Resident Evil 4 (PC) review
Resident Evil 4 was released in 2005 for GameCube and was later released on other platforms. It looks like Capcom wanted to significantly improve its visuals for the second PC port as the first PC port was released in 2007. The graphics are sharper than ever and the gameplay is very good, although a few small problems exist.
This game has been enhanced for 1080p resolution at 60FPS. There is keyboard and mouse support with the ability to customize the keys. Resident Evil 4 HD comes with the Separate Ways campaign to increase replay value. The keyboard and mouse work very well together, but sometimes the laser targeting is not perfect and that can lead to problems when there are multiple enemies near you or when a large boss monster is approaching.
The plot of the game begins with the kidnapping of Ashley Graham, the daughter of the president of the United States. Leon Kennedy, the well-known protagonist of the series, has been sent to a village in Spain to rescue Ashley. What happens in the Spanish village is that there is a religious cult that has released an ancient parasite called Las Plagas on to the countryside. The religious cult does not consist of zombies like other Resident Evil games. You begin fighting ganados, a group of foes who carry pitchforks and are both males and females. Later, you will meet darker and tougher foes known as cultists, religious zealots who wear red or black robes.
As Leon progresses through the story, there will be memos explaining the plan of the cult known as the Illuminados. These memos keep you well informed of the plot and it seems to get darker and darker. The environments are appropriately creepy as Leon looks for Ashley. Resident Evil 4 retains the series’ history of creepy and dark locales. There are misty forests, decrepit houses, moldy caverns, a large castle, and military facilities. The locales display diversity so that there is no monotony. Leon is joined by other characters like Luis Sera and the Ada Wong. Luis Sera is a local citizen who is willing to help Leon. Leon engages in a long shooting with the ganados while Mr. Sera helps out in this long battle. Ada Wong is a familiar figure to Resident Evil fans and has had a long relationship with Leon. There are bits and pieces of the script that indicate past romances and rivalries. However, the plot keeps you at the edge of your seat at all times, which is the way it should be for a Resident Evil game.
The graphical enhancements of the diverse locales are what make this game feel like it is not so old. The details of Leon, his allies, and enemies are impressively sharp and well defined. The walls of the castle look extremely realistic. You can see the dust falling from the ceiling of caverns that make the caverns both realistic and creepy. The textures look amazing in high resolution, but in some cases they look a little bit archaic and out of place. However, the details of the textures are sharp enough to outweigh any archaic look you may find. Military facilities make you feel like that there is a nasty experiment going on while it also feels abandoned.
The bosses are diverse and require you to figure out their main weaknesses in order to defeat them. One issue that pops up in boss battles and in other parts of the game is the quick time events. Sometimes you have to press two buttons at once very quickly to avoid key attacks or avoid deadly traps. It can feel awkward trying to press the X + C keys or the two mouse buttons while using the WASD keys in tense circumstances. While it is appropriate to have tense circumstances in a Resident Evil game, it can get frustrating trying to press two keys at once but dying in the process because of you are not able to press the buttons in time. Another issue that comes up is the laser targeting of the firearms. There are times when the laser targeting takes time to be accurate while one or more enemies are quickly approaching you. Also, the laser can twitch in the spur of the moment, leading to more difficult encounters with the various types of enemies and possible waste of ammo. Ammo is always at a premium in the game, so twitching is a bad thing in a game like this.
All firearms can be upgraded by visiting the various merchants that stand around waiting for you. Upgrading your weapons will make your shots noticeably more powerful. You can upgrade your weapons to the max so that you can be an “exclusive” weapon that will be far more powerful than the weapon you fully upgraded. The challenge is to find the pesetas scattered throughout the locales and dropped by the enemies. You will have to quite a bit of searching for pesetas and treasures with lots of value if you want to upgrade any of your firearms to the max.
There is some randomness when it comes to shooting enemies, especially in the head. Some ganados and cultists will simply fall to their deaths with a headshot. Other enemies will show their Plagas, spider-like figures that emerge from their necks, and continue to try to attack you. You can either fire a shotgun at their Plagas or use a flash grenade to finally finish them off. There are encounters that require crowd control, so you can use different types of grenades to bring some relief to these tense encounters.
Other enemies that are interesting and horrific include garradores, colmillos, and regenerators. The garradores do not attack unless they hear your sound and are blind. Their only weakness is the Plagas shown on their backs. Colmillos are terrifying dogs that can jump on top of you by surprise. Regenerators are special monstrosities in that you can only use a sniper rifle with an infrared scope to locate and shoot their Plagas on their torso.
Resident Evil 4 is worth playing for its diverse locations, creepy atmosphere, and tense encounters. The nail biting gameplay lives up to what Resident Evil fans expect from a Resident Evil game. The high resolution graphics make the PC version the definitive version to play.
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