Being a huge fan of the Resident Evil series since RE 2 was released on the Playstation many moons ago – I could hardly wait for RE 4 to be released! Last weekend I rented it and Deanna and I played it Friday, Saturday and Sunday night for a few hours each. It’s such a great game, I hardly know where to start.
How about we start with the changes? Seems logical. The big change of course, being the camera angles. You no longer have to fight with the wonky controls of the previous installments. Leon now has a camera mounted over his shoulder which gives you far better control over the character which greatly improves combat scenarios as well as brings you more into the game. Speaking of which – you find yourself totally immersed in the game. It has such great atmosphere created by the beautiful visuals and creepy sound. The entire game is in widescreen 16×9 aspect ratio which makes it feel more like you’re watching a movie than playing a game. The seamless integration of cutscenes also adds to the movie feel. No more pre-rendered cinematics that take you completely out of the action. You hardly notice them at all and you’re actually still doing things during the cutscene. You’re often prompted to make a quick decision which could result in Leon dodging something or jumping out a window at just the right moment. If you fail to do so… well, you can guess what happens!
I find this game carries a lot more creepiness than past games. I think because there’s no cheesy, slow moving zombies. The enemies are citizens of this small town you end up in – but they do have something weird about them. They can do much more damage than the typical zombies. With the ability to sprint, wield chainsaws, throw axes and dynamite – they pose much more of a threat. Speaking of chainsaws – wow! The first time I was decapitated was the highlight of my playing experience! Deanna and I both looked at each other, jaws dropped, eyes bulging… so good!
The boss fights are so well done and extremely fun to play. I find most boss fights to be tedious and more of a burden than anything else. Some of the best moments in the game are during a boss fight and I’m not exactly sure how they managed to do this.
The only downsides I found were some camera angels that weren’t exactly ideal and some times a little too much shooting and not enough problem solving. I really liked the puzzles in the other games, but they’re few and far between in RE 4 and are usually solved fairly quickly.
I think I can honestly say this is one of the best games I’ve played and it fully deserves the high ratings and praise it’s received.