Game - Resident Evil 4
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156 of 334 readers found this review helpful.
Resident Evil 4
Well this adventure starts off innocently enough…..Okay, that’s a flat out lie. It starts off with a recap of what happened during the first three Resident Evil’s. Even if you played all three games to completion, you should still fight the urge to hit start and bypass this intro. It comes off like a mini-movie and is actually quite cool. Then the game starts. We will start by examining the new gameplay features. You will immediately notice that the gameplay is drastically different then that of the previous RE’s. No more awkward strafing. Now it feels like your actually controlling a person. The weapon that you start the game with is actually one of the coolest weapons I have found in any game. It is a simple ordinary 9MM pistol. However, this one is equipped with a laser site that is pinpoint accurate. When you fire off a round, the jerk you get from your controller actually makes it feel somewhat like firing a real gun. The level of accuracy on the physics of the gun are actually quite remarkable. This will probably become a standard for shooters in the future I would think. I would say that the most valuable gameplay addition is the use of an “about face” combo. Instead of turning all the way around with the C Stick, you can now press down and hold B and you player spins around instantaneously. This option is worth its weight in gold during many battles. One gameplay aspect that has changed that I am not so okay with is how you load your weapon. Now, you can hit B button. In the old RE’s, you would have to go to your inventory and combine the bullets with the gun. It felt like an actual reloading. But this is quite minor.
Now, on to the game. Your mission, simply enough, is to rescue the President’s daughter. (I hope it’s Jenna, she’s so hot!). You get dropped off in the middle of BFE Europe and are expected to start piecing together clues to find this chick. Rather early in the game, you run into what is to become a central location in this game, Pueblo Village. You will visit this town many times, and not once will you be free of anxiety. In your first experience here, you get almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of non-zombies that rush you. Notice I called them “non-zombies” and not “zombies”. That’s what the game calls em, and for good reason. But this is not a spoiler review, so I am not going to tell you why hehe. Just know this, every meaningless non-zombie that you decapitate will come back to haunt you later in the game. So try to aim for the body. These non zombies are actually intelligent. They will try to surround you and use tactical maneuvers to take you down. For instance, if you are on a roof, they will go find a ladder. If you in a building and have it blockaded, they will set it on fire. Pretty hairy. After you dispose of all of the creepies in the town, you are off to face your first boss. And what a boss it is. It is some sort of fish/serpent/Nellie type creature that lives in a lake. It is a good seven times larger then you, and graphically stunning. You are armed with nothing but spears for this battle, which will make you scream aloud for use of a gun. Now, lets pause for needed reference point. This is a long, huge game. The above scenario I described, will take a minimum of 2-3 gameplay hours to defeat, and that’s if you do everything perfectly. Heaven forbid you get killed or start over or anything. Oh, and dying? Pretty creepy. When you die, a blood drenched graphic appears on the screen with the words “You are dead.” Sounds tame enough, but when you consider the way it appears on screen and the haunting background score, you tend to get a little edgy and start wondering if someone is speaking to you from beyond the grave.
Back to the story. Having defeated the big fish thing (understatement) you move on and surprisingly come across the Presidents Daughter. I say surprisingly, because isn’t it a little early in the game to accomplish your main objective? You have to protect her and in essence, start controlling two characters, one of which is useless and has no weapons. The game takes a turn for the hardcore at this point. I already have friends who gave up on this game at this point because one shot to the daughter and the game is over. In a weird way, it kind of reminds me of the first level of Warcraft II where you have to escort the dignitaries to the middle of the board. The daughter just gleefully follows you around while you are up to your neck in bad guys, blood and guts. Never once does she offer to help. For the next few levels, it’s more of the same. Then the game gets downright satanic. You encounter a castle filled with some sort of cultish Heavens Gate type clan. The imagery is very eerie. You suddenly have to face off against clans of chanting monks, all of which have superhuman strength of course. Throughout the rest of this game, you upgrade weapons and items appropriately, but you really start feeling like your playing the same boards over and over. The story does not advance as fast as anyone would like, and that’s when you start to glance over at the other games in your cabinet.
In summary, When I first picked up this game and played through a couple of levels, I legitimately thought this may be the greatest game I have ever played. And that actually holds true….for a while. This game did lose my interest like nobody's business by the end. By the time I completed it, I no longer cared about the characters, the story, or anything else. It became a mission to beat it for the sake of beating it. Don’t get me wrong, it is a finely crafted game and what truly sets this game apart from every other Gamecube title to date, is the atmosphere. The graphics are stunning. They are really pushing the limits of the GC’s 40 megs of dedicated video ram. The skies are always overcast. Typical Europe. There are plenty of evil looking crows, bats, and spiders to add to the intensity. And you can shoot every one of them. You can react with 90% of everything you see before you. Their are tons of ancient decrepit buildings, evil monks, and fire, fire, fire! With the combination of an eerie soundtrack, and creepy visuals, this title is worthy of a Stephen King thriller. You really feel a deep sense of intensity. Is it the best Gamecube title to date? No, not really. Is it better then the competitions flag ships Halo and Grand Theft Auto? Nada, not even close. I predict history will be kind to this title though. Much like the NES’s Mario and the N64’s Goldeneye, this will be the title people remember from the Gamecube. But realistically, you can see everything you need to see in this game in the first 2 – 3 levels. After that, it all seems like filler. This is a very hard game to judge, because the beginning is so good, yet the end is so blah. Definantly rent before you buy kids.
3 out of 5 cans.
Added: Saturday, April 09, 2005
Language: eng[ Did you find this review helpful? Yes No ]
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