There’s a reason Resident Evil 4 is such a standout in the series. It shed years of traditional features—tank controls, static camera angles, and awkward pacing—and replaced them with shooting mechanics that redefined the action-horror genre. The Resident Evils that came before it are still classics, especially Resident Evil 2, but it’d be so much more fun to play if Leon Kennedy had some of his Resident Evil 4 moves. One fan created a short demo of what that would look like, and it’s as good as you’d suspect.
resident evil 4
A HD rendition of a classic game can introduce new audiences to missing links in gaming's evolutionary chain. Resident Evil 4 is one such link, a brave rethink of Resident Evil's original formula that retained the horror, the bosses, and Umbrella's carefully alphabetised viruses, but moved the series in a livelier, gorier direction. Resident Evil 4 HD finally has finally given us a worthy PC edition, as you'll discover in our review, but we wanted to talk a bit about why it's so good, and why it matters. Tim and Sam brought their thoughts to camera, as you'll see in the video below.
Leon S. Kennedy doesn't just blow the heads off of zombies and Ganados like a boss. He reloads his guns like a boss, too—and he was doing it before flashy reloads were cool. Shooters released since Resident Evil 4 have added progressively more detailed animations to their gun reloads, but Capcom set a high bar for reloads in 2005. There's something incredibly tactile about the way Leon slams a new round into the bolt-action rifle. And when he whip-cracks open the Broken Butterfly, violently jams new rounds into it, and slams it shut...well, at that point he's just showing off.
After playing through the new HD port of Resident Evil 4, I decided to capture Leon's dramatic reload animations in high quality GIF form. Almost every gun in the game is represented below, and the animations are embedded in bandwidth-efficient HTML5 form. Give one a click if you want to share a link or download the original GIF version.
Resident Evil 4 is nine years old, and still the best action game I've ever played. It's still thrilling when I nail four Ganados with a single shotgun blast, still tense when I face down a relentless Iron Maiden before it impales me with deadly spikes. I'm on edge even when I know I'm safe, still creeped out by the foreboding pressure Resident Evil 4 constantly exerts through its thumping industrial soundtrack and grim environments.
I've played through Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube at least three times. Today, Capcom announced that it’s bringing the ultimate, high definition version the game to Steam on February 27 for $20, meaning I’ll definitely play through it again. It’s really that good.