Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition
When Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition hit the shelves, the shelves had been soaking
in the G-rated goodness for months on end, with nothing to worry about from
their neighbours but banana peels and red shells.
Then, out of the darkness, one of the bloodiest, scariest and most mature
releases of all time lumbered onto the system seeking an audience with
braaaaiiiiins that require greater stimulation. I talk, of course, of the legendary
Resident Evil 4. A game that, like its main protagonists, refuses
Spreading itself slowly from the GameCube, to the PS2, and then to the PC, it
then (in a way) done a full circle and returned to a Nintendo console
and gave gamers the choice of the original release, or a whiz-bang widescreen,
motion-controlled option. So what has changed?
The game itself is a modern classic. For those who have been buried six-feet
under the ground for the last, oh... decade or so, the Resident Evil
games are the leaders of the survival horror genre. Their ever-growing
mythology and twisting, interlinking storylines originally revolved around
the T-Virus - a biological weapon gone wrong that turns everyone into Sylvester Stallone look-alikes. But Res4 takes a slight departure from the
Content-wise, the game contains all that was found in the PS2 and PC versions
of the game, which were slightly different to the GameCube release. It
included five new chapters for a second character. Ada Wong, a returning hottie
from Resident Evil 2, whose part in the overall narrative is strengthened as a
result. There is also an easy mode and a slight addition to the arsenal.
Beloved by critics and punters alike, Resident Evil 4’s key success is
presentation. Simly oozing atmosphere thanks to some outstanding graphics and
a fantastic score, its story keeps you hooked from the cinematic opening
sequence to its bloody end and the scares throughout are genuine. Some of the
bosses in this game do really need to be seen – and fought – to be believed. All
of this carries across to the Wii version intact, heightened by an improved
frame-rate, and 16:9 480p resolution. That said, the graphics themselves are
pretty much on par with the original GameCube release of 2005, which may
cause some of you graphics whores to have fits of rage. The game is still a
stunner, to be sure, but there’s no doubt that it’s beginning to show its age.
Capcom has never really got character movement right in the Resident Evil
games, and the Wii version does not fix that. You cannot strafe, and you cannot
turn the camera by moving the Wiimote to the edge of the screen. This results
in a constant need to stop, aim, shoot, move, stop – rather than one seamless
action – and panicky redirection of the camera as enemies bear down on you in
ridiculous numbers. You can argue how the restriction in movement adds to the
suspense, but in reality it just sucks and makes coming to terms with the
controls no minor hurdle, even if the pay-off is so very worth it.
With all that said, aiming the Wiimote to shoot is far superior to analogue
sticks, and a hell of a lot more fun. Other motion-based additions such as
reloading via an up-and down movement (the coolest way to load a shotgun),
slashing your knife with a sudden flick of the Wiimote, shaking and wrestling
the remote to beat off enemy grabbles, and matching movements during the
action sequences to escape danger are all beneficial to the experience, too.
So yes, the motion controls and the 16:9 480p resolution do technically make
this the best version of Resident Evil 4 to date. If you haven’t played either
version of this game, then you have no business in calling yourself a ‘core’
gamer that we hear so much about.
A remade classic. It's no reinvention, but it's the best place for newcomers
who want to be introduced to the series.