Resident Evil 4 (Remake)
Resident Evil 4 remake, also known as RE4 remake, was released just a couple of days ago, and fans are thrilled. This remake of the 2005 original Resident Evil 4 introduces modernized gameplay, a reimagined storyline, and vividly detailed graphics. In this article, we will go over what to expect from this revived classic of the survivor horror genre and why Resident Evil is so popular.
Resident Evil game and its juggernaut franchise
The Resident Evil franchise by Capcom has withstood the test of time, continually growing in popularity over its 27 years. It is one of the biggest franchises in video games, with a total of 28 installments having been launched for a wide range of different consoles. The franchise has also inspired several movies, including two animes, a Netflix series, and even a few novelizations. How has this franchise managed to remain so popular for such a long time?
Resident Evil pioneered the survival horror genre, and elements the series introduced are mainstays in the genre today. The first Resident Evil game came out in 1996, chilling the spines of players first setting foot in the infamous Spencer Mansion as they uncovered the dark secrets of the now-infamous Umbrella Corporation. The game masterfully combined fast-paced action, freedom for exploration, strategic inventory management, and flexible game mechanics to challenge the player and keep them sharp for the horrors that lay ahead. While the series started as a purely survival horror experience, the franchise has often ventured into becoming more action-oriented, and reception for each of the installments has been quite mixed.
Several cinematic adaptations of the video games have been produced by Constantin Films. Predominantly written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich as the movie-only character Alice, these movies diverged greatly from the games. As action-packed as they may be, the Resident Evil games were first and foremost survival horror games. The earlier installments emphasized survival tactics and an overbearing atmosphere. By contrast, the Resident Evil movies are fast-paced action flicks that incidentally happen to have zombies. Few scenes are dedicated to scaring audiences, as the movies prioritized Alice's cool fights over everything else. Although the films have received generally mixed and even negative reviews from fans of the games, they have grossed more than $1.2 billion at the box office, reflecting their popularity among movie-goers who may not number among the video game’s fans.
A Netflix series was launched in July 2022 that is based on the Resident Evil games. The first weekend was very promising for the show, scoring 72 million hours in its first three days on Netflix, but due to a subsequent decline in viewer numbers, the show was not renewed for a second season.
Despite some of the game’s installments and movies receiving mixed reviews, the highly anticipated remake coming out this year is testament to the franchise’s long-lived popularity.
Who created Resident Evil?
The franchise belongs to Capcom, a Japanese video game developer, publisher, and distributor, with the original 1996 game being directed by a then relatively unknown Capcom designer named Shinji Mikami, whose work on the game catapulted his career. Mikami worked on a number of Resident Evil games throughout his Capcom tenure as either an advisor, director, producer, or writer.
Capcom is a true pioneer in the video game industry. Established in 1979, the company has had success through a number of iconic franchises, including Street Fighter, Mega Man, and Monster Hunter, all of which have achieved worldwide success. In addition, among the video games released by the company over the years, 100 games have sold more than a million copies each. This year, in addition to Resident Evil 4 remake, Capcom is set to release two other highly anticipated games: Exoprimal, a third-person shooter, and Pragmata, a sci-fi action adventure title.
Resident Evil 4 remake
Resident Evil 4 was one of the most successful installments of the franchise, and its remake is intended to bring the game up to 2023 standards.
The game sees Leon Kennedy, star of Resident Evil 2, take on a dangerous mission to rescue the American President’s daughter, Ashley Graham. Ashley has been abducted by a cult based in the wilderness of rural Spain. There, a mysterious plague has eaten away at the community and rendered them rageful and violent, leaving a gauntlet of ambushes and traps for Leon to navigate. Leon will have to team up with locals, track down the cult leaders, and unravel the cult’s plans before it is too late.
The remake brings together classic survival horror mechanics, such as third-person over-the-shoulder action, stealth elements, and inventory management, while also introducing modern quality-of-life improvements like additional control schemes, improved menus, and enhanced graphics. This combination of old and new revives the tried-and-true formula and brings it to a new level.
Expect to upgrade your weapons, scrounge for supplies, solve puzzles, and battle enemies along the way. Some brand-new additions are also included in the remake. New sidequests, enemy types, and parry mechanics, which allow Leon to block attacks with his knife, will feature in the remake. Blue flyers located in-game are used to collect sidequests for you to complete, with examples including solving a puzzle and tracking down and eliminating a specific enemy.
Capcom has confirmed that The Mercenaries challenge mode will return as free post-launch DLC. Also, the remake will incorporate PSVR 2 functionality, but Capcom has not shared details for that just yet.
Changes from the original Resident Evil 4
In terms of narrative, Resident Evil 4 remake will mirror the original, but it will not be a shot-for-shot recreation. As Capcom has confirmed, the remake will serve as a “reimagining.”
It is likely that the tank controls from the original will be removed in favor of the more conventional mechanics available in modern games. Capcom has also eliminated Quick-Time events in the remake.
One of the more interesting gameplay changes is that knives will have limited durability and will break after a certain amount of use. However, you will be able to store multiple knives in your inventory.
Ashley will no longer have a health bar. If she takes too much damage, she will enter a “downed state” and need to be revived. If she is hit when in this state, she will die. This is supposed to make her seem more like a real companion than just a second health bar that players need to monitor.
The “attaché case” inventory management system from the original will be making a return along with The Merchant. As you might expect, he is the man to see if you want to buy new items, sell your gear, or upgrade existing equipment.
Resident Evil 4 remake release date
The game was released on March 24, 2023, for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. Unfortunately, it looks like the title will not be available on Xbox Game Pass. However, you can find the game on Steam.
By sticking to the original game’s formula of item management, exploration, puzzle solving, and crucially, fighting off zombie hordes, we are looking forward to seeing more of the quality gameplay that Capcom is known for.
Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.