I get the feeling I'm going to catch a lot of shit for this.
Resident Evil 4 is often lauded as one of the finest video games ever made, a masterpiece which defined the 6th generation of consoles, as Ocarina of Time did with the 5th. It's heralded as inventing the modern third person shooter, and recasting the mold of the survival horror genre.
None of that is necessarily incorrect. I just don't think it's a very good game.
If for no other reason then to tie me to a stake and set me on fire, please read on.
PROBLEM 1: STORY
Let's start here, as there isn't that much to work with anyways. Plot has never been the high point of a Resident Evil game. It has
one, typically thought of as a riff of the sorts of shitty zombie flicks one might see while channel surfing at 2 am. Regardless of whether of not that's true, the series has, from the start, imbued that plot with several basic ideas that fans have subconsciously responded positively to. Anti-capitalistic sentiments, Corporate accountability, Familial Relationships, The fight of Survival, it's all in
there, and it's what we're responding to, not the b-movie plot.
Except for Resident Evil 4. Yeah, there's some subtext there, religious exploitation comes to mind, the Luis sub-plot has a little redemption thrown in there for good measure. But those aren't the things that had been driving the series up to the point. The previous game ends with Chris Redfield literally saying "We've got to destroy Umbrella, now! Once and for all!"
pictured: broken promises
So why does 4 open with a text screen explained that the Umbrella corporation dissolved after having their business licenses revoked? I wanted to destroy Umbrella, now, once and for all! In two paragraphs of text, Capcom had quietly removed the driving force of the entire series from the picture. It would be like JRR Tolkien quickly scrawling at the beginning of Return of the King
, "And so Sauron, weary of a lifetime of war, retired to the bahamas with his long-time girlfriend Janice."
Resident Evil 5's saving grace story-wise is finally resolving the Chris Redfield vs. Albert Wesker storyline. When the credits roll on that game, it's more emotionally satisfying simply because it plays off 10 years of emotional investment. It's not profound, you won't cry, but it's a hell of a lot more than the paltry offering Resident Evil 4 makes.
SUB-PROBLEM 1A: LEON KENNEDY IS A DOUCHE
This one's 100% personal opinion, but Leon Kennedy is a real shitheel. According to my sources, Leon Kennedy popularity is due to his 'mysterious and aloof nature'. But see, there's a thing called Character development that is traditionally the mark of a good story.
Here's what we know about Leon after Resident Evil 2: Nothing.
Here's what we know about Leon after Resident Evil 4: Fucking Nothing.
Where's your mysterious and aloof nature now?
PROBLEM 2: GAMEPLAY
Here's the problem with this problem, I like the gameplay of Resident Evil 4. Everything nice people say about it, about it being the missing link between the modern third person shooter, and the old incarnation of the genre, is absolutely correct. But one of the most common criticisms of the sequel is that it feels old, dated, antiquated, etc. "I want to shoot while I move!" screams a passing gamer. "It's not scary anymore!" screams another. First of all, Resident Evil 4 was never scary, it was tense. For a man outnumbered, and facing smarter and more capable enemies than ever before, Leon Kennedy is rarely in any real danger. Shoot them in the knee caps, hit them while they're down, pause occasionally to rescue the incompetent twat, repeat.
I had a hard time finding Ashley Graham pictures that weren't porn
For Resident Evil 4 to be a classic, it's raw gameplay should be timeless. Resident Evil 5 complicates that. Either 5 is good, and that gameplay is
timeless, or 5 is bad, and that gameplay was never that good to begin with.
And the quick time events! Oh the quicktime events! Praised initially for the innovative technique to keep the controller in the players hands at all times, dismissed now as a shitty mechanic designed specifically
to frustrate and anger the player. Watch a cut scene! Button prompt appears! Scene skips for a moment while result is loaded! Die! Reload save! Innovation at it's finest!
You could write essays on effective and ineffective uses of the quicktime events in games, I'm not going to get into the mechanic on a whole, but I will say their utilization in Resident Evil 4 is weak, to say the least. Typically in a game, death is the result of player mistake. Maybe they took a bad route and backed themselves into a corner against insurmountable odds. Maybe they misjudged how many enemies were in a room, and were shot down moving from cover to cover. Death in a RE4 quicktime event comes from you panicking and failing to hit one button. Your reward for success is getting to continue
watching a cutscene. This is not compelling game play.
PROBLEM 3: ETC.
This post is already too long, so I'll speed ball through my last few points. Game critics tend to be hyperbolic when first encountering a game. GameFan called Final Fantasy VII "Quite possibly the greatest game ever made". Gamespy said Mass Effect "will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the greatest games ever made". Both of those things sound silly now. And while RE4 laid down the groundwork for the modern shooter, it's Gears of War that is more shamelessly copied these days.
The voice acting is terrible. Period.
Resident Evil 5 improves the RE4 formula by doing nothing. Resident Evil 4 wasn't' scary, so RE5 doesn't even try to be. RE4s quicktime events were too frequent and annoying, so RE5 has a token amount of them. Clearly Capcom didn't think RE4 was as good as it got, so why should you?
Seriously. She might be retarded. This is in poor taste. read