Resident Evil 4 (2023) Review – A Once In a Generation Remake
Capcom has started remaking their classic Resident Evil games, beginning with Resident Evil 2, followed by 3, and now Resident Evil 4. One of the reasons why Resident Evil 4 never felt like it needed a remake was because it still holds up well. If you play the game on a PC, you can get an even better experience with a legendary mod that remasters every texture in the game. This is why there was never any need for Capcom to touch it as a remake, but they ended up doing it.
Initially, I was skeptical about the prospects of Resident Evil 4 getting a remake. We have seen some classic games like Final Fantasy VII or Dead Space getting remade, and the results have been stellar so far. In the case of Resident Evil 4, Capcom appears to have gone above and beyond, not only significantly expanding the scope of the game but also bringing in several new gameplay features that have completely transformed the game.
If you have already played Resident Evil 4 (2005), you will recognize many of the events in the game, including the bosses. The story beats also remain mostly untouched, and while this is not a 1:1 remake as there is some cut content, it is supplemented by expanded content. I was in awe throughout my experience of playing this remake as it managed not only to outdo any expectations I had for it but also delivered one of the best games of 2023. It is a classic that has been reimagined and polished to perfection.
The game’s story is the same. We play as Leon, who is no longer a rookie cop. He is recruited by the US after his stints in Raccoon City and now works under the president. He is tasked with finding the missing daughter of the US president, who was last traced to a remote village in Spain. This is where the story begins; however, in the remake, the opening is played out completely differently. It is expanded in the sense that while most of the beats remain the same, there is more gameplay here and a slightly more tense scene. The opening makes it clear that fans are in for a ride of a lifetime with this remake.
A lot of the core game mechanics have been retained. The game plays in a third-person view, like the other remakes, but unlike the new Resident Evil games, the inventory, weapon upgrades, and progression system are retained. Combat is a lot more fluid now with the lack of QTEs in the game, which means that Leon can not only find new ways to dodge and perform stylish moves on his enemies but also use a knife as a tool to parry and counterattack his enemies. This knife is a key tool in the fight against the chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador, which poses the same threat and looks even more menacing in this remake.
The combat feels a lot smoother now as a result of changes made in the remake. If you hadn’t played the original game back when it launched on the GameCube, you might be forgiven for not remembering how horrendous its control scheme was at that time. While it might have been revolutionary at launch, it has aged now. It required the player to stop and aim with a button while the aiming cursor moved with the directional stick as well.
The visuals in the game are sublime. It might be the best-looking RE Engine game in my opinion. The game supports both ray-tracing as well as a performance mode. Thankfully, it runs at 60 FPS in both modes, so we are not missing out on much if we want to run it with ray tracing. As I was reviewing the game on a PS5, the haptic feedback and adaptive trigger support felt like great additions. I noticed that during traversal on something like a bridge, the control provides feedback for every step that we take, making us feel immersion that is normally missed. The weapons also pack a punch with the use of adaptive triggers, although I am rarely a fan of this feature in most PS5 games.
Resident Evil 4 ups the ante when it comes to offering a tense atmosphere. The game is incredibly moody with clever use of lighting and cinematic effects. It is supplemented by the use of 3D audio, which helps to improve the immersive experience. It is honestly one of the best-looking and sounding games of this year easily. It is hard to pick a fault here because the game ran flawlessly for me on a PS5, while I did encounter a few crashes on PC that might be due to the VRAM requirements since it is quite demanding in this regard.
While it is unfortunate that there is some cut content in the game, such as some of the boss fights being removed, there are also additional boss fights available in places where fans of the original least expect them. One of the boss fights, the lake encounter, is completely revamped as QTEs are removed, so it feels like a different thing altogether now. The same applies to some of the later boss fights, such as the famous Krauser knight fight. It was a set of awesome quick-time events in the original release, but the new parry mechanics make this fight possible in real-time now.
While it is true that not all fans may be satisfied with the changes made in the Resident Evil 4 (2023) remake, I believe that Capcom has created a perfect game that fulfills the dreams of many fans. Although the last half of the game may still be messy, it is no different from the original release in my opinion. I think that Capcom has achieved the impossible with this remake, and it has exceeded my expectations as a fan.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) is an impressive remake that surpasses its predecessor in nearly every aspect. Capcom has managed to breathe new life into the classic survival horror game while retaining the core mechanics that made the original so beloved. The improved graphics and audio, along with new gameplay features and expanded content, create a more immersive and engaging experience. While there is some cut content, the addition of new boss fights and the removal of QTEs make up for it. The only potential downside is that not all fans may be satisfied with the changes made.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) Game Information
- Price: $59.99
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Platform: PS5 (Reviewed)
- Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher