Review by mikemihalow
"Amazing game? Yes. Amazing Resident Evil game? Debatable"
For those of you who are not familiar with Capcom's Resident Evil series, I'll briefly explain to you the basics. 1-3 were originally released on the playstation, then came Code Veronica on the Dreamcast, then came Zero on Gamecube, then came this. The concept of those games was simple. You basically shoot a bunch of zombie humans/zombie dogs/other zombie animals and creatures, collect key items, and solve puzzles. Many people complained that the control scheme was too sluggish, the zombies were always slow and for the most part stupid, but here comes a game like Resident Evil 4 that pretty much takes almost everything Resident Evil has come to be and just changes it. A change for the better? Most people would say yes. Hardcore Resident Evil fans were in somewhat of an uproar when information about this game originally leaked, and it was made apparent that all of these changes were going to be made. I'll admit, I was a little ticked off too, but I still had faith that Capcom could release another good survival horror title... and they did
This game looks amazing. I have to admit, the first time I popped it in, I noticed problems with the aliasing right away... but this doesn't happen often. It looks amazing in the rain, the torches look amazing, the enemy models are amazing. The only complaint I have is that the enemies sink into the ground when defeated. I guess they couldn't handle all the dead bodies on the screen, but c'mon. Sinking bodies is just... awkward. Some of the bosses in this game are massive and looks insanely good. Remember how good the REmake and Zero looked? Just think that without a fixed camera. Sometimes you can lure an enemy into a trap, and the results... well, lets just say the results look pretty real.
Alright, this is what changed Resident Evil for most people, in my opinion. You can now aim at specific body parts of enemies, barrels, trucks, etc. Each gun you aquire is armed with a laser-sight on it, making the headshots pretty darn easy to master. Unlike previous titles, you have some camera control as well. The only reason I didn't give the control a perfect score is because of the lack of strafing. Many complained about this flaw when the demo was released, and frankly, strafing should've been added. The utilization of having to press certain buttons during certain cutscenes and boss fights rather quickly is a really good addition to the controls as well... (not found in any other resident evil title) I almost forgot, in addition to all of this, you get a melee attack as well. basically, when you stagger an opponent, you can run up and press the A button to unleash a melee attack, which is great especially when you want to preserve ammunition. *The melee attack is great once you unlock mercenaries mode, too... each character has his/her own specific melee attacks!
This part was hard to score because hey, you're Leon Kennedy which is great. This one takes place 6 years after the events of Leon's last adventure, and boy have things changed. Leon is now basically the president's bodyguard (I think, it's not even made really clear as to what he is), and he's sent on a mission to... get this - RESCUE THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER. Alright, now I was one of those people that had been looking forward to this game for a couple of years. I remember when the first footage of the game was released, and Leon was running from some kind of fog. Well, they scrapped that, and I guess they thought it'd be a good idea to have a brutally terrible plot in the midst of the series. It's almost like a familiar NES plot. "ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO RESCUE THE PRESIDENT?" Anyway, you travel a strange town in another country, and you find the president's daughter rather quickly. Only problem is, now you've got to make sure the baddies don't take her away. Oh boy, one of THOSE. But hey, it's not so bad. At least you can make her wait inside dumpsters among other things along the way. But, there's another side to this story. There's a man named Saddler who has somehow manager to create a NEW virus (NOT A ZOMBIE VIRUS THIS TIME, WHICH PRETTY MUCH AUTOMATICALLY MAKES THIS FEEL LIKE ITS NOT PART OF THE SERIES) that turns the people here into almost mindless slaves of a sort. They work together to try to stop you, they can even call out to other when you're seen, and sometimes they even try to kill you when you don't see it coming. There is also a merchant who appears from time to time to sell you things like guns, ammunition, larger carrying cases, first aid sprays, and even upgrades for your guns that can make them hold more bullets, fire faster, or become more powerful. This certainly would've been cool in previous Resident Evil titles!
The sound is just awesome in this game, and fits the atmosphere rather well. You get about umpteen million guns and upgrades for these guns in the game as well as grenades, and they all sound great. The sounds of screaming enemies are great as well... I really can't say anything bad about the sound in this game at all.
Once you've beaten this game, you'll have the option of playing through again on professional (which does give a good challenge) or playing a mercenaries mode. (brought back from RE2 and 3) The mercenaries mode is pretty tough, it consists of five playable characters, one of which is leon, of course, and you've got four stages to choose from. The object is to get five stars on each stage with every character. Sound tough? It is. There are endless streams of enemies coming at you in each of these stages, and you've got to find these treasure chests, some of which extend the time limit and some of which give you more points for your kills for a limited time, and the only way to really rack up points if by combo killing. You'll basically have to kill guy after guy after guy in a constant (and fast) flow without leaving too much time in between each kill, which will in turn start the number of enemies in your combo chain all over again. There's another mode too, in which you play as a familiar character from another RE title, but I don't want to talk about that because, well that would just spoil it.
Once you've beaten the game, you'll have the ability of bringing back all the weapons and items from your previous run into your new game. Even better, when you unlock the secret weapons with infinite ammo, you can bring those into the regular game too, which is great. I'll admit, running around with an extremely powerful automatic weapon with infinite ammo takes most of the edge off of this game. I just think it's fun to "get revenge" on the enemies that give me a hard time my first time through. Oh, and there is an unlockable costume too, which is kind of cool. The unfortunate side of using the unlocked costume is... you've got to change ashley's outfit as well. Yup, that's right. You can't have one character wearing the original and the other wearing the unlocked. Why did they do this? I have no idea. Very small gripe, but still.
Overall - 9/10
Well, that's it. There's a new virus, a new villian, the president's daughter (if you can believe that), tons of guns with upgrades, tons of different enemies, some insane graphics, a cool (yet difficult) bonus mode, a pro mode that I can't beat for my life, some mighty explosions, tons of exploding heads, some fire, some grenades, bear traps, etc, etc, etc.
It's just that .... well.... this game plays and looks like no other Resident Evil game to date. There aren't as many scares in this one, as most of your enemies are just coming at you from every which way most of the time. If not the "scariest", definitely the most suspenseful of the series.
Rent/Buy? If you like anything with suspense and don't mind kind of a silly plot, buy it. I hear that now you can get this game, the remake of the original, and zero for thirty or forty dollars. It's a steal. It is a gory game, it's extremely fun, and you won't want to stop playing. Even if you like fast-paced action games, you'll enjoy this. If you're wondering whether or not to buy this for PS2 or GC, the answer is simple. If you care more about graphics, get this version. If you think more extras is more important, go for the ps2 version.
The only people I wouldn't recommend this game to are people who have poor attendance at school or work, because this game almost guarantees at least one absence.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/16/07
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