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In the events that followed the debut of one of gaming’s most notable male figures, we finally see the return of Leon Kennedy after nearly two decades. It has been a long time since the day he started his first day as a rookie cop with the Racoon City Police Department in Resident Evil 2, and we didn’t see him again until the Game Cube release in 2005. That’s what happened a few years later in the franchise’s fourth game. Since then, the game has been released on a variety of platforms, as well as in VR and as a small game based on the inventory system. This year saw the long-awaited remake of Resident Evil 4. I did give the demo a try to see how the full remake could shape up and now the full game is available let’s see how the full game holds up and if it holds a candle to the loved original.

Being a huge fan of the original game like a lot of you reading this that dropped back in 2005, I was really looking forward to the remake. I really think that Capcom has done a good job blending the charm of the old game with a modern touch that takes a near-perfect game to the next level. The previous remake for Resident Evil 2 was well received but the third game’s remake is less so loved but still an amazing game. I can’t help but ask with the return of Leon hitting modern-day hardware, how has the game held up?

Revisiting The Return Of Leon In Resident Evil Remake

In addition to the base game now out we may get the “Separate Ways” mode in the future but we will see if the Mercenaries mode returns as free DLC. The game will also see a free update to support the PlayStation 5 VR 2 headset alongside being launched on PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox Series X/S. For the purposes of this review, all footage and screenshots were captured by me on an Xbox Series X.

Gameplay

We know the original game played really well back in the day and I revisited the original recently to have a clear head when it came to remake. When I went through the original game I felt the controls didn’t quite match today’s standards and needed a more modern approach, the camera was indeed very jumpy but it was perfect for the time it came out in. I also found it was much easier to look around on a PC if you plugged a controller in. This remake plays more like the remake of Resident Evil 2 in terms of the smoother movement and combat is vastly improved as well as a needed small weapon wheel where you can pick a weapon in your attaché direct from the inventory. Crafting is clear and goes in-depth as well. One of the only aspects that give me a bit of pause in the new game is the graphics menu options. Do we really need all the options we have while there seems to not have a locked framerate?

Some features have returned from the original such as optional merchant requests like shooting a certain number of blue medallions in the world. There are a bunch of new features such as a more stealthy crouch which goes well with the new weapons included in the game and allows for more diverse playstyles through multiple playthroughs. They also removed the QTEs that were present in the original release as well. Another needed change is to have Ashley stay close or drop back, much handier in certain sections and allowing you to have more control in certain situations. Cutscenes like speaking to Hunnigan also don’t take you away from the game, the conversations are now real-time which is a more realistic approach and can lead to some funny moments.

Graphics

The 2005 game still looks like a decent game today so Capcom after two previous remakes and the visual feast that was Resident Evil Village really needed to pull out all stops on this. The game they created is an absolute gem, for the most part, the quality textures and lighting through the ray tracing seem implemented to just the reflections and more so close-up objects and surfaces. The hyped visual improvements at least to me aren’t always obvious in the distance and one other minor hiccup I had was foliage. Most of the time it moved with the weather but with Leon moving through it on the odd occasion he walked through it as though it wasn’t there. A minor issue, which won’t affect gameplay but it’s a small oversight not only having collision on it sometimes.

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Though if you’re playing the Resident Evil 4 Remake on PlayStation 4 you will experience a much different time as textures will need more time to fully load. That version will not have ray tracing and according to Digital Foundry who compared the console versions on screen-based reflections a lot of shadow details were removed. I also mentioned the graphics modes before players can have either a mode focusing on a higher frame rate or resolution. Both these modes can have ray tracing turned on or off or the hair strands option turned on or off. The last option the game tells us this mode is to “adjust the effect that improves hair and fur quality”. There are eight graphic modes most of which I already stated seem unnecessary.

  1. Resolution / Ray Tracing off / Hair Strands off
  2. Resolution / Ray Tracing off / Hair Strands on
  3. Resolution / Ray Tracing on/ Hair Strands off
  4. Resolution / Ray Tracing on/ Hair Strands on
  5. Frame Rate / Ray Tracing off / Hair Strands off
  6. Frame Rate / Ray Tracing off / Hair Strands on
  7. Frame Rate / Ray Tracing on/ Hair Strands off
  8. Frame Rate / Ray Tracing on/ Hair Strands on

Would it not be simpler to have a mode for frame rate and have that locked at 60 fps and resolution 30 with Ray Tracing as default? The Hair Strands options sometimes looked less realistic to me and a bit out of place, especially when for the most part everything else looks so good.

Audio

The voice acting is fantastic but I didn’t expect anything different. I also like how Capcom decided to keep the same voice actor from the Resident Evil 2 remake for Leon, however, we see a different actor for the legendary merchant. In the original Paul Mercier played both the Merchant as well as Leon. Capcom went for a younger actor for the merchant in the remake in the form of Canadian actor Michael Adamthwaite. The score is really well done and if you have the deluxe edition you can also swap to the original soundtrack. The sound effects we have are really well designed and music will also kick in when danger is imminent. The music will cease when it’s safe once more. Only on odd occasions, could heavy enemies rush behind with no sound made but it was so rare that I doubt most people will come across that issue or it’s already been fixed.

Story

The story is much the same as it was in 2005 with a few subtle changes and that is one of the longer stories of the early games the rumored DLC of Separate Ways. The DLC would actually add to the story as it goes through some of the events happening elsewhere throughout the campaign. I know the story well and while I recognized things happening at times I was still completely caught off guard but the subtle ways they changed things to make the remake fresh for fans and new players alike. The finale has seen a slight change from the original for the most part we get a couple of sections extended and tweaked slightly and another part was completely rewritten but it all stays true to the core RE4. With the rewrites, the story is set over a series of chapters and once more it still flows really well from one chapter into the next. Though the DLC story rumored was free for the original game so if it turns out paid it’s not really ideal but times have changed since then as well and I’ll still probably play it.

Was The Resident Evil 4 Remake Worth It – Does The Story For Leon Post Racoon City Work In 2023

I came into this game and review as being a huge fan of the original game as well as the franchise overall. I can be a bit fussy about the quality I get in Resident Evil games if it doesn’t feel right to me I won’t play it. For example, I love Code Veronica, Resident Evil 0 as well as Resident Evil 2 and 4 and the first game will always have a special in my heart too. Though I find Resident Evil 5 okay I have no desire to replay it anytime soon. As for the Sixth game that’s a no-thank you and Operation Racoon City is a 100% no as well. I will be more critical of this series as I truly do love it and have a deep respect and care for the horror icon, for example, the remake of the third title was a good game but a poor remake in my opinion.

Resident Evil 4 Remake

The big question of this review is how the Resident Evil 4 Remake would stack up. The good news is yes it has small issues that can honestly be fixed in patches and hotfixes, but it’s like being back in 2005, turning on the Game Cube and firing this up for the first time. This 2023 version for me has not tarnished my memory of the original and stands up well to usher a new generation to experience the chaos that is Resident Evil 4. It takes what I loved eighteen years ago and allows me to relive that fresh experience to some extent in the present day. If you’re a fan of the original I think this is a must, especially with the updated controls and gameplay quality-of-life upgrades and while I would have preferred we had the original actor for the merchant there is so much care put into this game. I have to applaud Capcom for delivering what was a fantastic remake to one the best in the series. Now we hope they can put the same love or care into a remake of Code Veronica.

Have you played the Resident Evil 4 Remake? What are your thoughts on it? Do you think it deserves to take over the mantle of the original game? Let me know in the comments section below and stay tuned for more from Lv1 Gaming.

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Resident Evil 4 (2023)

From $59.99/ £57.98
9.1

Gameplay

9.5/10

Graphics

9.0/10

Audio

9.0/10

Story

9.0/10

Pros

  • Faithful remake keeping the feel of the original
  • Better gameplay mechanics
  • Solid story

Cons

  • Confusing graphics settins
  • Ray tracing only visible close up

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