|Resident Evil 4|
Release Date: 18th March
Resident Evil has enjoyed a long and successful time on the PlayStation and Gamecube but people felt like the series needed a change to breed new life into it, and that’s what Resident Evil 4 brings to the table.
Set 6 years after the Raccoon City incident with the Umbrella Corporation now finished, RE4 starts off with the game’s hero Leon S. Kennedy (from RE2 fame) now a member of the President’s task force sent on a rescue mission in Western Europe to save none other than the President’s daughter. She’s been spotted near a village in the middle of nowhere but when you go investigate you find the villagers aren’t quite what they seem…
Aiming is assisted by a laser sight on your weapons, the view gets tighter in on Leon directly over his shoulder and you have to place your laser where you want to shoot - it’s a lot better than having a big old crosshair on your screen.
One of the best things about RE4 has to be the new enemies. These guys aren’t your stumbling and sluggish zombies; these crazed individuals will run, dodge and wield all sorts of weaponry to try stopping you in your mission. If you aim at their heads long enough they’ll protect themselves with their arms, and run blindly at you or try a quick little sidestep. Your heart will start racing when you’re trapped in a house surrounded by them, they’ll bash down the doors, windows and even use ladders to get to the upper levels. It’s the neat little touches that bring the battles to life, things like shooting the arm that they have a weapon in will make them drop it, or shooting their legs will get them to the floor quicker, being able to hit their thrown weapons in mid air and being able to blow a chunk out of a door with the shotgun (and then shooting through the hole). Or you could just simply blow their heads off in spectacular fashion!
To despatch of the hundreds of enemies you’ll of course get a great assortment of weaponry. The usual array of pistols, magnums, shotguns, a rocket launcher, mine launcher, grenades, sub machine guns, and for the first time in a Resi game, a sniper rifle, which is really cool for popping heads! All of the weapons, bar the rocket launcher, are upgradeable; fire power, ammo capacity, reload rate and firing speed. You’ll have to buy and upgrade the weapons from a travelling merchant. A cool way to get money other than picking it up from the dead is to sell treasure; some treasure can be combined to create more expensive treasure to get the ‘big bucks’ rolling in.
Graphically the game is stunning, everything about it looks amazing; highly detailed characters, great looking levels. Environmental effects such as rain, water, fog and dust all look superb. The engine also allows for many enemies on screen and still stays at a consistent frame rate. Fans of gore will be delighted to hear that the blood and exploding enemies look really cool as well. People have complained about the ‘fake’ widescreen but I’m sure this was deliberate, not only to keep the frame rate up but (I feel) it all so adds to the effect of the viewpoint.
So overall not only is it one of the best Gamecube games around it’s also one of the best games on any format, just amazing in every department. There are also things to unlock to add extra longevity to an already long game (by Resi standards) and a lot of enemies to kill along the way (my total was over 900!). You’ll also bump into a few familiar characters. Go buy it.
- Plays great, looks great, sounds great.
- Anyone for heart-racing excitement and exploding heads?
- Some iffyness with the backpack, but nothing much.