Resident Evil 4 Remake Official Promotional Art.
Image Credit: Capcom

8 Things Sagacious Agents Should Know Before Playing Resident Evil 4 Remake

Time to REfresh your memory.

The Resident Evil 4 Remake is finally among us, throwing players into the shoes of Leon S. Kennedy, who unfortunately finds himself searching for the President’s daughter in a creepy village somewhere in Europe. There’s a lot of hype around this remake, and for good reason, as Resident Evil 4 is arguably considered one of the greatest games of all time in survivor-horror circles.

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With the Dead Space Remake serving up a proper demonstration of how to craft a remake, Capcom is stepping up to the plate to prove this remake is more than just an HD coat of paint. Good news for returning fans or newcomers, there’s plenty here to prove the previous sentiment. With that in mind, here are eight things to know before playing the Resident Evil 4 Remake.

Remade in Some Areas, 1:1 Recreation in Others

Resident Evil 4 in-game artwork
Image Source: Steam

If you’ve been following gameplay footage of the upcoming Resident Evil 4 Remake, you’ll notice some new and older segments populate the remake. Most notably, a portion covered by Game Informer over a month ago showed off the fifth chapter of the remake, and if you’ve played the original title, you’ll notice that both segments do not match up as Leon and Ashley find themselves reunited in the church versus the original title set on the island at the end of your journey.

When it comes to the Resident Evil 4 Remake, Capcom’s goal is to modernize everything and reimagine the story while retaining what made this entry so legendary in the upper echelons of gaming. Aside from comparing chapters, this idea bleeds into nearly every aspect of the game as the recent demo serves as a stark trip down memory lane for fans while adding a newer horrific color palette to make it feel fresh.

Much of what made Resident Evil 4 has been reworked, with Leon being fully mobile instead of standing in quicksand and aiming, and many more mechanics seeing various changes that we’ll go into more in-depth in the below segments showcasing the blend of new and old mechanics, visuals, and horror.

It goes to show Capcom isn’t afraid to take the liberty to inject some new life into Resident Evil 4 after the successes and failures of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3’s remakes, while also retaining what made this such a gamer changer. The Dead Space Remake is an important comparison here, as the remake introduced smart changes to widely improve a game widely considered nearly flawless 15 years ago. Capcom is looking to do just that, and it may pay off with a whole slew of games the studio is sitting on waiting for remaster treatment (Devil May Cry 3, PLEASE).

Knives Out

Resident Evil 4 Remake knife rework
Image Source: Steam

No, this isn’t a play on the mega-popular movie created by Rian Johnson, but this segment is a big point to mention. One of the many changes coming is to Leon’s combat knife, and it’s a sharp one.

Resident Evil 4 saw Leon equipped with various forms of weaponry, from his classic pistol to a shotgun, sniper rifle, and trusty combat knife. The knife itself was a tad clunky to use, but it served as a good backup as one swipe could open up a world of hurt for oncoming enemies and as a box opener. This time, it serves a similar purpose but will see a durability system attached to it.

At first, it seems like a crazy concept and almost like a nerf to a weapon that shouldn’t have been introduced. However, when you sit back and realize how powerful the knife is all these years later, with its function upgraded to include knife parrying, emergency stabbing options, and stealth annihilator, it sort of makes sense why it’s seeing such a drastic change.

The knife can be repaired at your friendly merchant, or you can purchase more to stuff into your attache case. I can’t wait for the “knife-only” runs to hit the web, so keep your eyes peeled for the brave soul who attempts said run.

Stealth Mechanics

Resident Evil 4 Ganados artwork
Image Source: Steam

When Resident Evil 4 was released back in 2005, stealth or taking down your foes with little resistance wasn’t an option. There were moments when you could take down the occasional baddie, but it was very rare as the game threw every opportunity to keep you enthralled in the madness. This time around it’s a little different, with the introduction of stealth mechanics.

While we don’t know the full extent of the stealth mechanics, what we know is that Leon can sneak up on foes and quickly end them with a swing of his knife. Keep in mind; Leon’s knife has a durability meter attached to it, so don’t expect to murder every single foe without repercussions. It has been said that some segments can be skipped, provided you are stealthy, which is a nice switch up to the core wall-to-wall action. You’ll also find a new crossbow weapon, which may aid the dreams of being stealthy until you mess it up with one missed bolt shot.

Stealth mechanics can be tricky to implement as the duality of game design can either make stealth a dream come true or a nightmare. It’s an interesting change, but given how aggressive the enemy behavior has become in the remake, taking advantage of stealth doesn’t seem like a bad design choice. As long as the remake doesn’t throw in forced stealth segments, then this could be a great change-up of the core formula.

No Cutscene-Based QTE’s

Resident Evil 4 Remake Krauser fight in-game screenshot
Image Source: PlayStation

Resident Evil 4’s release had a massive impact on the gaming industry, especially in survival horror, with many games taking bits and pieces from Capcom’s blueprint to make a solid game. If there’s one thing veterans of Resident Evil 4 remember vividly, it’s the infamous QTE, aka quick-time events.

There’s nothing wrong with quick-time events, but since 2005, they’ve lost their popularity as fans look for more immersive experiences. Capcom has heard that feedback and has opted to ditch the system entirely, although there will still be moments when you’ll have to mash a button to save your life. It’ll be interesting to see how the remake unfolds without them, as some of the game’s best moments involved quick-time events a la Krauser fight, but removing them means a whole new experience is coming.

“What Are Ya Doin’ Stranger?” – The Merchant

Image Source: Capcom

If you read the heading in the Merchant’s voice, kudos to you, and if you didn’t, come back and reread this header after playing through the Resident Evil 4 Remake. A couple of changes are heading this way, and while none of them are massive in scope, they will satisfy the collectible hunters.

The upcoming remake will go all in on side missions called “Requests,” giving Leon a chance to do more for a higher reward. Some Requests will task you with collecting items, while others will have you hunting down special enemies. The payoffs are unknown, but one can imagine the rewards will involve talking to the legendary Merchant for Pesetas to upgrade your equipment and weaponry.

Also, you can customize the attache case, and while it’s nothing major, a little keychain action is better than no action. Nothing beats opening up your case amid death and seeing a little, friendly keychain to remind you that you have much to live for.

Ashley May Be Much Cooler This Time Around

Resident Evil 4 Remake Abandons QTEs & Makes Saving Ashley Much Easier
Image Source: Capcom

Resident Evil 4 was many things to gaming, and while nearly every gameplay mechanic was overwhelmingly positive, Ashley Graham was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Yes, it was a rescue mission, but Leon could barely save himself, and Ashley made it much harder. Capcom’s been sitting on 18 years of feedback, and the President’s daughter will see some reworks to the gameplay loop: some positive, while others will need further experimenting to discover how they play out.

In the original title, Ashley Graham had a habit of screaming very loudly when she was in danger, plus she had a health bar meaning you had to allocate resources to her. While it’s unclear if she will still yell at the top of her lungs, her health bar has been removed, meaning Leon will no longer have to helicopter-parent her with bandaids and mystery healing spray. This point sounds incredibly harsh, but I challenge you to go back and play Resident Evil 4 on the PS2 and avoid stabbing Ashley while she’s being carried away by a cultist and screaming “HELP LEON.”

Speaking of stabbing, Leon can now stab enemies in the head to avoid the previously mentioned issue. Ashley’s commands have also been reworked, albeit via vague “hang back” or “stay close” statements, and Leon can give her directions, such as opening a door to help prepare for danger. The only areas of concern that haven’t been seen yet are whether or not she can be stuffed in the dumpster so Leon can focus on clearing enemies. It sounds harsh, but it’s a small price to pay for salvation.

Who knows, maybe Ashley will get a gun this time around…please?

Mercenaries Mode Returns

Mercenaries Mode artwork
Image Source: PlayStation

A fun little side diversion unlocked by completing the main game, The Mercenaries will make its return for Resident Evil 4, although it will be a free post-launch DLC.

The Mercenaries mode is everything the main game is cranked up to 1000, as it plays like a horde mode. The goal is to kill as many enemies as possible in a set time while doing so will earn points as players strive for a high score. Boss enemies will appear at various points, nabbing a big boost in points earned, and once the timer is up, the run is over.

The Mercenaries has been a staple mode in many Resident Evil games, and it’s always been a good time, as players are thrown into various locales inspired by the game’s storyline. It was even more fun as there was a playable roster of characters instead of solely playing as the protagonist. It’ll be interesting to see how Capcom switches up the formula this time around, but here’s hoping co-op is implemented.

Baby Eagle is Missing Prequel

Baby Eagle Is Missing Is a Resident Evil 4 Text-Based Prequel
Image Source: Capcom

One of the coolest things about how long it’s been since Resident Evil 4 came out to the current day is that developers can employ new marketing strategies to build up the hype and engage fans. Enter Baby Eagle is Missing, an ARG (Alternate Reality Game) text-based prequel.

As mentioned, Baby Eagle is Missing serves as a prequel, presumably revealing where Leon starts his journey in Resident Evil 4. Players will take part is a text-based encounter, shifting through documents, searching for clues and solving puzzles that offer insight into the lore of the lauded game, with the name of this ARG referencing Ashley Graham, the President’s daughter. It’s such a cool little nod, and not to sound all boomer-like, but this is a neat little hype experience for new and old players ahead of the full launch.

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John Esposito
I love almost every type of video game, and when I'm not playing them, I'm writing about them... a lot. I have too many favorites to list so feel free to ask about them! Long live Ugly Sonic and the Resident Evil 3 Remake (this is a meme btw).