Resident Evil 4 Reader Review
I hate snakes. Not traditionally, not like a phobia or anything. But since they stated jumping out at me as I peer into the ruins of a bright wooden crate wondering 'surely that's ammo'yes, it has to be EEUUHH!!? At this point I usually take out my gun, swearing blindly, calling upon the gods of vengeance and offloading precious ammo at the slithering little git! 'Dammit! Why won't you just be a good boy and die'!' They don't die. But it's ok, it'll not happen me again' I'll get the next one'
This is once of the many moments in Resident Evil 4 that you love to hate. It's when the game gets one over on you, even though you know whole-heartedly it gave you a fighting chance. In fact, it was your fault.
So you're probably thinking, 'That's it' You're talking about the snakes' What about the giant monsters' Or the eerie little irritation bad guy (again who you just love to hate)' Or the bit in the village where you get swamped with the undead, dead-rising style. Well see that's just it, it's a year and a bit later' you guys know all of that! '*Ok so lemme guess, you're going to tell me 'it's the wee touches that make this game great'. No. Well yes, you're right, but no I'm not going to tell you that. See, you already knew that anyway! It's all those things, and more.
At one point I actually started to be hyper-critical of RE4, convinced that it was a little bit too easy around the middle, having to look after what's-her-face is a pain, not to mention those invulnerable snakes! Then I realised it was still entirely enjoyable, not at all letting you loose interest, and even if parts of it were easy it sure didn't make the game seem short. Even if you do have to protect the girl it adds another dimension, not to mention how tense those bits where you play as her alone with no weapons being chased by things are.
The shenmue-style action bits where you press certain buttons when prompted to avoid severe health loss or sudden doom (yes, that's the technical term for it, I looked it up) make one of the simplest forms of game play utterly tense and thrilling. That's amazing when you think about it. Try watching someone play those bits, just look at them, not the tv screen, and have them put headphones on so you can't hear the sound' you're in for a real treat.
So no I'm not going to go on about how the game plays, you know all that. The aiming system is great, the graphics are great, the atmosphere is great' but what makes this game really stand out' 'Ah-ha! I know this! 'It's all those things, and more!'' Well very good, you've been paying attention. But no. That's kind of a cop out. (C'mon, even you thought that when I first wrote it). What makes RE4 stand out, to be a truly great game is (insert drum-roll followed by dramatic pause here)' the programming.
The game was clearly programmed with the player in mind. Now I know that term is bounced around by game critics like a hot potato but most of the time it's not entirely true. At least, it's not true in the sense that the developers actually achieved the ambition to program it exactly how they wanted, as a gamer, the game to play. The pace, learning curve, presentation, replayability' everything plays like the team behind it said 'This is what we would have wanted'. In that sense RE4 sucks you in, you feel when controlling Leon that you're really a part of the game. It takes you by the hand, shoves you through a door into a pitch black room of uncertainty and says 'I've been through this too'now it's your turn! Mu haw haw' (probably through a PA system). It's like that guy or girl who treats you like dirt but you stil love them because they tell you it'll be ok in the end.
Some people may not like RE4, it just might not be their cup of tea. But even those people can't deny the achievement it is. It's like the way some people don't like Mario. They can't criticise what Miyamoto's achieved, or what games like Mario World set out to do, but they just might not like them. Lets face it though, those people still want to love Mario, they're just afraid to. The exact same goes for anyone who doesn't like this game, but it's probably a more literal type of fear. This is really one of the highest accolades for current-gen gaming. RE5 has a lot to live up to, but given the achievment that is RE4, I for one am excited.
As for those snakes... they still get my every time. And since you can't kill them after they bite, it's not getting a 10.
9 / 10