Review by funky1

"Well, it's gonna be hard to top this one, folks..."

Personally, I've never been into the Resident Evil series. I heard good things, and it seemed cool, but I'm just not a big "horror" fan. Don't get me wrong, now, I don't get "scared" from these things, they just don't do it for me. Anyway, I've always been more into the action-type games. So, suddenly, I'm hearing this boom of talk about Resident Evil 4, and how it looked to be the "best game ever", as some have put it. At first, I thought, "Wow, I've never heard this much talk about Resident Evil before...", but I ignored it, not being a Resident Evil fan, as previously stated. Weeks later, I'm still hearing up conversations of how great it's going to be. This time, I say, "Okay, now I want to see what all the hype's about". So I look up screen shots, get some information from people, and decide that this looked like a GREAT game. But, I still wasn't completely sold. I was quite worried, never having played a Resident Evil game before, that I'd shell out the cash for this game, and totally hate it. After thinking and thinking, I finally decide to just get it, and take the risk. I play it for a while -- and I'm hooked! Now, I'm sure you're all tired of hearing me babble about the Resident Evil series, and how I started to like it, so let's get into the review.

Let's start with something easy... graphics. All it takes is to look at some screens to see how beautiful and realistic this game looks. The environments, the characters, the buildings, the structures, the creatures, the weapons, they all look incredibly great. There have been times when I've stopped moving around, just to take a look at the environments, and everything. Before you think I'm the type of gamer that goes crazy for good graphics, no, that's not me. I buy my games on how fun they look to play. If a game entertains me, without it all being about the graphics, then I can admire them, can't I? Just telling you, so you don't think that's who this is coming from.

On to sound. While I'm not incredibly far into the game, I've determined that the sounds are very nice. Some of the dialogue is kind of... well, to be honest, cheesy. I don't know whether or not the majority likes the chosen voice actors, but I think they fit. For instance, Leon, in my opinion, was given a strong sounding voice, but I guess it still sounds a bit off. To think of it, I guess his voice may be a bit too deep than how I pictured, but that's forgivable. My favorite sounds, however, are the background sounds, and such. When you're being approached by villagers, for instance, you hear an eerie sort of music, like you'd hear in a horror movie when you know the killer is about to strike. It really sets the mood. Also, running around in forests, and such, it always seems like it's quiet. But, like, in a "quiet... TOO quiet..." kind of sense. It's great, in my opinion.

Controls are also very nice. While I had a very small time getting used to the controls at first (I hadn't played many "shooter" type games), I hear from past Resident Evil fans that the older games had much clunkier controls than this one. Aiming is very easy and precise, though, sometimes, Leon's breathing move the aim, which I find kind of annoying. Another complaint that I've heard others say, as well, is the lack of ability to side step or strafe. Personally, I think any kind of movement during shooting would've been good, so you can put space between you and enemies, yet still take shots at them. Though, in retrospect, it may be a little hard to program properly without sacrificing better control setups, and I can deal with that. Back to the good, though, before I end my talk of controls. Once more, aiming is a breeze, and what's more, where you shoot an enemy actually affects how the enemy is hurt! Shoot them in the legs, and they trip, stumble, or fall down completely. Shoot them in the arms, and they may drop their weapons. Shoot them in the face, and they are temporarily blinded. Also, this game has the head shots, the infamous one hit kills in any shooting type game. However, I find it hard to pull off, as I still don't know where exactly to shoot to do it. It's mostly a luck-type thing for me. One last good point on the controls are the actions buttons. At certain points, you'll be instructed to press a certain button or buttons to do something. What's more is, this applies even in some cutscenes! So, you always have to stay on your feet, and not expect to just be able to rest during cutscenes.

Let's move on to something cool, and probably not usual for reviews of games, and that's enemies. Now, if you've played any past Resident Evil games, you're probably used to having slow-paced zombies heading your way. Well, not in this game. For one, the villagers aren't actually "zombies". And, they're very aggressive and fast-moving. They can dodge gunshots if you're not careful, and they can really fight. Some even throw objects such as hatchets, and, a very cool point, in my opinion, is that you can shoot these items out of the air, to avoid damage. The villagers are the main enemies, and even more fun is everyone's favorite potato sack-wearing, chainsaw-wielding baddy, Dr. Salvador. But I'll let you find out about him on your own, hehe. Boss battles are also very cool. I especially enjoyed the first one, involving the sea creature, but I don't want to spoil anything for you, if you don't already know. Even though I'm not very far in, from what I can tell, the bosses are often pretty big, in size, though I've heard of a few that aren't.

Maybe you're wondering about game difficulty? Heh, well, don't expect to pick your own difficulty. There is no "Easy mode" in this game. From what I've heard (though, I can't judge on my own without playing through more than once), depending on how good you are in the game, the difficulty will either increase or remain more steady. That sounds like a great idea, so that if you're having a bit of trouble getting into the game, you aren't suddenly blasted with all types of hard battles. Again, though, I can't confirm nor deny whether or not this is true at all, so don't quote me on this, or anything. Anyway, in my opinion, if that's indeed how it really works, that's pretty cool, and I'd like that to be implemented in all games, but I doubt that'll happen, heh heh.

Onto my last paragraph before closing, gameplay. This game is VERY fun. I guess you could get the same buzz as playing any shooter, but I actually feel like I'm delved in a horror movie, even though people have said there isn't much "Boo!"-type horror. While playing, you just can't shake the feeling that you're being watched, and that you could be killed at any time. Apparently, there aren't many puzzles to solve, but you do need to use a bit of strategy, rather than just running out and blindly shooting. For instance, you have to conserve your ammo, making sure not to foolishly waste it. Though, ammo is quite abundant in the game, it seems. Reloading is the part I don't like; you become vulnerable for a few split seconds to reload weapons, which can be crucial depending on your advancing foes. No one likes having to reload and make yourself vulnerable when a hoard of enemies is right on top of you, heh heh. But I still can't deny how fun this game really is. Despite the flaws, which seem pretty small, in my opinion, when compared to how great this game is, this is still guaranteed to be a great gaming experience. Maybe a bit overhyped, but I think this game takes the cake, and then some.

In closing, this is probably one of the best games I've ever played. Granted, I've never been huge on shooters, or Resident Evil, or anything of the sort, but this game is really entertaining me. If you want to know whether I'd say rent or buy, definitely buy. This game is just too good to miss out on. I can honestly say, the only game that could surpass this in overall entertainment, in my opinion, at least, is the upcoming Legend of Zelda. I strongly hope that the next (if any) Resident Evil is very similar to Resident Evil 4, as in, more action oriented, etc. Honestly, this game deserves a ten out of ten. I hope you make the right choice!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/25/05

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