Is 2005’s Resident Evil 4 Still Worth Playing in 2023?

We are now less than a week before Capcom’s 4th Resident Evil Remake makes it’s highly anticipated release for current gen systems PS5 and Xbox Series S/X respectively. So as there are obvious comparisons between the original and the new shiny coat of paint version, does this make the OG RE4 now obsolete to your average gamer?

In case some of you were living under a boulder prior to Chris Redfield punching, Resident Evil 5th installment (continuity wise) of the survival horror franchise developed and published by the guys who gave us Street Fighter. Resi 4 was first released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005, and later for other platforms such as PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, and PC. It is still, widely regarded as one of the best entries in the Resident Evil series and has received critical acclaim for its gameplay mechanics, graphics, and storyline. The game follows the story of Leon S. Kennedy, a former police officer who is now a government agent. Leon is sent on a mission to rescue the President's daughter, Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult in Spain. As he investigates the cult and their plans, he encounters a new type of enemy known as the Los Ganados, villagers infected with a parasitic organism that turns them into violent creatures.
Gameplay footage and photos courtesy of Stalkeye via Capcom

One of the major improvements of Resident Evil 4 over its predecessors is its gameplay mechanics. The game features an over-the-shoulder perspective, allowing players to have better control of their character's movement and aiming. The game also introduces quick-time events, which require players to press certain buttons to avoid danger or execute finishing moves. These features were groundbreaking at the time and continue to be influential in modern games.

Aside from the action sequences, the somewhat rudimentary puzzles and exploration, provided a welcome break from the action. Additionally, the game's storyline is engaging and well-crafted, with memorable characters like Luis Sera, Osmund Saddler, Jack Krauser, and of course super spy Ada Wong. The game's setting in rural Spain also adds to its unique atmosphere combined with a sense of tension and suspense throughout.

Another notable feature was the game's graphics from highly detailed character models, environments, to special effects demonstrating the impressive power from both GameCube and PlayStation 2 respectively while the equally impressive audio design delivers a haunting soundtrack that adds tension, immersion and suspense within the game. So, to answer the question, Resident Evil 4 is still worth playing today. Despite being released over 15 years ago, the gameplay mechanics, storyline and graphics still hold up unlike the PlayStation Resident Evil 2 released in 1998 especially when compared to 2018’s RE 2 remake. Now while the game is highly enjoyable, it may not have as much replay value as other titles from the series due to its linear nature and lack of multiple endings. However, extra content like Mercenaries, Separate Ways and Assignment Ada, more than make up for any shortcomings. As with a few fellow gamers, I found RE4’s difficulty inconsistent at times, with certain sections being much easier or harder than others like that damn miniboss fight with one of Ramon Salazar’s henchmen, getting bombarded with cannon, and those damn Regenerators! 

The other albeit minor critique, is despite the sequel being considered a survival horror game, it has more emphasis on action-oriented elements than the previous games from the series, which led to succeeding RE games such as Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6, following the new standard of gameplay. This had disappointed some fans who prefer the horror-focused gameplay of earlier games. Overall, Resident Evil 4 has several pros and few cons as It remains one of the most beloved games in the series and perhaps, the “greatest adventure of them all!” In summary, despite its outdated controller setup, Resident Evil 4 is still worth playing today, both for its historical significance in the survival horror genre and for its immersive gameplay, graphics, and story that rivals the cinematic experience.

Overall, Resident Evil 4 is a highly recommended game for fans of the survival horror genre. Its engaging storyline, improved gameplay mechanics, and stunning graphics make it a must-play title for any gamer be it for nostalgia, or the action horror enthusiast within you!


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