I have had a good hard think about this since writing my last article about how we need the Resident Evil 4 Remake. There I mentioned I had played RE4 VR and this game is the basis for the title of this article. Whilst playing the game I had an absolute blast taking out the Las Plagas infected villagers and militia, switching weapons on the fly and experimenting with new ways to play, such as not purchasing a rifle at all through the game because I could just aim easier in VR. Normally I would at least get the semi auto rifle. My personal favourite addition to RE4 was the ability to one finger type on a type writer. This brought me so much joy, you have no idea.
If I had so much fun, why the title questioning if I like it? It dawned on me whilst talking to a co-worker about the game where I mentioned I didn’t like many parts of the game. He looked at me puzzled as to why I kept saying it was amazing. It is true I don’t like a lot of the game; I hate the regenerators, I cant stand the wolves, the chants are creepy and nerve racking, Ashley’s voice is grating…that little prick Salazar I just want to slap so badly and his right hand can fuck the fuck off too.
But wait there’s more! Krauser is a nod and his first non-QTE fight is just irritating, the mini gun dudes are a pain in my ass, the U-3 fight is tight and tense and makes me feel on edge almost constantly, that flipping jet ski bit at the end always gets me… Basically I like three things; the merchant, Leon and Luis…oh yeah Luis dies!! There’s probably more to be honest that I dread getting to every time I play the game, but then why the hell have I played this game at least once a year (some years multiple times, including this year) for the last 18 years?!
All of those things I dislike or hate are individually annoying or crap, but Capcom caught lightning in a bottle putting all of this together while making the whole thing so Goddamn enjoyable. Even though the set pieces or enemies are things I dislike, the satisfaction of getting passed them brings me so much elation and really hits that endorphin rush. OK OK so let’s look at Salazar, 20 years old but looks about 70, squeaky little voice and he just revels in the pain of others. I always want to slap him so hard because he was designed to make you want to do that. He’s a brat. DIE YOU WORM!!” he screams at you as he sends his Xenomorph-esque minion after you (I really hope we get a bit of explanation as to what the hell those guys are in the remake). He has a massive statue of himself that chases you off a bridge and he dresses like a 14th century aristocrat, what about any of that wouldn’t want you to slap his voice box in to last century. He is without a doubt my favourite Resident Evil villain and just proves a point that Capcom knew what the hell they where doing. When I first ever faced him I killed him and had almost no ammo left for the rest of the game. It made everything so much harder and tense by design, and was an amazing teachable moment. I have never fought Salazar the same way again…always and forever I just buy a rocket launcher and take him out that way…same with his right hand to be honest.
All the other things I dislike about Resident Evil 4 are actually brilliant design too. Those chants let you know you’re in danger, the regenerators keep you on your toes and have you try every which way to kill them quickly. Krauser is EASY if you just pay attention to what the game is telling you. The fact I’m upset Luis dies just shows that this charming son of a bitch was written and acted so perfectly that it hurts when he is impaled. It hurts moreso when you go on to read his notes about his involvement in the backstory of the game, and it just hurts more as he was trying to reverse something he started without knowing the damage it could cause.
What about Ashley? Honestly I’ve never had an issue with her she is one of the best AI companions ever. Her voice is a sickly high pitch but again that’s by design as the more annoying it is the more you want it to stop so you get better at keeping an eye on her. In VR she was grabbed twice in my playthrough and I was constantly checking on her! When I first played the game way back on the GameCube she got grabbed so many times I was happy she was kidnapped again, but I got better at the game and realised she’s actually pretty great. I do think playing and loving Yoshi’s Island helped a lot with wanting annoying noises to stop quickly..
Here’s the thing, as I’m sure many of you know, you can not like something and still love it. How many of us out there love a bad movie, or a cheesy annoying song that you know is terrible really but you just dig it. Reading that back makes look like I said RE4 is terrible, I assure you this is not the case. RE4 is a perfect video game, a guilty pleasure, the greatest of all time, a B-movie shlock horror and goofy mess whilst also being the tightest game in the series all at once. I for one cannot wait for the remake, I played the chainsaw demo the other day and hoo boy I’m so excited to get scared all over again, and I know I’m not the only one.
In summary the game is full of things I dislike, but these are also the things I love about the game. Without them RE4 wouldn’t be RE4. Without them we wouldn’t all share memories like our first encounter with the wolves. For some of you it’s the wolves by the church. For me I went back to the bank and found five nasty fur boys that promptly tore me to shreds. Or memories of Dr Salvador cutting through the door in the village…Jesus I shat myself when that happened I didn’t know what to do he wouldn’t go down as easily as the others and I died because the controls made you stand still to shoot. You could play this game now for the first time ever and hate it, but if your sat there with a friend who eggs you on to keep going, you will fall in love with everything you hated about it.
Do I like Resident Evil 4…HELL YES!!, and no all at once, and that is just peachy.
Have a great day guys and don’t forget to be nice to each other.
Written by Stuart.
Edited by Alexx.