Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Golden Child of Capcom

The taste of action is thicker, and the camera system has changed to be over the shoulder so that we no longer have zombies that the three main series previously introduced sound like a nightmare for the fourth series that carries the name Resident Evil, once again, skyrocketed. However, who would have thought that the revolution that Capcom offered for games that launched on GameCube for the first time would be a huge success?

Not only selling well and being famous, but the status has also grown into a legendary game which has become a standard that other popular games want to follow. Therefore, the game became a golden child of Capcom. It is turning something that has proven successful in the market into one of the first marketing strategy rules that make perfect sense. For specific cases, especially in the game industry, such a statement does not apply.

There are not a few developers out there who are a little crazy about presenting a new series in a franchise. They ignore all the elements that made the previous series successful. At the same time, confirmation of the remake process for Resident Evil 4 raises concerns and hopes at the same time.

In the Beginning…

Capcom is heavily responsible for ensuring the remake process can capture the same appeal. For a series that, in the beginning, is a miracle because the changes are significant, it means ensuring that the end product will at least end up not harming the historical heritage and quality that the original series has to offer. The efforts of Leon S. Kennedy, who is on a quest to locate and save Ashley Graham, the president of the United States’ daughter, after the incident in Raccoon City, continue to be the focus of the narrative.

It is believed that Ashley was lost in a village in Europe which turned out to have a horror that Leon had never predicted before. The villagers have a hobby of catching humans and burning them like a bonfire in the middle of the village instead of just raising livestock and farming. Leon, who tried to save himself, found that every villager needed a few kicks and bullets to destroy him. The remake process that Capcom offers does not necessarily change the story side significantly from the original series.

The players will indeed meet sequences that Capcom has reduced or added. With the fate of Leon and the supporting characters slightly different, in the end, the general story lands in the same place as the original.

Los Iluminados

In the story, a more profound search process makes Leon find a heretical religious organization called Los Iluminados. It uses a parasite called Las Plagas to make them grow beyond ordinary humans. For some reason, the organization Osmund Saddler—a priest—heads over shows high interest in Ashley’s figure. Thus, the search makes Leon go through various almost unreasonable obstacles, ranging from humans with sharp tentacle heads, giant trolls, and giant fish to his former mentor, who has now decided to become Saddler’s, right-hand man.

One thing Capcom has succeeded in doing with the remake series is creating a sensation that is familiar yet fresh at the same time. For iconic moments that have indeed grown into the identity of the original Resident Evil 4, Capcom managed to maintain and offer the moments well. On the other hand, they changed many things through reductions, additions, and modifications to existing content.

They create a super fresh sensation for players who have finished the original hundreds of times and even countless times. Everything Capcom builds feels like a connected world, complete with content that encourages more of an exploratory process instead of moving linearly. Fortunately, their remake process with Resident Evil 4 focused on more than just modernizing the visual side.

RE Engine

We will meet a series that now deserves to be aligned with the latest released games with the power of the RE Engine, which is genuinely charming in terms of performance and presentation. With character model changes to Leon following the Resident Evil 2 remake series and Ashley being like other Capcom remakes, they built the design based on accurate human character models for a more realistic feel.

During the dozens of hours of gameplay in the playthrough, the thrill does not happen. What comes to mind is the praise for the new sequences that Capcom has added and the different areas that now provide different reasons for exploring. Moreover, our battle actions will always be intense thanks to the approaching mobs and the new types of enemies ready to confront us. With new cutscenes and dramatizations, different locations also retain the same charm.

Ultimately, the players appreciate Capcom’s decision not to change or erase the sense of fun the original series offers. We were worried they would present a more realistic sensation close to what the Resident Evil 2 remake offered initially. However, we still encounter a wild adventure that is not in the least physics-based or what happens in the real world.

Creating the Atmosphere

The physics can be like blocking a chainsaw attack with a small blade and jumping from a mid-air train to a safer area. We can still find such coolness and weirdness in the remake. Apart from that, the detailed audio quality that Capcom stretches is enough to create an atmosphere for several locations, just like a survival horror game should. The audio will have complete silence but is eerie until we move to a new area and hear the voices of villagers grumbling out of nowhere.

Most will make our adrenaline pump instantly and trigger its alertness. The voice acting is quite good at carrying out the task. Thankfully, Leon still keeps up a little bit of a joke persona through the remarks he makes in various circumstances (e.g., “Where’s everyone going? Bingo?” or “Story of my life”). We no longer must be annoyed by Ashley’s constant screaming in the original series. Resident Evil 4 remake plays a significant role in the knife the players own and use.

It consists of a standard Combat Knife and several other types of variants that we can find on the way. We can now use the knife to parry an opponent’s attack if we successfully press the block button at the right moment to facilitate stealth kill action from behind the enemy available in the remake for a more minimal-risk playing session, no longer just to attack when bullets are running low.

Resources

Each knife has its durability, so we cannot consistently use it. Durability for specific knives such as the Combat Knife, for example, we can improve with some money. It will also decrease if we use it to escape the enemy’s grip. Like the original series, the remake is an action third-person shooter game with a comfortable, over-the-shoulder camera. Take aim action with our firearms to use a modern control scheme which should provide a slight zoom effect for more effective shooting action.

If we have a scope on a specific weapon, the action will immediately give a zoom effect according to the scope we are using. The game will equip Leon with more deadly and heavier firearm variants, which will help our journey later as our game progresses. Instead of finished bullets for the weapon we are currently using, we will also get various resources, such as Gunpowder and Resources (L) and (S).

When we accumulate a certain amount, we can instantly craft them into other items, especially bullets. We can also use them to create various grenades, from explosives to flashes with different functions. The crafting process also appears simple by simply selecting from the available list, which presents the material we need and collects for each resource.

The Merchant

Whether it is a gun to attack or a knife that is also flexible to defend, we will take on the various challenges the game throws us. It contains a lineup of mini-bosses and new bosses for the game to subdue. On standard difficulty mode, it emphasizes the flavor of the action rather than the survival horror. Many resources will help us, following the standard of the main series in the last release.

The remake comes with a crafting system. The Merchant—an iconic character—will also accompany us and return with a similar function, offering us buying and selling of the resources and weapons we need. However, it is no longer only with one currency. The Merchant accepts two types of currency: Spinels and Pesetas. Either from the various barrels we can break, the enemies we kill, or from selling the treasures we find, we can get Pesetas themselves from many places.

We can buy various healing items or new weapons, upgrade our weapons to make them more effective, or buy parts with existing Pesetas. The Merchant often throws out bonuses and discounts at certain moments to entice us to buy specific items or weapons. The Resident Evil 4 remake comes with an interesting new system from one system.

New System

Inserting gems into all treasure slots will also make their selling value jump significantly to the point that it is a shame to sell them without decorations. Interestingly, the game creates a combination of gems of various shapes and colors that will affect how much the selling point is amplified. For example, those who want to maximize profit do not just ensure we have enough gems to fill the treasure slot.

However, it is also waiting for us to have the best color combination. When we are pressed and need money quickly, the system always produces a situation where we must determine whether we want to sell the treasure now or later. Unlike in the original series, where all the treasures we find are straightforward with consistent values, the remake offers an option that tests our patience.

The game’s new system comes with an element the players never predicted: inventory bags. It has various variants for us to use and choose from. The financial size will be consistent depending on our purchased upgrades. However, each bag has a different color and has its effect. Some bags increase the chance of dropping gun bullets as loot, but some are now Resource (L) as a priority.

Currency

Such probabilities change our playstyle or at least our choice of weapon. Apart from Pesetas, the second currency that the Merchant needs is Spinel. We can get them on a limited basis via exploration or as a reward for the new Resident Evil 4 remake system, namely the Merchant requests. We are no longer caught up on a mission to save Ashley from the clutches of a heretical sect full of monsters.

Leon can complete other side tasks, presented as a blue flyer that we can easily find at exploration points. The requests will ask us to do various tasks from light to heavy than just exterminating rats, catching fish, killing snakes, shooting the scattered blue medallions (an expansion to the original version), and eradicating more lethal and stronger elite monsters. By offering Spinel rewards in varying amounts, we can exchange the currency for unique items belonging to the Merchant that we cannot buy with Pesetas.

On the other hand, the rest of our other games will focus on efforts to complete the various available puzzles, some of which are included in the game to hinder the progress of the main story. Most of the puzzles are simple as long as we are alert enough.

Charm

Some require visual hints with answers usually posted prominently around the area, some require a small quantity of trial and error and logic, and others require us to look for connections. We can also make our map’s information more effective by sacrificing a little Spinel in buying maps from Merchants, including loading various treasure icons we still need to take, locked status, or need a key.

Apart from that, another new system called charm, where the process of obtaining it is based on the gacha system, is here. With an exceptional coin resource that we can get by completing the Shooting Range mini-game with the best score we can in a particular place that the Merchant has provided, we have to insert three types of coins into an available gacha machine. Depending on our luck and combination, we can get charms of different rarity levels.

In our case, we can pair at least three charms, automatically giving specific effects. The charm can make Green Herb’s healing effect more effective; running speed becomes higher, thus giving a big chance for extra ammo in crafting. Offering a familiar sensation but with lots of new things that are still refreshing, the players’ adventures with the Resident Evil 4 remake are still focused on trying to collect the various available resources.

Ashley

We use them effectively, strengthen the variety of existing weapons, and prepare for unavoidable events, not only in the exploration process. At least, Capcom made Ashley in the remake much more tolerable. We will get so many options to make sure she stays safe. For instance, we can give her the command in two variants, strict and sparse. Tight will make Ashley stick as close to us as possible, making it more effective to escape from the enemy’s encirclement and pursuit.

Leon will make Ashley keep her distance behind us until it is adequate to ensure that she does not mess up our shooting action, which can be violent. Indeed, many of us, especially the original veteran, are Ashley. The character on the side of the story that we have to save Capcom translates into gameplay, where she will continue to follow our actions in many game sessions. Ashley does not load up the HP bar in the remake at all, so we do not have to worry much about her being the reason we repeatedly stare at the game over the screen.

If the enemy kidnaps and captures her, a red bar will show how fast the kidnapper’s movements are before Ashley disappears and we fail to act as the bodyguard.

Incapacitated Mode

Ashley will also fall first in Incapacitated mode when subjected to brutal attacks from enemies instead of being killed immediately. We can revive her again by pressing one specific button, and Ashley will return to follow us as she should. Thus, Ashley’s AI still needs to be considered perfect. Capcom worked hard to ensure Ashley’s escort mission, which had become an internet meme phenomenon, became a more tolerable concept for us in the remake.

With a different concept like the original series, there will be one session where we entirely use Ashley, who is present without a firearm. Armed with a soldier that can stop enemy movements, the gameplay is focused on completing puzzles while surviving. In the exploration process, we can also ask Ashley to reach high places and access areas we cannot do alone. When Capcom announced the remake project, there was much room for criticism, especially when talking about Capcom’s poor handling of the previous Resident Evil 3 remake.

The success and birth they achieved with Resident Evil 4 when it was released in 2005, we have to admit, was a revolutionary in video games. When talking about a game that overhauled all the standards that had made it successful, injected something that ended up being revolutionary (Dead Space‘s series and The Evil Within‘s series are just a few examples of its influence), and ended with the fantastic action survival horror game they built neatly.

Familiarity

Moreover, the changes they make provide a better context for the entire story of Resident Evil itself, such as the redemption arc or Luis Serra’s background, which in the original series ended up being a side character without much of a role. In the remake, Luis has his own story with redemption, making him one of the characters who deserves redemption in the series. At the same time, there is a very high appreciation for Capcom’s ability to concoct and fuse a remake series that feels refreshing and familiar.

The iconic things that define the original series they maintain and end up being fan service for fans of the original. Meanwhile, it offers a lot of new things, from puzzles to enemy variants, locations, and area design. Unfortunately, the game could have been better. There are so many complaints about the overall experience, but one thing that could be more annoying, especially in the console version, is Leon’s movement which feels slow and heavy.

Capcom did not just do a miracle in 2005 but managed to repeat it with the Resident Evil 4 remake in 2023. It is not just a modernization of the presentation side through a capable RE Engine; they managed to mix up a playing experience that, as a whole, will feel fresh but familiar simultaneously.

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