Resident Evil 4 (USA) ISO
Sony Playstation 2 / PS2 ISOsGenre: ShooterAction-AdventureRating: OFLC: MA15+, ESRB: M, CERO: 18+, BBFC: 15, CERO: D, PEGI: 18+
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Game Description & Reviews:
Resident Evil 4 was a pinnacle of effort on the part of Capcom. It is considered by many to be the best Resident Evil ever made, and the last one to stay true to its survival-horror roots. The most notable changes from previous installments were the true-3D environments. Taking advantage of this was a camera that now sat behind the player rather than at static angles. The enemies were also different, primarily consisting of "infected" rather than zombies. They could be just as frightening, and more dangerous with their ability to use weapons. These features, along with the less popular Quicktime events, carried over into Resident Evil 5. However, it's often said that RE5 was too far of a departure from its roots, despite being a great co-op game. For most seasoned fans, RE4 is the last truly great Resident Evil.
Resident Evil 4 is the fourth entry in the renowned and critically acclaimed Resident Evil series (also known as Biohazard in Japan) and one which is commonly seen as a turning point in the franchise. Gone were pre-rendered backgrounds, claustrophobic environments littered with undead creatures and the eclatant lack of ammunition and saving opportunities. Resident Evil 4 (henceforth abbreviated as RE4) does mostly away with the survival horror aspect which made the series popular and goes its own way to deliver a even more compelling and entertaining ride through ecstacy-filled 20 hours of gameplay.
RE4 is set in 2004, one year after the nefarious umbrella corporation, the main antagonist of the first three games (+ Code Veronica), has filed for bankruptcy and was disbanded under governmental orders for their involvement in the Arklay and Raccon City incidents. The plot follows Leon S. Kennedy, a former cop and one of the deuteragonists of RE2, in his search for Ashley Graham, the missing daughter of the acting US president. Leon, now working as special agent for the government under direct command of the president, follows a lead to rural Europe where she was apparently last sighted. What begins as a simple reconnaissance mission goes terribly awry when he is attacked by an axe-crazed local and his Spanish police escorts are killed horribly by the local residents. Now on his own, Leon has to try to survive in an extremely hostile environment where everything that moves is attempting to make mincemeat of him.
The plot is well-written, albeit with a bunch of cheesy dialogues, and contains a lot of twists which certainly will manage to surprise new-comers. It is by no means a complex story, with the motivation of the antagonists being clear-cut and the overall goal remaining straight-forward. In its simplicity lies the high entertainment level of the plot to new-comers and veterans alike, as it is easy to follow and provides a solid framework for the actual gameplay.
The gameplay, even more than the story, is what shines the brightest in this game. Capcom did away with the old-fashioned battle system of the former installments and overhauled the presentation form the get-go. No longer do you navigate the characters through fixed-angled pre-rendered environments and shoot blindly into dark alleys to hit what might be lurking there in wait for you. The camera is centered always behind Leon's shoulder and you control him from a third-person perspective. Your weapons are also outfitted with laser-sights to allow for pin-point accurate body shots. Enemies in this game are no brain-dead, slowly-strolling zombies but aggressive, bloodthirsty savages with a high level of intelligence, capable of coordinating attacks, surrounding and ambushing you, upping the challenge considerably further. Human and inhuman opponents alike react differently depending on where they are shot: headshots will make them hold their faces in pain, allowing for you to close in to send them flying with a well-timed roundhouse kick. Shooting at their hands will make them drop their weapons, whereas a shot to the knee-caps will make them fall to their knees, allowing for a finishing move to finish them off. Bosses also have weak points to exploits and it is up to you to deduce their weaknesses and devise the best countermeasures against them.
Weapons can be bought and upgraded from an in-game merchant by spending hard-earned (or looted) cash and is one of the main incentives to replay the game since new weapons will be unlocked upon completing the game. Furthermore, more unlockables include a harder difficulty mode (titled professional mode), new game modes (the highly addictive mercenaries mode and assignment ada) and even a new scenario exclusive to PS2 (and later Wii, PS3/Xbox 360 and PC) detailing Adas complimentary side of the story.
In the graphics department, the PS2 version is unfortunately the most inferior of all ports. It lacks proper lighting, has to contend with geometry losses and features lower polygon counts for character models and less detailed textures. The cutscenes are also pre-rendered, so changes in the wardrobe on subsequent playthroughs will not be reflected by in-game cutscenes. Nonetheless, it is a fairly good-looking game with fully 3D-rendered environment and nice character and monster designs.
The sound on the other hand is crisp and clear and the voice-acting has much improved over the excruciatingly unprofessional and cringeworthy examples set by the game's predecessors. Although the script still seem to be directly out of a B-movie, the voice actors deliver the lines with utmost professionalism, making it quite a pleasure to listen to.
All in all, RE4 is truly a ground-breaking game. It pioneered the coming of many third-person shooters (e.g. Gears of War) and was revolutionary in design and gameplay, making it the most critically acclaimed iteration of the RE franchise even up to today. And most important, it is a highly enjoyable game to play.
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