How To Remake A Masterpiece – Resident Evil 4

Let's Dissect the Masterpiece and Look At How Resident Evil 4 Remake Became a Blueprint for Remakes

How To Remake A Masterpiece - Resident Evil 4 Remake
How To Remake A Masterpiece - Resident Evil 4 Remake

Developers have been creating remakes for their popular video games to varying success. This not only appeals to the heartstrings of the veterans and long-term fans but also introduces a game to the new generation.

With the advancement in video game development technology, the graphics and gameplay mechanics of the past, haven’t aged well. This is why it is sometimes necessary to bring these games back into the gaming landscape with a little bit of a facelift.

Key Takeaways
    • The RE Engine delivers stunning visuals and gore, making the horror elements even scarier. 
    • The remake ditches the clunky controls and introduces a dodge mechanic and parry system for more engaging combat.
    • Autosave, helpful map, and improved characters make it easier for new players to jump in.
    • The remake offers a variety of difficulty modes to cater to both veterans and newcomers.
    • The Merchant offers new requests for an extra layer of gameplay variety.
    • Resident Evil 4 Remake proves that remakes can be successful by faithfully recreating the original game while modernizing the experience for a new generation of players

In this article, I want to focus on the three main factors that make Resident Evil Franchise a standout in the world of remakes. Especially taking a look at Capcom’s latest release in this Remake line-up, Resident Evil 4 Remake, and how this game got so many things right.

The Graphic’s Makeover

This may not come as a surprise but one of the major reasons that RE4 Remake did so well is the complete makeover this game receives.

Resident Evil 4 Remake VS. Original Graphics
Resident Evil 4 Remake VS. Original – Graphics

In my opinion, Capcom has done something special with their new game engine. RE Engine, first created in 2014 for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard utilizes techniques like subsurface scattering for lifelike skin rendering and supports high resolutions like 4K.

The RE Engine has to be some of the best-optimized engines out there. I remember playing Resident Evil 2 Remake on a very old setup and being blown away by how good the game looks. Graphics have only gotten better with Resident Evil 4 Remake.

The updated graphics take the horror and gore to the next level. I have been terrified of the nightmare-inducing Regenerators ever since the release of the original game, and I will admit that they have just gotten scarier this time around.

Remake VS. Original – Regenerators

Take the classic jump scare, for instance. Upgraded graphics can elevate it from a cheap scare tactic to a full-blown panic attack. Imagine a grotesque monster leaping from the screen, rendered in such detail that you can practically smell its decay. Now that’s how you use graphics to terrify players.

While the graphical overhaul is undeniably impressive, the RE4 Remake is a masterclass in the use of sound design to elevate the horror experience. Every creak of a floorboard, every chilling moan echoing through the halls, heightens anticipation and creates a constant sense of unease.

Each enemy boasts distinct audio cues, offering valuable strategic intel in the form of growls or clicks, while simultaneously adding a layer of terror. The sound design adds to an already amazing experience and complements the stunning visuals.

Gameplay Mechanics For The Modern Gamer

Beyond the visual overhaul, the game smartly updates its gameplay mechanics for the modern audience. This is crucial, as the original controls, hadn’t aged as gracefully as the visuals. The controls being decent enough for the time, feel clunky and outdated now.

Gore Filled Gameplay

Controlling Leon through narrow hallways and corners was more scary than actual bosses from the game. If that wasn’t already bad enough, for some reason you were not allowed to move while aiming down the sight. Capcom understood this well and built the mechanics for this game from the ground up.

Thankfully, the remake ditches the old “stop-to-shoot” nonsense. Now you can dodge attacks and unleash a hail of gunfire all at once, perfectly capturing the heart-pounding action of the game.

The addition of a parry mechanic in the remake is a stroke of genius. It injects a layer of skill-based defense, turning Leon from a bullet sponge into a strategic combatant. Players have embraced it wholeheartedly – landing a perfect parry in the nick of time is an exhilarating feeling.

Resident Evil 4 Remake VS. Original Parrying
Remake VS. Original – Parrying

Successfully parrying the chainsaw has to be one of the most satisfying gameplay moments I had during the gameplay. The mechanic does require a little bit of getting used to. If it is any consolation, you will encounter many enemies and plenty of chances to perfect the parry.

The remake expands on the original’s crafting system in a big way. You’re no longer limited to just herbs; you can now craft essential ammo alongside healing items.

This system is refreshingly intuitive, letting you whip up what you need with just a handful of resources. It empowers you to adapt your strategy on the fly.

The remake throws in a surprisingly versatile stealth feature. Sure, some players might favor a more explosive approach, but the option to silently eliminate enemies with a well-placed knife adds a layer of intrigue and depth to the experience. Stealth has come in handy during my gameplay from time to time.

Stealth Action

Game For The New Generation

Beyond the stunning visuals and revamped gameplay, the Resident Evil 4 Remake reflects a keen understanding of its modern audience. The developers haven’t just delivered the best-looking and most playable RE game to date – they’ve made thoughtful adjustments to resonate with today’s players

First of all the autosave feature is finally here and it is here to stay. It may seem very insignificant but the autosave has saved my progress run countless times. It just seems right for a modern game released in this day and age.

The new map is another great addition and helped me a lot in gathering the necessary resources. Your map marks objects you have missed and becomes a necessity in a game where you are constantly required to backtrack to solve puzzles.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Map

I was also glad to see that the characters received better treatment during the second run. Ashley Graham’s character especially receives attention. She is significantly less annoying this time and is not subject to any sexist comments or treatments.

The remake also gives Luis Sera a more fleshed-out role in the story. While I can’t reveal specifics to avoid spoilers, it’s clear the developers have paid close attention to his character.

In the original, some of Luis’s jokes could be seen as inappropriate, particularly when directed at Ashley.

Resident Evil 4 Remake Luis Sera
Luis Sera

Thankfully, the remake moves away from that kind of humor and presents a more well-rounded portrayal. This Luis feels more like a genuine ally to Leon, and his actions throughout the game are likely to resonate strongly with players.

The Remake also goes for a much more grounded and realistic approach. This does mean that the game moves away from some of the over-the-top sections from the previous game.

Gone is the out-of-nowhere Laser Room from the original. However, it was brought back later in the Separate Ways DLC, where it feels more natural and part of the world.

The game also completely removes the boss fight against a giant robot of Ramon Salazar. This feels like a completely right move considering the tone of the game.

The castle is completely redesigned to feel like an actual castle and is a much more self-contained section. This realistic and grounded approach is incredibly effective in creating a genuinely terrifying atmosphere.

Ramon Salazar Comparison

Additionally, the Remake also fine-tunes the difficulty of the original. The original game was a demanding experience. Limited ammo, tank controls, and strategically placed enemies made for a tense and challenging gameplay loop.

The remake walks a tightrope here. It retains the core challenge of the original but offers some concessions for modern audiences.

The remake offers a variety of difficulty modes, from “Assisted” which provides a more relaxed experience with ample ammo and resources, to “Hardcore” which replicates the original’s punishing difficulty.

This caters to both veterans seeking a nostalgic challenge and newcomers who might find the original too daunting.

RE4 Difficulty Options
Difficulty Options

The mysterious Merchant isn’t just chatty in the remake; he also offers a new gameplay feature: requests! Completing these optional objectives for the Merchant rewards you with valuable items.

This injects a layer of variety into the gameplay loop, breaking up the resource gathering and adding a whole new dimension to acquiring those coveted upgrades.

What Does This All Mean?

There are many other things that this Remake gets right, however, these are the few that caught my eye. Resident Evil 4 Remake serves as a blueprint for future remakes. It demonstrates that faithfully recreating a beloved game is just the first step.

Capcom’s success lies in understanding how to modernize the experience for a new generation of players. This involves not just graphical upgrades and revamped mechanics, but also a willingness to address outdated elements and tailor the game to contemporary sensibilities.

It proves that remakes can be more than nostalgia trips. They can be thoughtful reimaginings that capture the essence of the original while offering a fresh and engaging experience for modern audiences. This approach ensures that these classic titles continue to terrify and enthrall players for years to come.

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