Resident Evil 4 (Wii)

by Patrick

October 15, 2009

Resident Evil 4 was already well known by the time it was ported to the Wii at the end of May 2007. RE4 has been regarded as the "pinnacle of its existence", and one of the best games of its generation. You play as Leon Kennedy, and your mission is to rescue the President's daughter from a group of terrorists. As it turns out, the group is a cult known as the "Los Illuminados" and your mission becomes more complex than you originally imagined.

This game is a steal at 29.99 – a great bargain. For a game this good, it would be worth the $60 but you get it at half that price. Fans of Resident Evil will see quite a large change: no actual zombies. Your main enemies are parasite-controlled villagers. This is very disappointing for some. Another change for this game compared to other Resident Evil games is that there is a real lack of backtracking. You rarely return to old areas, almost constantly moving ahead to new locations. Now, the graphics for the Resident Evil games have always been on par. This game is no exception: for a Gamecube game. The Wii, being roughly twice as strong as the Gamecube, could have advanced the graphics for this game much further than what it turned out to be. However, I've put about 100 hours total into this game and never had a glitch or a bug. The controls are also very intuitive. You have plenty of freedom and with the Wii controls; I daresay the game becomes easier – not harder. The Wii aimer is a lifesaver as well. Something else I like about this game is that Nintendo didn't throw a gimmick in: you only need the remote and nunchuk. No other purchase necessary. There are Wii Commands at certain points in the game, and I think that's a good thing. It just pushes you deeper into the experience.

What else is a Resident Evil game FAMOUS for? Being creepy. This game is certainly creepy. The music is right on the dot- and the sky is constantly a dreary gray. There is rain and fog, and dimly lit corridors. The enemies drag their bodies and hiss at you, and with the Wii controls dragging you into the game, you feel more of the experience than you would with a normal controller. So YES people, this game is scary- especially the first time playing through it. This is a different type of fear than what fans of Resident Evil are used to. While there is suspense, a lot of the wariness comes from fear of being attacked by hordes of enemies and having to think extremely quickly before you are ambushed.

This is a game with plenty of cinema cut scenes to it as well. The voice acting for this game is superb, I'd say just about perfect. The voices also fit with the characters– although the script is a bit bland. The sound effects really add to the atmosphere. You walk and hear footsteps. You go through water, and you hear splashing. Everything is in perfect sync; so don't worry about the sound quality for this game.

You earn money throughout the game and spend it when you run into the Merchant that appears at various points throughout the game. He sells supplies, new guns, new upgrades, and occasionally healing items. He'll buy any items you have to sell as well for extra money. What he doesn't sell, however, is ammunition. You're on your own in that regard- and sometimes you are very aware of it.

Now, is this game fun to play? Yes, because you have a variety of baddies to kill with a variety of weapons. The monsters and bosses are a lot of fun to fight. Villagers, human-sized bugs, giant behemoths, monstrous sea creatures, parasites, coyotes, and you can even shoot at passing crows. The boss battles force you to either strategize with cunning or dive in with your firepower like a badass. Now…what kind of firepower are we talking exactly? Handguns, shotguns, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, mine throwers, a giant hunting knife, you can even use chicken eggs as weapons if you want to. Not to mention you can upgrade your weapons throughout the game to increase their damage, their capacity, their reload times, and so on.

Every time you want to switch a weapon, you need to pause the game and select your new weapon from your inventory. This can be good or bad: it gives you time to think, but also chops the game up a little bit.

For the majority of the game you escort Ashley around, an NPC that doesn't fight. So basically you have to keep yourself alive and Ashley alive at the same time. She can get in the way and is nothing but dead weight, which really prevents you from taking as many risks as you may enjoy. You can give her commands to stay or follow, or hide. So you can usually have her hide somewhere, fight the baddies, and then have her return to you.

There is a storyline that can keep you on your toes at times, but don't expect to find some sort of deep message at the end. It's not complex and there aren't any real twists to it either. As far as the storyline goes, it's Point A to Point B. It's good enough for what this game is trying to do, since RE4 focuses mostly on gameplay. The action is almost relentless, most of the enemies come in waves and some of the waves seem to go on and on and on. Not to mention you can only save at specific locations. This means you better be prepared for the long haul if you're about to enter a new location.

Once you beat Resident Evil 4, don't think you're finished. You just unlocked the sidequests! You play the game over as a different character and see the story from their perspective. Then you unlock different costumes for the characters, new weapons, and new modes. You get to keep your equipment at the end of the game so when you make a new file so it's fun to rampage through in a fiery rage of bullets and explosions. You can also try the Hard Mode, where your skills are really put to the test.

This is a game that provides the action, the gameplay, the minigames, and the experience. Once you beat it once, you have plenty of more to do. Remember, I said I've put in about 100 hours total in the game and I still have a weapon or two to unlock. Famitsu gave this game a 38/40, IGN gave it a 9/10, and Gamespot gave it a 9.1/10. Patrick from Gamerhandles gives it a 9.5/10!