Capcom released the Chainsaw Demo for the Resident Evil 4 remake recently. While it deviates from the original in some areas, it seems it will be a fantastic and faithful modern retelling of the story.
The game is set six years after Resident Evil 2. Leon S. Kennedy is sent to rescue the American president’s daughter from a Spanish village controlled by a cult.
Throughout the story, you will meet iconic characters, such as The Merchant and Ada Wong both make a welcome return. Ingrid Hunnigan, Luis Sera, and the antagonists Bitores Mendez and Ramon Salazar will also be in the game.
The story doesn’t deviate from the original story. It still has the same story beats but changed enough to make it feel new and the same simultaneously.
The gameplay feels familiar nowadays, but when Resident Evil 4 was first released, the game was a revolution. It changed how third-person games could be played. It was so exceptional that even nearly 20 years later, it is still being used.
Before Resident Evil 4, most third-person games played like Tomb Raider with the camera more centred. Resident Evil 4 moved the camera over the shoulder, an amalgamation of third-person and first-person views.
When you walk around, the camera zooms back a bit. When you aim, it snaps closer so you can aim your gun and feel part of the action. It also adds to the tension as your viewpoint is reduced.
The game plays similarly to the original and other Resident Evil games. You worry about your inventory space and the Tetris inventory system returns. You also need to reserve and manage your supplies. While Resident Evil 4 was a more action approach to the survival horror series, your ammo and health totals are still important.
Zombies in this game are faster and more intelligent than the usual fare in the earlier Resident Evils. While they aren’t technically zombies, as they have a parasite inside.
The game also takes advantage of modern touches. The enemies have more physics and animations, while scenery and objects can be smashed and manipulated. You may shoot an enemy, and they may fall onto a box and shatter it.
The original Resident Evil 4 had some stealth gameplay included. You can now crouch around, meaning sneaking around is simpler. In this version, it seems they are trying to make the stealth elements more obvious or used.
For example, when you arrive at the village, the villagers are busily burning your friend on a stake. This allows you to check out your surroundings and get into a better position. Also allowing you to sneak behind enemies and kill them in one hit with your dagger.
You could sneak around in the original game, but now it feels like the game wants you to do it more.
The game adds crafting, which wasn’t present in the 2005 version. This may break the horror and survival elements. Now making more ammo and healing items is easy. As long as you have the resources to make them.
One thing that bothers me is that the dagger has durability and can break easily. This adds to the survival aspects but means you can’t swing it around like Jack the Ripper as before.
I played the game with a mouse and keyboard, and it played well. While playing with a controller is probably what the developers believe most will play it.
You may shoot an enemy, and they may fall onto a box and shatter it.
I could have played this demo on my Xbox Series X or PC, but I played it on my five-year-old mid-range laptop. Which I like to use as it is convenient. To my surprise, it ran the demo fine. While I did have to adjust some graphical settings, it still looked pretty good in motion.
The game features modern graphical techniques such as scalable resolutions and systems that adjust visuals and performance on the fly.
The game looks very similar to the Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 remakes, which are both well-made.
Leon reacts to his scenery. He might brush through a bush with his arms or get buffeted by the wind on a bridge. These animations are obviously not dynamic, they will always happen, but they add to the immersion and production value.
Capcom has made their RE Engine remakes visually impressive while being faithful to the originals.
Resident Evil 4 doesn’t really have much audio in it. There is no music in the background, and you don’t hear much background noise apart from the usually ambient noises and the mumbled Spanish from the villagers.
Music does kick in when the action happens, but mostly you will be left in the ambient surroundings of Spain. This all adds to the tension and horror.
All the ambient effects are good, from the puddles to the wood sounds. The worse is Leon’s voice. He always sounds like an idiot, and there is no change here.
You can complete the demo in less than 15 minutes. It took me about 30 minutes on my first playthrough, and that is with looking around. The only time constraint is when you reach the village and fend off the villagers, which is linked to getting the shotgun and waiting around.
As the demo has no time limit, you could go back to explore more and see if you can beat your final score.
There is also a random chance of a hardcore mode popping up. Which increases the health and amount of enemies you will face. I don’t know how to get it specifically, and it looks like it won’t be in the final game.
Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Demo is another impressive demo for a Resident Evil remake from Capcom. If the rest of the game is the same as the demo, they will have another winner when it comes out later this month.
If you don’t like Resident Evil games, this or the previous remakes won’t change your mind. The core gameplay is still the same, and the stories are still utter madness.
It will be interesting to see if all the secret costumes, modes, and other unlocks make it into the game from the original GameCube and PlayStation 2 games.
It is worth mentioning the demo will probably be taken down in a few years, like all the others.
System: PC, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5.
Release: 9th March 2023.
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