Resident Evil 4 Remake review: Refreshed, renewed, replayable

Join with high gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this Might 22-23. Register right here.

Following Capcom’s profitable remakes of its ’90s-era Resident Evil titles, a brand new tackle its magnum opus, Resident Evil 4, was inevitable. Whether or not it was needed was apparently a moot level. Now that now we have the remake, how does it stack as much as the influential authentic? Fairly darned effectively, with many of the modifications enhancing the story and gameplay. It has one or two disappointing alterations (and a few outright deletions), but it surely’s a unbelievable option to expertise Resident Evil 4, both as a repeat or for the primary time.

You all know the story by now: Raccoon Metropolis survivor Leon S. Kennedy is now a authorities agent and is distributed to a rural Spanish village to retrieve the kidnapped First Daughter, Ashley Graham. The project rapidly spirals uncontrolled as he should take care of a complete city of parasitized Ganados, a shady parasite-based cult and conserving tabs on just a few allies who aren’t fairly what they appear to be.

There are loads of remake-specific issues I gained’t discuss due to spoilers — I would like the entire followers of the unique to expertise the precise variations for themselves. I’ll attempt to discuss concerning the modifications in broad strokes. Nevertheless, I really feel secure in mentioning which issues have stayed the identical. There’s sufficient of each to maintain the veterans guessing and the newcomers entertained. Briefly, I used to be satisfied there was no purpose to remake RE4 — and now I’m glad they did.

Undercover agent coaching pays off

The very first thing to notice — and I do take into account this to be a constructive factor — is that RE4-make is just not the identical type of remake as these of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3. These video games had been large seismic shifts in fashion and design (which, satirically, made each look extra like RE4), and the RE4-make is extra refined. These small modifications put collectively a refreshed expertise, freed from the unique’s extra poorly aged parts.

GamesBeat Summit 2023
Be part of the GamesBeat neighborhood in Los Angeles this Might 22-23. You’ll hear from the brightest minds throughout the gaming business to share their updates on the most recent developments.

Register Right here

The gameplay modifications are the primary and most notable. Leon can now transfer whereas aiming — which is far more of a boon than you may notice — and he also can crouch to cover. That’s proper, the remake of the sport that action-ized Resident Evil has added stealth again in. It’s not vastly helpful, however it’s good to have the choice so it can save you just a few bullets earlier than the hordes beginning coming after you in pressure.

RE4-make’s villagers are smarter and nastier than the originals.

And there might be hordes. Resident Evil 4 dials up the fight, multiplying the variety of Ganado and different enemies Leon will encounter within the common space of the sport. The sport virtually takes glee in pushing the boundaries of what the participant can deal with in all three of the principle areas of the journey. The Ganado are harder than earlier than, and even touchdown an ideal headshot isn’t a assured kill. I performed on Regular issue and chewed a gap in my decrease lip making an attempt to make my ammo provides final.

The RE4-make provides Leon’s trusty knife new function … principally within the sense that it’s not trusty. The knife will get a sturdiness meter, and it could actually break if Leon overuses it. That is doubtless, as one other new gameplay addition is the power to parry incoming weapon blows with the knife. I’m positive most individuals may have seen Leon use this towards Dr. Salvador’s chainsaw within the demo. Whereas the sport does offer you spare knives as backup, it’s attainable to wind up in a state of affairs the place you don’t have anything with which to battle off the enemies.

Leon can parry absolutely anything along with his knife within the RE4 Remake.

The RE4-make additionally advantages from Capcom’s proprietary RE engine, because the village not appears fairly as muddy and dingy because it did earlier than. It takes a bit after its successor, Resident Evil Village, in that each the fort and village look a bit extra atmospheric. I take just a little situation on the quantity of foliage that’s added, because it generally makes navigation a ache within the rear, however that is solely an issue within the first third of the sport.

One lacking senorita

In addition to the gameplay, the story and characters have additionally obtained an replace. The 2 characters to learn essentially the most from the remake therapy are Luis and Ashley, Leon’s two important aspect characters within the story. Leon spends extra time outdoors of cutscenes speaking with them, and so they have extra interactions with him than they did within the authentic. This additionally helps make Leon a bit extra fascinating by affiliation, as this model is extra stoic and fewer keen to banter along with his enemies.

RE4-make’s Ashley is a softer, extra human character.

Whereas the story beats haven’t modified, the order has. Veterans will discover that issues don’t at all times play out the way in which they did earlier than, and the rewrites each maintain the story contemporary and make all the pieces make extra sense. I can’t be extra particular as a result of, once more, spoilers, however sure characters seem at completely different spots within the story, and a number of the sillier dialogue has disappeared in favor of constructing the villains extra outright threatening.

Luis is far more personable within the remake, performing barely extra forthcoming about who he’s and what he’s doing. Ashley is extra fleshed out, coming throughout much less as a prop and extra as a personality with ideas and feelings. She spends many of the sport understandably terrified however keen do her half to assist, and the brand new model of her solo chapter is one in all my favourite elements of the sport.

Luis Sera is among the higher characters within the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Even our previous good friend The Service provider will get a makeover. Sure, he’s nonetheless a gravel-voiced Cockney gun-hawker, and he nonetheless provides you the choice to purchase, promote and tune-up your weapons. However he additionally has a brand new commerce system, the place you are able to do him small favors in change for spinels, which you’ll be able to commerce for helpful and beneficial gadgets. These further bits give the sport some replayability and additional stuff to do.

Oh, and one small criticism concerning the authentic that I’m glad the builders addressed: The Spanish peasants really sound Spanish, versus Mexican. Within the first sport, they type of skirted round immediately saying that it happened in Spain (which I at all times assumed was an try and not offend actual Spaniards). Within the remake, all of them have correct Spanish accents and Luis references Don Quixote a number of instances. It doesn’t make an enormous distinction, but it surely’s at the very least not as grating to take heed to.

The extra issues change …

Whereas I just like the Resident Evil 4 remake total, it’s not good both. There are occasions the place you possibly can virtually really feel the builders holding again on large modifications. This wouldn’t be an issue, besides the will to stick to the unique in large methods means they someday skimp on the small issues. Typically in-game chapters don’t at all times stream effectively narratively, because it appears like they lack an fascinating setpiece second to wrap all the pieces up.

Resident Evil 4 Remake improves on the unique’s taking pictures mechanics.

If Ashley and Luis turn into extra charming and fascinating within the remake, then poor Ada is the one who suffers. Gone is her air of horny thriller – right here she’s curt, apathetic and downright drained. Her scenes with Leon lack the chemistry of his with the opposite two allies, and it makes her appearances (that are admittedly uncommon) fizzle. I believe her voice actress doubtless obtained some poor route, as a result of I can inform she’s making an attempt to sound sultry and as a substitute appears like she has a sore throat.

Talking of Ashley, she sadly retains a few of her extra annoying traits. In lieu of hiding spots, that are virtually fully absent, the RE4-make swaps in a “formation” system. Utilizing this, Leon can both inform Ashley to remain near him or to maneuver additional again and maintain her distance. In principle, that is to maintain her from getting clocked by each the enemies’ and Leon’s melee assaults. However with the sport’s tight map design on the, she’s at all times on high of you whether or not you’ve advised her to fall again or not, which suggests it’s extra doubtless for an enemy to choose her up and stroll off together with her.

Sure, the RE4-make’s Service provider nonetheless calls Leon “strain-ja.”

So far as gameplay goes, there may be one change that floor my gears however good: Leon’s run animation is so gradual. His in-game dash feels about the identical as the unique sport’s default strolling velocity. This turns into extra troublesome later within the sport when you must dash away from bigger, extra aggressive enemies (and people horrible Regeneradors), and it appears like Leon’s operating by way of quicksand. These complaints aren’t sufficient to damage the sport for me, however they did mood what was in any other case a really joyful expertise.

“The place’s all people going — bingo?”

The Resident Evil 4 remake appears like one thing made by a giant fan of the unique, however one who wasn’t afraid to change issues up a bit. I sank about 20 hours right into a single playthrough, and I’ll virtually actually play extra of it. Whereas I generally want the builders had modified much more than they did, I’m happy with the ratio of faithfulness-to-new within the remake.

There’s a likelihood that followers of the unique gained’t take to this altered model effectively, and a number of the parts within the above part do maintain it from being an ideal expertise. Even leaving apart the truth that it’s a remake, it’s nonetheless a stable sport total, and it’ll give pleasure for brand new gamers who expertise this refreshed and renewed Resident Evil 4.


Capcom offered GamesBeat with a PS5 code of this sport for the aim of evaluate. Resident Evil 4 Remake launches on PS5, Xbox Sequence X/S, PS4, and PC on March 24, 2023.

GamesBeat’s creed when overlaying the sport business is “the place ardour meets enterprise.” What does this imply? We need to inform you how the information issues to you — not simply as a decision-maker at a sport studio, but in addition as a fan of video games. Whether or not you learn our articles, take heed to our podcasts, or watch our movies, GamesBeat will make it easier to study concerning the business and luxuriate in participating with it. Uncover our Briefings.