Review by __EmuzMan__
"I've been hooked ever since the demo."
Man, I remember playing a demo for this game at E.B, and I was hooked ever since. I was addicted to killing zombies using a laser-gun! I will tell you more about the features later in the review. This game is just on of those that are fun to play. Isn't that what gaming was meant to be? In this review, we'll take a look at the story, graphics, sound, replay value, and the fun factor of Resident Evil 4.
I have to admit it. Horror games usually have bad stories and are put together poorly. That is not the case in this game. You play as Leon S. Kennedy, an agent for the R.P.D. (Raccoon Police Dept.) The president's daughter (Ashley Graham) has been kidnapped by zombies, mainly Osmund Saddler (the main villain).
Your main objective is to get her and return to the President, encountering zombies, animals, puzzles, and a friendly merchant along the way. Ashley and Leon develop an "interesting" relationship throughout the game which is another thing that makes you want to keep playing. You will see what I'm talking about when you get the game.
In most Gamecube games, the graphics are sub-par. But, in RE4, the graphics are... dare I say excellent? Throughout the whole game you are surrounded by sweet excellence. The blood and gore are perfectly done, with explosions, popping, and everything you could ask for in a dying zombie! When you get to the later levels, such as the lava and fire, you will simply be amazed that you are seeing this from a Gamecube.
In every cut-scene, you can see every little detail. The sky moving, eyes moving, shadows, You can also move around the camera with the C-Stick, which lets you see around you and gives you a lot of new angles, that just might save your life.
The new behind-the-shoulder camera feature gets Resident Evil 4 closer to the greatest horror game of all time. It really lets you take advantage of the laser-aiming system, by letting you see almost what Leon would. I know you're probably thinking "Why not have it in First Person Mode?". But, that would only take away from the feeling that you get and decrease the enjoyment (and nobody wants that!).
The sound is just another near-perfect part of this great game. There are clever sound effects that differ when you shoot/stab different things. Also, (I know it doesn't seem like much) when you walk on stone, the sound will be different from when you walk on grass/dirt/water. It just shows that they care.
The water is a whole different story. You will think that you are being flooded when you walk around in ponds or whatever you encounter. Another shocking feature is the wind. Remember, this is a horror game. Therefore, when the volume of the wind changes, it really brings out the moment that Capcom is trying to set.
Yet ANOTHER new sound feature is the sound of reloading your gun. I know, I know. It doesn't seem that important, but it makes you feel like you are there.
You have hours after hours of incredible gameplay. You have a real sense of fun when you play. There are 5 "chapters" that you play through, which will take you about 20 hours the first time. You are given a HUGE choice for your arsenal--including Rocket Launchers, machine guns, pistols, grenades, snipers, and just about anything you could ask for!
One of my favorite new things about this game is the ability to upgrade you weapons. Different weapons have different levels that they can be upgraded to. For example a magnum with insanely high power can not be upgraded much on power, but on the other hand, it can be highly upgraded on reload speed. But... a weak pistol can be upgraded a lot on the power, but maybe not reload speed or firing speed.
I know what you're thinking. "This is real believable... how can someone carry all this at once?" That's not the case here, however. You are given a carrying case that you can upgrade to larger sizes from the merchant throughout the game.
Something else that has been added is the option of using grenades on your "adventure". You have three basic types of grenades: Hand grenades, Incendiary grenades, and Flash Grenades. The Hand grenades are set to blow about two seconds after you throw them. These are good for wiping out big groups of enemies. Incendiary grenades are blown up on contact and explode with a burst of fire. The Flash grenades are what they sound like... grenades that explode with a flash. The flash will blind your enemies temporarily and give you the advantage of free hits.
Another new feature that has been added (pure genius) is the laser targeting system. When you aim your gun, a red laser will be projected at your target. This really helps with your accuracy and extra fun if you want to aim right at someone's head and blow their brains out! Fun, fun, fun!!!
Yet ANOTHER new feature (yeah, they just keep coming) is the new melee combat system. When you shoot/stun your enemies in a certain way, you will be able to use melee combat on them to deliver extra damage without using any ammo.
There are three types of moves that Leon will be able to perform throughout the game: two types of kicks, and a suplex. Your first kick is a shot that is aimed towards the enemy's head. The second kick ,that you wil be able to perform on enemies later in the game, is only allowed when an enemy is on it's knees. This allows you to deliver a kick (preceded by a little spin) right to the enemy's chest. The last move is a suplex that you can also only perform when an enemy is on its knees.
Something that I really enjoyed was the puzzles that were added to the game. There are only a few, but they require some serious thinking. These are especially good when you think that your brain is rotting playing so many video games...
This game also has reaction commands. For those of you who don't know what those are I'll give you an example (from the game). You are walking down a path and two zombies push a HUGE boulder at you. You must abruptly begin to tap the A button repeatedly and then, when it has caught up on you, you hit L+R to do a dodge roll. There are some parts that are jam-packed with these, so be ready!
Replay Value: 10/10
When you beat the game, you are given the option to start a new file on "Pro-Mode" (challenge mode). Pro-Mode is very challenging and gives you 25 more hours of excellence.
This is not the only feature that will give you a great Replay Value. You can buy new weapons when you beat the game, including an Infinite Rocket Launcher (I.R.L.), the Chicago Typewriter (a pure beauty of a machine gun), and the Hand Cannon (the ultimate gun). You unlock these by playing the side-missions such as Assignment Ada, where you play as Leon's old time friend, Ada Wong. You can also play "Mercenaries", which is a game where you pick from five characters to play as, trying to get as many points as you want. You will never know when to stop! No... really.
Fun Factor: 10/10
The fun that you get from playing this game is overwhelming. I'm like a kid in a candy store every time I play this game. There is even some clever humor placed into the game that I really enjoyed. When you begin the game, there are a couple of things that will make you chuckle... and sometimes you need to chuckle during a horror game.
One thing that I noticed was that, unlike previous Resident Evil games, Resident Evil 4 wasn't that scary. Don't get me wrong--it's not your everyday Super Mario Bros, but you don't get the feeling of being scared while playing this game. However, this one little thing does NOT take away from the fact that this is an incredible game. And you never know, some people might not want to be scared when playing games.
If you do not have this game: get it. You will have so much fun playing this game that. This is definitely one of my top 5 favorite games. Pure Fun. Like I said before... isn't FUN what gaming was meant for?
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 06/02/06
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