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Resident Evil 4

Developer / Publisher: Capcom
11 January 2005
Resident Evil 4 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.27 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
2,622 Ratings / 10 Reviews
#28 All-time
#2 for 2005
On a mission to rescue the president's daughter, U.S. special agent Leon S. Kennedy uncovers a sinister cult in rural Spain hellbent on destroying Western society and controlling the world.
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Title
Year: 2005
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Console Played: Playstation 2

Being a massive fan of the first 3 Resident Evil games and having grown up with them, I was super excited about all the hype Resi 4 was getting, especially after the incredible leap to PS2 that was Code Veronica. Now I heard it was going to be different, which would make a change from all of those "SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE" endings and such, but little did I know I was about to be absolutely BETRAYED!!! I'm all for things trying to be fresh and change genre and such, but A) This game isn't remotely scary or intense, B) The storyline is dreadful (and story wasn't the Resi Evil strong point to begin with) and C) It's not even a survival horror game. It's something I just couldn't get passed. It's a shame because there were some great elements in the actual gameplay. The over the shoulder cam, the careful picking off of your enemies, the puzzles and locations were intruiging, and the visuals were spectacular for the time. However the story mode is repetitive and gimmicky, there is no Resi Evil atmosphere. I couldn't buy into any of the characters, especially Leon's sudden transformation from inept rookie cop to super acrobatic ass kicking gun toting badass. Ashley is one of the most annoying in game co stars, and the monsters feel more like something out of Lord of the Rings. And the Ganados?! Fuck, infinitely less cool than zombies, lickers and hunters.

At the time of the release and the rave reviews, I just felt everyone was like "ZOMG, they changed genres, therefore it's a masterpiece". But I would have actually preferred it if the developers had stuck to their roots and, you know... ACTUALLY MADE A RESIDENT EVIL GAME!!! This is so removed from Resi Evil that it should have been called something else altogether... Oh wait Capcom already did that with Devil May Cry, Onimusha and Dino Crisis, which you can tell blatently started off as Resi Evil games and just kind of drifted off course... As horrible as the story, characters and atmosphere of this game are, I DO think in terms of gameplay, and strictly gameplay only, this is a pretty good puzzle/platform/3rd person shooter game. Whilst it does get tediously repetitive at times, the game had a good difficulty curve at least. Some of the boss battles were hard as fuck and it does have its frantic "backed into a corner" moments, which is one thing that does carry over from the original games. The whole interactive cutscene thing was a popular fad at the time and it felt needlessly tacked on just for the sake of it. The most depressing thing is that I've only completed the main story mode once in my life. Ever since I have found the bonus mini game, Mercenaries much more playable, as it basically delivers just the platforming and frantic shooting parts that I actually liked, and cuts out all of the horrific story line and tediousness. I really don't even want to play the story mode again. When I think of Resident Evil, I dont think of creepy castles, Lord of the Rings style monsters, pseudo gothic fantasy bullshit, and Leon jumping off buildings and doing acrobatics and shit. How could they fuck up Resident Evil so bad?! All of the previous main games that involve zombies and actual survival horror are practically masterpieces that I still love revisiting even now. I seriously hope Resident Evil go back to their roots and rediscover zombies, otherwise my connection with the series will most likely become cut off.
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frenchie 2016-09-10T20:14:04Z
2016-09-10T20:14:04Z
4.0
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Action Survival Horror Capcom PS2 Sci-Fi Fantasy
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Resident fun fun fun
Resident Evil 4 completly reinvented the series for better or worst. In my opinion, the tank controls had already been explored to their full potential, and were it not for RE4 i feel that the series would no longer be relevant today. Which is not to say that RE5, 6 and Revelations are all great games, because they arent. But this is about RE4, which is truely believe to be one of the most accomplished action adventure games out there. It doesnt quite work as horror game but i will get to that later.

You play as Leon, and its your job to be travel to a remote village in Spain and save the president's daughter. Being a resident evil game, of course that the villagers have been infected and turned into zombie like creatures. Extravagant villains and cheesy voice acting is also aplenty in this title. Leon is the ultimate corny witty line dispenser. Almost everysingle of his interactions with the antagonists or Ashley is memorable, just because of how corny it is. Its definitly one of those cases in which campyness makes the game better. The plot may not be very original, but the dialogue is completly bonkers and makes the game much more entertaining.

The gameplay is what really places RE4 on a class of its own. It features a take on third person shooter that hasnt really been seen in any other series. Instead of focusing on cover, Leon is limited on his movement when he is aiming. This makes the combat really intense because of the fastness of the enemies. The hit detection is brilliant, to the point of being able to shoot individual body parts or weapons the enemies are wieldings to get different effects. There is a huge amount of depth to this combat system, which really comes into its own in the higher difficulty settings and the mercenaries extra mode. Amazing core gameplay mechanics. The adaptable hidden difficulty is just the cherry on top of the cake.

The level design is damn brilliant, taking you in a joyride and offering one of the best pacing in a campaign i have ever played. The game is constantly introducing new enemies, bosses, weapons and challenges at the player. Just when you are getting used to the background, it shifts into a whole new area for the next level. There are a lot of secret items amidst these levels, besides the upgrade system and inventory management. Even the merchant is iconic in his appearances. Its one of those games that is hard to put down after you started because it nails the pacing of combat encounters and exploration so well. There are literally too many memorable moments to mention, but i have to name the intense fight with the regenerators and the invisible enemies.

The game does have some flaws though. The escort missions with Ashley tend to be rather annoying because she is an imbecile human being with no sense of auto preservation. You really have to treat her like a dumb cow. Some levels are definitly not as enjoyable as others, but again thankfully the game keeps changing the setting. Finally there is also the issue that the game doesnt really work as a horror game. Sure there is a lot of tension in the gameplay and scarcity of resources, but the same could also be said about a Devil May Cry game. The regenerators were truely the only enemy to frighten me, but it feels overal that the game treats itself way too jokingly to ever get the atmosphere of a great horror game.

There is a reason why this game is in greatest of all time series. Taken as a action game, things dont really get much better than this. It has a huge amount of challenge, an obscene amount of puns and dad jokes and one of the most polished third person combat system. It has aged excellently, only feeling a bit behind graphically due to the browns and greys textures. Dont play it expecting a horror game and you will have a blast.
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Threntall 2016-08-08T19:27:08Z
2016-08-08T19:27:08Z
4.5
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De tão influente, Resident Evil 4 soa meio familiar em 2021. Mas mesmo dentre os jogos-de-tiro-em-terceira-pessoa-divididos-em-capítulos, ainda é um dos, sei lá, cinco melhores.

Destaco o combate soberbamente equilibrado, as armas divertidíssimas, o design de som cirúrgico, as ambientações memoráveis, os inimigos variados… enfim, são muitos destaques positivos.

Acho, porém, que o jogo se estende um pouco nos momentos finais, e força dificuldade mais pela quantidade que pela qualidade. A luta com o Saddler é um pouco anticlimática também, falta “punch” pra conclusão.
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gabrielctps 2022-02-23T21:31:33Z
2022-02-23T21:31:33Z
4.5
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Perfect game.
Aged like fine wine and to this day surpasses the vast majority of games it inspired. I know there are many people who are just playing this for the first time and still realising what a great, timeless game it is, but experiencing this when it came out was truly mind-blowing, and nearly everything about it holds up to this day.
The island segment gets a lot of flack, but it happens to contain some of the most shocking and horrifying segments of the game that perfectly balance any borderline tedious shooting... as if you don't love using the Killer7 alongside your upgraded weaponry. I love this game so much that whenever I replay it I say "I hate this part" when really I love it and wouldn't have it any other way.
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Words cannot accurately describe the extent of the 2005 phenomenon that was Resident Evil 4. It was video game Beatlemania. I wasn’t even a single-celled organism during the height of Super Mario Bros. and was far too young to be aware of Ocarina of Time’s prime impact, but I had a front-row seat to the spectacle that was Resident Evil 4. It was released internationally within the first few weeks of 2005, making 2005 seem like it was the year of Resident Evil 4 as an animal from the Chinese zodiac. Throughout the entire year, all I’d hear about from publications, G4TV, and friends was about how Resident Evil 4 was the second coming of Christ. My best friend growing up finished Resident Evil 4 fifteen times during 2005. Fifteen. Fucking. Times. Nintendo Power was getting eager at the end of 2004 to cover the first glances of the Nintendo Wii and its rumored early titles in 2005, but all of that was pushed aside because of the all-encompassing force that was Resident Evil 4. Can you blow off the heads of deranged villagers and precariously lunge yourself through the glass of two-story windows in the new Zelda game for the upcoming console? No? Not interested. The publication even listed Resident Evil 4 as the second-best game of all time to ever appear on a Nintendo console the year it came out, second only to Ocarina of Time. I’m certain they wanted to list RE4 at #1 but felt conflicted about putting a game from a third-party developer at the top spot. I’m sure the temptation was killing them. Resident Evil 4 became the new “greatest game of all time” and I only relished in it from a distance. I was only nine years old at the time and my mom would have fainted if she caught me playing it. At the time, I was merely a bystander to the pandemonium of praise Resident Evil 4 was garnering, and I felt a bit envious of everyone that got to experience it firsthand. A few years later when I was thirteen, my mom loosened up a bit and allowed me to buy my copy of Resident Evil 4, and its initial hype had dissipated by then. After experiencing what everyone was raving about a few years prior, did Resident Evil 4 deserve the hype? Yeah, it’s a pretty fun game.

The context for Resident Evil 4 was not something I was privy to when the game was first released. Despite the number in the game’s title, I hadn’t considered the previous games in the franchise when I was younger. I don’t think anyone can properly discuss the overall impact of Resident Evil 4 without comparing it to its predecessors. Resident Evil 4 is also a much-needed changing of the guard for the series. Throughout three games on the PS1, the survival-horror genre that Resident Evil helped pioneer had run its course. The series experienced the typical process of franchise fatigue that comes with a trilogy of games. The first Resident Evil was a rough template, the second was a refinement of the established template that became the most realized title, and the third game experimented with new mechanics while sort of meandering due to not being able to compete with the peak second game. Countless franchises have experienced this type of progression which usually results in a well-rounded trilogy of games if the developers decide not to churn out uninspired, lackluster sequels. Capcom was guilty of this by excreting several spin-off games after RE3 that exhibited only the shallower aspects of the series for supplementary material. As for the course of the main series, Capcom initially made the wise choice of attempting to venture off into new territory and leaving the Resident Evil franchise dormant for some time. They wanted to create a franchise that was more action-oriented than Resident Evil and this direction gave birth to Devil May Cry. Certainly, DMC was an ideal action-oriented blend of horror and camp Capcom sought to create after Resident Evil ran its course. However, Capcom proved that the Resident Evil well hadn’t run fallow quite yet. While DMC had an impact in its own right, Capcom didn’t put all of their ideas for an action-oriented horror game into one basket. They decided to start anew with Resident Evil 4, immolating its legacy and letting newfound inspiration mold the ashes. Believe it or not, as much overwhelming recognition RE4 gets, there are a few naysayers. Resident Evil 4 was so different from the trilogy of games on the PS1 that it bred contempt from Resident Evil purists that bleated on about how it wasn’t a proper Resident Evil game. To some, a Resident Evil game outside the realm of survival horror was blasphemous. While the game feels completely different, RE4 still maintains the essence of a Resident Evil game. Despite its clear differences, RE4 is a sensible evolution for the series that implements the best of the franchise’s strengths.

By the fourth game from any franchise, the tropes of a series become all too familiar. Every long-running franchise runs the risk of getting stagnant. After three games, an overhauled remake, and an influx of new survival horror franchises that took inspiration from Resident Evil, the survival horror genre became too commonplace. Resident Evil 4 would’ve most likely had nothing new to offer if Capcom decided to maintain the fidelity of the survival horror genre. After all, the ludicrous premise of Resident Evil 4 could only have worked with the more audacious action-horror genre anyways. Leon, a returning character from the PS1 trilogy, has been tasked with rescuing the president’s daughter from an evil cult in Nowheresville, Spain. This plot is a joke, right? It’s the most exhausted, cliche action plot that could’ve been devised by the biggest hack writer stooge in Hollywood. Fortunately, I’m confident that Capcom made the set-up with a sense of self-awareness because Resident Evil 4 is hilarious. It’s not unintentionally hilarious like in the case of the first game. If the overhauled REmake is any indication, the first Resident Evil was intended to be a chilling, atmospheric nightmare, but it was marred by the foibles of early 3D gaming. The subsequent Resident Evil games followed the template of the campy first game making the unintentional cheese factor an endearing aspect of Resident Evil. The fourth game revels in this, acting as a tongue-in-cheek farce of Resident Evil’s narrative and presentation.

The premise is not only what makes Resident Evil 4 a high-octane romp. What better way to further illustrate the ridiculousness of the game than its protagonist. Leon S. Kennedy is no longer the impressionable boy on the worst first day of work imaginable. He’s a seasoned veteran now in kicking ass, enough to be assigned as a one-man army patrol out to trek through dangerous territory essentially by his lonesome in a presidential affair. He also looks like a poster of him would be hung up in a teenage girl’s room along with Hello Kitty and K-Pop superstars. This pretty boy faces the horrific dangers of intercontinental Europe with snide confidence, snickering, and cracking one-liners like a poncey-haired Duke Nukem. He also has a pension for making flirty comments with any woman he sees similarities to the aforementioned 90’s first-person shooter icon. Former Resident Evil protagonists were shocked and horrified by the circumstances they found themselves in, but Leon isn’t even slightly perturbed by what he’s up against. On the rare occasion that he faces something that snaps him out of being glib, he still faces that situation with an overconfident demeanor. The motherfucker doesn’t even speak a lick of Spanish, ordering around the natives in plain English and mispronouncing Luis as “Louis” like the big American clod he is. Leon is bold, brash, and oozes that testosterone-filled presence of Snake Plisken or John McClane. He is unabashedly ostentatious, seemingly a total deviation in tone from the survival horror genre from the first three games. Yet, he’s a perfect protagonist for Resident Evil. His presence is all-encompassing to the action and irreverent nature of the game. We shake our heads at Leon at first due to his lack of subtlety compared to how he was in RE2 or the other protagonists, but he makes us realize something about the series. We realize that there is something inherently absurd about having a supersoldier mow down the legions of the undead and expecting it to be scary. Chris and Jill are just as capable of performing the feats of physicality as Leon is, but Leon’s portrayal here is shockingly more honest and self-aware.

It helps that the supporting characters in Resident Evil 4 are also flippant cliches of both the action genre and the franchise as a whole. Luis is a researcher working on a coveted serum that is on the outs with Saddler. From his job description, one would expect him to be a brainy, ineffectual type like Otacon from Metal Gear Solid. However, he is essentially an olive-skinned version of Leon with a Spanish accent. He exudes the same confidence, macho bravado, and sleazy banter with women. He also dresses like he’s a male stripper. Ashley Graham, the president’s daughter, is a textbook example of a damsel in distress. She’s as helpless and innocent as they come, making Princess Peach look capable by comparison. Ada Wong returns from RE2 as the clearest example of a femme fatale character. She exudes so much elegance, mystique, sensuality, and moral ambiguity that it’s a wonder how there isn’t a smokey saxophone score accompanying every scene she’s in. The villains in this game are just as cliche-ridden and or wacky. Los Illuminados cult leader Saddler is the typical foreign villain with disdainful contempt for America. His right-hand man Chief Mendez is a stoic brute that pops up to toss Leon around and take his lunch money. He’s a perfect henchman with the most menacing of glares to boot. The ruler of the castle is Salazar, a royal in a prestigious Castillian bloodline and associate of Saddler. He’s a jaundiced-looking dwarf who dresses like Napoleon Bonaparte who simultaneously looks ten and seventy years old. All of these characters run the gamut of being either glaring cliches or too silly to take seriously. The beauty of this is it creates a tonal consistency. With this, it gives off the impression that this game doesn’t take itself very seriously and neither should the player. We’re all supposed to revel in having fun with the game instead of marveling at some horror spectacle.

Fun is the operative word here in describing the key factor of Resident Evil’s 4’s success. No longer was the emphasis on walking down dimly lit corridors being in close corners with things that go bump in the night. The newly established action-oriented gameplay gave players a chance to eviscerate those horrors with little haste. This is aided by a myriad of innovative game mechanics that were not only new to the franchise but seemed new to the video game medium. One of these is the third-person fixed camera angle that follows Leon’s right shoulder at all times. Action is triggered by holding down a trigger that will allow Leon to shoot with another button. A red laser will indicate the line of fire with any gun Leon has, emphasizing bigger importance on accuracy. The smoothness of this will differ between consoles. While it’s comfortable with the initial Gamecube release, the same cannot be said for the PS2 controller or any other console this game is available for. This gives Leon a capable trajectory, but it has its limits to prevent it from being too easy. The third-person shoulder view also comes with a fixed camera angle that restricts the player’s peripheral vision. This restriction is aided by the fact that Leon cannot move while he’s aiming his gun. In this view, his range of sight is more restricted here when at an instance where he needs to be vigilant. The enemies always come in packs and will ambush Leon on all sides whether he can see them coming or not. Oftentimes, the numerous enemies in Leon’s line of fire will be too overwhelming, so the game adds a sweep kick option to subdue a large number of enemies. There is also a suplex move Leon can execute, but this is mostly here for laughs. Because of the limitations, the player will need to keep their guard up and rely on other senses like sound to survive the onslaught of enemies. This makes for a tense experience despite the more spacious foregrounds.

Another new gameplay feature popularized by RE4 is the “quicktime events”. These are button combinations the game will spontaneously plop onto the player to initiate an action. From 2006 to about 2014, these were everywhere in gaming thanks to RE4’s impact. They didn’t even have a name here when RE4 implemented them into its gameplay. They caught on like wildfire and were haphazardly utilized. Other developers figure that these could be used to lazily supplement gameplay, minimizing the gameplay elements to a simple pressing of a button with marginally accurate timing. I’d argue that Resident Evil 4 is the only game that uses this feature accurately. Because of the restrained movement of Leon, these timed action commands supplement them during appropriate segments that allow him to move beyond the normal capabilities. This aids in maintaining the action-packed pace of the game. It’s only enacted in times that require a quick movement or in a sudden jolt to dodge something. Running away from the giant stone Salazar or swimming away from the Del Lago lake monster makes sense to press a button erratically to simulate running or swimming. Dodging the hidden attacks of Verdugo while he swims through the sewers makes sense to implement a quick button combination. The game never uses this mechanic as a lazy way to simplify the gameplay. Even when the game allows the player to use a quicktime event during the El Gigante fights, they are optional. As for implementing them during some cutscenes, I think it’s a good way to constantly keep the player’s guards up. The game will swiftly teach the player never to put the controller down.

A more familiar gameplay mechanic that is new to the Resident Evil franchise is escorting an NPC, colloquially known as an “escort mission”. Given that the premise of the game revolves around rescuing a teenage girl, an escort mission style of gameplay was a given. Many gamers are not fond of this gimmick, and this is no exception. The president’s pride and joy are also a prestigious pain in the ass even for the most emphatic of RE4 fans. Ashley is completely helpless as one would imagine an opulent teenage girl to be in a dangerous situation. If Ashley gets killed or taken too far off-screen by an enemy, a game over occurs as a result. Her shrill cries for Leon to help her if she gets taken away by an enemy also conjures up unpleasant memories of a winging Baby Mario from Yoshi’s Island. Contrary to popular belief, I think RE4 implements the escort mission better than most games. Because Ashley is helpless, the game always puts her at a close distance to Leon to keep watch on her so she never ventures far. It’s better than the dumb AIs that insist on aiding the player during an escort mission. A section in which the player gets to control Ashley for a short act in chapter three even maintains Ashley being helpless for consistency even with quicktime events. In instances where the action might be too heavy to keep track of Ashley, she can hide in a containment unit until the raucous is over. While I am playing devil’s advocate for this, it is completely understood why Ashley grates on people’s nerves As Leon and her ride into the sunset on a ski boat at the end of the game, Leon rejects Ashley’s proposition to have sex. This is probably due to Ashley being underage, but I’d like to think it’s because Leon was as annoyed with her as the player was.

The items and weapons will be the most familiar thing from the franchise. Ammo is still scattered in peculiar places and the player will still use their botanical knowledge for health along with the familiar first-aid sprays to heal their wounds. The major difference is that these are much less scarce than they were in the survival horror Resident Evils. This makes sense considering RE4 is an action-intensive game. The thought of being conservative with one’s resources does not fit the thrilling pacing presented here. However, it doesn’t mean that the player should carelessly blast away with the shotgun at any given moment. As previously mentioned, enemies come in hoards and one shot with the more plentiful pistol will result in most enemies clutching their eyes in pain like Leon just shot them with a paper hornet. The player should still be wary of how much ammo they use. The limited inventory system that irked me in the previous Resident Evil games has been transformed into a sort of item map. Guns, health items, ammo, and grenades have to be fit into this map on the menu like the player is playing Tetris with Leon’s arsenal. It’s a creative way of organization and an upgrade can be purchased to fit more items. Where can one buy these upgrades? I’m glad you asked because this leads to talking about my favorite character in the game: the merchant. A cloaked individual with a hoarse, cockney accent will follow Leon around at most points in the game. His presence is so wide that it feels like there is more than one guy. Purchasing health items, weapons, upgrades, etc. is useful, but I love the merchant because of how friendly and polite he is. He’s a swell chap, he is. His enthusiasm while the player is perusing his wares is also quite endearing, especially if the player purchases a rocket launcher for one-time use. The only thing he doesn’t sell is ammo which is strange considering I’ve seen stacks of it in some of his locations. This is done to emphasize the importance of conservation. While it’s a returning aspect from the previous games, its different direction does not sully its importance.

One thing to make clear is that Resident Evil 4 is not a parody game satirizing its franchise and the survival horror genre. Despite all of its silliness, Resident Evil 4 still manages to be a genuinely unsettling horror game. One prime reason for this is the common enemies that appear throughout the game. Resident Evil purists may gripe on and on about the total omission of zombies from a Resident Evil title, but I find the villagers of RE4 to be much more unnerving as enemies. The villagers seem to have all of their faculties intact, but there is still something off about them from the get-go. Once Leon arrives in their village, the first villager he comes across meets his question about Ashley’s location with the swipe of an ax, to which Leon then has to subdue him. Villagers will congregate throughout to lay waste to Leon with axes, pitchforks, kitchen knives, and even sticks of lit dynamite. The man with the chainsaw wearing a potato sack on his head acts as the village juggernaut to quickly eviscerate Leon, a drastic method of disposing of him. If that fails, the villagers will also try to run Leon down with a truck, crush him with a giant rolling boulder, etc. The monks in the castle will constantly mumble eerie musings in Spanish and laugh maniacally even if they don’t know Leon is present. It’s easy to attribute the malevolence of the hollowness of the undead and savagery of animals from previous Resident Evil games, but the consciousness of the villagers and monks here adds a disturbing layer to their roles as enemies. These enemies are way smarter than zombies and animals and their advanced AI allows them to climb up or reposition ladders, and even shimmy out of the way of Leon targeting them with his gun. They are far more capable than the enemies we’ve seen in other Resident Evil games. There is a bit of intrigue as to the rationale of why these Spaniards desperately want to eradicate Leon from their rustic world. Is the malice motivated by a sense of xenophobia because Leon is perceived as a brutish American dolt? Could this conflict have been solved peacefully if Leon even bothered to learn their native language?

That mystery goes right out the window at the start of the second chapter when Leon encounters a common villager twitching vigorously and his head pops off to reveal something of indescribable horror. The Las Plagas are the reason for the villager’s hostility, an ancient parasite that takes control of the host’s body and mind. These beings have been harvested by Saddler and he’s using them to control the denizens of rural Spain, acting as their leader with total dominion over their being. As per usual for second/third world countries, religion plays a factor in these people’s lives. Saddler has cleverly prayed on the poor village-folk’s volatile nature and has raised himself as a “prophet” in the eyes of these people. Leon literally being saved by the ringing of a church bell, ceasing all attacks from the villagers is a clear indication of what these people value overall. This allows Saddler to brainwash these people into submitting to being carriers of the virus, having unsavory side effects as a result of it. These monstrous Plagas beings rival the disgusting creativity of David Chronenberg’s creature sketchbook. They pop up randomly as a result of shooting the heads off of enemies, a gamble the player must consider. One Plagas is a series of tentacles with one long one swinging a blade, one of them looks like a pale centipede that devours heads, and one an acid-spitting insect attached to a mound of flesh that goes rogue once the mound has been destroyed. The first encounter with one is shocking, and remains shocking even with frequent occurrences. An extra layer of inquietude is added when the player realizes that the hostile villagers are victims in the grand scheme of things. They were humble village folk operating uncomplicated lives who have met a grisly fate they couldn’t prevent.

An even deeper layer of discomfort is added once the player realizes that Leon and Ashley are doomed to the same fate. The impetus for Ashley’s capture was to infect her with the virus, Saddler’s way of penetrating the mighty America with gruesomely adulterating a symbol of American purity: an innocent, affluent teenage girl. Leon is infected when he gets knocked out and tied to Luis in the first chapter. He starts coughing up pints of blood and conjuring up these horrific illusions. Saddler informs him of why this has been happening once Leon finds Ashley and laughs at their grim despair of becoming a puppet to him and the parasitic being. Considering how shocking every Plagas encounter is with the enemies, it’s scary to think that the same fate would fall onto Leon and Ashley. Even if Leon manages to successfully bring Ashley home, America has to contend with an invasive virus which will cause a global epidemic. Treatment for this virus is complicated and still in a prototype stage making Leon and Ashley’s situation dire. The body horror elements matched with the sense of urgency make for a compelling narrative that makes the player feel on edge. The story also verges into cosmic horror territory because Saddler, Chief Mendez, and Salazar have also infected themselves with the Los Plagas virus in order to transcend their beings into mightier, incomprehensible forces.

The tension of whether or not Leon and Ashley will overcome the grim odds with the virus grows more uncertain because of the game’s longer playtime. The length of RE4 isn’t as long as I initially remember, but it sure does feel prolonged due to the pacing of the game. RE4 is like a horror video game version of Lawrence of Arabia, an epic divided into several acts that detail specific things in the story. The first chapter of Resident Evil is the search for Ashley and the second chapter involves Leon escorting Ashley out of the village to meet at an extraction point. The acts that make up these chapters constantly involve new scenarios for the player that maintain a sense of intrigue. It’s not that blasting the heads off of peasants never gets old, but providing new environments and situations always gives RE4 that grand, epic scale. It also helps that each act has an appropriate length and also equal in length. This is sort of compromised in the third and fourth chapters in the castle. The castle is a more restrained area and while the eerily lit vestibules and corridors of the castle have spectacle, traversing through them after a while can be a slog despite the array of challenges. The fifth and final chapter takes place on an island at the core of Saddler’s keep. This chapter is a little more underwhelming than the previous ones due to being all too familiar now. Leon will once again blast the heads off of Saddler’s Spanish underlings who will stop at nothing to kill him with no new methods to do so in an environment that is much less effective than the village or castle. The saving grace here are the newly introduced Regenerators/Iron Maiden enemies, creepy abominations that are difficult to extinguish. The first encounter with one in the lab freezer is one of the tensest moments in the game. However, these enemies do not pop up very often as having too many of them would break the quick pacing of the gameplay. These enemies need to be brought down with meticulous;y-aimed gun shots. The climax needs to be the cherry on top of any grand epic story. In this case, it varies. Saddler revealing his true form is something to behold, but feels unsatisfying due to how easy he is to defeat. Leon doesn't even need the rocket launcher Ada throws at him to finish him off. The more satisfying climatic portion is when Leon and Ashley ride off on Ada’s ski boat into the sunset while the island crumbles. It’s a cliched, but effective ending to one hell of an adventure.

The more frivolous nature of Resident Evil 4 is not what deters Resident Evil purists. I also don’t think it’s the narrative because I’d argue that it’s more horrifying than anything from the previous games. No, I think what causes this discourse is the fact that RE4 feels so removed from the rest of the franchise in terms of continuing what was established in the previous games as an arc. RE4 is set during a post-Raccoon City turmoil. The events are referenced as soon as the game begins, but merely as references that make it seem like eons ago for all of the recurring characters. Those recurring characters like Leon and Ada feel more like references from previous games rather than elongated characters grown from their past experiences. Enough time has passed that Krauser, a familiar character to Leon and Ada, can get away with feeling unfamiliar to the player because of how distant the events of the first three games feel. Umbrella is no longer an imposing force that has anything to do with the atrocities taking place here. Wesker is only mentioned slightly once Leon figures out that Ada is working for him to recover a sample of the virus to use for his own benefit. She ends up giving him an ineffective, botched version of it to screw him over. . With all of this in mind, one could argue that this didn’t need to be a Resident Evil game. As stated before, Capcom did want to branch off from Resident Evil, and the gameplay, tone, and characters are enough to signify this, but I’d argue against this. Umbrella was never the core of Resident Evil and neither were the members of S.T.A.R.S. Resident Evil as a series is about the downfall or perversity of the state of humanity due to the pride and avarice of a mighty corporation. There is no real difference between Wesker and Saddler as both are the megalomaniac forces behind two separate outbreaks to spread their power and influence across the world. While the zombies and European peasants are what our heroes shoot at, it’s ultimately the powerful establishments that are the real villains. In the case of Resident Evil 4, that premise is executed with grandiose pomp rather than the atmosphere. Resident Evil 4 proverbially swings around its big dick like a helicopter in the faces of its predecessors and the people who think they are the arbiters of what makes a Resident Evil game. It’s big, dumb fun with enough refinement and substance to support it. It’s no wonder why this game caught on like a wildfire. Resident Evil 4 kicks ass and considering the wide availability of the game, it’s not too late to find out why for yourselves if you haven’t already.
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Erockthestrange 2017-07-21T20:02:23Z
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It's impossible to make a perfect game, because everyone's gonna have opinions on how little individual things should be fine tuned, but to this day no one has nailed encounter design as hard as RE4. No one has nailed inventory management as hard as RE4. No one has nailed the tongue in cheek humor and characters RE4 has. It really is just a quintessential Video Game.
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Catalog

getlostdave Resident Evil 4 2022-09-28T01:09:01Z
2022-09-28T01:09:01Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hearingtrumpet Resident Evil 4 2022-09-27T17:24:53Z
2022-09-27T17:24:53Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
shrubman Resident Evil 4 2022-09-27T14:50:39Z
2022-09-27T14:50:39Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
handcannon Resident Evil 4 2022-09-27T03:40:16Z
2022-09-27T03:40:16Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ca_Game Resident Evil 4 2022-09-26T16:30:44Z
PS2 • XNA
2022-09-26T16:30:44Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Action Horror
dooogz Resident Evil 4 2022-09-26T15:22:54Z
2022-09-26T15:22:54Z
4.5
2
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DavidSS Resident Evil 4 2022-09-26T02:15:48Z
2022-09-26T02:15:48Z
3.5
9
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Kmarksman Resident Evil 4 2022-09-25T01:47:56Z
2022-09-25T01:47:56Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Subcon_Onirico Resident Evil 4 2022-09-24T10:45:55Z
Wii • XNA / XSA
2022-09-24T10:45:55Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
AkechiPls Resident Evil 4 2022-09-24T05:48:09Z
2022-09-24T05:48:09Z
4.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
aus10 Resident Evil 4 2022-09-24T03:15:22Z
2022-09-24T03:15:22Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PoopMan78 Resident Evil 4 2022-09-23T16:55:09Z
2022-09-23T16:55:09Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
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ESRB: M
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  • Previous comments (123) Loading...
  • Stabbed 2022-06-26 10:42:30.715109+00
    MEESTA kennedyyyyyy...
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  • phoenix5511 2022-07-09 17:18:06.941845+00
    hide Flagged by users
    Played this through a couple of times. I actually grew up playing resi evil 5 and 6 co-op and I have great memories of them although I know they are flawed but... even after recently playing through EVERY resident evil ,I feel resi evil 4 is slightly over rated. (the ambient tunes are nice tho)
    This post was flagged by users for potentially violating community rules. It will be reviewed by a community moderator soon.
    • mcluskyism 2022-07-12 14:04:20.628011+00
      hide Flagged by users
      It loses a significant amount of steam for me once you reach the island. I've always disliked the last stretch of the game, which is a shame because everything up to that point is excellent.
      This post was flagged by users for potentially violating community rules. It will be reviewed by a community moderator soon.
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  • white_calx 2022-07-14 15:03:51.737432+00
    just absolutely fucking fantastic. I've only played Re:Make and Resident Evil 2 remake prior to this, so my only experience with the tank controls was Re:Make which was kinda annoying (combat is very much a secondary/tertiary part of the game tbh) but my god this game would be nothing without it. terrifying because of that restriction of movement. also the story/characters/writing in this is peak ott RE camp
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  • Bengals 2022-07-24 08:10:00.570913+00
    Gamecube version is still the best way to experience this game.
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  • TheGrindingWheel 2022-08-13 09:17:37.888989+00
    I fucking hate when a game gets popular on this site and you try to read a view to figure out why it's so popular, only for the top review to basically be "WHY THIS GAME SUCKS AND EVERYONE WHO LIKES IT IS STUPID AND EVIL AND I HATE THEM".
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  • packtsardines 2022-09-05 19:08:06.926149+00
    fantastic game. only thing that annoyed me about it was there was basically no elaboration on krauser and qtes are awful. besides that great game and im excited to see how they are going to make it more survival horror oriented in the remake
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  • Brandon657 2022-09-15 02:06:38.776921+00
    the boss fights are dogshit in this game, just like the other action RE's. Not really sure why it is so high but it is a fun game overall.
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  • SMZXW 2022-09-17 03:20:16.473142+00
    yo either fucking ban these dipshits flagging comments for 0 reason or change the way it works lmao
    reply
    • cosmicjoke_astronomer 2022-09-20 15:56:54.163241+00
      For sure. I love this game, but nothing is perfect and therefore free from criticism.
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