Resident Evil 4
Score: 9.8 / 10
Love survivor horror games but donít have a GameCube? Well, take my advice and go and get one ASAP (if you have the extra cash that is) and pick up a copy of Resident Evil 4 while youíre at it. If you donít have the extra loot, which Iím sure a lot of you donít, but have a PS2, then have no fear, Resident Evil 4 will make its way to the PS2 (eventually). However, the graphics and load times will surely make a downfall in the PS2 version and the visuals in Resident Evil 4 on the GameCube are so good, that itís considered art in my book. This is definitely the best survivor horror game ever made and you need to play it no matter what!
Remember rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy from Resident Evil 2? He is now a
well-trained agent for the U.S. Government and is sent to a remote
location somewhere in Europe to investigate the whereabouts of the
Presidentís missing daughter, Ashley. The mission; to bring Ashley
back to America unharmed. Problem? How about relentless attacks by
villagers and other menacing foes? Doesnít that just sound awesome?
This is what differentiates Resident Evil 4 from previous installments of
the popular series. I remember a friend of mine playing the first
Resident Evil remake on the GameCube a couple years ago. He memorized
where all the zombies were and literally stayed still until a zombie
would show himself to make his attack. In Resident Evil 4, the villagers
(not zombies) will attack, but this time they exhibit some degree of
real intelligence. If youíre stuck in a cabin, they wonít just leave
you alone or try the barricaded door, no, they problem solve. A couple
of villagers will try to force their way through the barricaded door
while a few others will try to smash a window and some will even try to
take you by surprise by jumping through a window on the top floor using
a ladder. These are not the same mindless zombies that weíre used to,
oh no, Resident Evil 4 brings us something brand new. While the
villagers themselves are pretty freaky, the game only gets scarier as
you, the player, encounter huge wolves, monks, things that pop out of
peopleís heads and more. The bosses in RE4 are definitely
unforgettable! Quite possibly the coolest looking and the most fun boss
fights that Iíve come across in a long time.
The camera is set behind Leonís right shoulder. This gives the game
some extra depth and perspective because you have a widened view of
everything in front of you. Oh sure you might think that seeing more of
your surrounding will make things a lot easier for you and itís easy
to see where your enemies are coming from, but personally
I think thatís what gets the player really paranoid. Why? For
example: I see a bunch of cabins and corners to turn into and I just
donít know if Iím going to be ambushed or not and if I am ambushed,
will they surround me? Turning around once in a while couldnít hurt
because your enemies love to surprise you from all directions if the
opportunity comes up.
Iíll dish out any beef I have with the gameplay right now before I forget because sometimes Iím so blinded by this gameís greatness that I completely forget about any disappointments. You canít sidestep. It would be nice to be able to strafe or sidestep while shooting, but you just canít do it. Itís not a big deal and could be just personal preference, but plenty of action games have benefited from adding the ability to sidestep. I guess Capcom just felt that it wasn't needed. The controls also feel similar to the previous games like having to turn your body around before actually moving forward. Itís not so much of a big deal as it was in the previous games because it doesnít feel near as clumsy when you move. Again, this could be a personal preference, but Iím sure there are others who would agree with me.
When you ready your weapon by holding down the R button, the camera zooms
in and the laser sight turns on for easy aiming. At first I thought that
Leon was a terrible shot, then I realized heís just like Hellboy.
(ďListen, Iím not a very good shot but the Samaritan here uses some
really big bullets.Ē That may sound cheesy but hey, itís the truth.)
When I finally started to get hang of the whole aiming thing I couldnít believe how well it
worked. When a villager would throw his axe at Leon, I was easily able
to deflect it with a bullet. What looks really sweet is shooting a stick
of dynamite while itís being thrown at you. Itís a convenient way to
save bullets and to dispose of nearby enemies.
Capcom has implemented an action button that can perform various
maneuvers. If you shoot someone in the face, you can easily follow it up
with a nice roundhouse kick to the oí noggin. If you shoot enemies in
their shins and make them fall to their knees, you can give the
villagers a spinning sidekick or, even better, you can shoot the monks
in the shins and once they fall to their knees Leon can perform a nice
supplex that usually smashes their heads to pieces. Even though kicking
and supplexing is all in good fun, Leon has many weapons at his
Like the previous Resident Evils, Leon can only carry a certain amount of items on him. He uses a briefcase, which you can be expanded by buying the upgrades from a merchant. The merchant is who you go to for your goodies. He sells shotguns, rifles, TMP, handguns and yes even rocket launchers. Every weapon has its own advantages and disadvantages.
The merchant doesnít only sell weapons but buys practically anything
you have and also has the ability to upgrade your weapons. For example:
Guns can be modified to hold more capacity, increased firepower and
reloading speed. Throughout his mission, Leon will also come across
grenades, flash grenades and incendiary grenades, which are extremely
useful against large enemy encounters.
The graphics in Resident Evil 4 blowÖ. myÖ.. mind. They are, without
a doubt, the best graphics Iíve ever seen in a console game.
Everything looks so realistic, especially the character models. If
youíre playing on a big screen T.V., you can spot out the odd muddy
texture, but thatís not near enough to care about when you see just
how beautiful the game is. Explosions, flames, splattering blood,
everything looks superb.
Sound is sort of a mixed bag. I donít really mind Leonís voice actor,
but I know there are quite a bit of people who do. Ashleyís voice is
what really bothers me, well more or less one certain line that you will
hear quite a bit. ďLEEEEEEEEEEON HEEEEEELP!Ē That scream is not as
annoying as baby Marioís cry, but itís still pretty annoying. Music
is eerie, creepy and definitely sets the perfect mood. I donít know
any Spanish, but the voices of the enemies sounded great to me,
particularly the monks.
So how does Resident Evil 4 hold up against other survivor horror games?
Like I said, Resident Evil 4 is the best survivor horror game ever made.
Itís also one of the best action games Iíve played in a very long
time. If youíre a GameCube owner thereís no excuse for not picking
up this game.
(March 10, 2005)
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