Resident Evil 4 PS4 Review

Another year, another platform, another Resident Evil 4 (RE4) port. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the game the first time it was originally released in 2005, experiencing the definitive action-horror on my Nintendo GameCube, then some years later on the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360. The PC received an awesome updated port that was the best version of the game to date, and now we get to see it transition to the current generation of machines. If you have already played and loved the game, this time will be no exception, but let us start from the beginning.

Leon S. Kennedy, our protagonist from RE2, is going on a mission to save the daughter of the President of the United States from some kidnappers who have her trapped in a Spanish village. Sounds easy enough for the guy when he’s already fought zombies, monsters and horrible creatures, but Leon wasn’t expecting what was going to happen. After arriving at the village, you encounter a “normal” guy just doing his things on the fireplace, but when you try to talk to him, he yells some Spanish and a few curses, then tries to chop Leon’s head off. Here is when you realize you won’t be shooting zombies as previous done in the past RE games, but don’t worry, things will get better soon.

The first encounter

The first encounter

After surviving the ambush from some villagers and having no idea of what is going on, Leon enters the center of the village. Everyone is attacking you, so let us get inside that house with the door open, lock the door and hopefully they forget about me, on this exact moment, your blood is pumping really hard, maybe you’ll be scared, so this is the perfect moment to introduce one of my childhood nightmares, the good old “Dr Salvador“. What is better than an average doctor with a sack mask and a chainsaw? Well lets make him almost invincible and make his attacks a one hit kill, oh and don’t forget his horrifying scream when he is attacking. RE4 is full of enemies that will be grotesque and scary, some of them will be kind of funny, but dangerous, this is the game where Capcom changed the rules for RE games, and it made it really good.

What makes a game scary? Good story… check, scary enemies… check, great ambiance… check (we’ll get to that later), feeling vulnerable… check, and let’s talk about that. With an action-focused survival horror game, it’s pretty obvious that you will have a gun to defend yourself, the issue is when you are surrounded, having to point the laser from your pistol that moves with your shaking hands. Every bullet counts, every grenade, so when ammo is scarce, don’t forget the friendly knife. This is what makes this game fun, because if you are invincible and have unlimited ammo, where is the challenge there? The movement is a little sloppy, mostly because you don’t have a lot of control on the camera – it’s easy to walk into walls, or when trying to escape to run into another enemy. The thing that makes everything even harder is trying to keep Ashley safe, as in RE4, Leon has a partner, similar to RE0, but Ashley can’t help you fight. Just keep in mind that if something happens to her, you will get that game over screen.

Escaping Dr Salvador

Escaping Dr Salvador

Controls are not perfect, but they raise the challenge and make things fun. Gameplay is something essential when looking for a good game, but it isn’t everything, we also need atmosphere, and RE4 has buckets of it. The sound effects are really good, sometimes they sound kind of weird, because the audio hasn’t been remaster, but it’s not a deal breaker. In fact, hearing the music that starts when the enemy sees you and begins chase makes your heart pump. Also, it is incredibly satisfying when getting a head-shot on the villagers, the sound of the head’s explode is gruesomely awesome.

Some things in the story are just silly, others are scary, but it is a solid adventure that will keep you interested and on edge of your seat. It has a fair amount of chapters that you will not finish fast. The good thing is that RE4 makes you go for a second round and even more if you want to collect and have everything on the game. Also there are two other modes: Mercenaries and Separate Ways. Mercenaries is a time-limited minigame where you pick a character, each with different weapons, then must enemies to build time and combos until the time runs out or Leon dies. It’s fun and challenging. Separate Ways, which is an epilogue for the main campaign, where you play Ada Wong for five chapters, revealing more insights of the story and filling in the gaps left by Leon’s campaign.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse

Resident Evil 4 still feels good, and being able to have 60fps and 1080p on the PS4 makes it a beautiful display, even with the GameCube-era graphics. Still, I would liked more improves done to the title – the 30fps animations for reloading still remains – since it’s been 11 years from the original release. If you haven’t played Resident Evil 4, then go for it, because this is one adventure that you will most likely love.

9 out of 10