It was during State of Play in June 2022 that Capcom formalized the long-fantasied remake of Resident Evil 4. Released in 2005 first on GameCube before being ported to other media, the original title had upset the codes of survival-horror to become a protean work described as revolutionary. Readjusting such a myth to current standards is a mission that Capcom has given itself. We were able to take our first steps in the village while asking a few questions to Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, the producer of this remake. Here is our report.

First steps in hell

The demo of Resident Evil 4 launched, we find Léon S. Kennedy in front of the famous house which shelters the impolite villager, the one who tries to split the skull of the young investigator with an ax blow in the 2005 version. This sequence was surely not chosen at random by Capcom, since it is one of the most cult of Resident Evil 4. “We are fans of the original game, so we have a lot of pressure with this remake” says Yoshiaki Hirabayashi. He adds : “Even though I was part of the original team, I made sure my team got a good replay of Resident Evil 4. We then came up with several ideas to update the game to meet the expectations of the audience of ‘today”.

Once inside the house, it doesn’t take long to realize that things have changed. There are more doors, and therefore more rooms to visit compared to the title of yesteryear. If our good old villager is always present in front of his fireplace, the fight finally takes place in the basement of the building. The new maneuverability of the game, which finally allows you to aim while moving like in the last remakes, makes you feel more comfortable in Leon’s jacket.

However, the enemies have also beefed up their game. First of all, they are faster. The natives do not hesitate to throw themselves feverishly on their prey, or to sprint fork forward to better impale our hero. Then they are more resistant. A headshot followed by an uppercut is no longer synonymous with a final knockdown. Localized damage is fortunately still in the game to slow down opponents when the situation is no longer manageable. Unlike the Resident Evil 2 remake, it is not possible to dismember the attackers by focusing on a part of their body with the bullets of the pistol. Yes, RE4 is gore, but not too much.

The same nightmare, but with differences

The events of this Resident Evil 4 are broadly the same as those shown in the 2005 game, but the changes are there.. The Capcom Japan team assures us that we can expect the same level of “remake” than what we had with Resident Evil 2 and 3. The villagers who wait for Kennedy outside the house finally decide to say hello to him inside the latter while the path to go to the village is no longer quite the same. The famous sequence of the church square where the chainsaw Ganado pursues Léon is a good way to contemplate the efforts made in this remake. It’s very beautiful, it’s fluid, and there are more interactions with the decor.

As for game mechanics, Leon is equipped with a knife that gives him the ability to perform Stealth Kills or to get out of desperate situations. “We’ve added game strategies to make sure the game can cater to players’ different playstyles. But we also did everything to keep the legacy of the base experience” explains Yoshiaki Hirabayashi. Leon can also parry blows if the player presses the right button on the pad at the right time (much like in the last Resident Evil games released). About the QTEs, they should be present in revised and corrected versions, more transparent for the user.

For the rest, what can I say except that it is more than pleasant to find the legendary Resident Evil 4 finally up to current standards? The few short minutes spent in his company quickly reminded us why this episode is so important in the history of the saga with its sustained pace, its suffocating atmosphere and the feeling of unease it gives despite a sustained action dimension. Resident Evil 4 Remake will be released on March 23, 2023 on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

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