Iggy’s World Halloween Month: Resident Evil 4
The name that popularized the phrase “survival horror”. In 1995, Resident Evil changed the landscape for gaming as we know it, just look at the most critically acclaimed game today and you’ll see the influence. That being said, the name Resident Evil has been sullied in the eyes of fans. So in response to that, I decided to take a glance at the high point for the Resident Evil franchise. The game that changed the series for better or worse. It’s time to go to Not Spain for Resident Evil 4.
Okay to steal a phrase from a friend, but this game’s story is a B horror movie, a cheesy B horror movie. While past Resident Evil games have shared this feeling, Resident Evil 4 celebrates it’s goofiness. It knows it’s not a game to be taken seriously, and this all personified in the main character Leon Kennedy. Leon is a badass in video game form, as he’ll shrug off threats and impossible situations with witty one liners. This is one of the biggest hurdles for any fan of classic Resident Evil to over come. It’s such a contrast from previous installments that the writing alone makes this game feel opposite of a Resident Evil game.
With that being said, what Resident Evil 4 glows in cheesiness as it does a great job of balancing that with it’s tremendous atmosphere. When this game wants to terrify the player, it does a damn great job at it. Namely due to it’s use of lighting and proper use of enemy placement, plus the Gothic church settings for one section of the game. If anything Leon serves a stress reliever from the tension the player will feel through out the main campaign. Balance is the best word I can describe the game that is Resident Evil 4, but as with any game there is more to it than the story.
One other big hurdle that will decide if players will play Resident Evil 4 is that this game has it’s fair share of escort missions, to the point that the game is pretty much one giant escort mission. The bane of gamers everywhere, but luckily the devs of Resident Evil did an excellent job of giving the player enough protection and safety nets so that the game doesn’t become impossible. On the flip side, there are sections where Capcom does turn up the difficulty but those are few and far between. The game isn’t an escort mission from start to finish, and to my amazement there were fewer escort sessions than I had imagined. The key is to take your time, and find an area to funnel enemies and all will be well.
There is one point that I have to share and this will be the ultimate factor in whether or not you buy this game. Unlike it’s four predecessors, this is not a survival horror game. If you want to experience that, then play the classic PS1 trilogy, this game is a third person action game with a horror atmosphere. As I progressed through the game, I couldn’t believe how much ammo there was from either chest or enemy drops, it was alarming. I had to exit my game to see if in fact I was playing a Resident Evil game, which turns out I wasn’t. This doesn’t make it a bad game by any means, but survival horror purist should not play this game. That being said, if you’re interested in diving into the franchise, then this is the game I would recommend first. Outside of that, there are more action sections then creepy sections. Although while this game does drop a lot of ammo, Capcom ensured that some sections serve as bullet wasters, which takes away your confidence you had and forces you to start from zero. Unless you’re the opposite of me and can actually aim in tense situations, then you’ll be fine.
There is another element and that’s the Merchant who will buy your used guns and treasures that you’ll find to gain more powerful weapons. This aspect is where a player (if they find the right treasures and combine them properly) could potentially break the game.
I’m playing the “upscaled” version of RE4 and for a game that is over a decade old but it looks amazing. While yes certain textures are a bit off in certain areas, the detail in this game is hauntingly beautiful. The use of fog and dank colors create one disturbing atmosphere and it only increases once Leon enters the final area of the game. To go along side that, the music while not hum-able, but serves to haunt the player.
Resident Evil 4 is a damn great experience with a great lead character, plus a cheesy action plot that will have you smiling one minute then screaming for help the next. Balance is the perfect word I can describe Resident Evil 4 with, the only negative opinion I have on the game is the amount of ammo. It’s a fun time to be had, and I encourage anybody to give this masterpiece a shot.
Resident Evil 4 earns a 9/10