Resident Evil 4 (2005)
September 18th, 2023
Release Date: January 11th, 2005
Format: PS2 (PC for most recent play through)
I remember vividly when Resident Evil 4 was released back in 2005; I saw the trailer on G4 in late 2004 and rolled my eyes. "This looks stupid," I said to my friends, as I had played the earlier games and this didn't look anything like them at all. It appeared to be fast paced with ridiculous monsters and regular human beings- no more "tank controls," fixed camera angles or zombies. It was ludicrous and offensive to a fan of the original PS1 games which were much more subdued and horror-centric. How could they do this to the series? I thought to myself, ignoring it and moving on with my life.
Said friends rented the GameCube version a few months after release and my mind changed instantly. From picking up the controller for the first time I knew this game was incredible; it was fresh, innovative and did an excellent job bringing the Resident Evil series into the 21st century. The "over the shoulder" perspective was game changing and made aiming much easier and more satisfying, while also implementing a close quarter combat option when enemies are hit in certain body parts. Hordes of enemies can now be destroyed with a handgun and careful aim, with the knife ready at the press of a shoulder button (no need to view a menu to equip it!) Cinematically, RE4 elevates the series with action packed cutscenes and strong character development. The prior entries did great for their system's restrictions, but this is where the series really shines and comes into it's own.
Resident Evil 4 holds up very well and remains one of the greatest video games ever made.