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Resident Evil 4 HD Review – Securing the Ballistics in Glorious HD

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Coming back to Resident Evil 4 has been a unique journey for me. When I usually think of a game that so defined my childhood and early teen years, I usually try to leave those feelings of nostalgia and awe where they lie.

However, when I heard that yet another re-release of Resident Evil 4 was coming to current gen consoles I finally swallowed my fear and bought the game. When I first put the game in my console and started it up, I was filled with dread as I looked at the boring, bland, and weirdly stretched main menu.

However, the moment the game actually started, my feelings about the game completely changed.

While the pre-rendered cutscenes still suffer from being dated and upscaled (a common flaw for pre-rendered material), both the gameplay and in-game cutscenes look amazing. This is even better than the HD re-release for Resident Evil 5. Make no mistake though, this isn’t much more than a cash grab.

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Resident Evil 4 has been re-released more times and on more consoles than any other game in recent memory to me. As far as I see it, Capcom has a long way to go to win back their fans after their terrible business practices dominated the last console generation.

Giving fans what they want in terms of HD releases of their favorite games is a good start. Who knows, this may be the beginning of a good run which may even culminate in a new release in the Devil May Cry franchise.

The only way I know how to review this game is to travel back in time to when I was a young boy who loved Guitar Hero and professional wrestling (I still do, but that’s beside the point). Around that time I sat down and played the game on my Gamecube for the first time.

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The story of Resident Evil 4 follows US Agent Leon S. Kennedy, the rookie cop-turned hero who survived the infamous Raccoon City incident.

Leon is then sent on a mission to rural Spain to rescue Ashley Graham, the daughter of the President of the United States. In the beginning of the game, Leon is unaware of the reality of his situation, assuming that Ashley may have gotten abducted by a low rate gang of thugs. He quickly realizes that the situation is much worse.

The people who kidnapped her aren’t thugs, but instead some kind of weird religious cult, and everyone in town is seemingly involved. Leon must fight his way through villages, castle ruins, and military bunkers filled to the brim with religious fanatics, many of whom have been infected by a parasite they have dubbed Las Plagas… The Plague.

The parasite is injected as an egg and hatches within it’s host. Once hatched, the leader of the cult, a hooded man by the name of Saddler, gains complete control of the host. During his hunt for Ashley, Leon is knocked unconscious and injected with the parasite.

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Soon after, Leon is able to rescue Ashley from one of the churches the cult has set up, but not before being told by Saddler that she too has been injected with the parasite egg. From there on the game moves through many different and exotic locations for Leon to fight to save both Ashley and himself from certain death.

The one major fear that I have when it comes to playing older games is that the gameplay itself may not hold up over time. For example, Megaman Legends was one of my most played games on PlayStation 1. Upon going back to that game, I found those controls were horrible. Luckily, unlike Megaman Legends, Resident Evil 4 has aged like fine wine.

The game looks fantastic running at 1080p and 60FPS, with no single piece of the game aging poorly.

While it’s true that Resident Evil 4 is one of the games that popularized quick time events, I felt that they were used sparsely enough so as to not get on the player’s nerves. This is barring the few QTE-heavy cutscene fights later on into the game, of course.

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Honestly, the only negative thing I can think of is that Resident Evil 4 was the beginning of the end for survival horror being a main part of the franchise. While the game itself has plenty of spooky or unsettling moments, the action sequences were mostly taken from and copied for Resident Evil 5.

As far as Resident Evil 6 is concerned, most of you know how that turned out, and how it was received. Luckily, with Resident Evil 7‘s announcement and subsequent gameplay, it would appear that Capcom knows what the fans want and have gone back to their horror roots.

I know it may be my bias speaking for me, but Resident Evil 4 is a great game, and I’m not the only person to say that.

The overwhelming majority of people who played the game over the years and across all available platforms have made their praise of the game well known. Therefore, I feel comfortable giving this game a high review score. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got ballistics to secure.

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Resident Evil 4 HD was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a retail copy purchased by Niche Gamer. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

The Verdict: 9.5

The Good:

  • Updated graphics make the game look almost as good as a current generation game, even better than Resident Evil 5
  • The gameplay still feels as good as it did all those years ago
  • Leon S. Kennedy is probably the most well known of the Resident Evil protagonists, and by far one of my favorites (second only to Rebecca Chambers)
  • The environments and atmosphere are fantastic and unique.
  • The voice acting and characters leave a lasting impression on the player

The Bad:

It was the beginning of the end for Japanese horror games, not just Resident Evil – in it’s own way, Resident Evil 4 helped kill Silent Hill as well

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Tyler Valle

About

A video maker, history buff, and college student. Lover of JRPG's and musou games. He's currently enrolled in university and working on becoming an English teacher.



26 comments
  1. Nuku Nuku Natsume Mishima
    Nuku Nuku Natsume Mishima
    September 22, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Resident evil 4, that game that is placed in a town of spain from 1910, with pesetas instead of Euros, and talking with a mexican acent XD.

    Let´s go bingo XD.

  2. 2501
    2501
    September 22, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Still makes me laugh that all Saddler had to do was let Leon win. Dumbest RE Villain ever.

  3. Donwel
    Donwel
    September 22, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I’ll always consider RE4 to be the worst of the series due to the fact that it spawned 5, 6 and possibly Operation Raccoon City and is responsible for turning a somewhat decent survival horror series into a crap 3rd person action series.
    I suppose I can see why people like it, especially if you consider that it’s a lot of peoples first RE game (Jesus Christ, it was released 11 years ago. Now I do feel old.) Not my cup of tea though unfortunately.

  4. orbo
    orbo
    September 22, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    As many people have said about RE4: it’s an amazing game, but a terrible resident evil game.

  5. Maelstrom
    Maelstrom
    September 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    It might be nice if you mentioned the reviewed platform besides in a small subscript after the review. That, and the “The Bad” section’s formatting is off.

  6. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    September 22, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Huh? This is a new meme I’ve never heard about.

    I completely disagree with you by the way.

  7. Guin
    Guin
    September 22, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Same. The tank control RE’s will forever be what defined the series for me, but to say RE4 is the worst because of that is too much. I still say 6 is the low trench in the series.

  8. Donwel
    Donwel
    September 22, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Like I said, it’s a personal opinion due to it being the progenitor of what came later, though I won’t argue that 6 was utter garbage though. I think even Capcom wants to forget that particular turd.

  9. LurkerJK
    LurkerJK
    September 22, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    By now there is MORE of the resident evil franchise based on RE4 than RE1-3, so try that again, it would be more accurate to say RE1-3 are not resident evil games

  10. Scoobs & Doobs
    Scoobs & Doobs
    September 22, 2016 at 11:35 pm

    The ganados warn you before attacking, too.
    Everyone was dumb in that game.

  11. sanic
    sanic
    September 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm

    I would have put QTE’s in the bad, the krauser ones sent you a good way back if you messed up.

  12. Stilzkin
    Stilzkin
    September 23, 2016 at 3:02 am

    >Leon will never be real

    hold me bros

  13. Uncle Ocelot
    Uncle Ocelot
    September 23, 2016 at 4:56 am

    I’d rather just wait for that mod for the Ultimate Edition that actually does remaster the game.

  14. CyborgNinja
    CyborgNinja
    September 23, 2016 at 5:03 am

    I’m kinda disappointed by the new release.
    The graphics are a bit better and the 60fps is nice too but the load time at least in my version are atrocious. They remind me more of my PS2 version with every loading door taking a few seconds to load. Same with the Krauser knife fight, every counter promt takes a bit to load which was not there in the PS3 version.
    Another thing are the trophies. I mean come on Capcom, you did such a great job with the trophies in REmake couldn’t you have added just a few extra one to the re release?

  15. CyborgNinja
    CyborgNinja
    September 23, 2016 at 5:07 am

    I agree.
    I love RE4 for it goofiness and it’s one of my shooters ever but the elements that resemble the older RE titles feel tacked on.
    Leon too has such a different personality that he might as well not be Leon.

  16. 2501
    2501
    September 23, 2016 at 5:19 am

    The most disappointing thing about RE4 is what it could’ve been. If Mikami wasn’t forced to step in, we might of got a completely different RE game, possibly the RE4 that Yosuhisa Kawamura was working on.

    Still, it says a lot about Mikami’s talent that he managed to turn a game in development hell into what is now considered the progenitor of modern third person action games, in just 12 months too.

  17. 2501
    2501
    September 23, 2016 at 5:34 am

    There wouldn’t even be a RE franchise if it wasn’t for RE2. Sure RE4 saved the franchise into the 6th generation but it also caused the creative stagnation of the series and the inevitable identity crisis e.g “Lets have 2 player co-op”, “It’s not Survival Horror anymore, it’s Action Drama” etc.

    There’s a reason why CAPCOM is going the minimal First Person route in RE7, it’s because for over 10 years they have failed to replicate RE4’s formula.

  18. catazxy
    catazxy
    September 23, 2016 at 6:03 am

    I can’t wait for the 4k remasters wave……

    Wait……what?

  19. Daniel Sever
    Daniel Sever
    September 23, 2016 at 7:10 am

    I have mine downloaded digitally. The load times are usually within a second for me.

  20. Donwel
    Donwel
    September 23, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Well when you’re counting 1-3 as one entity then you’re right. Though when you compare them 1:1 (ie. RE1 vs RE4) which is what you should be doing to get a more accurate outcome, then RE1 has MORE of the franchise based on it than RE4 does and we can therefore say that RE 4-6 are not resident evil games.

  21. DrearierSpider
    DrearierSpider
    September 23, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Eh, this version is indeed great but get the PC version if you can so you’re ready when the true HD version hits:

    http://www.re4hd.com/

  22. alterku
    alterku
    September 23, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Rebecca Chambers is freaking adorable.

  23. Raziel Barkrai
    Raziel Barkrai
    September 23, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Plus he would later turn the idea of modern third person shooters on its head with Vanquish. Too bad it never caught on though.

  24. CyborgNinja
    CyborgNinja
    September 23, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    I do too.
    Maybe I sound a bit dramatic in my comment but for me the loading is noticeably longer.

  25. Malcolm_Ecks
    Malcolm_Ecks
    September 25, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Not really a new meme. I and a bunch of friends have been saying this since RE4 Came out. It became Action-Horror instead of Survival Horror like the first 3 games.

  26. Chocolate ISISCream
    Chocolate ISISCream
    October 6, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    That’s your source? I’m not convinced lmao. Use a general consensus next time. At least that’s more objective than the opinions of your faggot friends.