At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Screenshots
James Mark Walker GameCube Capcom Capcom Production Studio 4 1 Here
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Resident Evil 4 review

Please Note: This review was based on the NTSC-U/C version of the game, and not the PAL version available in Europe. However, the two are very similar, and thus the opinion of the reviewer remains valid.

In 1995 Resident Evil wrote the rules of the survival horror genre and in 2005 it has returned to re-write them.

Resident Evil 4 was originally part of the GameCube-exclusive deal between Nintendo and Capcom. However, it has since been announced for the PlayStation 2 for late 2005 or early 2006. Currently it is not known if the PS2 version will contain any extras, and what might have to be adjusted for the less powerful console. Anyway, back to the GameCube version.

Leon S Kennedy makes his long-awaited return to the Resident Evil series after his main role in Resident Evil 2 and also the poor Resident Evil Gaiden. This time Capcom have moved forward with the series; the changes in Resident Evil 4 stand out and for me are a big improvement over its predecessors. "Changes?!" I hear you say. "What have they changed?"

Well, there are now no more zombies in the game. The control system has been refined, there's a new over-the-shoulder view, a laser targeting system, chapter-based scenarios, and the ability to buy and upgrade weapons in the game. You can also do action-based movements like kick, block, avoid and jump. So quite a few changes, then.

The President's daughter has been kidnapped and it is up to Leon to track her down and rescue her from her captors. She was last spotted in a remote village in Europe, but there has been no sighting since. Leon is sent to the village to try and find out who is behind the kidnapping. You are lead to the remote village by two policemen who are to assist Leon in recovering the President's daughter.

Once you do take control of Leon you make you way to the nearest house to try and make contact and to extract any info if possible. But on trying to talk to a villager, he is attacked, and must defend himself and take out the hostile. Once the hostile is down, it is then Leon realises that this crazed man is not dead or a zombie.

The amount of villagers that can descend on you is just unbelievable. The need to conserve your ammo is very important as you can go through it very quickly, but the advantage is that the dead people will leave behind ammo, cash, herbs and other items. The selection of weapons you can buy is quite vast from a variety of hand guns, shotguns, rifles, grenades of various types, machine guns and more. Not only are there your standard green, red and blue herbs, there is now a yellow herb which, if you mix it with certain other herbs, your health will not only heal but increase ready for the important boss battles.

Not only has Leon got to cope with the hostiles and find the President's daughter, he is also infected, so now he has to find a cure for himself too. You will come across both new and old characters which you will have to interact with and find out their darkest secrets. In the main game you will come across some challengers which have nothing really to do with the main game, like shooting blue coins to get access to a new powerful gun. Also there are a few shooting galleries placed throughout the game through which you can earn new items.

On completing the game, it will unlock new modes for you to play; Mercenaries, Ada and Extreme. In the Mercenaries mode you get a certain amount of time to kill so many villagers/people, where you can extend time by finding hour glasses and double points by finding certain chests. You have four maps and you have to unlock other characters; including Albert Wesker. In Ada mode you need to seek out vials and return them to Wesker. You can also you unlock Extreme mode for the main game which makes it even harder. Replay the game and you could find areas and items you have not been to or seen before.

Many fans of the games like the new direction of the game, but also many do not like the departure from the traditional Resident Evil format.

In my opinion this is a great step forward to make it the greatest Resident Evil game to date. The game feels darker and more believable then the previous incarnations, and is no longer slow and predictable; you really will be on your toes with the villagers after you, but at least you have a variety of weapons from a chainsaw to explosives, bear traps, axes and many other items. There are also a variety of big bosses to battle from a lake monster to a giant troll type creature. Also, long gone are the static camera angles and third-person view as it is now a fully 3D environment with an over-the-shoulder perspective which does take some getting used to. Now your guns have a laser targeting system which does come in very handy when you are being chased down by the hoards of enemies.

All in all this game adds a new dimension to the Resident Evil games and to me is very welcomed to what many were calling a stale genre.


Graphics Outstanding. The best I have seen on the GameCube. Capcom have taken real care when making this game. 10/10
Gameplay Totally new gameplay which does add more fun and tension to the game, which has not been seen in the series before. 10/10
Value Good value for money with plenty to do. Even importing only costs in the region of US$70 (~£35). 10/10
Lifespan The game is harder than the ones before it, but it does have a lot of replay value with new mini games to unlock and a harder difficulty mode. Also, areas of the game you have not seen the first time you may get to see the second time round. 9/10
Audio The sound in is more intense and creepy, making it a game that will put fear into you mind. The good use of Dolby Pro Logic II helps. 10/10
Overall Overall I would give this game 10, but nothing is perfect in my mind so it has to be a 9. A real must for Survival Horror fans! 9/10

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