Herein lies the fun for gaming fans
- Written by ABDALLAH MBAJJA
The Resident Evil 4 Remake should be available to play by the time you read this.
The game hits all the platforms (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox) on March 24. If you are hesitant to give the remake your hard-earned money, Capcom released a free trial a few weeks ago. If you play video games on a PC, you probably saw the ads on Steam.
Capcom calls the free trial ‘Chainsaw Demo’. The demo picks up with Leon as he enters the Spanish village, which is perfect because it gives players a taste of the new enemies (Las Plagas). The original Resident Evil 4 was a game-changer. Development started in 1999.
The studio experimented with four different concepts. The most prominent was a project from Hideki Kamiya, which Shinji Mikami loved but rejected because it felt like a dramatic departure from the game’s origins. But rather than discarding the idea, Capcom turned Kamiya’s project into ‘Devil May Cry,’ which is mind-blowing.
Mikami’s final product was a masterpiece, lauded by fans and critics alike for its story, gameplay, and voice acting. Resident Evil 4 was the first installment in the franchise to stray into the action genre, which is a sore subject for diehard Resident Evil fans.
The sequels ditched the survival horror components altogether, turning the once- beloved franchise into a series of hollow action set pieces. Let me go against the grain and admit that I enjoyed Resident Evil 5 and 6. Resident Evil 4 was my introduction to the series, so the sequels took what felt like a rational direction in my eyes.
Early reviews for Resident Evil 4 Remake have called it the best of Capcom’s remakes, and I believe them. From the gameplay we have seen so far, you can tell that Capcom gave the game a significant upgrade. For instance, Leon’s knife has a durability meter. And if that meter depletes to zero, the blade will break, which is problematic.
Have you seen all those shifty-looking people in the trailers hurling axes, forks, and other farm implements at Leon? You can parry those attacks. Same for that chainsaw. It isn’t the one-hit-kill you remember. You can cut enemies that grab you, stab them when they fall, and slit their throats if you catch them unaware from behind.
It helps that Leon can now crouch. Besides navigating areas with tripwires and mines and evading detection, the function allows you to perform silent kills, which changes your approach to crowded settings and visually impaired bosses.
Naturally, the Krauser fight has undergone a complete overhaul. The parrying element makes the quick-time events unnecessary. Although, some sections still require a fair amount of button mashing. I have a controversial take on Ashley. Yes, she was infuriating in the original game, but that added to the tension.
In the remake, she is less of a burden. You can tell her to either stick close or keep her distance, which means you’re less likely to lose or shoot her by accident.
You can’t hide the character in a dumpster, and enemies can still grab her, but she is easier to manage. Capcom should have taken the FromSoftware approach and made her even more of a pain. But I suppose they wanted to create a less stressful gaming experience.
Have you noticed the ambiance in the footage? Let’s be honest. Resident Evil 4 was not scary in the least. People say that it leaned into the action genre. But that isn’t true. The game was straight-up action.
The Remake feels slower and more contemplative. The lighting is dimmer than I remember, the interior locations haunting and claustrophobic, and the nighttime settings that much harder to navigate. I think Resident Evil 4 can recapture the magic of the Resident Evil 2 Remake, my favourite game in the franchise.