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Resident Evil 4 Review

Resident Evil 4

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: Playstation 4, PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X (Reviewed)
Release Date: March 24, 2023
Price: $59.99 USD – Available Here $109.95 AUD – Available Here


There is a reason that Resident Evil 4 has been released on nearly every console since it was released on the GameCube back in 2005. The title ushered in a drastic change in the Resident Evil series that saw it shift from a fixed camera perspective and survival horror into a faster paced action horror game that still featured classic elements from prior entries, creating a unique title that established itself as a classic that many fans remember fondly. Now with Capcom bringing out the excellent Resident Evil 2 and mostly great Resident Evil 3 remakes, it is time for this classic game to get the same treatment. So now that it has been remade, is Resident Evil 4 perhaps everything that fans could have hoped for or was this classic best left untouched?


It has been six years since Leon survived the events of the zombie-filled streets of Raccoon City, escaping just before its ultimate destruction. As a survivor of such a bio outbreak, Leon found himself selected by the US government to undergo special training and now with this training under his belt, this latest mission may be his most challenging yet. Leon has been sent to a deeply rural location in Europe to rescue the President’s daughter after she was kidnapped and taken away with no mention of a ransom. When he arrives, not only does his local police escort quickly meet their demise but Leon finds himself facing off against the seemingly psychotic and obviously infected residents of the village, but with the ability to speak, wield weapons, and seemingly coordinate with each other, this is far different from Raccoon City.

Playing through Resident Evil 4 feels like slipping on a favorite suit that has been freshly tailored to expand a few areas and tightened up in others but a little itchy here and there. The remake features nearly all of the same story elements of the original but has expanded quite a few areas of the game to not only make a bit more sense but also provide extra details and lore behind certain characters. Along these same lines, the game has toned down a few of the more ridiculous areas as well, though hints about them are still present should players keep their eyes out. Speaking of toned down, one element that is unfortunately changed a bit is the way the campy dialogue is approached. 

When the original Resident Evil 4 was released it featured plenty of the series’ familiar camp to go along with its new action-oriented gameplay and while Leon will still make quips and various wise-cracks while fighting enemies and repeat signature lines from the original with a solid amount of humor here and there, the overall camp has been reduced, especially in the Castle section of the storyline. One element of the storyline and the atmosphere itself in Resident Evil 4 that has seen an upgrade is the horror element. Players will be in for quite a sight in many areas as grotesque displays aren’t uncommon throughout the village and other horrors await deeper into the game, especially when it comes to providing some solid scares to highlight that Resident Evil 4 is still an action horror title through and through. 

Now, while we can’t go into specifics here, it is nice to note that the characters in Resident Evil 4 are also far more developed than before between the aforementioned expanded lore and the many new interactions the cast have with one another. This not only allows players to get an extra glimpse into this familiar cast but shines a new light on some elements, especially in regards to Luis as well as the growing familiarity between Ashley and Leon throughout their escape. It is a bit unfortunate however that, despite the fact that Separate Ways has been a long-standing inclusion in all versions of Resident Evil 4 after the original release that it is not actually included in this remake, leaving players with only a New Game+ with some small additional offerings once the story is completed.


Although Leon may be facing off against unknown dangers, his training and combat skills make him more than up to the task to survive the horrors that await him. Players will find that the ability to move while aiming and shooting makes the game feel far more fluid than before, though movement does come at the cost of precise aiming. This level of mobility also means that the enemies that players face off against have also been given a significant improvement both in number and hostility. While one standard enemy won’t stand a chance against Leon, many encounters involve facing off against multiple foes who will swarm, flank, throw weaponry, and even grab the player to leave them wide open for attack. This aggression means that players will always need to be on their toes and make use of their weapons as best as possible since ammunition can still be a bit limited, though a new crafting mechanic that allows for ammo to be crafted can help alleviate some of these troubles.

Of course, should Leon be damaged he still has access to a wide array of healing items ranging from the classic herbs including the yellow herb that increases his maximum health to fish, eggs, and even vipers. It is also worth noting that while players always had to be wary of both Leon’s health as well as Ashley’s health in the original game, that is no longer the case in Resident Evil 4. Rather than have a health bar, Ashley will now be “incapacitated” when struck and immediately killed if hit again in this position, though rescuing her is a simple button press that takes no resources. That being said, she can still be grabbed and carried away if players are a bit too careless when it comes to enemy management.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes to combat in Resident Evil 4, outside of the ability to crouch and sneak around, is the way the knife is handled. Rather than only being used to smash crates and take swipes at downed enemies, the combat knife now has a durability meter and can be used for a large number of things during fighting, though everything drains some of its durability. Players can now parry incoming attacks from enemies including weapon slashes, grabs, and even crossbow bolts with proper timing with a “perfect” parry not only reducing the amount of damage done to the knife but often stunning the enemy as well. The knife can also be used to instantly escape from an enemy grapple including a wide variety of boss attacks though using it in this manner drains a large amount of meter. Along these same lines, players can make use of the crouching stealth mechanics to stealth kill enemies from behind and also deal with a new enemy mechanic. In the original, defeated enemies would occasionally burst into large deadly threats when killed and that is still the case in the remade Resident Evil 4 however Leon can now finish off a downed enemy before it transforms using his knife. Should his trusty knife break, Leon can have it repaired at the merchant and even upgraded to be sturdier, though players can also find a number of weaker expendable knives in their journey.

Not only are enemies far more aggressive this time around but many have also been given small revamps in various ways. Not only does this include the various transformed enemies and the way they can attack players but even the bosses themselves as a number have been reworked and retooled in surprising ways. It is also nice to note that an entirely new enemy type has been added into the game. One thing that has been removed, mostly for the better, are all of the quick time event sequences that were present throughout the original release. That being said, players can still be prompted to press a button to dodge some of the larger attacks from bosses and some standard enemies.

Alongside the revamped enemies, players will find that nearly every area in Resident Evil 4 has been revamped in some way, often expanding it to be far larger than before. This includes a surprisingly open location giving players room to explore and this level of expansion is also applied to the various puzzles throughout the game. While none of these puzzles are truly difficult, they have all been modified from the original release with a number of new ones being implemented as well to help keep things interesting.

The merchant has returned in the same way as before and, as mentioned, can not only repair Leon’s tools but also apply upgrades to his equipment as well as sell new firearms. The merchant also serves as the turn-in point for a number of brand new requests that have been added into the game. These range from selling a golden chicken egg to shooting blue medallions and, when completed, will reward the player with Spinels. Previously Spinels were the cheapest treasure to sell but now they can be traded for special items such as treasure maps, attachments, and more. It is also worth noting that players will still need to manage Leon’s attache case and its limited space, though a lazy option to automatically sort is available as well as the ability to stow firearms, attachments, and first aid sprays into storage at typewriters. 

Another aspect that has unfortunately dialed back here is unlockable bonus content. Not only has Separate Ways, Assignment Ada, and the Mercenaries mode not been included in this release as part of the post-game content but even unlockables are dialed back heavily. While a New Game+ does allow players to tackle new challenges far stronger than before, the fact that there is only one unlockable costume for Leon and Ashley is extremely disappointing, instead offering random head accessories, as well as an anemic offering of bonus weapons.

Visuals & Audio

With Capcom remaking Resident Evil 4 from the ground up using their RE Engine fans will find themselves in for a real treat. Character designs are incredibly detailed and the monsters that players face off against have never looked more gruesome and blasting away at these enemies with high-powered weaponry can tear limbs off a foe or blow a head clean off leading to plenty of gore. Boss designs deserve their own special mention here as many have been given a facelift in more ways than one while others remain as familiarly horrifying as they were in the past. Each of the core areas that players travel through has been expanded upon greatly and given a lovingly recreated attention to detail to provide familiar but fresh designs with even the few removed elements still hinted at through environmental objects.

The voice work throughout the game remains incredibly solid though, as stated before, some of the campier lines have been modified a bit in this release. That being said the English cast handles all of their characters well and the dialogue fits the setting of the title better as well with proper accents and pronunciations. The atmosphere of Resident Evil 4 does an exceptionally good job of being spooky and tense while still offering plenty of action, especially when players can hear a threat waiting for them in the distance.


Many may have been concerned that Resident Evil 4 didn’t need a remake but Capcom has proven them wrong as this latest release of Resident Evil 4 is a wonderful recreation of a classic game that expands upon the original in almost every way while delivering some of the best action horror gameplay that players could ask for. The unfortunate lack of extra content and unlockable bonuses is disappointing and some may be a bit put off by knife durability but anyone looking to experience this classic for the first time and especially longtime fans of the franchise will find Resident Evil 4 a masterclass at what it does.

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.


Resident Evil 4 hits all of the right notes as it delivers a masterclass in action horror that lives up to, and surpasses, the original in nearly every way.
Travis Bruno
Travis Bruno
After playing games since a young age and getting into anime a bit later on its been time to write about a little bit of everything.
<i>Resident Evil 4</i> hits all of the right notes as it delivers a masterclass in action horror that lives up to, and surpasses, the original in nearly every way.Resident Evil 4 Review