Review by gamewhooper181

Reviewed: 01/18/05

"Forget what you think you know. Evil has evolved"

Reads the advertisement for Resident Evil 4 on the back of my latest issues of EGM and Game Informer. Capcom isn't kidding either. This game will change many people's views on the Resident Evil series. Through four face-lifts, a delay, and a complete overhaul, Resident Evil 4 has finally hit gamers here in America. I recently picked this game up and couldn't wait to try it out. As I'm typing this, I'm probably around 45% done with the game, yet I think I can draw some safe conclusions from what I know. This is one of the GCN's most anticipated games and it has just been released. Did it flop? Did it not live up to the hype? No. Not even close.

All I can say about the graphics is that they are probably among the best I've ever seen on a console. When watching the cutscenes you quickly realize that everything is in real-time. The pre-rendered graphics have also been removed. Everything in this game is now in full 3D and the detail in a game like this is marvelous. It only gets better after you beat the first boss. At around that time it becomes nighttime and rain starts to pour. What's probably the best thing about the graphics in this game is the lighting effects, though. A flash of lightning reveals those creepy dogs staring at you in the distance and it is very unsettling. Get ready to pull out your Shotgun... Everything from torches to the lightning looks very realistic. As far as graphics go...


The sound is also very atmospheric. This is basically the same suspenseful music that we've heard in every Resident Evil game. You can always tell when enemies are nearby when the music is upbeat and pounding. Only when that music ceases is when you can finally relax. Each gun's reloading and firing sounds seem very accurate. Also, the voice acting is pretty good for a Resident Evil game. The chanting cloaked enemies in the castle send a chill down my spine also. I'd give sound a...


The story as far as I can tell is much different from the previous Resident Evil games. Umbrella has been destroyed and the president's daughter has been kidnapped, forcing Leon to go to a remote village in Europe to trace her. A mysterious guy named Luis tries to save you and an old friend of Leon's makes a comeback. Not far into the game you stumble upon a kind of cult group that apparently has something to do with the virus and Ashley's kidnapping (I know the whole story but I don't want to ruin it for anybody). It is a major departure from the original Resident Evil series but I'd still give it an...


The gameplay is very fun. Headshots are common in this game, especially with updated weapons and the new aiming system. You can shoot an enemy anywhere on their body and they will react accordingly (falling on the ground, dropping a weapon, etc.). The attache case is a plus and the addition of merchants really makes you think about what you should carry around with you. There is also an abundance of ammunition which is something new to the Resident Evil series. Also, the location of typewriters seem to be closer together and they no longer require ink ribbons to save. These last two features may make the game seem a bit easier to some. Finally, what about the horror part of this game? The pop-up scare factor isn't there as much, but the roar of the chainsaws and chanting of the monks should give people the same unsettling and nervous feeling that they got whenever they heard a zombie moan. There are also extras like costumes, new weapons, and mini-games to play after you beat the main game.


Overall, this game lived up to my expectations. Resident Evil 4 is a very fun game that everybody should be able (and should) play. Although, some fans of the series may not like the vast amount of changes that this game has. Because of this, I find it harder to give an appropriate score to this game. In my opinion, Resident Evil 4 as a game would be close to a 9.5/10 whereas Resident Evil 4 as a Resident Evil game is more of an 8/10. Interpret that how you want to.

Some may say this game loses a lot of the old Resident Evil magic. This is probably true, as this game is probably a part of a new storyline in the series (like how the Zelda series now has the main games with Ganon and the ones where Link can split up and Vaati is the bad guy). I'm also talking about things like the seemingly easier difficulty, ability to get more things like head shots, less and easier puzzles, and less of the "jump" scare factor. I can see why Capcom did this, though. They knew the series was getting stale and they wanted to make a game that was more accessible to everybody. The frequency of headshots has been upped drastically, making it not as satisfying as it was in the past games (it still is fun, though). There's also not as much backtracking or difficult puzzles like there were in the older games. Maybe I'm wrong, though. Maybe I think this game is easy because it's more fun to play than the other games. I played Resident Evil 0 up to the second disc and then stopped. That was about 8 or so hours into the game. I've already played Resident Evil 4 around 9 hours and I can't wait to go back into it.

That's my personal review. Hopefully Resident Evil 5 will continue where 4 ended off while also maintaining some of the things that made the older games classics. I still say this game is one of the best next generation games yet, though, and I'm sticking with that.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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