Right, first things first. This is Resident Evil 4, the eighth or ninth game in the primarily survival horror series, for those who don't know. (Email me if I'm wrong, but I haven't played all of them, just most of them. ???) The Resident Evil series was beginning to feel kinda stale after a lot of great gameplay. The innovative gameplay was no longer innovative, the fixed camera angles and ridiculous item storing system were irritating and the franchise was lacking in new ideas. (If anyone has played either Outbreak title or Dead Aim, you'll have some idea of what I mean.)
Thankfully the idea of scary gameplay, tense atmosphere and a hammy plot and voice acting didn't fizzle out with Resident Evil 4, which was a definite make-or-break game for the series itself. Instead of making another game like the old PlayStation 1 outings, Capcom has stepped up and delivered a masterpiece.
Resident Evil 4 features the protagonist of Resident Evil 2, Leon Scott Kennedy, as a US agent on a mission to find the President's kidnapped daughter, Ashley Graham. (He's not a lowly cop anymore...... wonder what happened there?) He is investigating a sighting of a woman who looks very like Ashley in a remote Spanish village.
From the very start, the game pulls you into the world of Leon S. Kennedy. This is thanks to the over-the-shoulder camera which follows Leon around wherever he goes, and eradicates the "OH MY GOD, I died because I couldn't see a zombie" problem of the previous games. The other thing that instantly grabs you is the violence and more action-oriented approach than in previous Resident Evil adventures, which manifests itself less than five minutes into the game. (Don't tell me you were expecting a welcome party......) You will find yourself constantly in need of ammo, new guns, upgrades, healing items, and indeed places to hide as the game runs its up to 15-hour course. (Oh yeah, you can now sort through your attache case and move items around, upgrade guns, sell things to the aptly-named Merchant. It's a great feature, but how does he pop up whenever you need him?)
There are a lot of guns in this game, which really equates to more pain inflicted on the poor Spanish villagers. Always a good thing. The choice of weapons ranges from handguns to shotguns, to magnums, to rocket launchers (You heard me.......) and even rifles and machine-guns. Most of them can be bought from the Merchant at some point, although a few can be found elsewhere (Chapter 4-1, a certain locked door and second story window........ Take your companion, you heard it here first......)
really this is a great game, the best in the series so far, and is worth every dollar you spend on it. Really. Buy it. it will keep you gripped until the end, and way past it (Play through again for some special items to unlock..... I'm saying nothing more.....)
Not a lot, actually. The lack of ammo in some areas was a bit disturbing, especially the lack of rifle ammo in the last chapter (I never want to hear shuffling and heavy breathing again......... play the game through and you will see what I mean), but it's not a fault, it was intended. It was great, the mini-games are brilliant as mini-games go (Separate Ways is almost a game in itself) and the game has amazing graphics and replay value. Oh, the El Gigantes look too much like Shrek for my liking. But apart from that I'm fairly sure that Resident Evil 4 is perfect.
The Bottom Line
It's brilliant, the best horror game ever. Buy it.