Resident Evil 4 (2023) Remake Faithful to Original Game, “A Sign of its Enduring Greatness”
“Since its first release in 2005, Resident Evil 4 (2023) has seen more than 10 re-releases. It is a game that many players will always remember.”
We just had the chance to play Capcom’s inevitable Resi 4 remake, and it was somewhat of a relief to see how faithfully it seemed to recreate the original game. This is maybe evidence of the enduring greatness of Shinji Mikami’s masterpiece.
The earlier Resident Evil remakes, which focused on older games from the early days of 3D, naturally adopted a less scrupulous approach to updating designs from the source material. But in this case, the Resident Evil 4 (2023) remake’s opening sequence is virtually exactly how we recall it from the original, to the point that we were able to find concealed things only from recollection.
Resident Evil 4 (2023): Naturally, this is only the version of the game we *think* we remember, as the level of detail is far superior to what Resident Evil 4 (2023) actually appeared to be in 2005. The demo begins with Leon, who resembles his CGI Netflix image almost exactly, realistically pulling aside tree branches as he makes his way deeper into the forest, finally coming across animal corpses that look so convincingly rendered that they had to be edited out of our YouTube film.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) may be Capcom’s best work yet, despite the fact that the REengine has produced some magnificent games in the past. But happily, it seems that the remake’s commitment to the original goes beyond a superficial level.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) : Since Leon hilariously jumps out of a glass window, it becomes evident that Resident Evil 4 won’t make the same error as other video game remakes that have compromised the soul of their original works in the name of ultra-realistic looks.
Finding that the excessive action of the first film hasn’t been toned down was actually satisfying. A few potshots from Leon’s pistol can be followed with a quick roundhouse kick to the face and a corny one-liner when the Los Iluminados ultimately appear staggering with their pitchforks, just as we remember it.
Although it’s unclear how representative the demo we played is of the complete game, it makes a prudent decision to faithfully recreate the opening village scene, which is certainly a good idea given that it’s likely one of the most recognisable in contemporary video games.
The subtle changes are the most noticeable; you can now move and shoot simultaneously, the environment and enemies are highly destructible, you can sneak up on enemies and quietly slay them, and there are hidden set pieces to find, like a cow that can be set on fire by shooting a nearby lantern and causing mayhem. Additionally, parts of the knife system from Resident Evil 2 have been added by Capcom, enabling players to counterattack in a delightfully outrageous way.
However, the overall feel is exactly the same—at least in this section—and that felt wonderfully comforting, like visiting an old (many-tentacled) friend. We hurried into the main house out of reflex when the famed chainsaw-wielding villager burst onto the scene, Leon automatically barricading the entrance behind us. We sprinted upstairs and snatched the shotgun from the wall, right where it’s always been, and made a quick departure through the window, as the villagers tried to set up a ladder, and our psychotic adversary hacked the entrance to bits.
The details are where the largest alterations lie; the environment and opponents are now extremely destructible, you may now sneak up on adversaries and quietly axe them, and there are set pieces to find.
As our path sets off a cut-scene where he uses his weapon to bring down the top level of a neighbouring building, blocking the way forward and forcing us to rethink our route, we catch a glimpse of how Capcom might be introducing a little of Mr. X – the AI-controlled stalker from Resident Evil 2’s remake – into Resi 4’s chainsaw baddie.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) : here’s a reason this game has been ported to almost every console since its release because the moment-to-moment fighting is still excellent and extremely stressful. In this section, our only goal is to survive, and before long, we find ourselves backed into a corner, holding a hand grenade and staring at the pointy ends of at least five pitchforks. Our projectile explodes just as we are about to die, obliterating all of our enemies and letting us flee down a nearby street. A wonderful time.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) may still have us play through an unknown, 6-hour sewer segment while removing the majority of the original content. This opening scenario is not necessarily representative of the rest of the game. But it makes it evident that Capcom is aware of when it should be faithful and when it shouldn’t change something for the sake of changing it. And as a result, we are now much more hopeful about this remake than we were before we played it.