The Good, The Bad, The Unforgettable: Resident Evil 4

It’s October and Halloween is right around the corner and while the Gamecube isn’t necessarily a console that falls in the’throwback’ category, it is still the first innovative console that most millennials ever owned. It is also the only console that everyone agrees had the best rendition of Resident Evil 4 out of all four retail releases. The game’s ‘next generation’ graphics and story line were among the best in Resident Evil history and it shows across all of the positive reviews left by thousands of gamers since its release in 2005.

The game focuses on Leon Kennedy as he is tasked by the US Government to find and retrieve the president’s daughter who was kidnapped by cultists known as Los Illuminados  in a rural part of Spain. The game takes place after Resident Evil 2, a whole six years after the Racoon City destruction. It’s the first game in which Leon has a complete protagonist role and focuses on him not as a police officer, but as a man who has witnessed the destruction of the ‘zombie’ epidemic as well as what it can do to a person.

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The game is essentially one huge rescue mission as you soon begin to discover that not all is as it seems, (and as a Resident Evil game, is it ever?). As you start your search for Ashley Graham, you begin to come to the realization that there is something wrong with the people of the Spanish village that you are stranded at. Soon after, you are captured by the leader of the cultists, Osmund Saddler, and injected with a mind-controlling parasite known as Las Plagas and join forces with a former researcher named Luis Sera. You soon discover that Ashley is held captive at a nearby church and after saving her, come to realize the plan of Saddler is to inject Ashley with the same parasite so that when she returns home, she could inject her father, the president.

Although the story doesn’t really come full circle, seeing as THE PRESIDENT’S DAUGHTER WAS KIDNAPPED AND THEN BROUGHT BACK SAFELY WITH VISIBLE WOUNDS, but it’s still a fun game. The best part of the game is hen you continue to progress through this rural area of Spain and begin to fight the cultists that are under the control of Ramon Salazar, the eighth castellan of a fortress in Spain who appears to be a ten year old boy but has grayed hair and wrinkles.

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You soon find out that the person responsible for kidnapping Ashley is non other that Jack Krauser, a former police officer who worked alongside Leon but was believed to be killed in a helicopter crash two years prior. Of course, he wanted power and seeked out Albert Wesker who tasked him with going to Spain to steal a dominant strain of the mind-controlling parasite. Along the way, however, you meet with Ada Wong, who wants the strain  as well for a unknown reason, and helps you fight and kill Jack in order to obtain it. After the fight, she helps you and Ashley remove the parasite from your bodies but escapes in a helicopter as the former two escape in Ada’s jet ski.

The game is far from perfect, but it definitely holds it’s value as being one of the best Resident Evil games in the franchise’s history. It brings you a fascinating story starring Leon as he was meant to be portrayed as well as showcasing the complexity of the relationships between some of the franchise’s greatest characters.

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The game was recently re-released as a remastered port on the PS4 and Xbox One in anticipation for the upcoming Resident Evil 7 game. I would highly recommend that you check out this specific title in the series if you’ve never played a Resident Evil game before or have simply never played a good one.

 

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