Review: Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4 finally arrived to the Gamecube in early 2005, and like many a controversial thing – split the fanbase in half.

Resident Evil 4 has been in development for around 5 years, it’s first genesis became the action game ‘Devil May Cry’, and following on from that, at least 3 versions (that we know of) were designed and ultimately, scrapped. With this, Capcom abandoned much that the series relied on, the zombies, the camera angles and created this. It threw many fans off the chart, many screamed, many cried. But all were silenced when this game was finally released.

The game met with critical acclaim worldwide over the the internet. Indeed it’s one of the highest ranking games ever. Now, it’s time to learn why.

First up, the visuals which many gamers will notice straight away, are utterly fabulous. The brown grainy look gives the game an unusual atmosphere straight away and the characters are fantastic, well detailed and well animated. Technical critics would ignore this game for it features no pixel shading and all that techno babble. But visuals should always be what the eyes see, and this is a visual feast for any eye. The audio further paints the picture and gives some of best sounding experiences ever in gaming. With surround sound supported, the feeling of helplessness and being outnumbered is really hammered home as you feel, yourself, trapped in your own enviroment of which you would play this game.

So the game itself then that has stunned the world, is in short – stunning. Though by no means a slow game, indeed it’s very action packed compared to traditional Resident Evil, nonetheless manages to redefine itself constantly, throwing new monsters and challenges at the player at the exact moment they begin to feel bored. The controls of older Resident Evil’s remain, but with the new camera angle (behind the characters shoulder) gone are the fustrating niggles many had with the previous game. It all feels so intuitive now. Everything that was wrong with Resident Evil before, has been hammered out to make way for the onslaught of ingenious that is Resident Evil 4.

Indeed the only really problem that people would have with this game is the one thing that kept the fans going, the story. This game is (almost) a total abandon of everything that came before, and takes not only the series, but the story itself in a new direction. Many even now after playing the game are still dissapointed with the story. The defence from Capcom is that to evolve you need to change, and this is what that decision represents, an ultimate change. This isn’t just an evolution, it’s a revolution, not just for Resident Evil, but for video games in general. If only all games were made to this quality and overall polish, the market might be in a much better state, weeding out the lesser games which corrupt and pollute it.

If you weren’t a Resident Evil fan before, if you’ve any sense, this will convert you, it’s that good.


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