As we get closer to the March release of Resident Evil 4 Remake, I’ve been gettin’ a little antsy for information. Thankfully, Capcom (via Game Informer) has graced us with some new details regarding the upcoming return to Los Pueblos (now Valdelobos). In issue 353 of Game Informer, a slew of new details have dropped and I’ll go over some of the big ones here:
During their playtime, Game Informer encountered an all-new enemy, which is a pretty huge surprise. Currently unnamed, this Ganado wears the decapitated head of a bull like a mask and carries a massive hammer to pulverize Leon with. Game Informer’s Marcus Stewart describes this hulking tank as charging him and barely flinches at oncoming fire — but can eventually be brought to one knee, opening him up for a devastating melee strike.
Capcom coyly teased that this bullish man won’t be the only new face we’ll be seeing in Resident Evil 4 Remake, which is exciting as hell. The Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes added precisely two new enemies (not counting creatures that were entirely reworked), the Pale Heads and the NE-α Parasite Zombie, and both were closer to simple zombie upgrades than truly new encounters. The bullish man here is something wildly different for Resident Evil 4, not fitting into any archetype of the original’s creature feature (sounding much closer to Revelations 2‘s Iron Head). As fans have noticed a bull mask in among the original Resident Evi 4‘s concept art, this opens up the possibility for other previously unused horrors to reappear. The Hooked Man and the Female Jester Ganado spring to mind as strong hopefuls.
Game Informer briefly spoke about Resident Evil 4‘s new controls, which are “identical” to the default control scheme in 2019’s Resident Evil 2 Remake. Moving and shooting, L2 to aim R2 to fire, all that jazz. A real surprise came with Capcom confirmed that there are 6 optional control schemes, including one “styled after the 2005 configuration”. Could this mean Resident Evil 4 Remake of all things could have… tank controls? Not a chance I’d assume, but at the same time the original 2005 controls required the controller’s face buttons to fire weapons and run, making the right stick useless. It’s hard to imagine what a middle-ground to that would be. Color me intrigued because I would absolutely play with tank controls.
A big point of contention among players terrible at Resident Evil 4 has always been Ashley Graham, the President’s daughter, and the target of Leon’s rescue mission. Among one of gaming’s best (and simplest) escort missions, Ashley has always presented as an easy task throughout the original title, capable of being ordered to safety or simply sticking to Leon’s back like a satchel where she can be sandwiched against a wall and away from danger. In order to combat this, the developers behind Resident Evil 4 Remake has made an effort to make Ashley a bigger piece of the gameplay experience. For one thing, Ashley’s “Wait/Follow Me” commands have been swapped out for ordering her to follow Leon closely or to hang back (by clicking in the right stick/R3).
Ashley can no longer be told to hide anymore either, as co-director Kazunori Kadoi feels that “having [Ashley] go hide somewhere else defeats the purpose of having you with you”. I can’t help but agree, but it will add a new level of challenge that we’re gonna have to prepare for. Probably the biggest change, however, is that Ashley no longer has a separate health bar to manage. In the original, adding Ashley to your party altered the HUD to show her health along with Leon’s, but now her status is more ambiguous. She can take a few hits depending on the type of enemy she’s facing (and some bigger creatures can knock her down in one), and once her health runs out, she’ll be put into a “down” state that requires us to run over and help her recover (ala Resident Evil 5). If she gets hit again, however, it’s game over, and Mission Failed. “Ohhh… no” indeed.
One last fun thing, some of the footage Game Informer shared also revealed that, when being carried off by a Ganado, Leon can run up and straight shank the plunderer in the neck.
In Resident Evil 4 Remake you can now just stab a ganado in the neck if they’re carrying Ashley. Which is something so incredibly convenient and a thing I used to scream about not being able to do in the original RE4 when I was first playing the game back in 2005. THANKS CAPCOM! pic.twitter.com/Sq6HA1V003
— Suzi Hunter (@TheSphereHunter) January 31, 2023
While Resident Evil has dabbled in side-quest-esque content, it’s generally been constrained to just one — collectibles hunting. 2021’s Resident Evil Village opened things up a little bit more, and it looks like Resident Evil 4 Remake is following suit. Game Informer describes encountering a number of small side activities, including finding snake carcasses and hunting down a Colmillos. These side-quests appear as blue flyers found throughout the world (similar to the original Blue Medallion flyer) and can be turned in for rewards at the Merchant’s shop. Obviously, RE4 has some pretty hard-stop points of no return, and the Merchant will let Leon know when time is running out to complete any remaining tasks.
You Are Dead
One of the things I (and many others) have been curious about is Resident Evil 4 Remake‘s game over moments. While it’s not like the series has ever let up on gore, the original 2005 Resident Evil 4 stands out as it has easily the most over-the-top and graphic depictions of player death this side of Mortal Kombat. We got a small tease when the ESRB details for the game first dropped a few weeks ago, but Game Informer got a chance to see one of the game’s new horrific ends as they watched Leon’s eyes get stabbed in by a raving Ganado’s thumbs, causing blood to spray out and Leon to scream in agony.
There’s nothing wrong with me I just think it’s neat.
That’s it for now, although there are lots more to read over in Game Informer’s new article. Additionally, Game Informer has promised coverage spanning this entire month, so we’ll be right there with any major updates for you!
Textless upscale of Game Informer’s cover made by @MarcosRCRE on Twitter