It has been six long years since catastrophe struck Raccoon City - a devious, bio-azardous scheme gone haywire unleashing a viral plague in its wake, turning what was once a peaceful, quaint community into a horrifying wasteland of the living dead. After narrowly escaping from an inopportune tour of the city of zombies, Leon Kennedy leaves the police force and enlists with the US Secret Service. 2004 – Leon’s current assignment is to retrieve the kidnapped president’s daughter from the clutches of a mysterious cult, the Los Illuminados. His hunt leads him overseas to Europe, to a retired Spanish village full of villagers that seem to be occupied with something despicably wicked. The ghastly memories of stalking corpses can’t be shaken from his mind while he paces the surroundings, and rightly so, for this eerie hamlet houses something more evil and horrific than anything anyone has ever encountered before.
Be prepared for a hellish nightmare redux.
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is the second proper port of the spectacular 2005 hit that redefined what survival horror was all about. Gone are the zombies, instead replaced by an even more conniving band of heavily drugged-up cultists. The genre’s principle remains the same: you can run, but you can’t hide. Even more so now than ever before seeing that the crazed villagers are smart enough to tactically surround you, give chase over long distances, and even break down a few doors just to get their blood-stained mitts on you. Luckily Leon is no stranger to firearms. With a wide array of handguns, shotguns, sub-machine guns and rocket launchers to bust a cap and shatter some skulls, despite any tricks up those sticky Los Illuminados sleeves, our main man will have no problem with fighting it out at the odds of one guy versus a couple of hundred devil worshippers.
Some purists, however, complained that with the stronger focus on shooting, much of the tension seen in previous titles was lost. But frankly speaking, the classic Resident Evil style was enjoyable as a cheesy B-movie entry into the world of interactive gaming, but its core mechanics are severely outdated by modern standards. Without a doubt, Resident Evil 4 is a masterpiece of action-cum-shooting fused together with a mass of intense, adrenaline-frenzied scenarios. It may not contain as many shock moments, but it’s still absolutely terrifying when it wants to be, and as you’re hurting for ammo whilst being stalked by a seemingly invincible, frost-like entity, I’m sure you won’t disagree.
But if you have played Resident Evil 4 before, whether it be the original GameCube horror or the updated PS2 wonder (let’s forget the PC disaster), chances are that you’ve run them down to death. Does this Wii-make offer enough incentive to go back again one more time? This is essentially the graphically superior GameCube version, bundled up with the bonus PS2 missions, coupled together with some unique motion controls afforded by the Wii. Scripted sequences now involve a bit a waggling, reloading is performed by a flick of the wrist, knifing is initiated by simple stabbing, and most importantly, aiming is no longer a haphazard affair with incredible Wii-mote precision making it possible to slaughter the dozens as easily as pointing at the screen and firing away.
Apart from that, nothing else has really changed. If you, for whatever reason, missed the boat and then the plane, here’s your chance to go for a ride in a luxury helicopter. Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is the definitive experience that has taken two years and an innovative console to deliver the goods. Unless you’re averse to gory violence and explosive sequences that put many a Hollywood blockbuster to shame, you can’t go wrong with the ultimate in action/survival-horror yet - even if you have already shot up enough unruly villagers to fill a grave the size of the Grand Canyon.