Left all alone far from any civilisation, facing unknown horrific creatures, finish your mission. And survive. Will you?
Resident Evil series (also known as Biohazard) belong to survival-horror type of games, where you have to stay alive using all sorts of aids, solving puzzles and fulfilling various tasks given at the start of (or throughout) the game. It has been introduced for many platforms, starting with Resident Evil for Play Station in 1996. It is most famous for it's great climate, very rich and deep story, interesting characters to follow and simply amazing gameplay.
The main protagonist of Resident Evil 4 is Leon S. Kennedy, U.S. Secret Service agent. We already had a chance to meet him earlier in Resident Evil 2. Being fresh police officer back then, Leon survived the Raccoon City horror, hence was recruited by U.S. Secret Service for his incomparable surviving skills. With a mission to locate and rescue U.S. president's kidnapped daughter - Ashley Graham, he is being sent to Spanish village where the whole story begins.
There has been a major change in Resident Evil 4. It's different than it's predecessors, and I mean it in totally good way. There is a lot more dynamic approach to this game. You control Leon from third-person view, walking or running, but when you aim you can't move. Camera zooms in and stops at Leon's shoulder, making aim more easy and precise. Sometimes it feels like movement during aim would be useful, but it works out good as it is and you quickly get used to it. And there will be plenty of targets to aim for. Taking enemies on in open fight however, would often result in a certain death. That's why surroundings come to your aid. Running inside a house seeking shelter is a good place to consider next move or reload your weapons - that's right. No more menu-reloading there mister. So keep an eye on your ammo. There is a good way to save it. Shoot the villager in head or leg and make a powerful kick or neck breaking suplex. Efficient and effective. Got some "fans" following you? Why not to barricade doors and windows with furniture? No problem. What if you can't get in because of locked door? Use window instead, no problem here too. Being inside with entrance overwhelmed by enemy? Using rooftops seems like a good option to me. These are few examples how Resident Evil 4 takes action to the next level, providing more energetic fun. You're going to like the next one. At some parts of the game, you will have to press buttons at specific moments to avoid death from a falling rock, dogde enemy's weapon etc. It works out great! You have to be constantly prepared for that to happen, especially during cut scenes. It brings tension and turns up atmosphere even more. Don't be too slow with it though, if you fail to press in right time - you die.
Another great change concerns enemies. No more slow and clumsy zombies. Enemies this time will attack you recklessly, surrounding you and attacking intensly. Ganados - villagers infected by an unknown virus - which not only makes them hostile towards you, but also... well, "enhances" them in some creepy way - are the main trouble in Resident Evil 4. They will try to spoil your journey many times. Not to mention guys with a chainsaw on your back, insect-like creatures of human size or walking, rotten corpses not willing to die from bullets unless you know the way... And there will be more. As for the bosses - Capcom hasn't disappointed about that as well, and player can be only happy (apart from being freaked out). In order to fight them all a proper arsenal is needed.
Pistols, shotguns, riffles, couple types of grenades or even rocket launcher and many more. Most of them have the option to upgrade, resulting in greater power, faster reloading speed, bigger capacity and such. You can get all that plus other useful equipment from a mysterious Merchant that pops in many times along the way. As the game proceeds, you will collect money or other valuable treasure items, that you can sell to him. In exchange, he will provide you with new "toys" to play. Having well upgraded shotgun or Magnum pointed at enemy's head and seeing what happens after pulling trigger makes you really satisfied.
Resident Evil 4 for pc has 3 general flaws. There is no mouse support (say, what?). The next one is annoying keyboard controls. If you will play this on pc, be sure to use a gamepad. And finally - graphics. Visuals aren't what we could expect, more so there is nothing we can do to help it in graphics options. FMV cut scenes are quite poor. Good thing patch was released, improving mainly graphics and that was a very good step. Music and sounds in game on the other hand are flawless. Simply amazing. Music really makes you freak out. It's very climatic, just suits perfectly for locations. Weapon shots, screaming Ganados or roaring monsters, various explosions, animals - very realistic.
Resident Evil 4 also offers three bonus modes:
- Separate Ways, where you play as Ada - also known from Resident Evil 2. Although not as long as the main story, it shows the game from Ada's perspective within the same timeline as Leon's.
- Assignment Ada, a quick mission with Ada where you have to obtain specific items.
- The Mercenaries, a one location survival mission where you have to eliminate as many enemies as you can before rescue helicopter takes you.
Today Resident Evil series have more action and less horror nature than before. But that doesn't mean Resident Evil 4 have lost the touch. On the contrary, it offers a lot and still is scary, giving you the creeps. It's a long and exciting game. For all fans, this is an absolute must-play title, for those who like survival horrors - definately a recommendation, and for others, really a great title to consider playing.