Review by buruburu1
Play this game now.
Graphics (30/30, judged by era)- This game is the Gamecube's swansong, a visual treat in every way. The game runs in a fake letter-box cinematic aspect, although the game is not actually running in anamorphic perspective. Rather, it seems they reduced the vertical resolution to minimize the clipping plane of the game, thus allowing more detail to be rendered on-screen at once. All technical jargon which explains why the game will run with letterbox, and why it looks so great. Still, this game is gorgeousfantastic character models, great animations, textures, environment and lighting. This game has it all. Considering earlier entries in this series looks fabulous but utilized pre-rendered backgrounds, you'll be left wondering why they couldn't make those games real-time since this one looks just about as good, but all rendered real-time.
Sound- FX/Voice (8/10) From the weapons to the shuffling footsteps to the very creepy chanting that you hear throughout the game in Spanish, sound is a primary mood-creator in this game and should be heard. I played with headphones and it was very immersive.
Sound- Music (4/10) Resident Evil games have never been known for lush soundtracks. What's there is often understated and used to create tension rather than be memorable on its own. Therefore, it isn't here either.
Game play- Length/Replay (15/15) I put in close to 40 hours on this game. It moves quickly and though it seems to end fairly quickly, it's very well-paced and actually quite long. Additionally, I found the game worth playing a second time (you can keep your weapons and get new ones). As well, there is a challenge mode that was fun for a bit. Overall this is a very satisfying package with lots to do.
Game play- Story: (2/5) Save the President's daughter in Spain. End of story.
Game play- Game Design (30/30)- Abandoning years of game play formula, it was a bold move to revisit this series and re-cast it for a new generation of players. It succeeded on all counts. Ditching the pre-rendered background for a three-quarter over-the-shoulder perspective was a brilliant move that makes the game move smoothly and quickly, and keeps the action tense without having the constantly shifting camera angles getting in the way and the pauses between screen re-draws that was present in the other main series games. This game basically is what Code: Veronica could have been, and more.
The game is still a horror story, with the usual dark, moody, and gray environments. However, now it's an action game as well. Enemies are increased in number, faster, and smarter. They figure out where you are and find you. This change also means that there is a lot more shooting going on, which ends up being great. Ammunition is less a factor than other games, and there is a great selection of weapons to choose from. Because the game moves so quickly, and is so gorgeous, it does pull you into replaying it at least once just to see it all again. There are some puzzles tossed in, as usual, but in the end this is still very much Resident Evil, with the clunky bits cleaned up.
Rather than having to find everything, the game uses a store system wherein you find lots of money during the game, and treasure which can be sold for money. This is used to upgrade and buy weapons. It's a typical system, but one that I'm glad they employed in this series.
**Final Thoughts- It's been said that the Wii version of this is everything that made this great, plus better controls, so if you have access to a Wii you should probably play it there. If you only have a Gamecube, however, you can't go wrong with this.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Resident Evil 4 (US, 01/11/05)
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