Resident Evil 4 Review

PlayStation 2

March 27, 2009 by

Resident Evil 4 Image

Resident Evil 4 is a rare game. Its a game that provides a refreshing, captivating and thoroughly enjoyable experience from start to finish. Its the type of game that is never frustrating, never grows boring and never ceases to surprise. Its a game that, quite simply, is an experience that needs to be taken by almost every gamer, regardless of your preferred genres. Even after playing through the original GameCube version, exploring every nook and cranny and poking at everything it has to offer, we still had an enjoyable time playing through the game for a second time, proving that Capcom has created a sure-hit classic with their latest installment in the famous Resident Evil franchise.

Resident Evil 4 follows the experiences of Leon Kennedy, a specially trained soldier working directly for the President of the USA. After the presidents daughter is kidnapped and reportedly taken to a mysterious remote location in Europe, Leon is sent in to rescue the presidents daughter from her captors. Believing the mission to be a simple retrieval mission, he is soon proved wrong when he comes into contact with the inhuman locales, who inspire to do nothing more than kill Leon. You soon discover the reason behind the communitys strange ways, as an evil cult has taken control of the village and plans to topple American from power and gain control of the world, in classic villain style. The games sends you through a range of different locations in an attempt to destroy the evil cult and rescue the Presidents daughter, Ashley, from their wicked grasp.

Those who have played through the GameCube version will agree when I say that the single player mode in Resident Evil 4 is simply superb. The games storyline is presented in an ever-evolving and interesting manner, offering plenty of surprising twists and turns that successfully keeps you engaged throughout the progress of the game. The numerous different locales that you visit, which range from the swampy and dark little village through to a towering, evil monk-filled castle offers a pleasing variety of different locations that mixes up the gameplay, ultimately providing a slightly different experience in each area as you battle new enemies and gain further weapons.

A new addition to the Resident Evil franchise is the ability to purchase items, weapons and upgrades from a traveling salesman that manages to pop-up throughout the course of the game. By selling unneeded items and collecting hordes of coinage, you are able to purchase news weapons, useful items and extra inventory space. You can also purchase new upgrades for your weapons, which increase their firepower, capacity and reload speed.

Although the games central story mode is identical to its GameCube brother, the additional modes that are unlocked upon the completion of the game are the only true differences that set it apart from the version released earlier this year on the GameCube. The main inclusion is the Separate Ways mode, which features the mysterious Ada character that makes regular appearances in the story mode. This new Playstation 2 exclusive mode offers a different take on the games storyline from the eyes of Ada, filling in the holes of the original storyline and adding additional information. The extra mode is incorporated into the games storyline extremely well, with the gameplay following on with the same difficulty that concluded the games central story mode where you control Leon. The mode explains why and how Ada managed to make an appearance throughout the game, and also allows you to make regular use of her cool grapple gun that she showed-off during the main story mode to reach previously inaccessible areas. In addition, you are able to purchase weapons and items from the same salesman that appears in the main story mode, including a number of weapons that are exclusive to Ada. These exclusive weapons include the bow gun, which is a silent and effective means of dispatching your foes.

Other new modes include Adas Report, which is essentially an add-on to the Separate Ways mode. This feature simply allows you to view the cinematics that appear in Adas additional mode, Separate Ways. There is also the Movie Browser, which, as the name suggests, allows you to browse through all of the cinematics that you have previously viewed in the game.

Capcom has also returned the two additional modes that appeared in the GameCube version. Assignment Ada is the original, rather boring mode that requires you to perform such tasks as retrieving three samples of the virus from different sections of the level, which involves nothing more than simply killing a number of enemies and then moving into the next room. This mode offers little storyline or gameplay additions, making it a short-lived experience. The Mercenaries mode also makes a return, allowing you to take on a role of a number of characters from the game, including Leon, Ada and Wesker, and participate in a survival-based mode that simply involves killing an endless horde of enemies, where points are recorded for each kill, with the ultimate aim of the mode to score the highest number of points possible before you die or the time runs out. Despite the mode offering no storyline or additional gameplay inclusions, its still an enjoyable experience nonetheless.

Although there are limited differences between the GameCube and Playstation 2 versions in the gameplay aspects, visually the two different versions are quite different. As expected, the GameCube versions offers slightly superior character and environment detail over the PS2 version, coupled with the addition of slightly slower loading times in the PS2 outing. Overall, though, when considering the GameCubes graphical prowess over the PS2, these slight visual sacrifices are certainly not disappointing. The PS2 visuals still offer clean animation, well-detailed and animated characters and impressively designed environments.

Resident Evil 4s voice-overs, music and sound effects are equally impressive. Each character offers suitable and well-acted voice-overs that present a believable character, aiding in delving the gamer into the games world. The music, which is largely of orchestral theme, aids in presenting a moody world that changes according to the situation and location that you are in. The music, for examples, becomes louder and more noticeable during fights with enemies, while the music becomes quieter and spookier when there are no enemies nearby, helping to build the suspense. The sound effects are, like the rest of the games visual and audio presentation, is impressive in its quality and execution. Each weapon fire, footstep or thud is replicated in a realistic and believable fashion, contributing to the game substantially.

Playstation 2 gamers have long been waiting to get their hands on Capcoms acclaimed action survival horror, and it is for good reason. Resident Evil 4 is an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable experience throughout, revolutionizing not only the Resident Evil series but the survival horror and action genres as a whole. Its the type of game that allows classic fans of the series to instantly fall in love with the refreshingly new take on the series, all the while attracting a large number of gamers who have never liked any of the previous Resident Evil titles. Those who have not had the chance to play through the GameCube version of Resident Evil 4 need to check out Capcoms latest blockbuster title, as its an experience that is worthwhile in every aspect.

Rating: 9.0/10

Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.