The Capcom narrative was rewritten for the next console generations 18 years ago by game creator Shinji Mikami, the man behind Resident Evil and Dino Crisis, who altered the survival horror genre’s rules, changed its aesthetic, and drastically increased the action. In addition to revitalizing the series, Mikami created a model of rooms and a view that would serve as the basis for many future video games as well as the sequels of the Capcom horror series. Resident Evil 4, which was at the time a Nintendo GameCube exclusive, received positive reviews from both critics and players.
Resident Evil 4 is a 2023 remake of the 2005 original game produced and published by Capcom. Players take control of US agent Leon S. Kennedy, whose mission is to protect Ashley Graham, the president’s daughter, from the shadowy Los Illuminados cult. The remake contains a revised storyline, fresh artwork, cast, and gameplay. The game was released for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, and Xbox Series X/S.
Leon S. Kennedy (Nick Apostolides), who was trained by Major Jack Krauser (Mike Kovac), joins the US government as an agent after Raccoon City is destroyed in 1998. In 2004, six years later, with the help of Ingrid Hunnigan (Raylene Harewood), Leon is dispatched by the president to rescue his daughter Ashley Graham (Genevieve Buechner) from a community in rural Spain. Soon after arriving, Leon discovers his escorts being mercilessly slaughtered by the locals, who have joined the Los Illuminados cult and are under the thrall of the parasite Las Plagas.
Leon encounters Luis Serra (André Pea), who Ingrid confirms once worked for the Umbrella Corporation while looking for Ashley. Chief Bitores Méndez (Jon Bryant), the village chief, captures Leon and Luis and injects Leon with Las Plagas parasite. Following their liberation from captivity, the two part ways, with Luis running into Ada Wong (Lily Gao).
Ashley, who has Las Plagas infection as well, is saved by Leon. Méndez pursues them until Leon kills him. The two flee to a castle after their rescue chopper is delayed by bad weather, but Lord Ramón Salazar’s (Marcio Moreno) guards capture Ashley. Before rejoining Luis, who offers suppressants for Las Plagas and explains he wants to atone for his sins while serving as an Umbrella researcher, Leon briefly confronts Ada after their last meeting in Raccoon City.
The two travel through mining tunnels to reach the surface, but Krauser, who has defected to Los Illuminados, stabs Luis to death. Krauser and Leon fight, with Krauser being forced to flee by Luis. Luis offers Leon the key to his private laboratory before he passes away. Leon fights Salazar when he returns to the castle and defeats him before pursuing Krauser and Ashley to an island facility.
Leon and Ashley get back together, and they encounter Los Illuminados commander Osmund Saddler (Christopher Jane). He separates them once more by using their parasites to control Ashley and render Leon helpless. Leon learns while exploring the facility that Krauser abducted Ashley and brought her to the hamlet as a form of vengeance against the US government for the way “Operation Javier”, a two years earlier mission that ended in the death of his whole unit and he had just barely survived, was handled.
Leon kills Krauser after he mutates himself using Las Plagas parasite to gain power. When Leon and Ashley are reunited, Saddler makes an appearance and tries to control Leon until Ada steps in and frees Leon so he may take Ashley to Luis’s lab and get rid of their parasites. Leon saves Ada from Saddler while trying to find a way out, then teams up with her to murder him after he drops a vial of Las Plagas amber. While Leon and Ashley flee the exploding island on a jet ski, Ada steals the vial and departs in a helicopter.
At this point, Ada gets in touch with her boss, Albert Wesker (Craig Burnatowski), to find out what he plans to do with the vial. A disgruntled Ada orders her pilot to reverse course as he promises that a new dawn will arrive at the cost of billions of deaths.
Given that it is a complete remake, Resident Evil 4 features fresh 3D modeling that is extremely reminiscent of the most recent Village chapter. However, it appears that Capcom did not want to push too hard on this side, focusing more on gameplay and plot by reworking maps, storylines, and dialogues. The employment of better-defined visuals and raytracing provides fresh light to a graphic sector that by this point showed the signs of time.
Despite Mikami’s absence from the team, it was decided to rewrite the chapter’s narrative with more mature overtones, removing any traits that might have diverted the player’s attention from what is now a chapter that is flawlessly integrated with the Resident Evil macro story, including sequels and spin-offs, and inheriting its darker and scarier style.
Resident Evil 4 borrows several design cues from the remakes of Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 3 (2020), but it retains the “over-the-shoulder” third-person shooter gameplay of the original. New character and background designs are included in Resident Evil 4’s revamped graphics, which are intended to heighten the tension in the environment.
Six different control methods are available, one of which is modeled like the original game. Sometimes, the player must solve riddles to access specific locations. In several scenes, Leon is tasked with defending Ashley. She operates with a less complex health system than in the original and can be told to stay nearby or farther away.
Players use an attaché case to organize their inventory, much like in the original game. But players can now build items and weapons utilizing resources they’ve gathered thanks to a new crafting system in the remake. The Merchant is back, offering new side tasks that may be finished while playing the main narrative while also enabling the player to purchase, upgrade, and trade things.
Similar to the original, shooting adversaries and reloading are the main fighting strategies. But now that he can move and utilize weapons simultaneously, Leon is able to avoid attacks while shooting. Leon has the ability to hurt opponents with melee assaults and push them away. He may also use his knife to block, counterattack, and kill fallen adversaries thanks to a new parrying mechanism. Leon’s knife, in contrast to the original, includes a durability meter. If it is broken, the player must speak with the Merchant to have it fixed or have its durability increased. Leon is capable of carrying a variety of knives with different characteristics.
The ability to parry oneself with the knife and stealth killings are two excellent examples of how gameplay can be refreshed without being distorted, encouraging the player to approach certain parts of the game with greater caution and giving a clear preference for survival over action. Another significant incentive for saga veterans to play this game again from a fresh perspective is the fact that Ashley’s nature has transformed from that of a simple pawn to save and protect to a real character.
Regarding the aesthetics, we can see various outfits, including those that can be unlocked and bought online, as well as the customization of the weapon case, with pendants of various types that can offer you bonuses depending on the combinations but also give that kitsch tone to your inventory, but in true Capcom style.
What we discover in this remake are numerous enhancements that actually make a game from two decades ago much better and more up-to-date, including contemporary mechanics, an enemy AI that is clearly superior to the previous one, and a whole host of new difficulty-level additions.
Finally, even those who are already familiar with Resident Evil 4 will be able to relive Leon’s tumultuous adventure in Spain without worrying about getting bored. This updated version of Resident Evil 4 is vastly superior in every aspect, and it will please both fans of the series and those searching for a horror action game that is clearly above average. This game is a mature and full product that is much more consistent with the series to which it belongs.