There’s no denying that the original Resident Evil 4 defined a generation of games with its over-the-shoulder third-person view which found itself borrowed by a host of games such as Gears of War, Dead Space, and even The Last of Us. With Capcom remaking Resident Evil 2 and 3 – both of which ended up being some of our favorite games in recent years – we were more than interested to see what Resident Evil 4 Remake would bring to the table. In this Resident Evil 4 Remake review, we will cover the PS5 version, the game itself, and more.
For the uninitiated, Resident Evil 4 Remake has you in the role of Leon Kennedy – one of the protagonists from Resident Evil 2. Previously a cop, now a special agent for the US government on a mission to rescue the President’s daughter, Ashley Graham from a mysterious cult known as the Los Iluminados. Gone are the chaotic confines of Raccoon City and in their place is a relatively sprawling Spanish village full of secrets to uncover and undead to shoot and suplex.
The moment to moment gameplay of Resident Evil 4 Remake is expertly crafted. Shooting is punchy and pulling off a headshot feels rewarding with enemies slumping to the ground while melee combat has a satisfying weight to it. If you were worried about Resident Evil 4 Remake completely ditching the over-the-top action from the original, you can rest assured that Capcom knows what made Resident Evil 4 special.
This is layered with an assortment of welcome features such as the ability to craft ammo, sub quests that help you earn Spinels (the currency that you can trade in for unique weapons), and discovering treasure along with gems. These gems when combined with the treasure get you more money to spend on better gear. Throw in a durability meter for your essentials like your knife, and an upgrade system for weapons, and you will find yourself making full use of Resident Evil 4 Remake’s many merchant outposts and in-game mechanics to get the most bang for your virtual buck in this action survival horror experience.
More often than not, Resident Evil 4 Remake manages to drop you into some moments of pure white knuckle tension such as sections when you have to protect Ashley from many a shambling cultist with just about a bullet to spare, or when you have run from and eventually defeat the many powerful and grotesque monsters that the game throws in your general direction. Even the less powerful enemies have a sinister look to them with horrific transformations that will stay with you long after you’re done with the game.
These moments when combined with a wide variety of enemies ranging from your bog standard zombie to more exotic ones that we will not spoil, and a fantastically-paced plot, see Capcom giving us a a modern classic that’s been polished to a fine sheen. Every chapter ended with us on the edge of our seats, even having played the original multiple times like we’ve done over the years. Despite getting review code early, this review was almost delayed because we wanted to soak on as much of Resident Evil 4 Remake as possible even after having finished it. An initial playthrough should clock you around the same time as the original, which surprised us in a good way. We’d love to have spent more time acquiring loot, completing quests, and experiencing New Game Plus mode.
Resident Evil 4 Remake looks ridiculously gorgeous with all the graphical improvements and visual fidelity you’d expect from a modern game running on Capcom’s RE Engine. There are a bevy of options to choose from that can enhance the experience. From ray tracing, to toggling hair strands for Leon, and opting to prioritize resolution or frame rate, Resident Evil 4 Remake offers a welcome degree of visual customisation even on consoles.
On PS5, Resident Evil 4 Remake makes exceptionally good use of the DualSense controller’s haptics and adaptive triggers. Be it walking through the game’s many scenic vistas, taking aim at its assortment of foes, or radioing in your allies complete with their communications piped through the PS5 mic, Resident Evil 4 Remake is a treat to play on the console thanks to the controller.
The only negative, and a minor one at that, is the prioritize resolution mode performance wasn’t consistent enough. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, but we hope Capcom can improve how it runs in this mode through a potential patch in the future. The prioritize frame rate mode sees a drop in image quality, but it ran a lot better overall.
Resident Evil 4 Remake is an incredible reimagining of a classic. The stellar pacing, memorable characters, and monsters aplenty combine with sublime gameplay and superlative visuals to make it absolutely essential.