Resident Evil 4 HD Review
People who might buy Resident Evil 4 from Xbox Live fall into two camps. Those who loved it the first time around and fancy playing it through again at a slightly higher resolution with some Achievements thrown in, and those who missed it back in 2005 and are curious to check out the game that, according to review aggregator GameRankings, is the tenth best game of the last three generations.
The former group only need to be told that this version is pretty much identical to the original, only it’s in HD, and can then make up their own mind whether or not it’s worth the arguably rather steep asking price. Not much more this review can tell them that they don’t already know.
Visit the Spanish Wolvernine fan convention. Bring bandages.
Those who haven’t played Resident Evil 4 before will have some adjusting to do. It’s only been six years since it was originally released on the GameCube, but things have moved on a lot since then and certain old-fashioned characteristics will need to be forgiven.
Contrary to what you might expect, it’s not the graphics that feel dated. Resident Evil 4 was truly an awesome-looking game on last-gen hardware thanks to excellent art direction and highly efficient use of the available technology, and it still stands up very well.
Sure, many of the textures are quite blurry and it doesn’t have fancy effects like HDR lighting and such, but it still manages to look and feel detailed, atmospheric and believable. The first year or so of the 360’s life saw numerous releases that looked worse than this.
Some survival horror stalwarts have criticised Resident Evil 4 for turning its back on horror in favour of action, and we can’t say it produced any scares for us on the 360.
It did, however, produce plenty of laughs. It’s moody and atmospheric, but also incredibly corny and often just plain silly. It shouldn’t work at all, but there’s no denying that the game’s considerable charm is rooted in this curious juxtaposition.
Salazar. Oh how we enjoy killing you over, and over, and over again.
Ageing far less gracefully are the controls and user interface. Resident Evil 4 pioneered the ‘over the shoulder’ viewpoint and ‘precision aim’ zoom that we’ve seen in pretty much every other third-person shooter since, but it ignored advances in streamlined ‘sticks and triggers’ control systems in favour of a fiddly, confusing and inconsistent button setup it could call its own.
Fans might argue that the awkward controls are vital to the game’s tense, methodical action style, but in a post-Dead Space world that excuse just doesn’t wash.
It’s worth persevering because so much about Resident Evil 4’s atmosphere and design still impresses, but it also might be worth finding how much cheaper it is to buy off eBay.