The StarSoldier


Artist touch: Capcom and its art staff did a solid job showing all the raging villagers here. This shows just how intense can get. Leon looks a little odd with that glow around him though. Cover art rating: 9/10

Month it won: March 2005

(Capcom, January 11, 2005)

Special note: This game was a huge departure from the older games of the series!

Introduction and Story:
Everybody out there knows I'm not the biggest Resident Evil fan out there and I think I'm not the only one who has hated the series too, eh? C'mon, Playstation2 owners got some of the worst playing spin offs in gaming history with dismal games like Resident Evil Dead Aim and RE Outbreak. Resident Evil 1 and 0 on the GC were cool titles but they were hardly groundbreaking and just look at both Resident Evil 2 and 3 for the same system, they were not even improved on this powerful machine. With all these disappointing titles imagine my shock when I first popped in the fun to play and visually stunning Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube! See why this new RE game is like no other game you ever played before.

This game takes place 6 years after the disaster in Resident Evil 2. The company responsible for the massive zombie infestation (the Umbrella Corporation) is no longer in business after the huge scandal and Raccoon City survivor Leon Kennedy is now a highly skilled secret agent. Although
Leon is one of the few humans that escaped the ravaged city he still isn't exactly taking it easy. Leon is on a new mission to find and rescue the president's daughter from a remote European village. It sounds like an easy enough job until you meet some of the very hostile villagers there. They are not quite human but they are also not the standard zombies that you would find in past games. These aggressive residents will use weapons, they duck if you point a laser-pointed gun at their head and they are will even call for reinforcements. One of the coolest new features in this RE is figuring out what is really going on here and unlocking the mystery.
Controls and Game Play:
The story isn't the only radical change to RE here. The best thing about this new game is that it plays almost nothing like the previous titles. Gone are the awkward and annoying controls where you are forced to press up to move all the time, now you move Leon freely in multiple directions normally with the analog stick with ease. Another big change for this RE title is that the game is completely 3D as well. You can forget about wandering across some lame pre-rendered still art, this Resident Evil game lets you look around the creepy environments here in a very welcome change. The game also lets you view Leon from his upper torso instead of the usually third person perspective. Although this new look sure takes some getting use to since you can't always see what's underneath your feet, or worse yet, what is behind you, the new view works great for shooting off certain body parts of your enemies and nothing is more satisfying then watching some running blood-thirsty maniac get stop in his tracks with a well placed shot to the leg.

What hasn't changed much is that surviving isn’t easy since weapons and ammo are limited and even though your menu section is a lot bigger now (and it can get even bigger if you have the right amount of cash), you still have only have so much room to store everything. You also need to hold down a button as well if you want to use an attack and you can't move around in this position either but at least you can still look around for approaching enemies while during this. The first thing you will notice in the game is that most enemies are not going to be easy to kill but thankfully there are plenty of opportunities to find new guns and upgrades on your deadly mission.
Graphics and Sounds:
These new zombie-esque creatures are not only quite intelligent but they look unbelievably real as well. There is this one guy with a bag over his head that will dig his chainsaw into your body until you get decapitated if you are not careful. By the way because of all the blood and gore in this game it really earns its Mature rating so parents shouldn't have their young kids go anywhere near this. Another thing I like about these graphics is how the game starts out in the daylight in a quiet forest instead of the usual dark scenery I'm use to in other survival horror games. Because there are so many enemies in the game some of these evil villagers and monks tend to look the same after a while but this is only minor problem I can see in these otherwise perfect graphics. The sounds also play an important role in RE4. If the evil town's people discover you, the music changes to a more tension building theme meaning you have much more cautious and watch your back. RE4 also has realistic sound effects for important things like gun shots and voices. All the actors here are well acted and believable so it feels like you are really part of the experience.
The Bottomline:
I know that past RE games have not been too good as of late but for anyone who was burned by Resident Evil before consider this the ultimate apology from Capcom. RE4 has very realistic graphics, fitting music, and most importantly the game controls very well unlike most the other games. Some of the odd button mashing cut scenes did take me out of the game too much but fortunately they are few and far between plus they do look pretty amazing. Resident Evil 4 is a very scary game that brings back this survivor horror series to its original glory.

overall rating: 98/100
Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 player only
Rated (M) for Mature
graphics: 10/10
sound: 9/10
gameplay: 9/10
replay: 9/10

(Ryan Genno) 2005

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