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Resident Evil 4 review

Decent

In all honesty, we didn't realize they still peddled shit like this. A console port so insultingly cut-and-pasted that its menu systems make you weep, its refusal to recognize even the existence of a mouse makes you incensed with anger and its insistence on showering one of the greatest games of the past decade in noxious shit makes you gag. Yes, we're pissed off.



Let's imagine you don't have a gamepad and you want to play RE 4 on PC. Well, use your imagination - you're screwed. Controls are entirely keyboard-based - and as soon as one of the game's Indigo Prophecy-style timed button-bashing sequences kicks in, you'll get requests like "Button 5 and button 6!," and you'll be staring at your tildes, inserts and right-shifts in shock, horror and growing nausea. We played this demon-seed with a 360 pad in the end - but even then we had to alt tab out to find out exactly how the buttons were numbered in our computer's control panel.

What’s more, RE 4 simply doesn’t look as good on PC as it did back on our lowly GameCube a couple of years ago. Weird we know, but drizzling higher resolutions onto a console game that previously had no lighting system and instead relied on textures to complement each other in their shared darkness has rendered the game stark and unlovely. A darkened cavern may now be crisper, but the more detailed rocks in its walls look silly and unrealistic - and any aid given to the game by a television’s inherent blur completely evaporated. Cutscenes too now seem cruelly dated and fuzzy - meaning that much of the “wow” factor is now lost despite the sheer excitement that can still brim over in them.



If you’ve been on a lunar expedition for a little while, and missed out on the fuss, then RE 4 follows Leon Kennedy - a man who is a competent killing machine. He’s in generic Eastern Europe to find the President’s kidnapped daughter - but not only has everyone been turned into a zombie, but some are wearing bags over their heads and waving chainsaws. Chainsaws whose distant revving noise chill your soul to its very core, and which can and will cleave your head in two at a moment’s notice.

Despite the bitter yellow bile Ubisoft have managed to spew into its PC iteration, RE 4 is, remains and ever more shall be one of the best games we’ve ever played. It’s the best zombie shooter ever: thrilling, inventive, exciting and persistent in its desire to throw countless ingenious set-pieces in your direction.

From the legendary early village assault to battles with shambling minions on cable cars, scuffles with lake monsters and thrilling knife-battles with other members of the uninfected cast, Resident Evil 4 is 24-carat gold dust that should be sampled by every self-respecting gamer on earth. Only not on PC - because it’s been so sloppily ported and it’s obvious it doesn’t belong here. Still - if for some reason you’re unable to get it on console, we can’t deny that you’ll still have a lot of fun.

More Info

Release date: May 15 2007 - PC
Oct 25 2005 - PS2
Jan 11 2005 - GameCube (US)
Apr 11 2005 - PS2
Mar 18 2005 - GameCube (UK)
Available Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, PS2, GameCube
Genre: Adventure
Published by: Capcom, Ubisoft
Developed by: Capcom
ESRB Rating:
Mature: Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language

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