Review by stncldrwg

"Capcom redefines survival horror with perfection"

Survival horror games have been around for over 10 years since the release of Alone in the Dark in 1993. 3 years later, Capcom released their masterpiece, Resident Evil, which took the genre and made it as popular is it is today. Now, 9 years after the original release of Resident Evil, Capcom has made the fourth installment in the series, Resident Evil 4.

In this sequel, Capcom has taken the classic Resident Evil formula, and has redefined it completely. Capcom has executed this with pure perfection. Capcom took lots of time with every detail and it clearly shows. They took a classic franchise and made it even better than it was before, and in the process has made the best survivor horror game to date.

Gameplay 10/10: Capcom has completely changed the gameplay in RE 4, which is totally different than any previous installments in the series. Gone is the confusing and sometimes frustrating movement controls in previous RE games. Replacing the old controls is a third-person perspective that moves and plays flawlessly. When engaging in combat, the game switches to an over-the-shoulder perspective, which allows precise aiming of the weapon you are using. Overall, Capcom has created a control scheme which changes the way survival horror games are played, and hopefully more survival horror games use a similar control system that this game uses.

Graphics 10/10: Resident Evil 4 possibly brings the best graphics seen on the GameCube thus far. It ranks up there with other graphical marvels such as Metroid Prime and Star Wars: Rebel Strike. Capcom made every character and environment as detailed as possible. Other environmental effects, such as fires burning and water look as real as possible. Capcom clearly took its time with the graphics and it shows.

Sound 10/10: Resident Evil 4 brings some of the most frightening sound you will ever hear in any survival horror game. Every blast from a gun and noise from nearby enemies is presented in a very accurate way. It is highly recommended that this game is played with a surround sound system, as that adds another layer of depth to the gameplay experience of this game. When using surround sound, you can hear enemies approach you from behind and other background effects. This adds another layer of realism to the experience and has you jumping out of your seat during certain points of the game. The music in this game is well orchestrated and fits brilliantly with the rest of the game. Capcom created a score which brings classic Resident Evil-type music with music that is very similar to Konami's Silent Hill series. This combination adds to the already bone-chilling experience. The sound for Resident Evil 4 is as top notch as it comes.

Story 9/10: Resident Evil 4 brings a story that is unique to any other game in the Resident Evil series. You play as Leon Kennedy, the hero of Resident Evil 2. It has now been 6 years since the incident at Raccoon City, and Leon now works for the US government, The president's daughter has been kidnapped by unknown assailants and has last been seen in Europe. Leon must go to the mysterious village where she was last seen and rescue her. This is completely different than the typical viral outbreak scenario that has been in every other RE game to date. Instead of fighting Zombies, you now have to deal with actual humans, which add another element of horror to this game. The storyline is very well done and flows at an excellent pace. Cutscenes also add to the story at the right times. This story is as unique as it comes in this genre and it gives the RE franchise a much needed breath of fresh air.

Replay 10/10: Normally, a Resident Evil game takes 3 to 5 hours to complete and there is a mini-game that can be unlocked at the end. This has changed in Resident Evil 4. Now, it takes at least 25 hours to complete this game. After completing the main game, new features are unlocked, such as a mini-game, and a special mode where you play as Ada Wong, a mysterious character who aided Leon in RE 2. Also, you unlock alternate costumes and new weapons. These new options add to the already worthwhile gameplay experience and give Resident Evil 4 more replay value than any other survival horror game out there with the possible exception to RE Outbreak on PS2. RE 4 gives gamers countless hours of gameplay with these extra options.

Overall 10/10: It is easy to say that Resident Evil 4 is among the best the GameCube has to offer and is easily the best survival horror game to date. Capcom took the Resident Evil series which had been getting stale and completely changed it, while giving gamers an experience they will likely never forget. Hopefully, future survival horror games will use this game as an example of what to do right in a survival horror game and use this game as the standard for the genre. Those who own a GameCube need to pick this one up now and those who don't have a GameCube need to get one. This game alone is worth the cost.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/18/05


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