Resident Evil 4 is the sublime, iconic Action-Horror game that went on to inspire games such as Gears of War and Grand Theft Auto IV. The iconic over-the-shoulder camera while not starting here, was popularized. The change in camera did more than make aiming weapons easier – it transformed the third-person action genre and how the player interacted with the environment. Players are free to explore and interact with the environment like they never could before, opening up the combat.
Gunplay itself is immensely satisfying. Different enemies react differently to being shot in different areas. One can shoot at the feet to throw an enemy off balance to get out of a sticky situation, or blow the head clean off them… though the later isn’t always recommended, and can end up causing more problems as the enemies mutate to catch the player off guard.
The game’s pacing is impeccable, crafting a perfect balance of both the Survival-Horror from the classic Resident Evil games, while adding modern action-flair to it. The game drip feeds the player resources perfectly, to the point where you never feel too safe, nor too unprepared. This means that the player must carefully plan each encounter – go in guns blazing, or strategically maneuver to conserve ammo? New enemies are added at regular intervals to keep the player on guard – this includes everything from standard humanoids to the monstrous El Gigante.
Resident Evil 4 is a classic game that is still fun to play today. Regardless of what version is played, there is hours of fun to be had in the main campaign, and that’s not even touching on secrets and extra content that unlocks once the game is completed.
Images courtesy of Nintendo Life and NBC News5/5