If you didn’t say that video game title in a very deep, drawn-out voice, you may be in the wrong place – or perhaps the right place, if you’ve never experienced what Resident Evil 4 (RE4) offered survival horror fans both in 2005 and 2023. Strangely enough, that iconic voice was the one thing missing from the reboot of RE 2-4. If that’s all the fans suffered to get this long-awaited title, though, it was worth the price.
RE4 has long been declared the best of the Resident Evil series. The other, Code Veronica, was sadly skipped over between the RE3 and RE4 remakes, but we can always dream that one day – one day! – the Capcom legend will return to us and prove why it was always #2. But, I digress. We’re here to talk about why RE4 was crowned as the best 18 long years ago and why it retains that crown forever and always.
First, there’s Leon S. Kennedy. (Bonus points if you know what “S” stands for without looking it up! I always say his full, uninitialed name.) There has been a longstanding debate raging inside of me as to who is the best character: Leon or Chris Redfield. But, RE4 reminds me that it’s Leon (that is until the RE5 is remade). He is witty, aware of his “rookie” mentality, and all-things USA! whilst preserving his ability to slay the undead. Leon is the total package, and one of the original hotties for us gals that live for video games. (Yes, I’m throwing that in.) He’s part of a very short list that hearkens to the days of the one and only Gabriel Logan. (Extra bonus points if you know that bad boy and played all three of his games.)
Then, there are the settings: a village, a lake, and a castle. Yippie ki-yay, let’s blow it all up with an unlimited-ammo rocket launcher – something still available for purchase from your favorite Merchant. All the crazy, silly, yet terrifying, bosses are back along with creatures updated for 2023 game play. The damn moving suits of armor in the castle are still my Kryptonite. There are some newbies in there along with some changes to the map. If you’re like me, you stopped at every new section and said, “That used to be like X, but this is awesome, too!”
Mercenaries are back, as well, and it is so very fun to play the one and only Hunk. (There’s even more bonus points available for naming what game he was in and who he is.) And, with the announcement and subsequent release of Separate Ways starring Ada Wong, original RE4 fans rejoiced all over the world. Was Ada voiced perfectly? No, but that’s not the very talented voice actress’ fault. It’s one of those moments that doesn’t hold up to the original, but, thankfully, those are very few. One of the nice improvements is the longevity of our favorite suave “gift to the ladies:” Luis Sera. We all wanted more of him in the original, and with the remake, we received it in spades.
There is so much more that proves the RE4 remake is covered in its own special brand of awesome sauce, but these are things you will have to experience for yourself. RE4 is available everywhere, along with the Separate Ways DLC, so stop reading this and go buy, buy, buy! And, while you’re at it, demand that they remake Code Veronica. Pretty please with hunters on top?!