Review: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4/ Format: PS2, Gamecube, Wii, PSN/ Rating: Mature/ 1 Player/ Release Date: 3/18/05 (for ps2)/ Publisher: Capcom

Welcome to the New Resident Evil

It’s finally here.The Resident Evil 4 review… you’re welcome.If you loved this game as much as I did, you should pretty much agree with the entire review.If you’ve yet to play RE4, what the Hell have you been doing for the past six years?!This is one of the best and most important games ever.Not only did the Resident Evil franchise get revamped, but it brought a whole new style of gameplay to the table.

When I first popped in the game, way back in 2005, the over-the-shoulder camera angle threw me for a loop.However, the new shooting engine was a lot of fun to work with.Leon Kennedy is back to the series and instead of being a rookie cop for R.C.P.D, he’s a U.S. government special agent.Sound repetitive?You might have just read my Dark Sector review.Leon was sent over to a rural village somewhere in Europe in search of the President’s daughter, Ashley.After an encounter with a villager the action picks up immediately.If I wanted to make it through the first couple minutes of the game alive I had to get used to the new shooting style.

Bullets were at a premium here, and in order to use them accordingly I had to find ways to knock the villagers off their balance and go in for a kick to the chops.Once I studied these creatures I found that they’re not zombies, however they’re not necessarily human either. For the first time in franchise history there were no zombies in a Resident Evil game.  The villagers had been infected by Lord Saddler and forced to worship him in his cult.What is Lord Saddler’s goal?His plan is to use these people and prevent Leon from reaching Ashley.Saddler wants to use his infection, Las Plagas, to overtake the United States…. So, hint to the hint hint.

The controls were easy to get used to and very fun to use.It’s a typical RE game however, so don’t expect to run and shoot, or even walk and shoot for that matter.Leon was a human turret; however the variation in weapons more than made up for it.Multiple handguns, shotguns, sniper rifles, a machine gun, a rocket launcher, and a couple of powerful others made for a wide selection that kept me prepared to face whatever was coming next.From slow moving villagers, to the near immortal Regenerators, the enemies were as intense as they were scary.

Resident Evil 4 did a great job keeping the series in the survival-horror genre.There was plenty of action to go around and enough scary moments to brown your shorts.Playing as Ashley was the most frightening experience.While Leon uses all his weapons to dispose of his enemies, Ashley didn’t have any and had to simply run away from the numerous attackers.Maybe the most terrifying moment came in the dungeon-like room with giant, armored knights equipping long heavy swords and blunt objects.After I solved a puzzle, the knights came to life.The rooms were almost pitch black and the music just made it even scarier.Ashley was forced to sprint out of the room with the knights following.Too afraid to look back I just kept running until I reached the exit.From here I found my sense of protection with Leon.Once the game was back in his line of view, everything seemed like it is going to be okay.

Throughout multiple parts of the game it was up to Leon to advance in the game with Ashley by his side.I had to make sure not to let one of the cult members grab ahold of her and take her away.If she died, I had to restart from a checkpoint.I’ll admit to being a little irritated at times by having to continuously look after her and be sure not to shoot her, but it all makes the feeling of defeating the swarms of Los Illuminados that much more satisfying.Ashley is crucial to the gameplay, because without her the game loses the sense of survival-horror.

The voice acting is very good.From Leon to the villagers, everything seems to be in sync.The soundtrack also fits very well.The music is solid, and when the scary moments came I was jumping at the beats of the song rather than an actual object in the game.Even the other characters seemed to have perfect voice acting.Luis Sera, in particular, had that Spaniard accent which flowed through my ears.So while I was popping heads off enemies Barry Burton style from the original RE, I fell in love with the crushing and splattering sound effects.

The economics system worked wonders when it came to upgrading weapons.Not only did I find currency, but I also found jewels which could be combined with other jewels for major profit.The merchant in the game was almost iconic with his scruffy voice, black coat, purple mask that covered his face, and cheesy generic lines.Head on over to YouTube and search Mega64’s clip on the RE4 merchant and you’ll be laughing your ass off.

With the new HD version available on PSN, the graphics are better than ever.Already good on the Wii, PS2, and Gamecube, PSN gives you your dollars’ worth and re-masters the game.Bosses and other enemies are defined genuinely with details to the clothes, head, and body.The environments range from well-crafted villages that look vintage, to a gorgeous, looming castle that homes some of the game’s most deadly creatures.I’ll admit to having to turn my system off and picking up the game in the same spot the next morning due to the scary detail of the Regenerators.The sound alone on those things almost had me crying to mommy.

Don’t forget to visit the local target ranges within the castle to not only test your skills, but to unlock bottle caps of the other players and monsters within in the game.This is only the start of the replay value for this game.After beating it once I obtained a new outfit for Leon and Ashley.I received Leon’s old R.C.P.D uniform while Ashley slipped into something a little more revealing.I also got a couple new game modes featuring Ada Wong’s part in the game’s story, as well as Mercenaries which will let you rack up as many kills as you can.Although these new modes were a lot of fun to play, I really just wanted to play the campaign over, and over, and over.I upgraded all of my weapons to capacity, found all the treasures within the game, and purchased the Chicago Typewriter to blast through infinite numbers of bad guys.The Typewriter is an ultimate weapon.It’s not only powerful, but has great range and the clip never runs out.

After almost six years of owning the game, I still have plenty of desire to continue play- through after play-through.It’s more than safe to say that RE4 delivered a completely satisfying experience that will be mentioned for years to come. All of the “Big-Wig” reviewers will have you playing this on Gamecube.But I’m here to say that it certainly is no slouch on either the PS2, or the HD version on the PS3.

Resident Evil 4 is my all-time favorite game.I can’t thank #Eric Lewis enough for letting me write the review on it.I recommend this title with the highest regards and as an absolute must-play for any RE fan, or survival-horror genre fans.If you’ve yet to play this classic head on over to Gamestop, and pick-up a used copy for $8.99 on PS2, $9.99 on Gamecube, or $19.99 on the Wii.I know here at EWG we’re not used to having a “few extra bucks,” but if you’ve got a PS3, consider buying the HD version on PSN.Not only are the graphics more crisp, but there are trophies to be had for those trophy loving freaks, like me.

-By Geoff Barry

Final Verdict: 100%