There are few franchises that command as much respect as the Resident Evil franchise. The first game debuted in 1998 as Biohazard in Japan and later named Resident Evil in the US. It became a major hit, and the next two games that followed also did very well commercially and critically. So naturally after 5 years of waiting the bar was set high for Resident Evil 4. When the game came out in 2005, it not only met the expectations but in many ways topped them. If you are a PlayStation owner, you definitely need to get this game.
Graphics, Sound, and Setting:
Resident Evil 4 is centered around Leon S. Kennedy, the main protagonist from the second game, who makes a return to search for the president’s daughter in a rural village in Spain. The game’s story is fairly simple, you are on a rescue mission. Along the way many familiar faces from the old game make a return. One good thing about Resident Evil 4 is that you do not need to have played the older games to understand everything. Capcom included a brief and thorough introduction into the first three games events in the beginning. The story is very much stand alone and fun.
Upon starting the game you begin outside an abandoned house that is on the outskirts of the village. The game does a great job of building a very eerie environment right away. Capcom does a great job of blending the right amount of suspenseful music with dark, greyish colors to create horror movie like scenes.
The controls in Resident Evil 4 are tight and easy to learn. The game is third-person and uses an over the shoulder aiming system that is new to the franchise. The new aiming system is both useful and problematic.
The main benefit of the new aiming system is being able to take more accurate shots. Shooting enemies in certain areas causes them to react in different ways. This is useful when you’re trying to conserve ammo, or kill a horde of enemies quickly. Compared to the previous Resident Evil games, this aiming system is much more useful.
However, the aiming system also has its share of problems. The action in RE4 is very fast paced, often with Leon fending off a horde of enemies. When you hold down the aim button, Leon is unable to move. This can put you into tricky situations where you must decide if you want to move and evade enemies or aim and kill them. In a way not being able to move when you aim is realistic and also heightens the suspense. However, it would’ve nice to fully move when aiming similar to gears of war.
The gameplay is the best part of RE4. Resident Evil 4 is a much more action heavy game than the previous trilogy, but it has a perfect blend of suspense that makes it fun to play. The game is divided into chapters, with each chapter being in a new location. The locations are often very large, and include a castle, island, village, and underground tunnels. Each chapter has its share of challenges and new enemies. There are also dynamic cutscenes, in which you have to press a button. This makes the cutscenes fun and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Resident Evil 4 also has a new weapon buying system, with a character named the Merchant.
The merchant has a variety of weapons and you can choose what to buy and sell from him. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses and by the end of the game, you’ll have chosen what weapons you prefer. You can also upgrade your weapons from the merchant which makes killing enemies a lot more fun. There are a good amount of puzzles in Resident Evil 4 which aren’t necessarily hard, but are somewhat challenging. Most of these puzzles are optional, where if you complete them you will get a special item. Resident Evil 4 progresses wonderfully, with each chapter getting progressively harder and having its own set of challenges. The music is spine chilling and picks up when the action ensues. One problem with the game is that the music cues perfectly when you meet an enemy. This takes away from the suspense, because when you hear the action music you know that enemies are nearby. Nevertheless, the music is wonderfully orchestrated.