I’ve never been a big horror fan, and whenever I have the choice between two videogame genres — I guarantee I’ll pick the one I’m familiar with because I like to play it safe most of the time. There isn’t a definitive way for me to say why I don’t like horror, but it could be because I didn’t grow up with it, and I was never fully introduced to it as a kid. So years went by before I ever had any desire to get into that type of media, and funnily enough, it wasn’t until I learned more about Resident Evil 4 that I was like, “Oh yeah, this sounds cool.” To be fair, Resident Evil 4 isn’t the scariest game in the world as it leans more into the action-focused style, much like Capcom’s other franchise, Devil May Cry. The Resident Evil series also has other entries that rely on their spookiness and jump scares compared to the fourth game, so why don’t I go play those if I want my horror fix? Well, I don’t care because, in my opinion, the fourth entry is the most approachable game thus far, and the earlier titles aren’t my idea of a good time. Thankfully, Capcom decided to release the excellent Resident Evil 4 Remake, which I picked up after a trip to my local Gamestop. I took it home and loved it to bits, so let’s talk about it.
The story picks up in 2004, six years after the events of Resident Evil 2, with Leon becoming a United States government agent following the destruction of Racoon City. Leon is sent by the president to rescue his daughter, Ashley Graham, from a rural village in Spain with the remote assistance of Ingrid Hunnigan, who is a communications expert working with the United States government. Soon after arriving, Leon finds his escorts brutally murdered by the villagers, who are being controlled by the parasite Las Plagas and have pledged themselves to the Los Illuminados cult. Whilst searching for Ashley, Leon meets Luis Serra, whom Ingrid confirms once worked for the Umbrella Corporation, a multinational conglomerate active from the 1980s to the early 2000s. The village head, Chief Bitores Mendez, then captures Leon and Luis and injects Leon with the Legas parasite. Ashley is also captured a couple of times — and Leon has to save her — but I don’t want to spoil anything beyond that little bit because the plot is a fun time, so it’s worth experiencing for yourself.
I like the story, and it never feels like it’s confusing or getting in the way of anything. But the story isn’t what I love most about the Resident Evil 4 Remake — it’s the gameplay. It’s just so much fun to explore all these environments, find new items, buy new guns, and do that all over again. Now, that might sound repetitive, but any game could be described that way, and this one, in particular, has an engaging feedback loop that has stood the test of time. I don’t know how it does this, but somehow, the Resident Evil 4 Remake manages to keep its pace while constantly introducing new items and characters throughout the 16-hour experience without ever getting boring. This was my first time beating Resident Evil 4, so I felt the remake was an excellent way to do that. It also looks really nice — especially Leon’s jacket — which looked better than ever. One of my favourite parts about this game is how I never felt like I was overpowering my enemies while still feeling like I needed to scrounge and conserve my ammo. Honestly, this might be one of the best games I’ve ever played.
I don’t know if I’ve become a massive fan of the series or anything, but if there is a new release that looks interesting to me, I will definitely take a look at it. The Resident Evil 4 Remake shows that when a remake is done right, it can pay off in spades and even bring new fans to the series, like me. So I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Resident Evil. Now, where do I find the bingo…