Whilst Resident Evil has seen some re-invention over the last few years, it was Resident Evil 4’s release on the Gamecube that originally marked a new era for the beloved survival horror franchise. Now, players can re-live the horror in a revamped form, with Resident Evil 4 Remake continuing the magic that Capcom have done with recent remakes in the series and offering yet another outstanding (and at times terrifying) experience for players.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Taking place six years after the events of Leon Kennedy’s previous outing in Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil 4 Remake sees the former Racoon City Police Department rookie working for the US government across important top-secret missions. His latest outing? To save the President’s daughter from a peculiar cult that reside in a remote village in Europe. Of course, this is a Resident Evil game, so there’s nothing normal about this village, with its residents infected by a vicious parasite that doesn’t only make them incredibly deadly to encounter, but also under the control of the villainous cult leader Saddler. It’s up to Leon to take him down, rescue the President’s daughter, and make his way home in one piece – all whilst ensuring he doesn’t get slowed down by a few old acquaintances along the way…

Let’s get this out of the way immediately: Resident Evil 4 Remake is amazing. It takes everything that the original release did so well and improves it to a modern standard, whether that’s with the jaw-dropping visuals that are oozing with atmosphere or the combat which blends together slick gunplay with robust close-quarter knife attacks. Other aspects have been fleshed out too, with certain characters showing up a little longer or seeing their backstory expanded upon to make them feel more pivotal to the storytelling. Whilst Resident Evil 4 Remake doesn’t *completely* re-invent the experience in a similar fashion to the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes (there are some sections that are all-new and some that have been cut down), the changes it makes feel significant enough to ensure the game feels fresh and exciting for returning players.

One of the most significant improvements made to the game comes with your melee attacks, with the knife proving more important than ever before. Not only can you parry certain enemy attacks with a well-timed button press, but you can also sneak up on unaware enemies and take them down silently with a swift stealth kill. Alternatively, you can shoot at them, take them down with a melee attack when dazed, and finish them off with a knife to the head when grounded, with the close-range capabilities of Leon more robust this time around. It gives players another trick up their sleeve when they’re running low on ammo, but be warned: there’s a durability system in place, so if your knife gets damaged, you’ll have to repair it at the Merchant if you want to use it again.

“It takes everything that the original release did so well and improves it to a modern standard, whether that’s with the jaw-dropping visuals that are oozing with atmosphere or the combat which blends together slick gunplay with robust close-quarter knife attacks.”

The improved knife combat is complemented by the gunplay, which was already satisfying in the original game but still improved upon here. With a wide variety of guns to use across multiple types, there’s certain to be something that suits each player’s taste – where that’s with closed-ranged brutality with the shotgun, the rifle to snipe enemies from afar, the bowgun to reuse ammo by grabbing it from enemy corpses, or just the rocket launcher to cause pure chaos. There’s a lot of flexibility in upgrading your weapons too, with each improvement you make feeling noticeable when facing off against a big group of enemies. As expected, ammo can be a little sparse at times, but with players able to craft different ammo types with ease, it’s rare that you’ll find yourself underequipped in the game.

You’ll need a good variety of weapons with you at any given time though, with Resident Evil 4 Remake’s enemies more vicious than I remember. Whilst the standard enemies are relentless in their pursuit of Leon (and equipped with melee weapons, ranged weapons, and explosives), some of the later monstrosities are ESPECIALLY tricky to handle. Certain enemies require a different approach to take them down, whether that’s by getting up close and blasting a monstrous parasite with a shotgun, picking off a weak spot with a rifle from afar, or, at times, using a cannon you found in the environment to blast them away (seriously). It ensures every combat encounter you face is strategic, exciting, and full of different ways to approach them, with the game rarely slowing the pace down as you battle through its wide array of locales.

Each of those locales look absolutely beautiful too, with Resident Evil 4 Remake doing a good job of showcasing just how impressive the RE Engine is. Re-visiting familiar areas with their gorgeous new visuals just felt special, whilst the game itself feels a million times more atmospheric thanks to the enhanced lighting and weather effects. Some of the later sights of the game are simply astounding, whilst the enemies themselves look more grotesque than ever before (and I mean that in the best way possible). It’s worth noting that I played on the PlayStation 5 so had the extra immersion offered with the DualSense controller, which was some of the most impressive use I’ve seen so far – whether that’s with the haptics of an action-packed scene (the cart sequence felt especially frantic) or feeling the resistance of the triggers when in a gunfight (which feels more realistic when picking shots as opposed to intrusive).

Check out some screenshots down below:

It’s clear then that a lot has been done to make Resident Evil 4 Remake feel not only more modernised, but even more impressive than the original was. Heck, I haven’t even mentioned things like the improved AI with Ashely that makes it easier for her to stay out of danger, the additional side quests that give you small tasks to complete when exploring, the fact that boss encounters have been improved to make them more intense than ever, or that you can move and shoot at the same time. Furthermore, QTEs have been removed too, which I know will be seen as a BIG plus to some players (even if I do have to admit that I actually missed them myself). Resident Evil 4 was already packed with thrilling set pieces, enjoyable puzzles, and an intense story that kept players on the edge of their seat (as well as cackling with some of Leon’s cheesy one-liners), but Resident Evil 4 Remake takes it all to the next level. It’s BRILLIANT.

That being said, there are a few little things that are missing right now that do leave the game feeling a little incomplete. For one, the Separate Ways content isn’t part of the experience; whilst there’s no confirmation that it won’t be added later as DLC, it’s a shame players can’t dive into this exciting side story that fleshes out some of the finer details of the plot straight away. Furthermore, the Mercenaries mode isn’t available at launch, though the fact that it’s releasing on April 7th does mean players don’t have too long to wait to get stuck into the addictive extra mode.

It’s a minor complaint in what is otherwise a sublime experience that delivered everything I could have hoped for. Resident Evil 4 was a ground-breaking game when it released, not only for the Resident Evil series but gaming as a whole, and that sense of excellence has been maintained and expanded upon here. It doesn’t make the original any less exciting to play (I’m actually replaying it at the moment and it’s still so damn good), but it does give players a more modernised and exciting way to experience the horrors all over again.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review

Resident Evil 4 Remake is an outstanding release that takes one of the best games of all time and somehow makes it even better. The stunning visuals, the combat enhancements, the improved AI across allies and enemies, the refined boss encounters, and the new additions – they all come together to make Resident Evil 4 Remake the most impressive release in the series to date and a jaw-dropping experience as a whole.

Whether you’re a newbie to the series, a returning veteran, or simply want to see what all the fuss was about in the first place, it’s hard not to be blown away by everything Resident Evil 4 Remake offers. Here’s hoping Code Veronica gets the same treatment soon…

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platform(s): PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Website: https://www.residentevil.com/re4/