Released in 2005 for the Gamecube Resident Evil 4 was met with critical acclaim. Not only did it refreshed a series that was on the verge of death, it also changed gaming forever. You can't play a third person game without the camera being over the shoulder. Even in the earliest builds of the game it had the over the shoulder aiming.
You play as Leon Kennedy from Resident Evil 2. After the destruction of Raccoon City and the end of Umbrella, Leon now works for the government and his first task was to rescue the presidents daughter. If this game was made to day it would be a six hours to get to story point A to Story Point B. Instead it drags the story into a snails pace and that is one of the greatest strengths. The variety here is amazing. Where you go and what you do is not the same as you did an hour before. The story is strong and the characters are memorable if cliche. Instead of the Zombies and T-Virus you come across an ancient parasite called the Las Plagas. Where Zombies was dumb and slow moving, the infected can be smart and fast. They will give everything they have to kill you. Fire, Pitchforks, Dynamite, crossbows, chainsaws, and a few more. They will surround on you and will, in every opportunity arrives, slice your head off. Along with the main story of Leon protecting Ashley, The President's Daughter, there are a few more storylines. Most notably from a Woman in Red working for Albert Wesker.
Another Variety you have is the enemies. From the lone villagers that will choke you, to a frighting monster called The Regenerators. Each stage has it's own set of things to shoot. And shooting you will. Unlike past games where ammo is scarce, this took a controversial chose to make it a Action game. While it's an action game, it still has fantastic atmosphere and the scares from games past. Unlike Resident Evil 5 where the atmosphere is gone and the action is just that, Action. This is what the game has Variety. From the characters you meet, to the granados, to the monsters, to even the weapons you have.
The weapons are the star of the show. Each has there own handle and stats. My personal weapon of choice is the Blacktail. A handgun you get during the second stage of the game. You can upgrade your weapons from the money and treasures you find and use them at the Merchant. The Merchant will sell, buy, and upgrade your weapons. This leads to a light RPG element to series for the first time. Another thing that can be upgrade for the first time is your attache case.. It's in a grid based inventory where how much you can carry is based of how many more boxes you have left. By the end of the game you will have a case big enough to carry all your stuff like guns, ammo, health, and still have plenty to room left. Another thing unlike past games is the ammo. Ammo is high in this game, but it is possible to run out. When this happens it becomes a panic race to find ammo. The enemies can fill up a room and you will need to quick to finish everyone off as well as protecting Ashley. Ashley is smart enough to stay behind you and never really lag behind. You can tell her to stay behind or hide. Most of the game is an escort mission, but Ashley makes it easier. There will be a few times where you have to cover her, but as long as you keep your cool and makes the shots count, that to is easier. The gameplay is classic Resident Evil with a new camera. You walk or run around the area. When you shoot you stand in place. You don't shoot and move at the same time and it adds to the tension. This is, and should, be a practice where every Resident Evil game should have.
When the lengthy game is over, 15-20 hours, there still much more to do. There is The Mercenaries, where you are set in a stage and you try to kill as much as you can in a time frame. Assignment Ada, a non canonical story with Ada Wong as the playable character. Separate Way, A canonical story of Ada Wong and her doings in the events during Resident Evil 4. Along with the game modes you can start the game again with all your upgrades and pick ups from the last game. This makes replayability to high levels.
The sound is a mix bag. The voice acting can rage from pretty good to OK. The writing can also range from good to downright bad. Sometimes the sounds will sound muffled and mute and other times it can be clean and crisp. The so called "HD" is a lie. This is Capcom's way to sucking people into buying the game. It's a lazy port, but damn it the game is worth it. But, is it worth the 20 bucks they ask for this? Some would say "Yes", some would say "No". I'm split on it. I say "Yes" just the fact that you get so much for 20 bucks. 4 game modes including singleplayer with ton of replayability. And "No" just the fact that it's lazy. There is no HD upgrades whatsoever. The only thing that is new is the Leaderboards. The game didn't change, the graphics really didn't change, not even the sound is changed. It's the same game you played before. And for some inexcusable reason. I'm OK with it. It should be cheaper and I won't blame you if you didn't get it because of the price. If you have the systems it came out on, pick those up instead. They are cheaper than this. If you don't, I have no qualm about you getting this, just wait for the price to come down, if Capcom decides to. If you decide to get it, it's a reminder of the past generation of games. From gameplay from level design. It's all expertly crafted by one of gamings greatest name and the Godfather of Survival Horror, Shinji Mikami.