There are plenty of games which have garnered universal acclaim, Capcom’s Resident Evil 4 being one. But few have revolutionized the genre and revitalized their core franchises while remaining utter classics all these years later. After years of rumors, Resident Evil 4 is finally getting a remake, which releases on March 24th for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC.
It’s still the same story and gameplay, but the remake is revamped in several ways. Let’s look at 15 of the biggest differences between it and the original.
The first reveal trailer of Resident Evil 4 was interesting since it featured a dark, brooding atmosphere. Of course, the next official trailer featured a more action-heavy vibe, but it was still full of tension. The remake maintains the design of the 2005 release but embraces a darker, more sinister aesthetic. Environments are far dimmer, and the overall atmosphere feels gritter. Of course, it still looks amazing, whether it’s the textures, character models or animations, and we can’t wait to experience it.
New Paths, Rooms, and More
The Resident Evil 3 remake earned quite a lot of flak for not including several key set pieces from the original. Capcom has taken the criticism to heart though and has not removed any major sections from Resident Evil 4. It’s expanding the experience further with new paths to explore and rooms to investigate. The opening house is a good example, with more to explore and some pretty grisly things to discover. The controversial island section will also reportedly have more to it, though details weren’t provided.
Moving While Aiming
Resident Evil 4 revolutionized the survival horror genre with its over-the-shoulder camera, but it still had Leon unable to move when aiming. Fast-forward to 2023, and players can now aim while moving. It’s truly a brave new world, though don’t expect the game to get any less frightening or tense.
So, you’re in a place that’s not quite like rural Spain, you’re seeing friggin’ infected villagers, and you’re parrying chainsaws with a knife! Yeah, that is something you do now. Jokes aside, Resident Evil 4 remake allows for parrying dangerous attacks from the Chainsaw Man, something you couldn’t do in the original. It’s ridiculous, sure, but also great, opening up many more options in combat.
Since your knife will take much more punishment in the remake, it makes sense that it’ll break. Good news – Leon can carry around multiple knives now, and it’s possible to do a knife-only playthrough. How much general wear and tear will affect a knife before it breaks is unknown, but hopefully, they’re not breaking all the time.
No Quick-Time Events
Another big change in the remake is the removal of quick-time events. Given how essential they were in the original, from dodging one-hit kill traps to an entire knife fight with Jack Krauser, it’s a big change. Interestingly, the removal of QTEs in Krauser’s fight led to the introduction of the parry mechanic, and the developers liked it so much they decided to implement it across the game.
Like Resident Evil Village, crafting plays an important role in Resident Evil 4 remake. Players can still mix herbs for different effects, but they can also craft handgun ammo, bolts, and more from various materials. It seems to imply fewer ammo drops in general, though this wasn’t a problem in Village, so we’ll wait for more details.
New Enemy Types
Not satisfied with a sack-wearing maniac wielding a chainsaw, Capcom is adding a brand new enemy: The Brute, a giant wearing a bull’s head while bashing things with a hammer. It’s an unsettling presence, but also won’t be the only new enemy type added. Could the fabled Hook Man make a return? We certainly hope so.
There’s quite a range of weapons in Resident Evil 4, from handguns and rifles to magnums and shotguns, to the point that new weapons may feel unnecessary. Capcom has confirmed at least one – the Bolt Thrower, which functions like a crossbow. It may seem pointless, but given the new stealth elements, it could help encourage a more sneaky, assassin-like play style before business picks up. Other specialized weapons can be discovered, though they’re being kept a secret.
Leon can employ some stealth in the remake. Along with crouching and sneaking past enemies, players can perform assassinations. How useful this will be against enemies like the Chainsaw Man is unknown, but it’s a great option, especially if you prefer picking off foes methodically.
Changes to Ashley’s Gameplay
Ashley Graham, the president’s daughter that Leon has to rescue, is taking a more active role in the remake. You can no longer leave her behind and clear out areas – she’ll constantly be on the move with the player. However, you can tell her to stick close or spread out, depending on your needs. If Ashley is kidnapped, you can still shoot them to save her. Thankfully, those who aren’t as confident in their aim can opt for a close-range melee kill.
In the original game, Ashley had a health bar – taking too much damage resulted in her death and a Game Over, which could be frustrating. The remake removes the health bar but adds a downed state. If Ashley sustains too much damage, she’ll fall and must be revived. Taking any more damage in this state results in her death. Whether this will work better or not remains to be seen.
Ashley helped with opening up paths in the original and aiding progression. The remake takes this a step further by adding even more obstacles that are only accessed by having Ashley crawl through and unlock a door from the other side. You’ll see plenty of these before meeting her, so there’s an incentive to backtrack to previous areas and use her skills to discover potential secrets. Also, aside from one occasion that’s a homage to the original game, she can now climb down ladders on her own.
Side quests represent another new mechanic that wasn’t in the original. There aren’t a lot of details, aside from having to solve puzzles and hunt down enemies (treasure maps may also potentially fall under this). Their inclusion is inspired by Resident Evil Village’s side quests, which involve gathering materials for The Duke to upgrade your weapons. Either way, the team is looking to enhance the replay value, so it should be interesting to see how these play out.
Different Attache Cases
The Attache Case is Leon’s most faithful companion throughout Resident Evil 4, carrying his entire arsenal while still having room for health items. In the remake, different Attache Cases exist, each with a unique perk like increased handgun ammo drops. Other perks have yet to be revealed, but it’s a nice quality-of-life change. Who knows? There could be others that enhance melee damage or drop more herbs.