Resident Evil 4 Remake Review – Controlled Chaos (PS5)

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The Resident Evil 4 remake had a lot to live up to, given that it is a remake of a game that reshaped the entire genre of survival horror. It also had some making up to do, given that it was following on from the sub-par remake of Resident Evil 3, which itself followed on from the absolutely stellar remake of Resident Evil 2. One of the reasons that the Resident Evil 2 remake was so beloved, was that it was a transformation of the original title into something that felt more akin to Resident Evil 4. It took something that people already loved and modernized it into something even better.

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This remake of Resident Evil 4 doesn’t quite have that same luxury, given that the original version of Resi 4 is the prototype for pretty much every survival horror game that came after it, continuing right up until the modern day. Instead, this remake had to walk the tightrope of being faithful to the original title, while simultaneously advancing it both in terms of gameplay and presentation. Thankfully, it is more than up to the task, resulting in something that is a perfect blend of old and new Resident Evil, striking an ideal balance between reminiscence and expansion.

The Resident Evil 4 remake is out now and is available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

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Resident Evil 4 - Launch Trailer

Capcom’s remake of Resident Evil 4 is the quintessential example of how a classic game can be modernized while still staying true to its roots. While the technical and visual enhancements are impressive in their own right, it is the adherence to the original gameplay and the genre-defining influence of Resident Evil 4 that make this game a truly exceptional experience.

From the very start, the game’s oppressive atmosphere is palpable, with rotting corpses and squishy entrails littering the landscape. Throughout the Resident Evil 4 remake, the environments are gorgeously gross, with a mixture of muck and blood coating the village farms, creaking wooden walkways leading down to a monster-infested lake, and a stunning castle with lavish dining rooms and twisting corridors hiding all manner of slithering ghouls within its shadows. Each environmental shift also brings with it a change in tone, enhancing the game’s sense of pace and variety.

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Also read: Dead Space Review – An (Inter)Stellar Remake (PS5)

Aside from the presentation, the other major thing that this Resident Evil 4 remake absolutely nails is the moment-to-moment gameplay. The remake utilizes a camera angle that is slightly further back from Leon’s shoulder than it was in the original Resident Evil 4, allowing players to follow the chaotic action more clearly as it unfolds. Despite this change, players still get the sense of being right there with Leon as he journeys through the mire of contaminated farms and eerie castles, fighting off enemies armed with primitive weapons like pitchforks and chainsaws.

The combat feels tactical and tough throughout, with straight-up action taking precedent over horror. However the Resident Evil 4 remake is still a horror-based experience, complete with a plethora of jump scares and tense moments where the camera occludes hidden enemies lurking in the darkness. There is an almost constant feeling of dread and tension both in and out of combat, and the encounters feel like marquee set pieces.

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This psycho also makes his glorious return.
This psycho also makes his glorious return.

Aside from the looser camera, the gameplay includes a handful of other modern tweaks too, such as improved movement and a broader range of knife attacks to help conserve ammo. However, knives break easily in the game, meaning that players have to be tactical with their usage. The addition of crouching and stealth kills adds another layer of strategy to the combat. Long time fans will also be glad to know that Leon’s roundhouse kick also makes a welcome return here.

All of this comes together to from a gameplay loop that is truly thrilling. The Resident Evil 4 remake’s greatest achievement is how it is able to create an interactive experience that feels equally tight and controlled, yet also feels unscripted and emergent. The fact that so many of the remake’s moments feel chaotic and random, yet simultaneously feel purposefully cinematic is a testament to the genius design of the gameplay mechanics that Capcom has built-in.

Also read: The Callisto Protocol Review – An Intergalactic Masterpiece (PS5)

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Overall, the Resident Evil 4 remake is proof that even after all of these years and all of its myriad versions, the gameplay and presentation present in Resident Evil 4 still hasn’t been bettered within the survival horror genre, and this recent upgrade highlights that fact for a contemporary audience. For those who haven’t played it before, this is an essential experience that showcases why Resident Evil 4 was the main driver of the third-person action revolution.

Resident Evil 4 Remake – 10/10

The Resident Evil 4 remake was reviewed on PS5 with a code supplied to FandomWire by Capcom.

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Written by Daniel Boyd

Articles Published: 157

Dan is one of FandomWire's Gaming Content Leads and Editors. Along with Luke Addison, he is one of the site's two Lead Video Game Critics and Content Co-ordinators. He is a 28-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as Game Rant, WhatCulture Gaming, KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.