Resident Evil 4 Remake review: An infectious survival horror classic

leon holding a pistol in resident evil 4 remake

The Resident Evil 4 Remake brings players back to the plagued village that left such a massive stamp on the gaming industry back in 2005, and fans of the original will be ecstatic as it’s yet another fantastic remake for the franchise.

Capcom have been hard at work revitalizing the Resident Evil franchise in recent years, not only through new releases such as Village, but also through remakes of absolute classics like Resident Evil 2 and 3.

These remakes received great praise, and since they announced that Resident Evil 4 would be getting the same treatment, fans have been going wild in anticipation. Now, the Resident Evil 4 Remake is finally here, but does it live up to the legendary status achieved by the original? Here’s our full review.

resident evil 4 leon and ashleyThe Resident Evil 4 Remake is one of 2023’s highly anticipated titles, but does it live up to the hype?

Resident Evil 4 Remake: Key details

  • Developer: Capcom
  • Price: $59.99 USD / £54.99 GBP
  • Release Date: March 24, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation, Xbox, and PC

A shift back to survival horror

The original version of Resident Evil 4 marked a huge change for the franchise in 2005, as Capcom decided to take a more action-focused approach as opposed to survival horror. At the time, this was well received, as Resident Evil 4 was an iconic title that marked progress in terms of action sequences and combat.

However, the series did lose some of its survival horror aspects with the change, but in the Resident Evil 4 Remake, it’s great to see Capcom revert this, sticking to the great mechanics and survival horror gameplay they established with the Resident Evil 2 and 3 remakes.

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This is perfect timing, as after a period of absence, survival horror games are finally making their way back to the market, which is something that players have been wanting ever since the industry seemed to move away from the genre, and boy does the Resident Evil 4 Remake do it right.

resident evil leo shotting shotgunSurvival horror is thriving thanks to the Resident Evil 4 Remake.

Gameplay with an edge

This time around, the Resident Evil 4 Remake provides a perfect balance of action and survival horror.

Leon can still go around giving enemies the sweet chin music, but the new combat system – featuring a parry system, looting, and ammo management, while removing quick-time events creates more visceral gameplay that is true to the survival horror genre.

The Resident Evil 4 Remake is also nice and challenging, with many puzzles, bosses, and sections in the game that will require the player to exercise some skill and strategic planning. This makes for rewarding gameplay, as the more you get to know the weapons, map, and enemies, the more masterful you become in combat.

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There are also added minigames and the Merchant Requests which keep things fun and exciting while also giving the player some downtime from the story and freedom to explore the map.

Further, Redient Evil 4 Remake is extremely smooth, despite being intentionally slow to add to that survival horror aspect. I ran into next-to-no bugs and glitches, and the overall experience was enjoyable in terms of the game’s performance.

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resident evil 4 leon stabbing enemyThe combat has been elevated in the Resident Evil 4 Remake.

Beauty in the horror

One thing that must be noted about the Resident Evil 4 Remake is the graphics and overall fidelity of the game. Compared to the original, the remake is worlds apart in terms of visuals and is more than up to the standard of current-gen games.

Different areas host different vibes, and as you play through the game, the weather and time of day change, adding even more depth to the game world. The lighting is incredible, as you’ll often find sources of light reflecting off Leon as you walk past areas, and the torch provides realistic visibility based on your line of sight, illuminating places that would otherwise be pitch black.

The Resident Evil 4 Remake’s world is truly a beauty.

A side of cheese

An aspect of Resident Evil 4 which has been honed in, but not fully removed from the remake, is the cheesy voice lines. This was the only identifiable issue I had with the game during my playthrough, as the odd cringey comment from Leon or Ashley did make me tense up in second-hand embarrassment.

While it’s not a major issue, and the characters in the remake are certainly more likable compared to the original, it still feels weird to hear a flirty comment from either Ashley or Leon seconds after escaping from a hoard of Plagas or the giant mutated priest, Mendez.

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Resident Evil 4 Remake verdict: 9/10

Overall, the Resident Evil 4 Remake is yet another successful reimagining of a popular title from the franchise, taking the impressive gameplay and graphics from previous remakes, and applying them to a larger, more ambitious project.

If you were a fan of the 2005 version, you may be surprised at the effort to increase the game’s survival horror aspects, as it feels more true to the origin of the franchise, while retaining the unforgettable charm of the original Resident Evil 4.

Reviewed on PS5

Image Credits: Capcom