Following on the coattails of its recent HD release onto the Xbox 360 and PS3, which in turn are following its release on not only the GameCube but also PS2, PC, and Wii, I decided to take it for another spin on the modern consoles since I was a big fan back when it first showed up in 2005. In addition to all of the extra content added into the PS2, PC, and Wii versions, this new HD release also includes enhanced visuals for the gameplay and cutscenes as well as several achievements/trophies for players to collect.
I’m sure by now most gamers have played through one of the game’s several different ports so going into a lengthy breakdown of the various gameplay features would be unnecessary, all I will say is that the same over-the-shoulder aiming, exploring/puzzle-solving, and frantic combat are all still there and they have stood the test of time well. The game’s story still has that nice mix of campy cheesiness, subtle yet nail-biting horror, and over-the-top action featuring everybody’s favorite former RPD cop Leon S. Kennedy and the various locales he explores over the course of his adventure definitely benefit from the HD enhancements.
Getting to play through this modern classic again also allowed me to see through fresh eyes some of the game’s small, yet noticeable, flaws. For some reason, while the cinematics in Leon’s story are on par with the HD enhancements seen in the gameplay, Ada’s journey in “Separate Ways” seems to have been overlooked as while the gameplay is updated, a severe drop in graphical quality occurs during the cinematics.
I’m not sure if it was just a technical oversight on Capcom’s part or if they just ran out of development time but the jarring shift in resolution and texture rendering is certainly noticeable but then again, since “Separate Ways” isn’t quite as long as the main story, it really only becomes a problem if graphics are a big issue with you. Also, while many elements of the game have stood the test of time well, Ashley’s shrill calls of “Leon!!” are as annoying and grating as ever and, like they did back when I first played the game on GameCube, they often forced me to play at a low volume wishing there was a mute button specifically for her.
General Gameplay Tips:
- Paying attention to your surroundings can pay off in the long run. Many cabinets, lockers, and drawers in the game can be opened to reveal ammo, health items, and even treasure.
- Using your knife to take out prone enemies can help conserve ammo, just make sure to keep an eye out for other foes nearby.
- The button-context kick attacks you can perform by shooting an enemy in the face or leg can actually hit multiple targets if they’re close together, an effective strategy for giving yourself some breathing room.
Main Website: http://www.capcom.com/re4/
Resident Evil Wiki Entry: http://residentevil.wikia.com/Resident_Evil_4Gamespot; Guides, Walkthroughs, cheats, etc.: http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/adventure/residentevil4/index.html