Resident Evil 4 HD Review
To fully understand my rating for this game, a little history is needed. Resident Evil 4 is my favourite video game of all time. I bought it the day it came out on the Gamecube, played it multiple times and it became my favourite video game of all time. I then purchased the PS2 and Wii versions of the game on their perspective launch days. While the PS2 port lost a bit in the graphics department, it was still awesome and the added content made the purchase worth it. With the Wii version, the addition of precision controls, mixed with fluid graphics made it the best way to play Resident Evil 4. So, when I heard it was being brought over to the Xbox 360, in HD nonetheless, I was extremely excited, expecting to award the game a 10/10, just like I had done three times prior. Unfortunately, it doesn’t live up to that excitement.
A small part of the disappointment stems from the look. In a game touted as being HD, I was expecting a noticeable difference in the graphics. Well, there really isn’t one. Running the Wii and Xbox 360 versions right next to each offers the same experience. Considering that Capcom is charging $20 for the game (after I’ve already spent $170 on the previous versions), more time should have been spent to make the game truly HD.
One thing they didn’t spend any time on was the gameplay. This was a great decision because the game is still as amazing the fourth time around as it was the first time around. Fighting the lake monster is still a heart pounding experience, meeting El Gigante for the first time is still a technical marvel, and the knife fight with Krauser is still as intense as ever. Really, the only problem I happened upon while playing was getting used to the somewhat awkward stop and shoot mechanic, but that disappeared within the first ten minutes. So, the gameplay is as perfect as ever, it begs for multiple playthroughs, and gives you tons to do after the main campaign, but what could the biggest problem be with the game?
Well, the terrible use of achievements hurt my overall fun with the game. This may seem like blowing a small problem out of proportion, but when you buy a game for the fourth time, you expect some high quality work to be put into it. You see, since the game only has 12 achievements (with pretty much all of them being story based), I never felt like I was being rewarded for anything. There was never an achievement for fully upgrading a gun, beating the game in a certain amount of time, doing anything in the extra modes, and worst of all, nothing for saving the dog at the beginning of the game. I simply cannot forgive the under-utilization of achievements and if they would have done a better job, I would have given the game a 9.5.
So, Resident Evil 4 is still my favourite video game of all time, but this ‘HD’ version of the game is the worst one I’ve played (I stayed away from the horrific PC version). No noticeable graphical change and a poor use of achievements hurt my experience but don’t let that discourage you. If you have never played Resident Evil 4 before, this is a great way to play one of the best games of all time.