Resident Evil 4 Remake is embracing its eccentric roots with open arms

Resident Evil 4 Remake looks like it’s shaping up to be something very special, thanks to Capcom’s latest info dump at the last Resident Evil Showcase.

Resident Evil 4, coming to PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC early next year, got its most thorough deep dive yet, closing out the October 20 Resident Evil Showcase with multiple trailers and an abundance of all-new details.

New footage of the remake treads a fine line between the familiar and the fresh. The intro for example, in which Leon first encounters the parasitic Ganado villagers, has been greatly expanded. No longer is it one guy tending a fireplace around the corner. It’s now a Resident Evil Village-esque tour of a decrepit house, with Leon exploring an all-new basement section before encountering the (presumably) first villager of the game.

Capcom reins in the new in exchange for the old when it comes to the iconic village square survival, though. The layout is practically identical to the original game and plays out like you’d expect if you’re familiar with the Gamecube classic. There are some positive changes, though. The chainsaw-wielding Dr. Salvador looks far more threatening, with frenzied eyes staring from holes poked in his sackcloth hood.

Everyone is here

Throughout the Resident Evil 4 showcase, the hits just kept coming. Fans like me wondered just how much the remake will alter – or potentially water down – the iconic goofiness of the series’ fourth entry. But the majority of what made RE4 so special seems to be intact.

Sans Jack Krauser, we get a look at all the game’s returning villains, including village chief Bitores Mendez and even the hilariously pompous Ramon Salazar and his Xenomorph-like Verdugo bodyguards. In turn, that means that arguably the original’s most outlandishly unrealistic section, the castle, will be returning in Resident Evil 4 Remake.

I could go on about how much I appreciate the remake’s commitment to ridiculousness, including the return of bonkers bosses like Del Lago and El Gigante. But the one thing I’m seriously happy to see return is the iconic merchant. 

This cockney swashbuckler was always a sight for sore eyes in the original game. His swathe of wares and charmingly rough British accent were what made repeat playthroughs a joy. Capcom must have thought that RE4 without the merchant would be like Resident Evil 2 without the giant sewer crocodile: unplayable.

But perhaps my favorite thing about Resident Evil 4 Remake is that it’s not without some fresh ridiculousness of its own. Yes, Leon’s trademark roundhouse kick is back. But he can now also parry with his knife. Yep, pitchforks and chainsaws can be swatted away with a flick of the blade. It’s delightfully absurd. In other words, a perfect fit for Resident Evil 4.

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