For the purposes of this Resident Evil 4 review, I played the remake on PC as well as Valve’s Steam Deck. This is also a Spoiler-Free Review.
It’s telling that Capcom has put itself on this trajectory of remaking previously released Resident Evil games. Even going back to the Resident Evil remake from 2002, the company seems to find a lot of new ways to scare us by bringing us back to old stories and characters that are either beloved, or needing a fresh coat of paint. In that sense, I don’t think many people would say a remake of Resident Evil 4 from 2005 was necessary, but Capcom yet again shows us it’s well worth re-telling.
Acting as a direct sequel to the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake, we follow Leon as he explores a fictional part of Spain as he rescues Ashley, the President’s daughter. During my nearly 16 hour playtime, the game found time to tell that same story from 2005, but added in some fresh and exciting twists and turns. This isn’t a one-to-one remake of Resident Evil 4; nor should it be. It expands on characters and plot elements, and brings in new ways to re-tell story elements from the original. Rest assured, I was not a fan of the Resident Evil 3 remake’s cut content, nothing is trimmed here, it’s all used. Just in slightly different ways. Much like other successful recent remakes, such as Dead Space and Metroid Prime Remastered, this game felt like a recent game.
Bill Me For The Damages
The Resident Evil 4 Remake brings with it a lot of exciting new ways to kill Los Plagos. The game adds a crouch mechanic, which replaces the dodge mechanic in the third game, which is good. That mechanic felt too easy to pull off and rely on. In this remake, crouching is contextual and not every enemy will be dodgeable.
This brings me to parrying. The game gives you a knife with a limited durability; although don’t worry about losing it as you can always repair it. This knife can be used to parry enemy attacks. However, coupled with some stealthy crouching, be used to stealth kill an enemy.
The Merchant is also back. I wasn’t a big fan of the new voice actor playing him, nor the fact that he’s much more talkative than the original. He has an expanded role, handling new side quests which reward Spinels, which you can redeem for cool extra content. He also handles your purchasing, selling, and upgrading of items as per the original.
Luckily this game is fun enough to explore and get those extra items and upgrades. It also carries over the last two remake’s storage systems. Fixing a frustrating issue with the original game where you could only carry items in your cache so anything you couldn’t keep you had to sell or discard. Now, you can store certain items, chief among them are your weapons and parts. So if you get a new shotgun and wish to go back to using an old one, it’s certainly doable.
All of this is to counter new enemy types, with varied strategies needed to counter them. The game also manages to throw many more enemies at you. If you don’t manage yourself accordingly, you’ll be quickly overwhelmed.
I See The President’s Equipped His Daughter With Ballistics Too
Many of the characters from the original return, and it would be a spoiler to share how they’re used as it does differ greatly from the original in many regards. But alas, if you’re a fan of Ada and Luis, there’s a lot more to see here.
This brings us to Ashley, who you have to escort through much of the game. In the remake there were a handful of frustrating moments where she would be continuously incapacitated and I found myself in a looping cycle of reviving her, her getting incapacitated, and us trying again. It got tedious and frustrating trying to keep us from losing the mission. There’s also a handful of parts where she would glitch out and got stuck in a room or house and wouldn’t come out. This would easily be fixed by restarting my save at a recent checkpoint. But considering how well-made the rest of the game is, it felt like a glaring oversight.
Your Right Hand Comes Off?
A few minor, albeit significant asides.
I did play this on Valve’s Steam Deck. It is marked as being untested, but in playing it I found it worked quite well. I didn’t manage to get 60 frames per second, but I managed a healthy 50 which was reasonable enough considering the trade-off.
Also, the game packs a healthy amount of post-game content. Like all the best Resident Evil games, this includes a healthy amount of content to encourage a second playthrough. We also have free DLC for a Mercenaries mode, which I’m sure will only add more replayability value.
Resident Evil 4 Remake: Conclusion
Capcom took an already great game and simply put, made it better. If you’re a fan of Resident Evil games, and in particular the original Resident Evil 4, then you owe it to yourself to re-experience this classic and enjoy it for all of its nuances and subtle touches.
Now we just need Capcom to remake Code Veronica next!
For all things Video Games keep it tuned to That Hashtag Show.