Review by TheRedneck14
"Halloween Special Review: Resident Evil 4...."
For today's Review, because that Halloween is tomorrow [at the time I am writing this] I am going to do a Review on my favorite Resident Evil Game, number 4. Now as you all should know, Resident Evil is made by the good people at Capcom, and it is about slaughtering the evil zombie's created by the Umbrella Corporation and their Viruses which always wind up infecting something. So, lets light this candle...
Like all Resident Evil stories... there is some hokey dialogue, but the story was crafted quite well.
It all starts off in 2004; you are Leon S. Kennedy [the only good Kennedy...], one of the survivors of the Raccoon City incident 6 years before the events of 4 take place. You were recruited by the Government to be a Secret Agent after that, and your current objective is to go into some European hell-hole Village to rescue the Presidents daughter; Ashley Graham.
After going into the Village, your "escorts" are killed and you discover that the Villagers are, in a word... freaky. They turn out to be a cult called the Los Illuminados who are under control by Osmund Saddler who uses the Las Plaga to control the villagers [or "Ganados" as they were called in the game. That literally means "The Cattle"] and turn them into blood thirsty "smart-zombies".
Now I don't really want to reveal much more so, you go through a Village, a Castle, and a Military Base in your quest to rescue Ashley, kill the Illuminados, and escape the village in a well crafted story with great characters and some clues about Umbrella and what they are currently doing.
This time, Resident Evil has gone from an exploration game to a action game where you will really spew bullets at these Cultists in some exciting, scary, fast paced action.
The AI has gotten much smarter, you won't be fighting slowly crawling zombies now, you will often wind up trying to blow away a swarm of Ganados by plugging them in the head [if they don't duck out of your sight first]. They also carry weapons, you can fight people using Maces, Grim Reaper Scythes, Molotov Cocktails, Pitchforks, and Axes and that is a very nice change of pace from a Zombie grabbing onto your ankles and biting away.
The way you play the game has also taken a pleasant change. The new Laser Sight on your guns allows you to be more precise than you ever could in the old games. You can really take the time to aim your shot directly into the Ganado's head, pull the trigger, and watching the ensuing shower of blood. There is also a new inventory system, in the old games you could only carry a few weapons, but now you have a case where you can carry a massive amount of gear when you fully upgrade it. And that upgrading is done through a "Merchant" where you use the money you acquire to buy new weapons [and upgrade them], health packs, maps and armor.
There are also some "Context Sensitive Controls", which require you to use some button combo to avoid... being eaten by a giant parasite, to stab a giant in the arm, to avoid taking a tentacle through your skull and several other things. Several of these are even in Cinematic sequences, such as a knife fight where you have to press the combos to parry the opponents slashes, and if you miss you die.
There is a lot of action in Resident Evil now, and even though this angered some of the purists, it made a big difference. Besides, you don't go into a load screen for every frickin door now, which should be worth something.
Although it is not as hard as the ammo management of the old games, Resident Evil still provides a good challenge.
You will often wind up trying to fend off a swarm of enemies which will be a good button mashing workout to blow their heads off, especially when the "Plaga" comes out of their head which can either; bite your head off, or cut you up. As I was saying with the swarming, you need to be able to maintain your position while attacking, you need to be able to thin the attacking forces, and you need to be quick at stunning whoever gets to close to you.
Resident Evil 4, like the rest of the games, is filled with Puzzles [not as much as the past games], which are a kind of break from the gore fest that makes up the main game. Mostly all they are for is opening a door or collecting some object that you need to move ahead in the game.
But the real challenge in RE4 comes from the HUGE bosses you will encounter. Some of the notables are Del Lago, a giant fish that you need to impale with Harpoons while your boat is attached to it, and it is trying to eat you. The El Gigante... a Giant which will hurl trees at you and try to crush you in any way it can. The Verdugos, which are fast little lizard like creatures that will creep around the area you are in and try to use their spiked tail to impale you. And Salazar, who tries to whip you with tentacles, and eat you with its gaping jaws. That is only a small list of the hulking baddies who you really need to experience in person to understand just how brilliant they are.
The new setup makes a huge difference. You are able to easily move throughout the Village while you are trying to kill everything in your path before it kills you, and the precise aiming really helps out for that. The Quick Time Events also work pretty well, but then again I am one of the few people on this website who likes them.
Honestly, the only problem with the controls are that your movements are still clunky and tank-like, like they were in the previous games. It is tough to get into the controls if you are used to playing FPS and 3rd Person Shooters more than games that control like this, but after you get the hang of it they aren't too bad. I just wish that you could shoot or use your knife while you are moving.
Let me just say this, too anyone who said the GameCube had crappy graphics; YOU WERE DEAD WRONG!
Resident Evil 4 has quite possibly the best graphics I have ever seen on that little Cube, and all of the work that went into creating the gorgeous environments [well... gorgeous for a hell-hole], and the monstrosities you need to blow away is just amazing. I can honestly say that seeing your head get cut off by a chainsaw has NEVER been as beautiful as it was in here.
You get to see so many gruesome sights in this game, there are a lot of disturbing scenes in this game [such as in the beginning where you find a woman stabbed into a wall with a Pitchfork, with blood coating the wall], but I swear you will be immersed by them and you will gaze at them, even when what you are staring at is a man in a black trench coat who just split in half after you peppered it with shotgun shells.
Back to the environments in here, some awe-inspiring texture work done by the people at Capcom mixed with the massive open rooms and some incredible lighting makes a beautiful level. If you want realistic places to roam, this is as close as you will get on the GameCube, or any Last Gen game.
Like I said above with the Graphics, this is just sheer perfection.
There is plenty of voice over work although it shares the "cheese curse" that plagues so many games now. You will either love them for how cheesy they are, or you will hate them because of it. Although, Resident Evil games don't really need great dialog, horror games like this can get better when the dialog unintentionally makes you laugh.
The people you kill, also very well done. You hear them yelling at you in Spanish as they rush to attack you, you hear the moans as you shoot their head off, you hear everything that happens to them in here.
But lets get on to the music, another thing that was superb and must be done well for a Horror game. A Horror game like this needs good music to set the mood for where you are, and what is going on. And thankfully the suspenseful, moody music in RE4 do the job.
The entire game is a feast for the ears; except for some of the cheesy dialog the cheesy writing.
If you want a scary game that will make you wet yourself when you turn a corner, this is not for you. But if you do want some heart-pounding adrenaline filled action mixed with Horror, well by god this IS the game for you.
As I have been saying, the Graphics are just perfect for everything and everything has that dilapidated look of a run down village in Europe. There are also some breaths of fresh air that are the castle, and the Military base, the Castle looks gorgeous and has the look of one of those British Castles from the 1500's and is breathtaking. The Military Base also has a look that shows some good technology mixed with the entire run down look of everything else in the game. You also fight the Ganados who are appropriately dressed for the locale, from tattered farm clothes, to cultist robes, and cheap looking Militia Armor; the Ganados fit into the place they are perfectly.
The Music, as I just said above will immerse you even further into this Village, as will the story which is good enough to keep you interest in what you are doing as you are learning about the Illuminados and the Las Plagas. And the sound effects themselves are incredible, the guns all sound like they should, a roar from a Ganado sounds as it should, the blood spurting from a decapitated head sounds as it should.
Really, the game itself should immerse you very well. But unlike the past Resident Evil games, this one intends to scare you with the overwhelming army of Ganados that are thrown at you throughout the game, as well as the grotesquely beautiful bosses.
There are some incentives to keep playing after you complete the game, like a game, which challenges you to see how many Ganados you can kill in a certain time limit, and a game which has one of the other characters Ada Wong [also from RE2] collecting some parasites. You also get some new guns, but this is not as good as the other versions which have more content in them that will keep you playing.
Beautiful graphics and sound, scary as hell, massive environments, less load screens, incredible looking bosses, breathed some welcome new life into the Resident Evil series by fixing up some of the flaws.
Bad writing in some places, Leon moves too slowly for some parts of the game, you can't aim while you run, less unlockable content than the other versions.
Should you get it:
This is probably the best Resident Evil game thus far, you ought to get it since it has been ported so much.
This is one of the best games on the GameCube with incredible graphics and control. It will also scare the hell out of you.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/31/07, Updated 03/09/09
Game Release: Resident Evil 4 (Player's Choice) (US, 01/31/06)
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