This month, Resident Evil 4 Remake is coming out, and it’s the perfect opportunity to play the classic. I’m excited to play Resident Evil 4 for the first time in what may be its most impressive iteration.
I’ve always been out of the loop when it comes to the Resident Evil 4 admiration. I watched as people praised it as one of the most brilliant games of all time, but I never attempted it. There was always a desire, especially after beating Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Resident Evil Village, and the two remakes. With those being some of my favorite horror experiences in gaming, I’m surprised I haven’t played what is said to be the cream of the crop. I would often hover over it in the PlayStation Store in consideration but I never committed. Now I’m finally ready to see what all the talk is about on March 24.
It might sound crazy to buy a $60.00 game when the original is available for almost nothing. However, the remake seems like the most appealing way to play. The only downside is that I won’t be able to see all the differences and changes, but, at the same time, I can treat it as a shiny new 2023 game instead of simply a remake. I won’t approach it through the lens of nostalgia. Instead, I can make a judgment free of bias. Too often nostalgia blinds us from making objective criticism, and for Resident Evil 4, I can immerse myself without a childhood memory influencing my enjoyment. Of course, there are pros and cons to this. The person who played the original can accurately describe the differences and whether or not they were worthwhile changes. However, there is something good about coming in new.
Additionally, the original game is a victim of its time. Sure, there is a certain charm to the ecstatic that may actually make it scarier, but it’s always difficult to return to an old game. We have been spoiled by modern technology. Take the Dead Space remake for example. It is undoubtedly a better experience than the original from the zero-g flying mechanics to the highly detailed environments and lighting. From what I can tell, the Resident Evil 4 remake makes a lot of improvements to mechanics that would otherwise drive me crazy.
Apparently, in the last game, there was no option to take cover or hide from enemies, giving Leon only one option in combat. That is no longer the case. For now, Leon can avoid enemies altogether. The cover system is a staple in modern games. It’s difficult to imagine playing a game where you have no choice but to stay standing, disregarding any tactical advantage. Another change to basic movement is the ability for Leon to move and shoot at the same time. When I hear things like this, it makes the original seem unbearable and I’m happy to try Resident Evil 4 for the first time with modern mechanics. Another upgrade that seems essential is melee combat.
Now, the knife can be used to parry attacks, leaving the enemy vulnerable to a headshot or a roundhouse kick. To be fair, the one downside is the lack of durability for knives. In the remake, they can break and shouldn’t be equipped at all times. I’m sure this was intentional and will aid the gameplay loop, but I was never a fan of breakable weapons. I just finished playing The Last of Us Remake and moved straight into The Last of Us Part 2. In the original Joel had to constantly craft shivs, which could be used to kill the more powerful enemies in the game. In the second game, Ellie always has her knife on her, making it accessible at all times, no matter how often she uses it. The change made combat so much more enjoyable as I could focus on taking out enemies, not how many shivs I had left. Switching back to Resident Evil 4, knife durability might bother me, but I can get over it. This is especially true if it adds to the survival element of the game.
Speaking of survival, players can visit the merchant to purchase supplies or upgrade their weapons. As someone who has never played Resident Evil 4, the merchant seems like a folk tale that everyone speaks of as iconic and legendary. I don’t know what all the fuss is about the merchant, but I’m excited to finally find out. I’m also excited, generally, to step foot into the Resident Evil world and see this village I heard so much about. I enjoyed the village setting in the aptly named Resident Evil Village and I can’t wait to see its inspiration.
That’s what I’m most excited about. Simply seeing this fabled game and experiencing the village and whatever else it has to offer for the first time. One of the best games of all time can be experienced fresh in its most pristine, well-executed form. I hope the hype is worth it.