Released originally in 2005 on the Nintendo GameCube, “Resident Evil 4” quickly became known as one of the top games in the franchise, as well as one of the most lauded games of all time.Capcom readapted the survival horror and action hybrid for numerous consoles over various generations, but started from scratch to remake the game from the ground up for current-gen consoles. The new game is due out March 24.Phil Villarreal: I’ve played “Resident Evil 4” on probably five or six platforms, and each version has been better than the last. The leap from last-gen to this remake, however, blew me away.From the visuals to the voice acting and reworked puzzles, this version played better than any previously released version by a wide margin.For me, it would be difficult to go back to one of the previous versions, including the beloved, underappreciated 2011 3DS version.The ability to move while shooting is a game changer, and some of the glitches and cheats that were available in the past are gone. This is a more robust, difficult and chilling version of the game, with a more sensible story to boot.What did you think, Sean?Sean Newgent: I was there when “Resident Evil 4” changed the gaming world and I have so many fond memories of middle school me cringing at how absolutely horrifying it was. Two decades-ish later this remake was one that I think fans were both looking forward to, but also scared for. Remaking a game generally considered one of the best of all time is a tall task and while the “Resident Evil 4” remake isn’t going to change the gaming landscape or be remembered as a flashpoint in the medium — but it will be remembered as an absolutely amazing game. “Resident Evil 4 Remake” follows the same basic story of the original and has a lot of the same vibe. Leon is still cracking silly jokes, the villains are still amusing in their schlockiness, but the horror is amped up to 11. While the original had decapitations and some death sequences that are tame by today’s standards (but scared the tar out of me as a kid), this game has full on cutscenes if you fail to defeat your foes, offering gruesome gore that makes you antsy to avoid any possible death. The game has the atmosphere down with the village being even more frightening through use of traps and villagers being a lot more grabby. Environmental additions keep you on your toes dealing with the brainless hoards. And the boss fights are as good as ever. With modern combat (that still retains the attache case and constraints that added difficulty to the original), each boss battle is a herculean struggle if you want it to be (or a joke if you resort to the Magnum like a baby). The fact players familiar with the game will know where the boss fights are at is both fun and a great way for Capcom to subvert expectations. The dread of approaching a part I knew contained a boss was occasionally countered by a change in where the boss is placed, a new boss entirely, or even throwing enemies at you before or after you expected them. What other additions have you excited to play more? Phil: The inventory management system was friendlier, and I felt more empowered in melee fights than before when I ran out of ammo. Nearly every change seems geared to minimize the frustration and repetition factor.The PS5 save state system made it easier to stop when I couldn’t get to a typewriter to save my progress in the standard manner, and the cut scenes had a more cinematic flair to them.True, the goofiness factor is still present. Maybe that’s what I missed the most. This is a more serious and solemn version of the story than we had seen in the past. Is it as much unfettered fun as previous entries, though? Probably not.I see why the artistic choices were made though, and this is by far the definitive version of an excellent game. Capcom is now four for four on its “Resident Evil” series remake tear, having re-established the franchise as one of the hallmarks of gaming.Final thought, Sean?Sean: “Resident Evil 4” is the best remake the series has had yet. It’s infinitely playable, scary, and aside from a couple little graphical hiccups, it is a flawless game. Every complaint about the first from the QTE’s to Ashley’s general uselessness have been addressed making even the most dreaded of portions from the original into edge-of-your seat delights that never frustrate or come across as unfair. The puzzles are fun, the combat is varied and exciting, the tweaks to the story feel organic — and even the more solemn tone made sense. Do I miss Leon constantly cracking jokes? Of course. But he still does goofy martial arts moves and there’s enough of that to balance the tone that these remakes have been going for. This is not just the best video game remake ever made, it’s one of the best games of the past few years. Regardless of your familiarity with the original, “Resident Evil 4” is going to blow you away and keep you coming back for more. Publisher provided PS5 review codes.Past game reviews by Sean and Phil:Marvel’s Guardians of the GalaxyDiablo II ResurrectedNEO: The World Ends with YouRainbow Six: ExtractionKing of Fighters XVWWE 2K22Weird WestTiny Tina’s WonderlandsLego Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaTMNT: Shredder’s RevengeCapcom Fighting CollectionCapcom Arcade: 2nd StadiumStrayDigimon SurviveCult of the LambTMNT: The Cowabunga CollectionNBA 2K23Lego BricktalesGotham KnightsCall of Duty: Modern Warfare IIStar Ocean: The Divine ForceSonic FrontiersThe Dark Pictures: The Devil in MeEvil WestNeed for Speed UnboundCrisis Core: Final Fantasy VII ReunionMarvel’s Midnight SunsOne Piece OdysseyDead Space
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