The Presidents Daughter has been kidnapped, and taken to a plague ridden village full of mutated creatures that are faster and smarter than your average zombie.
Resident Evil 4 has been around a while with it’s original release on the Gamecube over 10 years ago and a Wii remake in 2007 that made some poor controls incredibly useful and fun using the nunchuk and Wiimote.
On the Xbox there’s no such peripheral so we’re back to a gamepad and it’s certainly going to take some getting used to. With just about every game in the last ten years trying to push us towards using two sticks, It’s a system most of us have got used to and it’s present in just about every action game, shooter and plenty of adventure titles.
Resident Evil 4 firmly places itself as an action orientated game, and moving and turning on one stick just feels far too N64 to be comfortable, There’s an option to push aiming onto the same stick, but no way of letting you turn with the right stick even though you have to hold a button to draw your weapon.
In all it’s an annoying control scheme that makes turning and accurate movements far too awkward, enemies stagger (or run) towards you and you’ll obviously want to dispatch them as soon as possible, but you’ll end up turning first, then mixing your aim up and when you finally get the cursor near them, they’ll stagger to one side meaning you’ll miss with far more bullets than necessary, especially considering ammo is generally pretty scarce in Resident Evil game.
Thankfully there does come a time when the controls start to feel a little familiar (even if you’ll lose it again as soon as you play the latest first person shooters) but then, once you’ve finished battling with the camera, you’ll find at the second or third attempt your actually killing a few enemies.
At this point the game picks up considerably, you’ll move through the first few areas, experiencing the awful voice acting, and marvelling at the glimpses of pure quality which don’t feel anywhere near their 10 year age and the heart of Resident Evil 4 is still a solid Resident Evil title, with plenty of puzzles to challenge your mind and a pace that suits the style of play without ever making you feel rushed (apart from when a dozen locals are bearing down on you with axe’s and pitchforks.
My personal opinion of Resident Evil 4 has always been very mixed, all that’s wrong with the franchise, because it was the first step towards the action orientated edge of the franchise we have seen with 5 and 6.
However saying that, while not near RE1-3 it’s also a fantastic game, challenging, fun and intriguing, with surroundings you want to explore and plenty of enemies you’ll want to shoot in the face. Dying will happen as it’s certainly no walk in the park and that just adds to the pressure and decision making every time you see a few locales with their weapons in hand.
I will point out, that Resident Evil 4 was, and still is a very good game, while it was the early steps on the current road of action, my dislike is far more towards the continued movement towards action with 5 and 6. In Resident Evil 4, it still feels very ‘right’ thanks to the overall momentum of the game.
It wouldn’t be far wrong to say it was somewhat ahead of it’s time especially on the Gamecube and while the Wii controls really brought it into the mainstream, it was already a very adequate game, so my own dislike of the action era of the franchise shouldn’t sway you if you’re a fan of the movement away from survival horror.
With that being said there’s still plenty to consider, if you’ve played RE4 before, then sadly there’s nothing new here, it’s pretty much a straight port so don’t expect any extra missions, characters or even artwork to unlock.
For fans of Resident Evil, especially the recent remakes of Resident Evil 1, Zero, 5 and 6, /then you’ll certainly be looking toward picking up Resident Evil 4, and best of all you won’t be disappointed, it carries over the heart of the original title, with a great pace and plenty of suspense just on a more action scale and with the camera and controls the accurate return is both for better and worse.
On an original to modern day scale, RE4 isn’t quite as nostalgic as the original RE1 and with the DLC of 6, it’s not near the value of RE6, however on both quality and content it’s close to what we’ve received with Resident Evil Zero and Resident Evil 5 making it pretty good value especially if you didn’t play on the Gamecube or Wii.