Resident Evil 4 Remake Chainsaw Demo Impressions

Great start and appears to be everything we could have hoped for

If the Resident Evil 4 remake turns out to be every bit as good as the demo, then we’re in for quite a treat.

Not that I ever doubted Capcom…

The remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 were very impressive, and showed just how effective it can be to take a well known classic game and fully revamp it to look and function like a current gen game. Capcom was able to retain all the best elements of the originals, while updating and modernizing the controls, and putting shiny new visuals over everything. But the important part of the 2 and 3 remakes wasn’t just that they looked really great, but Capcom also successfully revamped the gameplay to eliminate the “tank controls” of the past in favor of something that felt in line with other modern over-the-shoulder perspective action games. This kind of drastic change is not as easy to do well as you might imagine, but Capcom nailed it.

So going into the demo I already had high hopes, given how great the source material was, and Capcom’s track record for the prior remakes, and Capcom exceeded my every expectation.

You can see in my demo playthrough below, just how masterfully the remake was created to take familiar environments from the original game, but then rearrange them and crank up the visuals so much, that they are both familiar and new at the same time.

There was some controversy over the intense rain effects previously shown by Capcom in a clip of gameplay from RE4. Some fans complained the effects looked too intense and would be distracting during gameplay. Capcom acknowledged the feedback and has promised a day one patch to adjust the effect (and probably other small undiscovered bugs as well).

I played the demo on the PS5, and while the audio for the game is excellent overall, the true icing on the cake is Capcom used the speaker in the Dual Sense controller to simulate certain sound effects in the game, to great effect. While things like reloading and knife hits seem obvious, I was pleasantly surprised when the radio audio from the deceased police officer in the basement came through the speaker on my Dual Sense, which just added an additional level of realism to the experience, and make the moment even more memorable.

The gameplay is also tight and very well honed, as you would expect, and improvement to the counter system is intuitive and really adds a lot to RE4’s already excellent gameplay (which had previously been improved from the original GameCube version when Capcom released the HD versions on modern consoles).

And most importantly, I think the demo is the most fun I’ve ever had with Resident Evil 4. I never played the original when it first came out on GameCube, so although I’ve always enjoyed it, it didn’t hit me as hard as it apparently did other games who played it when it first released. The remake, however, really seems like the most perfect version of the game thus far, and makes me very excited for the game’s full release later this month.

If you’ve been on the fence about getting the game day one, I can assure you won’t be disappointed if you do. I know I certainly will be.

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