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My Top Five Takeaways from Game Informer’s Resident Evil 4 Remake Cover Story

Recently, the hype machine for the Resident Evil 4 remake kicked into first gear with a twelve-page cover story from Game Informer. The exhaustive story features a discussion about the genesis of the project, new aspects of the game, and a gameplay breakdown of two chapters (one and five) from the upcoming remake. While a lot was revealed, I believe the following five points really alleviated some of my fears and subsequently generated a lot of excitement for the March 24th released title. What were some of your biggest takeaways from the cover story? Let me know in the comments below.

5. A Daunting Task

Leon tries to console an upset looking Ashley.

At the beginning of the cover story, one of the Resident Evil 4 remake’s directors (Yasuhiro Ampo) said the following about the prospect of remaking the famed third-person action game: “Honestly speaking, I didn’t want to do it. Among the RE series and even games in general, the original RE4 has become a legend. I knew that it would be difficult to successfully remake it.” This was honestly quite sobering to read, particularly given the context of Ampo having co-directed the remake of Resident Evil 2.

Resident Evil 4 has become so indelible that even later entries in the series have tried to capture its unique spirit (most notably the series’ eighth entry, Resident Evil Village). So, the fact there was some reluctance at first gives me confidence because the developers are as aware of the game’s legacy as we are.

4. Alternative Control Options

Leon takes aims at some villagers in a church.

Compared to other things on this list, this may seem like small potatoes. However, the fact that the remake has six control schemes (including one that matches the original tank controls) is a great illustration of Capcom’s thesis for the remake. They want to bring versatility and longevity to the game by giving players a lot of options. Plus, the idea of tank controls on the game’s harder difficulty (professional in the original) will be a fun challenge.

3. Stealth Mechanics

Leon looks on as some villagers run off with Ashley.

In his breakdown of the game’s first chapter, Marcus Stewart shared the following observation, “Stealth is far more viable now that Leon can crouch and move discreetly.” Much like the last point, this change ensures that players can approach situations in a variety of ways. It also illustrates how the game may be subtly moving from the action core of the original and into the survival horror conventions of the original Resident Evil titles. By giving the player the choice to sneak and methodically kill enemies, it gets them to consider how to use their resources carefully, and that’s an exciting subtle shift.

2. Hardly Any Quick-Time Events (QTEs)

Leon prepares to use his knife on an infected villager.

In outlining whether or not quick-time events would make an appearance in the Resident Evil 4 remake, Stewart says the following: “Despite how it appears, don’t expect the remake to feature many quick-time events like the original. One of Capcom’s main goals from the start was to do away with these antiquated sequences.”

For me, this news is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I’m glad these sequences are being removed because they can break the immersion. This even applies to their use in modern games such as Spider-Man (PS4). On the other hand, some of the quick-time events in Resident Evil 4 provided the game with its unique identity as a title that could seamlessly juggle several different gameplay aspects and tones.

And some of the sequences such as the Krauser knife fight and Leon running away from a giant robotic Salazar were admittedly quite fun and provided the original with a lot of its goofy charm.

1. An Overhaul in protecting Ashley Graham

Leon and Ashley run to safety.

Depending on the player, the escorting and protecting Ashley sections of Resident Evil 4 were either a fun extension of the action-horror gameplay loop or an annoying chore. With the remake, there are clearly some changes for this crucial aspect. The first is that Ashley will no longer freeze on command or hide in a dumpster. Instead, the character can now either hang back or follow you closely. According to Resident Evil 4 remake co-director, Kazunori Kadoi, “Having [Ashley] go hide somewhere else defeats the purpose of having her with you.” In addition to this, the president’s daughter will no longer have a health bar. Instead, she will have to be revived when severely injured.

As someone who did not mind the escort sections of the original game, these changes are quite welcome. In fact, I think they will provide more tension because you’re not being explicitly being told when Ashley is being hurt. In fact, it’s only when it may be too late for the character’s survival. But my burning question is if Ashley’s suit of armor costume will be unlockable. Too silly for this remake? Time will tell…

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Written by Sartaj Singh

Notes from a distant observer:

“Sartaj is a very eccentric fellow with a penchant for hats. He likes watching films and writes about them in great analytical detail. He has an MA degree in Philosophy and has been known to wear Mickey Mouse ears on his birthday.”

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