Capcoms Resident Evil 4 remake is only a few days away and the anticipation couldn’t be higher. After a wave of rave reviews, fans of the GameCube classic are ready to have their heads cut off again. That wait will come to an end on Friday, March 24, but impatient players can look for a way to pass the time until then.
If you’re in the boat, or just want to properly prepare for the remake, we’re here to help. Portion of the Resident Evil 4 The appeal of remake is the way it not only deals with the original game or the series’ past, but also with the 20 years of gaming history that would follow. With a game as important and influential as Resident Evil 4, you don’t have to go far to see the influence this has had on the action-adventure genre. The remake shines because it’s seemingly aware of that idea and looks at the original through a modern lens.
To help you get into the right mindset, we’ve put together a bit of a must-read list to better understand the remake. While it can be played and enjoyed on its own, there is a selection of titles that will help you better appreciate both the design and sometimes radical approach of the remake challenge. If you’ve got some time to kill before diving in, make sure you’re up to speed on these five games.
Resident Evil 4 VR
If you’re worried about playing the original Resident Evil 4 may spoil your appetite for the remake, don’t worry. The new version is almost a completely different game, both in tone and pace. In particular, the new combat system completely changes the speed of combat and turns the original into a much faster and smoother action game. It’s a great example of how tweaks to the core gameplay can completely change the feel of a game.
To really prepare for that approach, I recommend you check out the VR version of Resident Evil 4. As with the new remake (which gets its own VR mode), the Oculus-compatible version allows players to experience the original game from a first-person perspective with more tactile controls. You’ll feel some extra tension as you rush to grab a herb to heal or manually reload your rifle. That’s a very different experience from the upcoming remake, which will make you feel like a more confident action hero. The two versions are excellent contrasts, showing how the same game can feel completely different by tweaking the core combat.
resident evil 2
If you want to get an idea of what the new version looks and feels like, look no further than Capcom’s excellent resident evil 2 redo. That game has completely overhauled an aging PS1 classic by turning it into a modern third-person survival horror game. It’s still one of the best games in the entire series, bringing the puzzle box gameplay back to shine while cleaning up some of the stilted footage. Resident Evil 4 obviously builds on that foundation, but it makes tweaks to speed up that idea so it works like a pure action game.
Besides being a great point of comparison, it’s also crucial for those looking to brush up on Leon S. Kennedy’s backstory. The original resident evil 2 was his first appearance, when he was just a rookie cop with the Raccoon City Police Department. Although the remake doesn’t explain how he became a government agent in 4 years (you’ll have to dig up Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles before that), it does play a crucial role in his backstory. The new version of Resident Evil 4 makes the Raccoon City saga much more important to his character, describing how Kennedy deals with PTSD from the event. As a result, the two games are much less dissimilar, which means that resident evil 2 necessary reading material.
Resident Evil village
Resident Evil 4 launches just two years after the last main installment of the series, Resident Evil village, and that’s excellent timing. When I played the remake, I really started to notice how much Village tried to repeat the original Resident Evil 4‘s formula. Lycan’s opening attack is almost identical to 4‘s iconic village fight, and even the structure has many similarities. Both games are broken up into several locations that combine linear play with some light, open-ended exploration. There are even more similarities between the crafting and weapon upgrade systems, which are even more pronounced in the remake.
Much of my enjoyment during the remake came from mentally comparing and contrasting the two games. It got me thinking about what Village nailed and where it went wrong trying to follow 4‘s footsteps. In many ways, the remake feels like a master returning to show his student how it’s done. It’s a masterfully executed game that reminded me how fast-paced and composed the original is – something even the series itself had a hard time replicating perfectly.
If you are excited about resident evil 4chances are you’ve already played this year’s one Empty space redo. Both titles are cut from the same cloth and renew the horror action genre in their own way. It’s a nice cosmic coincidence that the two will be releasing side by side as modern games in 2023, re-establishing themselves as the titans of the genre.
However, the most interesting thing about the two releases is how they approach the remake challenge in a completely different way. Empty space is essentially a 1:1 retouch that barely changes the original. Environments are more detailed and there are subtle tweaks throughout, but the set pieces and storylines are largely the same. Resident Evil 4, on the other hand, has been radically reinvented. Characters are deeper, the story is more complex, combat has been completely reworked, boss fights have changed, and certain locations have been completely redesigned. Playing them side by side you can see the value of both approaches, with one acting as a faithful act of preservation and the other as an example of reinvention as something that can deepen our understanding of the work it is built on. You can decide for yourself which approach you prefer.
The Last of Us Part I
The biggest revelation I had while playing Resident Evil 4 was exactly how much of his DNA is in it The last of us. Both are third-person action-adventure games about a man who protects a young girl from parasite-infested people. I never realized how similar the two stories were until I revisited the remake. The only difference is that the original Resident Evil 4 is more of a goofy cartoon while The last of us is modeled after prestigious TV.
The ultimate brilliance of how this remake is handled is that it understands that relationship. It sees where the original game was ahead of its time and how it ultimately inspired two decades of games. By modernizing the 2005 version and making it more of a Hollywood action movie, it can further emphasize that point. It’s much easier to see the relationship between Resident Evil 4 and something like that The last of us when not looking at the former through dated mechanics that would be improved with years of iteration. The new version of Resident Evil 4 informs it of the games that owe their success to it, making it easy to admire as a historic turning point.
Resident Evil 4 launches on March 24 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.