Resident Evil 4 Remake: Small changes make a huge improvement

Resident Evil 4 Remake is a substantial improvement over the original game, but not in the way you might expect.

With its shoulder-mounted camera and precision aiming, Resident Evil 4 revolutionized not just survival horror but the shooter genre as a whole when it was released in 2005. With this remake, developer Capcom has included a host of improvements and optimizations that make this once revolutionary game even better.

With his previous redone of Resident Evil, Capcom has mainly focused its improvements on three areas: controls, presentation and mechanics. This time around, the advances in control and presentation are a little less dramatic, mostly because Capcom is updating a newer video game.

Presentation improvements in RE4 Remake focus primarily on mood. One issue that I and many other Resident Evil fans had with the original RE4 was simple: it wasn’t This frightening. This remake, however, addresses that. Capcom ups the scare factor with several mood and setting upgrades, from gruesome-looking monsters to nerve-wracking areas where Leon’s flashlight is the only source of light. These improvements make RE4 Remake a wonderfully gruesome experience for any Resident Evil fan.

The biggest advancements in RE4 Remake are in the mechanics of the game. Capcom has fixed the “Ashley problem”. For those unfamiliar with RE4, Leon from Resident Evil 2 returns to the series. He’s on a mission to rescue Ashley, the president’s daughter, from a cult in rural Spain. After finding her, Ashley becomes her partner, adding an escort mechanic to the game. captured by enemies, leading to a game screen.

In RE4 Remake, Leon can now command Ashley to stay further behind him so she’s rarely caught in the crossfire. She also does a good job of dodging enemies, making her less likely to get abducted. The upgrades to Ashley have transformed a character scorned by the game’s fans into someone who is both charming and endearing.

Capcom also reinforced the backstory and motivations of other characters in RE4 Remake. New documents and files from villagers and others make them more likable. In turn, the bosses who took advantage of these people feel even worse than originally portrayed. These compelling characters created a more emotional gameplay experience, unlike the original, where they came off as campy and hokey.

a chainsaw wielding a man with a bag over his head

Dr. Salvador is back and scary as ever.

Screenshot by Oscar Gonzalez/CNET

I had developed a distaste for the original RE4 because it led the series down a path that took horror out of the franchise. The remake revitalized my fondness for the game, taking me back to 2005 when I first played the original. At the time, seeing a game play so differently from older Resident Evil titles was mind-blowing. Now, this remake creating a real horror vibe with interesting characters gives me a lot of that same joy.

RE4 Remake releases March 24 for $60 on computerPS4, PS5 And Xbox series X|S.


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