Resident Evil 4 is still a classic within Capcom’s survival horror series, and it’s also the latest Resident Evil game to receive a modern remake. As with most of the previous remakes in the franchise, the game’s modern reimagining is more than just a mere port. In fact, important elements of the original game have been totally revamped.
From gameplay to the way in which the story unfolds, there’s a lot that’s different in Resident Evil 4 Remake compared to the original game. Add better graphics to the equation and there are several reasons why gamers who’ve already played the game should give this version a fair shot. Here are all the ways in which Resident Evil 4 Remake differs from the 2005 incarnation.
Beyond firearms, Leon S. Kennedy can also fend off enemies with a combat knife. This was a feature already utilized in the original version of Resident Evil 4, but the remake changes how it’s implemented. The knife can now be used to block/parry attacks, giving it a defensive purpose as well. However, using it too much in this capacity will whittle down its new durability meter, which can eventually lead to the weapon breaking. If this happens, it can be repaired by the merchant or even be briefly replaced by a kitchen knife.
Another way to be on the defensive and avoid taking damage is by utilizing crouching, a new maneuver added to Leon’s repertoire. Not only can it be used to duck and hide from an enemy’s line of sight, but it also allows for new openings to stab them with the combat knife. One element added from the other Resident Evil remakes is that weapons can be assigned to quick-swap, making them easier to access than before. Likewise, there are now two slots for each D-pad direction, adding even more weapon customization options. Weapons even have individual stats and other attributes that can be fine-tuned over the course of the game.
Saving Ashley Graham is the central premise of Resident Evil 4, though the way in which it’s handled has changed. For one, Ashley no longer has her own health bar, which keeps levels from devolving into babysitting missions. Leon can also issue orders for her to follow, asking her to either stay close to him or venture further out. She can still be downed by enemy attacks, however, forcing Leon to step in and revive her. While this still might sound like a bit of a hindrance, Ashley has a lot more agency and use this time around.
There are different co-op mechanics throughout the game that require Ashley in order to utilize, such as having her go through crawlspaces. Some of these situations are introduced early on in the game, adding replay value and making players want to backtrack in order to unlock various puzzles and items. Ashley’s AI is also improved, meaning that former obstacles such as climbing up ladders are no longer a problem.
One of the biggest changes to the game is how it handles Luis Sera. Though he wasn’t an incredibly major character in the original, Luis did go on to become a fan-favorite due to his suave, smooth personality. The remake expands his role by extending how far he plays into the story, changing the story dynamic by allowing him to narratively bounce off Leon and Ashley for longer and turning him into a valuable partner.
In fact, he actually replaces Ashley for a good part of the castle section. Surviving far longer than he did in the original, his changed story cements the remake as a new game experience. It will also make his final farewell, if it is still to happen, more impactful, making Luis’ fate much more meaningful for gamers.
The pacing in Resident Evil 4 Remake is handled in a more organic capacity, though that’s partially due to an improvement in technology. There aren’t any more loading screens and other somewhat antiquated elements, making sections of the game continue at a brisk speed. The same goes for interactions with Agent Hunnigan, which are handled in real-time. Even QTEs are less frequent, making them come off as less gimmicky when they’re used.
There are also new side-quests that can be engaged in, with these tasks accessed through blue notes found in random areas. After completing these tasks, players can talk to the Merchant and get some big rewards. The story itself is still mostly the same, though it’s not exactly a 1:1 parallel. Some of the changes are fairly subtle, such as using a tree early on in the game to explain crouching and other new mechanics. There will also be in-game microtransaction purchases, though what they’ll entail is still somewhat mysterious.
Whether gamers have played the title a thousand times or never at all, they should definitely check out the modernized classic to see where Resident Evil 4 Remake stands compared to its predecessor.