; these add to the overall satirical feel of the game.
Resident Evil 4 may not be quite as dark and gritty as its predecessors, but it remains one of the best survival horror games to come out recently. This updated version utilizes the RE Engine for a more polished experience that incorporates all modern gaming systems that have become staples of gamers’ daily lives.
There have been a variety of changes to the game’s core mechanics, such as an action-oriented approach that makes use of Oculus Quest 2’s dual-wielding abilities. This makes the experience a more thrilling and engaging one ideal for VR play.
Additionally, there are a host of new features to test out, like being able to dual-wield two weapons simultaneously. This is great for those looking to bolster their weapon arsenal as it makes carrying two guns easier while aiming at one target simultaneously.
Like the original, many locations within the game were inspired by real-world architecture. Examples include Raglan Castle and Palau Guell in Barcelona – places Albert Marin, a photographer who has volunteered to work on the RE4HD Project mod, has visited and photographed in person.
Sound design is an integral element of video game audio, and Resident Evil 4 doesn’t disappoint. In fact, the original RE4’s soundtrack was one of its most innovative elements, creating an intense and eerie atmosphere that set the game apart from its predecessors.
Thankfully, the RE4 remake includes a brand-new soundtrack to help recreate the classic experience. You can even toggle between the original and updated version in-game if desired!
This option can be found in the Options menu on the main menu and it can be toggled on or off at any time by choosing “Music/SFX” from the pause screen. Choose between original music and SFX to enjoy classic Resident Evil 4 sounds, or switch back to the updated version when you feel like playing something more modern.
If you’re a fan of the original RE4, Laced Records is releasing the soundtrack on four vinyl LPs with remastered audio from 2005’s Nintendo GameCube title and brand new sleeve artwork by Boris Moncel. Available in both Standard Edition and Limited Edition versions, these remastered LPs are on audiophile-quality 180g vinyl.
The soundtrack to the original RE4 is a timeless classic, beloved for its intense and unsettling atmosphere. Composed by Shusaku Uchiyama and Misao Senbongi, this original score heightens tension with layers of unsettling electronic sounds and percussion loops; creating fan favorite tracks “Serenity” and “Save Theme,” both filled with anxious synths.
With the remake of RE4 now out in the wild, I sat down with Capcom’s lead sound director Hiroshi Tamura and lead composer Kota Suzuki to discuss their efforts at crafting more realistic soundscapes than ever before. From Racoon City’s opening scenes to its final boss fight, these creative minds use audio to craft more believable and scary environments for this latest remake.
They also explain how they use audio to add tension to their gameplay. When facing off against the Ganado, they use noise-type sounds – a departure from previous games in the series. Meanwhile, when fighting in water, waves and other natural sound effects create a more authentic sense of dread that doesn’t feel artificial or forced.