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Game review: Resident Evil 4 (PS5)
Wed, 22nd Mar 2023
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The original Resident Evil 4 game has a special place in my heart. It was the first game I hired out after I graduated high school back in 2007. Even though I only rented the game on PS2 for one week, I loved it enough to finally buy it a few months later.

The main thing I liked about Resident Evil 4 is that it was a good mix of action and survival horror. Not to mention the controls were decent at the time as they weren’t as robotic as the original three games on PSOne.

However, playing the original Resident Evil 4 feels outdated while playing it in 2023. Leon Kennedy moved like a slow tank sometimes, and it was cumbersome needing to pause the game every time you needed to use health or change your weapons.

Thankfully, Capcom has decided to remake many of its Resident Evil games, and all of them have been well received. 2023 now sees the release of Resident Evil 4 on modern consoles, and it is still arguably the best Resident Evil game ever made!

Resident Evil 4 on PS5 looks phenomenal, thanks to its 2023 upgrade. You can now play the game in 4K, and it runs at a buttery smooth 60fps if you choose the framerate option. The environments look far more detailed compared to before, and there are no loading times needed when you travel to a new level or area on the map.

Some of the character models look more lifelike, unlike the anime-inspired designs from the original game. Leon Kennedy and Ashley Graham pretty much look the same, but characters like Ada Wong and Salazaar have had a decent makeover. The latter used to look like a little boy, but now he resembles an old lady with his new hairdo!

Another thing I like about Resident Evil 4 is that it’s not a 1:1 remake of the original game. I remember playing The Last of Us Part 1 last year on PS5, and that remake was kind of boring because nothing was changed aside from some visual differences.

Resident Evil 4 2023 is cooler because Capcom has made some changes that keep the gameplay fresh and exciting. Even if you played the original game over 20 times, as my brother has, you’ll be in for some new content that was never seen nearly 20 years ago.

Some sections of the game have been overhauled, and there are even several new levels that have been added. Another great addition is that some new puzzles are included for you to solve as well. Several story bits have been changed too, but I’ll keep this as a surprise for you to discover.

In terms of gameplay, Resident Evil 4 includes many quality-of-life changes to make the combat feel smooth and more satisfying. Instead of needing to pause the game to change weapons, you can now assign shortcuts using the d-pad to select what you need on the fly. Aiming and moving also feel much better than the slow and robotic movements in the original game.

Combat as a whole is cooler as Leon Kennedy has much more options to use his trusty knife. Leon can now crouch in this game, allowing him to stealthily kill enemies with a simple stab to the neck. If a zombie grabs hold of Leon, he can press the R2 now to stab an enemy’s head to escape.

Many of the same weapons return in this remake, as Leon has access to a pistol, a TMP, a shotgun and several others from the original game. There are also some new weapons for you to wield, although I won’t spoil all of the details for you.

A lot of the same bosses are here, and the majority of them have familiar battle patterns for you to exploit. Some of the bosses will have obvious weak points, which should be easy for you to locate and shoot at. Much like the original game, the boss fights are epic, and many of them are exciting to play through.

Fans of the original game will also be happy to see the iconic merchant returning. When you kill enemies or break boxes and barrels, you should be able to collect a lot of money or treasures to trade with. The merchant will allow you to buy new weapons, bigger suitcases, first aid sprays and more. If you have enough money, you can even upgrade your existing weapons too.

Even though some of the level design has changed, the length of time that you will be able to complete the main story remains the same. I remember clocking the original game at 15 hours long 16 years ago. I managed to finish the main story of Resident Evil 4 remake in 15 hours too. You can prolong your gameplay length if you decide to undertake the new optional sidequests.

The only disappointing thing about this release of Resident Evil is that Ada Wong isn’t playable at launch. In the original game, her segments became available when you completed the game at least once. In the Resident Evil 4 remake, Ada Wong will only be playable as future paid DLC…

Aside from the lack of a playable Ada Wong at launch, Resident Evil 4 is still the best Resident Evil game I have ever played. This remake is great because it offers new content, as well as familiar set pieces for original fans to relive. If you are to buy a game in 2023, Resident Evil 4 won’t let you down.

Verdict: 10/10