If there’s one company that knows how to do a video game remake right, it’s Capcom. Even if you go back to the 2002 remake of the first Resident Evil for GameCube, the publishing giant proved its remakes set out to become the definitive versions of its games. Fast-forward to 2019, and the Resident Evil 2 remake took everything that made the original great, and modernized it with the legendary RE Engine. Although the follow-up remake of Resident Evil 3 did not receive as favorable of reviews due to cut content, the fundamental gameplay remained solid.
Needless to say, it was really only a matter of time until Resident Evil 4, one of the most successful entries in the franchise, also received the remake treatment. After months of speculation and rumors, dating back to last year, Capcom finally revealed its highly anticipated Resident Evil 4 remake in June. So, as we await the upcoming release of Resident Evil 4, here’s everything we know so far!
Evil lurked at June’s State of Play
Prior to the announcement trailer, Resident Evil fans scratched and clawed through the internet for signs that would point to the highly-anticipated Resident Evil 4 remake. Things intensified within the community last November when Albert Wesker’s voice actor DC Douglas even leaked concept art, rumored to be for RE4‘s return. However, for months news about the game remained simply as just rumors.
Then, Capcom dropped the bomb at this past June’s State of Play event. In a horrifically beautiful cinematic trailer, the publisher not only gave us our first look at the Resident Evil 4 remake, but they also revealed its release date for March 24, 2023.
Although a lot happens in such a short amount of time, the video excellently teases what fans can expect. Like Capcom’s remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3, the general story of Resident Evil 4 will generally stay in tact.
One noticeable difference is that the campiness of the original game appears to be gone in favor of a much darker, creepy tone. This decision may divide Resident Evil fans between those who loved RE4’s often cheesy elements. However, fans who prefer Resident Evil games when they’re at their most chilling will rejoice at the remake’s tonal shift.
One of the most significant changes regarding Leon, for example, is how the weight and gravity of Resident Evil 2‘s events shape his motivation and personality. This continuity touch is a nice addition because it better demonstrates Leon’s development and better connects RE4 to Leon’s first experiences with bioweapons in RE2.
In addition, this trailer also alludes to the possibility of Ashley becoming a playable character. Hopefully, the ability to play as her gives her character further depth as well. Additionally, it even appears as though the Genados will also have more backstory behind them as well.
Return to the infamous village of RE4
Overall, the meat of Resident Evil 4’s narrative appears untouched. Just as in the 2005 original, Leon goes on a mission to Europe to rescue the president’s daughter Ashley. However, when he gets there, he must once again face evil head on in a mysterious village where horrors lurk around every corner.
However, while the general plot will remain the same, the newest story trailer from October’s Resident Evil Showcase teases significant changes players can expect to keep the remake fresh. One shocking moment in the trailer that differs from the original game is a scene that shows Ashley become infected. Ashley’s characterization is far from the only significant change, however.
The trailer also gives us a look at some welcomed redesigns for other characters as well. For instance, we see Luis, with a significantly more-grounded and detailed look. In addition, we also see other characters like Osmund Saddler and Chief Menendez. Overall, all the characters seen in the trailer look familiar, yet updated.
In terms of the game’s baddies, Salazar appears to have a major updated interpretation. Where the 2005 original game made the character appear young and child-like, our look at Salazar here shows someone more mature, though he does retain the 18th-century European outfit.
A familiar sense of fear
Following the massive announcement trailer, Capcom also revealed more information on the Resident Evil 4 remake through its own showcase. One of the highlights in this video is the confirmation that RE4‘s core mechanics will feel similar to the ones we got in the RE2 and RE3 remakes. You can also check it out for yourself below.
However, it wasn’t until the Resident Evil Showcase that players got a deeper look at RE4‘s gameplay in action. Opening up, we see the iconic scene where Leon stumbles upon the dilapidated farmhouse as he searches for clues to find Ashley. However, already we see a major—but welcomed—change as the scene now happens at night.
Another change that helps set this game’s atmosphere is when Leon discovers the tragic fates of his police escorts. This time around, he discovers one of the bodies in the basement, while hearing more mayhem from the radio. The gameplay showcase also takes us to another iconic scene where Leon finds himself swarmed in the village by the Genados in an overwhelming, adrenaline-fueled sequence.
Survival is just the beginning
As we watch the events unfold, we also get glimpses at some notable gameplay mechanics. One cool detail is Leon’s new ability to crouch. In addition, the updated combat mechanics from the RE2 and 3 remakes that allow you to move and shoot at the same time carry over to this installment. While not being able to do that in the original game certainly made things intense, if Capcom does what they did in their last two remakes, we should see even more intense encounters that utilize this modernized capability.
One ability that carries over from the original RE4 to the remake is Leon’s ability to perform combos. Employing the classic stun-kick-kill combo is always helpful for ammo conservation.
Yet, even with all the other fluid gameplay revealed, the coolest moment in the trailer happens when Leon uses the environment to his advantage. While pursued by the Genados, Leon shoots down a lantern in a barn that subsequently explodes onto a cow. This slows down the villagers, including the infamous chainsaw guy, in their tracks as the burning cow stampedes through the horde.
Speaking of the chainsaw guy, another new ability Leon has comes especially in handy against this brute maniac. Now, Leon can parry attacks and counter using his knife. In one cool sequence, we see him use the knife to block the chainsaw from cutting him in half.
What are you buying?
Outside of combat, we also know more information on the game’s inventory management system. In an interview with IGN, producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi explained how the puzzle-like resource management tool of the briefcase will return. He explains how integral the system was to the original game and the necessity for it to come back in the remake. However, he also adds that this time around, players will have more customization options to add additional style to your bag.
Alongside the inventory management system, we also know that the beloved merchant will also return for the remake. However, this time around, he also accepts gems as currency, meaning you can trade those in for items as well.
Adding even more fear on the side
Some recently revealed details for Resident Evil 4 showcase ways in which Capcom hopes to change and expand the game to feel more immersive. One minor, but significant, change involves the way Ashley will work alongside Leon. As opposed to Ashley having a dedicated health bar, she will instead enter a downed state and need revived if she suffers too much Genado damage.
Another change to make things more tense revolves around Leon’s knife. In the original game, his knife would last the entirety of the campaign. This time, however, players will need to conserve the knife’s durability, as too many strikes will cause it to break. Fortunately, players can pick up and carry multiple knives in their inventory.
However, one of the largest changes to the Resident Evil 4 remake is the addition of side quests. Throughout the game, you’ll find blue flyers that allow you to accept optional tasks. However, with all the added content, Capcom also made the decision to remove content as well. While the original game is famous for its quick-time events, the remake will hardly feature any at all. Though, depending on who you ask, this is a pleasant removal.
This time, it has to be different
On February 23, Capcom released the third major trailer for Resident Evil 4. Among some of the content revealed in the trailer, it teases a couple iconic boss fights from the original game with some new twists. Apart from the action-packed battle with Agent Krauser, we also see the memorable bout against the two giants. This time, however, Luis aides Leon in the grueling fight.
Moreover, it appears as though Luis will play a larger role in the remake than he did in the original game. Throughout the trailer, he assists Leon in various enemy encounters. Hopefully, his increased presence will make Luis’ likely inevitable death feel more impactful and less humorous this time around.
However, the biggest reveal in the third trailer is the return of The Mercenaries. This fan-favorite bonus mode won’t be available at launch. However, it will release post-launch as free DLC.
Resident Evil 4 crawls out this month!
When Capcom first announced the game, fans understood that the Resident Evil 4 remake would only launch for current-gen hardware. However, at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, the publisher revealed it will now also launch on PlayStation 4.
Resident Evil 4 comes crawling out this month on March 24. It will hit PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S and PC. For those who really want to get up close and personal with the Genados, it also comes to PlayStation VR2. Before the game officially drops, players can also expect a demo.
Are you excited to revisit this defining horror title with revamped graphics and controls? As always, let us know your thoughts down in the comments!