587th played so far
Genre: Survival Horror/Shoot ‘Em Up
Year of Release: 2005
I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the previous Resident Evil games much. There were some okay adventure elements and such, but the controls were terrible and shooting difficult. Partially it’s said this was meant to create horror, but I felt like Dead Space managed to create the right atmosphere pretty well while still giving you normal shooter controls.
Jumping ahead to 2005, however, Resident Evil 4 is done as a third person shooter, with an over the shoulder perspective. Possibly one of the earlier games to use this specific perspective, we probably have something more revolutionary on our hands.
Those controls really increased my enjoyment of the game. A lot of the other survival elements were still there, but a lot easier to handle on the easier difficulty that I was playing on. Still, the big change are the controls, and the more conventional setup pays off everywhere.
It gave me a chance to get into the creepier parts of the game. At first, it’s you investigating a weird village. Soon, they gain horde like qualities and start to seem a bit like zombies. It starts off unsettling, and the horror starts to develop from there. There aren’t that many answers, it just keeps getting weirder.
I also felt far more that sound was used well to set an atmosphere – hinting at dangers, sure, but setting you up there. You know the danger is out there, you know roughly where it is, but whether the jump will help or hurt is always a question.
The puzzles and exploring is a lot easier than other games might do. It’s not really an adventure game, but has some puzzles of its type in there, with some minor rewards for exploring. It feels a bit unnecessary, but I suppose it changes things up. The real draw, now at least, is in dealing with the different zombies and getting rid of them before bits of exploration.
This is, I suppose, closer to what I want from the Resident Evil franchise. Maybe with a bit less shooting, less hordes and more individual, trickier fights, but it works well enough here. There is also a lot of space for story beats, enough of it implied, that it adds to the game as well. I’m hoping for more of this.