Skip to main content

After seeing Resident Evil 4 remake in action, I’m eating my words

Despite loving Capcom’s recent string of Resident Evil games, I’ve long been skeptical of the idea of a Resident Evil 4 remake. I’ve written about my hesitation previously, but my worry has always been that the current gameplay template seen in games like Resident Evil 2 and 7 support survival horror more than fast-paced action. My worry has always been that Resident Evil 4 needed its own careful treatment so as to avoid some of the issues that 2020’s Resident Evil 3 remake had when trying to recreate its intense chase sequences.

After seeing 17 minutes of Resident Evil 4 gameplay, I’m eating those words. The upcoming remake certainly seems to be getting the job done ahead of its impending March 24 release.

The footage I saw showcased several portions of the game, including some nighttime woods trekking, an intense battle on top of the classic caste, and a bit of a Garrador battle. Each portion showcased a different strength of the remake, highlighting its visual upgrades and smooth action when actually in the regular flow of battle.

On the visual side, I’m impressed with what I’m seeing so far — and that part comes as no surprise. Recent releases like Resident Evil Village are some of the best-looking games around, with incredibly detailed visuals that make its gross-out art design sing. That’s doing wonders for Resident Evil 4 from what I’ve seen. Blacker blacks dial up the fear factor in some of its night set pieces. One clip shows Leon S. Kennedy creeping through the woods with his flashlight cutting through the pitch blackness. While the original Resident Evil 4 somewhat strayed away from pure survival horror, that sequence has me interested to see how much of the series’ roots Capcom has weaved back in thanks to modern tech.

My biggest takeaway from the footage I saw, though, is just how fast combat is feeling compared to recent Resident Evil games. In the castle set piece, I saw Leon blasting through cultists with speed and precision. In one scene, he swaps over to a sniper, scopes, and fires an explosive red barrel in an instant before returning to close-up gunplay. Another sequence sees him wiping out a whole bunch of creeps inside the church, seamlessly chaining gunshots into physical wrestling moves. The pace of battle feels much quicker than Resident Evil Village — it almost reminds me of Resident Evil 6, in a good way.

The Garrador stands tall in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Based on what I’ve seen, I’m feeling a lot less skeptical heading into release. It’s hard to get a sense of how a game flows from heavily edited trailers, but longer gameplay clips usually tell a different story. From where I’m standing, that story seems to be that Capcom made the right changes to fit the game here. It doesn’t have the slower puzzle-horror of Resident Evil 2 and it’s better committing to full-on action than Resident Evil 3. If that remains true in the full release, we should be looking at a faithful remake that does one of the best video games of all time justice.

Resident Evil 4 launches on March 24 for PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.

Editors' Recommendations

Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
After trying the Asus ROG Ally, I’m ready to ditch my Steam Deck
A Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, and Nintendo Switch OLED sit on a table.

While I’m a proud Steam Deck owner, it's a system that I still have a hard time fully recommending to friends. Its bulky size, poor battery life, and scattershot game compatibility can make it a frustrating handheld from a casual perspective -- especially if you’re looking for something that works as consistently as a Nintendo Switch every time it's booted up. Usually, my recommendation ends up being to wait a few years for when Valve inevitably releases an improved version of the Steam Deck that irons out its flaws.

That advice might be about to change with the arrival of Asus ROG Ally. The new device is the first true competitor to Steam’s game-changing system. The Ally stuffs the guts of a powerful gaming laptop into a handheld form factor. It already impressed me on paper thanks to its strong specs, but actually using one in person fully sold me on it. After a good hour of tinkering with it, I’m already ready to toss my Steam Deck to the side forever and never look back.

Read more
Resident Evil 4’s best speedrunning glitch removed in latest update
Leon and Ashley in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Capcom has issued a patch for the Resident Evil 4 remake, which includes a handful of bug fixes, as well as the removal of a popular speedrun glitch. The glitch previously allowed players to warp through doors, leading to some incredibly fast completion times in the remake.

Known as the Scope Glitch, players could continuously aim down the sights of a scoped weapon while standing behind a locked door to clip through it, removing the need to find keys or alternate routes. The glitch was a bit finicky to perform, but expert speedrunners were able to consistently clip through locked doors, allowing players to skip boss fights and other sections of the game.

Read more
Resident Evil 4 shows that a remake doesn’t need to be completely faithful
Leon holding a gun in Resident Evil 4.

Back when Capcom announced its Resident Evil 2 remake, I was ecstatic. This was a game I had missed when it first came out, and it was an important part of a series I had grown to love. However, its outdated gameplay meant it was close to impossible to go back comfortably, and its age meant it was tough to play legally. If I wanted to play Resident Evil 2, I would either have to head towards emulation (which I have no patience for) or rely on the remake. The latter, as it turned out, was ideal.

You’ll find remakes across all of media, so the idea isn’t anything new. But video games are in the middle of a remake boom with studios spending a lot of money on taking existing IP and looking backward at a seemingly more frantic pace. Cynically, it’s just another way they can make money off of a beloved series, but it’s also a way to bring older, important games to newer audiences.

Read more