When Capcom revealed Resident Evil 4 Remake, my instinctual response was to sigh. Whereas I acknowledged that it might in all probability be an amazing sport if RE2 Remake was something to go by, I couldn’t fairly recover from the corporate’s resolution to deal with that title particularly. Resident Evil 4 Remake? Actually?
Out of all issues an outstanding workforce of impressed artists could possibly be assigned to, these builders had been placed on the trail in direction of recreating a title that’s already in third particular person and nonetheless holds up effectively to trendy requirements. This similar workforce might remake one other Resident Evil title, or even perhaps a novel entry within the collection (or dare to dream even an entire new IP). “What’s the purpose of remaking this,” I incessantly stated with pretentious superiority. The apparent motive was “cash,” which is usually why sequels and remakes get made to start with, however this nonetheless bothered me.
Resident Evil 4 Remake’s preliminary trailer didn’t persuade me, both. It wasn’t till its third trailer (alongside early claims the sport would really be totally different, trying to conjure the sensation of a number of the unique discarded demos) that I began to consider this sport had potential.
However potential was an understatement. Resident Evil 4 Remake takes considered one of my favourite video games of all time and disintegrates its biggest flaws. Whereas some new points floor alongside the way in which, they’re far much less egregious and nowhere close to as painful to reminisce upon.
Ashley is definitely a personality now
Capcom’s adjustments to Ashley aren’t any secret. Her full-on facial redesign based mostly off of Instagram mannequin Ella Freya makes her look extra mature (which is acceptable contemplating the character is meant to be 20), whereas she was childlike in look and habits again in 2005. This was particularly uncomfortable within the unique as she suffered fixed sexualization, with a couple of strains of dialogue between her and Leon being exhausting to take a seat by means of.
Resident Evil 4 remake’s Ashley would possibly as effectively be a brand new character. With a recent face, new outfit, and a wildly totally different relationship with Leon, it’s considerably extra mature. The 2 start the sport as correct strangers, but on the finish of it there’s a kind of silent supportive bond that isn’t there within the unique. Sure, you may nonetheless inform Ashley in all probability has a little bit of a crush on Leon, however his responses to it are mature. You’ll be able to really feel that being trapped on this horrible state of affairs has pressured them to turn into precise associates.
One line as Leon and Ashley descend into deep brown murky waters nonetheless sticks with me. Leon asks if she’s okay, with Ashley responding with one thing alongside the strains of “yeah I’m advantageous, however this is able to’ve killed me earlier than.” That development we see from her, shifting from sheltered to hardened by the occasions round her, was sufficient to be bought on her character. A plausible dynamic between the 2 is one thing the unique sport by no means delivered.
Resident Evil 4’s helicopter part is definitely the worst side of the unique. Past being an obnoxious mess of loud explosions, bombastic music, annoying enemies and easy stage design, it lacks the delicate stress that makes these video games shine. I wasn’t trying ahead to the remake’s rendition of it, and I had no motive to consider it might shatter expectations.
I used to be fully unsuitable. The strain I felt working round this part, unloading each final clip and bullet into enemies was way more thrilling than I had anticipated. Past that, I genuinely loved exploring this part, goading enemies into their very own traps, and discovering alternate methods to achieve my goals. Capcom additionally made an amazing alternative eliminating the enemies with mini-guns on this island, as preventing them at all times felt awkward.
A correct narrative
I do know, this one’s a sizzling take. Resident Evil 4 is endlessly praised for its ridiculous narrative, slew of tacky one-liners, and full lack of thoughtfulness all through the script. It’s usually in comparison with a B-movie, and whereas I perceive some folks love this, I can’t relate. I discovered it completely dreadful, with Ashley being annoying, Leon seeming like an excessive amount of of a joke, and the occasions themselves not being taken critically sufficient.
Resident Evil 4 Remake opens in a approach that instantly suggests issues are altering, nevertheless it doesn’t fairly eliminate Leon’s snarkiness. We see him struggling from the occasions of Raccoon Metropolis, haunted by the errors he made that day. And as an alternative of the narrative being handled like a joke, Leon himself appears to make use of his humorousness as a coping mechanism to fight the trauma he’s endured.
And one of the outstanding side-characters, Luis Sera, is given significance within the story. Equally haunted by the errors of his previous, there are a number of phenomenal conversations Leon has with him detailing his regrets and lack of motion up till now. Capcom didn’t draw back from revisiting every character and making them enchantment to trendy requirements. Whereas Resident Evil 4’s story is a large weight holding down an amazing sport, the Remake provides a stable narrative that bolsters the darkish ambiance of its world.
However I’ve one nitpick: The place’s my dragon?
Okay, sure, Resident Evil 4 Remake is best in some ways than the unique, nevertheless it’s not good. We might discuss how a number of the facet goals really feel a bit tacked on, but what bothers me probably the most is the omission of one of many unique’s most exhilarating sections. This portion of the sport has Leon journey a gondola right into a hidden a part of the Fortress the place he goes to battle with enemies perched upon sniper towers inside the confines of a large underground metropolis. The most important set piece right here: A stone dragon respiratory hearth.
Okay, yeah, it’s in all probability a bit too foolish to make sense on this Remake, however contemplating there’s a goofy capturing vary the place Ashley will scream and shout in pleasure as should you’re at a carnival regardless that you’re each in huge hazard, Capcom might have remade this part with out an excessive amount of of a fuss.
Bonus: A tremendous PC port
It’s unhappy that I must even say this, however Resident Evil 4 Remake having an outstanding port is kind of a miracle these days. With video games like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, Wo Lengthy: Fallen Dynasty, The Final of Us Half 1 and Redfall launching simply this yr and being absolute dumpster fires in efficiency, we’re beginning to consider that the entire thought of a top quality port is pure fiction.
So sure, whereas this isn’t essentially compared with the unique Resident Evil 4 (which additionally runs nice on PC), it’s nonetheless some extent in its favor. Launching a sport that performs nice day one is one thing that not often occurs these days, even with the greatest PC video games, so I’m glad Capcom didn’t let bugs eat it.
Hardly ever does a remake justify its existence. Even Demon’s Souls (2020), an expertise I wholeheartedly adored resulting from its phenomenal spectacle, was pointless. In spite of everything, it’s primarily the identical sport simply with trendy graphics. (And you understand how I really feel in regards to the risks of recent online game graphics.) Resident Evil 4 Remake is the proper companion piece to an already wonderful title, nevertheless it additionally takes the expertise to new heights and perfects most of the unique’s biggest flaws.
Not solely am I snug definitively stating Resident Evil 4 Remake is superior to the unique, nevertheless it proves that even recreations of video games that maintain as much as trendy requirements aren’t superfluous. That is what a real reimagining seems like, giving us an entire new facet of beloved environments and characters. I’ll by no means scoff at Capcom’s concepts for a remake once more.
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