After the Resident Evil 4 remake demo, gamers and devs debate if environment design has gotten too obvious

Resident Evil 4 remake
(Image credit: Capcom)

A new week brings forth a new discourse: whether or not Resident Evil 4 remake's yellow boxes are actually good game design.

Last week saw a brand new Resident Evil 4 remake demo go live on all platforms, meaning fans have finally got the chance to try the opening minutes of the game, as well as uncover a few Resident Evil 4 demo secrets. This opening section includes the action-packed village segment with the chainsaw-wielding warrior, and found in this section are plenty of wooden boxes with yellow markings.

These boxes can be broken by Leon S. Kennedy to uncover ammo or health items. An unintended side effect of the wooden boxes is that it's set games Twitter into a frenzy, with thousands of users debating over the past weekend if the boxes are actually good game design (or not).

In the great Twitter thread just below, graphics artist and programmer Ben Golus breaks down just how difficult it is to draw the player's attention to items and objects. Interactable objects used to be rendered slightly differently to static objects, which caused developers a whole host of headaches, hence why Resident Evil 4 remake now has its interactable objects use a different color to its surroundings.

The yellow obviously makes the boxes stand out to the player, indicating that there's something different about them. Once the player learns they can smash the boxes by interacting with them, Capcom's developers have effectively succeeded in their goal of getting the player to notice the yellow boxes wherever they go in Resident Evil 4 remake.

The artist below, though, thinks bringing up a temporary button prompt to smash the boxes is far better than giving players a dedicated vision mode to discern interactable objects. The Witcher 3 employs this trick for Geralt's special Witcher vision, allowing him to see objects highlight in red that he can interact with for new information.

The artist thinks this vision encourages players to simply activate it at all times to see interactable objects, thereby ruining the general aesthetic of the game. Resident Evil 4 remake's solution to this problem - using color to notify players of objects they can use - is far better for this user than giving Leon a special vision mode and letting the players go wild with it.

Resident Evil 4 remake finally launches next week on March 24. Be warned though: copies of the game have already launched ahead of schedule, meaning spoilers and other unknown details will already be making their way around the internet.

Check out our full new games 2023 guide for a look at all the other titles we can play in the coming weeks and months. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.