Review by Galactus21

"All I can say is WOW..."

A whole new direction

I'll start off the bat by saying that I have never found the Resident Evil games to be as good as the reviews have said it to be. Past Resident Evil games have had horrid cameras and very stiff controls. On many occasions I could not see the enemies and had to rely on instincts and ended shooting at air. The controls in past Resident Evil games were no better. The controls were stiff and moving your character was a hassle because of how stiff it was. With that said I am pleased to say that these problems have been addressed for the most part. In fact I never really enjoyed the survival horror genre, but Resident Evil has completely shattered my dislike for the genre. Simply put Resident Evil 4 will put you on the edge of your seat due to its immense atmosphere, scary moments, gorgeous graphics, incredible soundtrack, and one of the most intense action packed games found anywhere. Anyways Resident Evil 4 takes place six years after the events of the Umbrella incident. The president's daughter has been kidnapped and it is your duty to rescuer her. Along the way you will face angry mobs of villages and creatures beyond imagination. So buckle up your seatbelts and prepare for a scare.

High Polygon Count

The first thing I noticed about Resident Evil 4 was the impressive character models and the rich backgrounds. Leon and the enemies found in this game are enriched in polygons. The backgrounds are equally impressive as they do a great job of making you feel apart of the game. There are only two other games where the atmosphere was so involving to a point where you felt apart of the game itself. They were Ninja Gaiden and Chronicles of Riddick, which were both graphically impressive with an involving atmosphere. Now Resident Evil 4 joins the rank with its superb graphics. Every second the atmosphere makes me feel apart of this horror. The graphics are so lifelike on many occasions it leaves you to ponder whether it is real life or just a video game. The animation is very crisp and very smooth. When you shoot enemies at a certain point in their body they will move in a certain way. Shoot their legs and they fall, shoot their arm and they drop their weapon, and when you shoot their eyes they grab it in pain. The cut scenes are some of the prettiest found in any game. It does a great job at keeping you intrigued with the story. The game features some incredible lighting and rain effects. Resident Evil 4 is bar none the best-looking Gamecube game out there.

Past Resident Evil games had a knack for horrific cameras and very stiff and tank like controls. Many people loved and enjoyed the past Resident Evil games, but I for one did not. The good news is that Capcom decided to do an overhaul in their gameplay mechanics, but still retained the horror atmosphere that many enjoyed in the other Resident Evil games. Normally graphics aren't really a big deal when it comes to making or breaking a game. However in Resident Evil 4 the gorgeous graphics allows the player to enjoy such a rich atmosphere that will enhance the gameplay that much more. The dark and eerie atmosphere really enhances the scariness of the game. Imagine walking through an area and all of a sudden you hear a snap and realized a bear trap has just snagged you. After opening many boxes with your knife hoping for valuable items and for the first time a snake appears and lashes out at you. These are only a few example of how you will be scared and thrilled throughout this masterful game.

The gameplay mechanics is quite simple to get into and the controls are very slick and smooth as compared to its predecessor. The game has a very nice hit detection system that makes the game even better. If you shoot the hands they will drop their weapon, shoot their feet and they fall, and if you shoot their heads at the right spots it can explode with blood splattering everywhere. The aiming is very precise and very simple to get used to. At times when you are facing hordes of enemies you can find yourself rushing and your accuracy is lowered. When firing your gun or reloading your gun you cannot move and at times this makes it hard to avoid damage, but in a sense it makes the situation much more intense. Now some might say this is an error by Capcom by not allowing people to move and shoot. What you must understand is if that were to happen the horrifying and scariness of attacking enemies will lessen. As enemies move closer and you try your best to keep them at bay before they reach you really intensifies the action in this game. If you were allowed to move around and shoot it will not be as intense as the action that is found here. If enemies get close you a button will appear that will allow you kick them. Sometimes when enemies grab onto you, the best way to shake loose is rapidly shifting your joystick. Also at certain times in the game certain buttons will come up that will allow you to perform certain actions such as jumping over fences or pushing a ladder down.

Most of the times that enemies are killed they will leave behind a satisfying reward. Sometimes the rewards are much needed ammo or currency for use. Currency can be used to purchase additional weapons or used to upgrade you guns. The game also allows you to combine certain items. For example you can combine green herbs with other color herbs that will give you different effects. These herbs can be found throughout the course of the game. Also keep in mind that you only have a certain amount of space to store your items. I always try to leave extra room for my health items because of some of the intense battles found in this game. Some weapons may take up a vast amount of space and it is your decision on whether that is worth it.

A much improved camera system

The camera in Resident Evil 4 is much improved over the other Resident Evil games. Now at times the camera can become out of place, but keep in mind this is very rare. The camera is set behind Leon and you usually can only see the top half of Leon. You can also move your camera in certain angles with the C-stick. At certain times the camera does get out of place, but keep in mind this rarely happens. The camera also does a great job in allowing you to aim at your enemies. You are able to see your enemies unlike past Resident Evil games.

There are only a handful of games that has intense boss battles one after another. Resident Evil 4 is one of these games. When fighting the bosses in this game you will find on many occasions that your heart is pounding from all the intensity. Words cannot describe how awesome that feeling is when you finally beat a boss. Now the bosses are not overly difficult, but most of them do require a certain amount of strategies and skills. Most of the bosses will take you a few tries to beat them. Also in most fights with these bosses you will find that you must press a certain button that comes up during battle.

The only time I ever judge a game's story is when the game is an rpg, but I decided to include the story as part of my review because Resident Evil 4's story is simply astounding. Now without spoiling anything, the game's story does a great job of keeping your interest during your time with the game. On many occasions you will be glued to your seat due to the well thought out story. In fact the story is so good I would have to say this is the best story found in any game that is outside of an rpg. Resident Evil 4 just has so many bright spots to it. The game has everything that you would want in a game. Now Resident Evil 4 is not perfect, but suffice it to say it is one of the best games I have ever played.

Resident Evil 4 has superb graphics and outstanding gamplay, so are the sound and music on par with both of these departments? You bet it is. Resident Evil 4 has incredible voice acting and a simply superb soundtrack. I cannot emphasize enough on how incredible the voice acting is. The person behind Leon's voice does a great job in portraying someone who is a federal agent. Voice acting goes a long way in leaving a perception for the people who play the games. Through Leon's voice acting you will get a coolness perception right off the bat and on many occasions you will be interested in what he has to say as opposed to wishing that the cut scenes would end. The best thing about the voice acting is that this does not only apply to Leon. With Ashley you get a sense that she is the type of people who have been a bit spoiled by her parents. Many of the game's enemies also give out a mysterious vibe about them. The villagers speak Spanish, which adds to the atmosphere because this game takes place in Europe.

Not only does the game have outstanding voice acting, but also it rounds it off nicely by having incredible music. When villagers are attacking or about to attack you can hear the music pick up. This really adds to the intensity of the situation and really makes the situation that much more scary. As the last enemy is killed you can hear the music drop off a bit. Capcom really did a masterful job at finding the right moments to place these colourful themes. The music gives off such an eerie and scary feeling. The music is quite fitting of this survival horror game.

Well unlike other Resident Evil games, this one is actually quite long. For a non-rpg game this game is quite long. It will take the average player 18-25 hours. After you are done new modes will be opened up to play as well as a new difficulty. You can also do a speed run and see how fast you can beat it. You can also try and collect every item in this game. Not to mention this game is so much fun that you will want to play this game over and over again. With a lengthy quest and a few new modes after you have beaten it Resident Evil 4 is definitely worth your bucks.

Capcom went all out on the promotion of Resident Evil 4. The game had many featured commercials and the game also had a special edition case made for it. From the opening scene to the end of Resident Evil 4 you can tell that a lot of talent and hard work that went into this game. The game has gorgeous graphics, superb gameplay mechanics, intense battles, a great atmosphere, and great sound. From start to finish Resident Evil 4 presents itself nicely. The menus are easy to access and allow beginners to roam around the menus with ease. From the beginning of this game to the end you will find yourself stuck to the controller and totally involved in this game.

Brilliant, Suspenseful, and Utterly Addictive

If I were to use words to describe Resident Evil 4 these words would be masterful, intense, and downright awesome. While I am not a big fan of survival horror games I must say this game has opened my eyes to this genre and its potential. Simply put Resident Evil 4 is not only the best survival horror game I have played, it is without a shadow of a doubt the best Gamecube game I have played thus far. Quite frankly Resident Evil 4 is one of my favourite games of all time. Now my review might seem like a fanboyish rant about how great this game is, but I can assure you that this game deserves all the praise I am giving it. With all its great features and dynamic gameplay mechanics, Resident Evil is without a doubt a masterpiece in its own rights. The thrill and suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this game. Any Gamecube owners should go out and get this game right away because it is that good.

Pros
+ Dynamic gameplay mechanics
+ Gorgeous graphics
+ Incredible voice acting
+ Superb soundtrack
+ A lengthy adventure
+ Great atmosphere
+ Much improved camera system over past Resident Evil games
+ Much more fluid controls
+ Intense boss battles
+ Scary events that will leave you on the edge of your seat
+ A very nice hit detection system
+ A Intriguing story

Cons
- The aiming takes a bit to get used to
- Camera can be out of place at times, but this rarely happens

Graphics - 10/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Value - 9/10
Presentation - 10/10
Overall - 9.7/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 01/18/05, Updated 11/28/05


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