Resident Evil 4 Remake Xbox Series X Review

An excellent RE4 remake that respects the original while layering on a scarier, more suspenseful atmosphere.

By Rayan, Posted 24 Mar 2023

Fans continue to believe that Resident Evil 4 is one of the series' top entries, making it one of its most iconic entries. The fourth installment departed from previous installments, introducing action features and iconic scenes shaping the franchise for years. Many fans assumed incorrectly that the plot by Leon and Ashley would also be remade by Capcom when the company started remaking the various episodes of the game. It's been almost 18 years since the release of a game that revolutionized the industry and served as an inspiration to many others in the industry.

The process of remaking Resident Evil 4 got underway when CAPCOM used their new RE: Engine for a remake of Resident Evil 2 in 2019. This marked the beginning of the journey for Resident Evil 4 Remake. It wasn't until I played the remake that I realized how far-reaching Resident Evil 4's original impact was. This is the gold standard for remakes, as both diehard RE4 fans and beginners will enjoy it immensely. A handful of franchise fans may have mixed feelings about it due to its shift toward action, even though it brings in some intriguing new gameplay features for the main game.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, NoobFeed

If somebody wants to bring back old games, there is much space for development in a remake. Simply put, it's about much more than aesthetics that feel dated. Not only is ergonomics typically lacking, but the interfaces are often heavy by contemporary standards. Capcom faces a challenging assignment with Resident Evil 4 Remake, as the company must create something that stays true to the original game's spirit while avoiding feeling like a slick rehash. It's a brand-new building based on the original model, renovated from the ground up to meet the needs of the modern era.

Despite certain parts being eliminated or elements being changed, the majority of the course has been preserved, with the best features of the original design left in place. Adjustments were made that didn't alter the flow of the story, giving it a more immediate sense. Capcom has nailed the formula for its hybrid survival horror/action game pioneered with the first RE4 18 years ago. Hence, it should be no surprise that the formula has been fine-tuned in this reboot.

The plot of the Resident Evil 4 Remake is mostly the same as the original. Leon goes on a rescue operation to save the President's daughter Ashley Graham from a cult of bug-wielding extremists in a small Spanish village several years after the events of Raccoon City. There have been no changes made to reduce your exposure to these characters. Nonetheless, things change over time. Nevertheless, Leon is drawn into a complex scheme involving more than an abduction on his first day on the job in Raccoon City.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, Raccoon City, NoobFeed

There appears to be no T-virus outbreak, but rather a parasite known as Las Plagas is transforming the local population into savage creatures. When a frightening cult is added to the mix, Leon's journey becomes a huge disaster—precisely the kind of trouble for which he was dispatched. The general plot and most of the interactions from the original, although it diverges significantly from the details. Capcom knew what should be kept the same and what should be reworked or cut out altogether.

The series has kept its surprising 180-degree turn from its prior releases, in which Umbrella and zombies were not key plot points. You will discover few connections between this game and the one before, even though a certain Umbrella touch is connected with how this plot is being prepared. There are three distinct parts: the Village, the Castle, and the Island, with increasingly terrible and frightening enemies as you progress. Upon entering the village, Leon's luck quickly turns for the worse. He soon finds himself fighting to save Ashley and rid himself of a horrifying new sickness completely different from the T and G-Viruses.

After having a horrifying experience with people who have been infected by the virus, giving them aggressiveness and animal-like infections, Leon descends deeper into the settlement and its surroundings to discover the source of the virus and how the President's daughter falls into the schemes of the mind who orchestrated it all. The settings and visual improvements in Resident Evil 4 Remake set it apart from its predecessors more than the plot. You can disregard most of the game's lore if you want, as it is presented in the form of additional texts and information. In any case, adding new details to fill out the plot provides a richer story that works better in the setting of the Resident Evil remakes.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, Ada, Ashley Graham, NoobFeed

Gameplay-wise, it's consistent with the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, though players accustomed to the original Resident Evil 4 would need some time to adjust. Rapid transitions take you from one heated gunfight to a puzzle segment, a massive boss fight, an entirely new setting, a car chase, a spooky stealth segment, or a treasure hunt side objective. Still unchanged from the original but vastly improved upon are the gameplay elements that fans know and love. Leon can now crouch and move while aiming, giving him more covert options when engaging enemies. This is still Resident Evil 4, which means it has many great features, such as the chance to relive the story and its insanely great action sequences. Leon has a revolver and a knife for self-defense, and the player can access more weapons as the story progresses.

The enemies seem far more responsive and intelligent this time, often charging you if you reload or synchronize assaults in swarms to overwhelm you. Leon has a revolver and a knife for self-defense, and you can access more weapons as the story progresses. Leon can also use his knife to kill enemies outright, but he risks losing or damaging it. Nevertheless, Leon can't rely on his gun alone because ammunition is in short supply. Leon can use his knife to deflect any of these attacks, whether a hurled object, a gunshot, or a direct attack. It uses very little stamina and is the best way to avoid damage, albeit its effectiveness depends on how well it holds up. Although the option to parry certain assaults with your knife may raise the bar for experimentation, the gunshots obviously carry more weight.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, Raccoon City, NoobFeed

The remake's adherence to the general rhythm of quickly controlling an oncoming throng is no less thrilling than the original. Gameplay-wise, it appears that Leon's immobility when shooting has been replaced by dynamic movement; nonetheless, the anxiety felt during combat remains due to a few adjustments, such as the quicker motion of enemies and Leon's movements will always be slowed down due to his inherent physical tiredness. However, there is sufficient breadth and depth to every fight in the game. The landscape and arsenal at your disposal change just as frequently as the enemies you face. The virus infected are more than mindless hordes; they can also wield weapons, both close and far. This alters the formula for how Resident Evil fights are often played.

Even though this seems like a minor feature, the more significant number of enemies makes the battle system in Resident Evil 4 Remake so impressive. The pattern is never repeated, and you are constantly given multiple options for approaching each encounter, allowing it to have a steady rhythm. You can develop your unique playstyle and approaches to overcoming different enemies and encountering each fight location due to the broad array of weapons and other available resources. The game has difficulties, but they are always manageable, even though each battle is a frantic, tense ordeal that puts your instincts and reflexes to the test in complete chaos. Deleting dated mechanics like QTE helps keep the remake feeling fresh and current. Also, the balance between the game's fast pace and the vast percentage of enemies felt right due to Leon's enhanced mobility and the new features included in this remake.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, Side Quests

Although there appears to be a vast open world to discover, the game is linear. While the Resident Evil 4 Remake allows for some freedom of movement and exploration, they are typically tightly bound to their stories. Although the game is linear, the settings are rife with branching pathways and hidden rooms that demand discovery. The game forces you to focus on completing the next objective by blocking off locations until you complete the previous ones. Also, you can never settle into a pattern since the subsequent set piece is always around the corner. Each quest has chapters that finish with twists and enemies that gradually evolve to foil your plans. Nevertheless, Ashley is much less of a bother than she formerly was. She no longer has a health bar, and she's easier to get in touch with and being with her won't wear you out too much.

While the game's controls have been vastly improved from the original, Resident Evil 4 Remake does make significant missteps in other areas. The inventory system Attaché Case is just as important to the game as before, and like Tetris, optimizing your inventory is crucial to success. For instance, the rate at which you can collect pistol ammunition is increased by the default attaché case. Upgrading the case, however, may cause some confusion. There are three different ways to improve the case: by changing the size of the case, the charms inside it, or both. Charms can be difficult to come by. The method by which they are acquired is a pleasant surprise, as is their effect on the game.

The Merchant periodically appears in each chapter to sell Leon new and improved weapons and accessories for his existing inventory. After a few exchanges with him, you'll quickly learn why the Merchant has such a devoted following. Even if he no longer operates out of the shadows, his store provides a satisfactory improvement that includes the option to personalize your inventory. In contrast, the game's crafting system is flawless. Clicking on a component, such as a bag of parts or a large quantity of gunpowder, will bring up a menu detailing all the possible items that can be crafted from the selected components. In addition to expanding your capacity for green herbs, first aid sprays, weapons, etc., the Merchant is also the place to purchase a larger attaché case.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, Ada, NoobFeed

While Resident Evil 4 Remake is superior to the original in many ways, it falls short in others. Some core elements that made the series memorable were scrapped to remake the game for modern audiences. Less passion is put into the reload animations, Leon's conversation and character development are sometimes graceless, and some voice acting is flat. However, the visual style of the remake is both stunning and unsettling. The remake is more grounded than the original, with deeper character moments and contextual backstory, but it still manages to be a terrifying ride for the most part. The RE Engine demonstrates its reaching capacity by displaying visual supremacy on par with Unreal Engine 4 and beyond.

Meanwhile, the remake's dark mood fits well with the dramatic undercurrents. While you float down mysterious pathways, you may hear chanting ceremonies in the distance. Ada and Ashley's new outfits significantly improve over their previous ones, allowing them to scale the castle walls and escape on rope casters while maintaining their sense of flair. It's okay that some of the voice acting seems artificial and lacks the overacted spirit and charm of the original's voice performance. The remake has a more serious tone than the original, but Leon still has his signature one-liners. The Merchant's voice, which, unlike Ada's, does not have a successor, is similarly condemned to eternal silence. It's great to see how things have continued to improve while making some giant leaps in presentation and mechanics, which can be fully recognized only by playing the game.

Resident Evil 4 Remake, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, Screenshots, Leon, Ashley Graham, NoobFeed

Capcom's remake of Resident Evil 4 is an entirely new experience, shifting the focus from horror to action, which may not sit well with fans of the original. The remake, however, does an excellent job of restoring any concerns that may have been raised about it. Visually impressive surroundings, compelling cutscenes, and the new gameplay mechanism all contribute to the renewed appeal of Leon's saga. It's an excellent redo that respects the original while layering on a scarier, more suspenseful atmosphere. Newcomers may look forward to a memorable adventure. At the same time, veterans can relish in the nostalgia of their past experiences while looking forward to the thrill of the game's enhanced gameplay and gorgeous visuals.

Azfar Rayan (@AzfarRayan)
Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): PC, PS5, XBSX, Xbox One
Publisher(s): CAPCOM, Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
Developer(s): CAPCOM Co., Ltd.
Genres: Survival Horror
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2023-03-24

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