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Resident Evil 4 makes the best use of PS5’s DualSense since Returnal

Capcom’s excellent Resident Evil 4 remake is out now, making one of the best games of all time even better. If you’re on the fence about what platform to buy it on, I’ve got a firm recommendation for you: PS5. That’s because the remake takes full advantage of Sony’s unique DualSense controller to make the horror game even more immersive.

Ever since the PS5’s launch, developers have been a bit hit-and-miss with integrating the DualSense’s features into their games. Launch game Astro’s Playroom is a fantastic showcase of what it can do, getting the most out of its adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, while Returnal sets the bar for how the controller can enhance an experience. Other titles haven’t been quite so creative or, even worse, have gone a little too far. Games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart can be a little painful to play due to heavy, repeated trigger pulls.

Resident Evil 4 gets the controller just right. On the adaptive trigger side, it doesn’t go too over the top. When pulling out a heavier weapon, like a shotgun or sniper, the left trigger gives just enough extra tension to communicate that it packs more power than a pistol. It’s enough to feel the difference in weapons, but not so overbearing that it hurts to use them.

Leon S. Kennedy shoots villagers in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

The haptic feedback is similarly effective. When I’m running, I can feel the weight of Leon’s footsteps as he pounds through the woods. While that’s been a go-to effect for developers on the DualSense thus far, Capcom does a fantastic job at translating weight to vibrations. I get exactly how heavy Leon’s footfall is as he crunches leaves or stomps over mud. If I get stuck in a bear trap, I really feel the tension in my hands as Leon tries to free himself. It may sound like a normal rumble on paper, but I can genuinely feel him prying the heavy metal apart with tremendous effort.

The best use of the controller, though, comes from the DualSense’s onboard speaker. The feature hasn’t been utilized in terribly creative ways so far, but Resident Evil 4 has a field day with it. Weapon switching and loading sounds all come through the speakers, which makes it sounds like you’re managing guns at your waist. It’s a small detail, but one that gives the soundscape a better sense of space.

My favorite use of the speaker comes from codex calls. In the original game, Leon would stop to have Metal Gear Solid-style codex calls with NPCs. Here, those happen naturally as he’s walking around instead of on a menu screen. Whenever a call comes in, the audio comes through the DualSense speaker and crackles as if it’s processed through a radio. That little texture adds more personality to those moments, better placing players in Leon’s world. The DualSense transforms into a walkie-talkie in those moments. I kept putting it up to my ear whenever a call came through.

If you’ve been hungry for a PS5 game that made good use of the DualSense, Resident Evil 4 is a perfect game for you. It makes the most out of every feature while still naturally integrating them into the game’s world. It’s the best way to step into Leon S. Kennedy’s shoes — and the safest too.

Resident Evil 4 is out now on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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