Review – Resident Evil 4 (Switch)

What can I say about Resident Evil 4 that hasn’t been said yet? This game has single-handedly managed to change the entire scope of the AAA immediately following its release due to its amazing visuals, great production values, and its revolutionary over-the-should gameplay. Every single third-person action game released afterwards borrowed Resident Evil 4‘s gameplay style. The game was subsequently released for pretty much every single platform known to mankind, from Wii to Zeebo, sold millions, and was quickly considered a classic. Fourteen years after its debut, I’m finally tackling the game once more, this time on a portable system. I can finally take Resident Evil 4 on-the-go. Is this real life?

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Whaddya buoyin’?

The Switch version of Resident Evil 4 is a port of the remastered version released a few years ago for Xbox One and Playstation 4. It doesn’t feature all of the improvements present in those platforms, but it manages to get the job done in its own twisted way. While the game features the same revamped textures and improved framerate from other versions, its resolution is less than impressive in both docked and portable mode. That single factor is redeemed by one little detail: if you’re buying Resident Evil 4 on the Switch, which is not a cheap investment to begin with, you’re doing so because of the advantageous portability aspect, so playing the game on 600p on a small screen isn’t that much of an issue. It still looks pretty good, or as good as a game from 2005 can possibly be.

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Sir, you’re in desperate need of a dentist. And a new wardrobe.

If you’re looking for new additions to the core Resident Evil 4 experience, all you’re getting is portability and one new control scheme, pronto. Nothing else that has been added in any other edition of the game is featured here, such as the motion-based controls introduced in the Wii version. There has been a lot of debate regarding the quality of this port given its pricetag and lack of features, as well as the fact that in some aspects it did age. Especially when it comes to getting used to the now somewhat dated control scheme, the Gamecube-era visuals, and putting up with escorting Ashley around.

Honestly, I do acknowledge that the pricetag is steep, but at the same time, once I started playing the game in the backseat of a car while travelling to the countryside, all day to day troubles disappeared from my mind. Playing the game on-the-go almost felt like playing it for the first time, yet again. Killing my first ganado, hearing them curse at me in Spanish, killing the big mutated fish, meeting Salazar and Ada; the magic is still there. I didn’t mind the lack of gyro controls that much, but that’s more of a matter of taste. With the exception of Breath of the Wild, I usually turn that option off when a game allows me to.

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Un forastero!

There’s little else that needs to be said. This is Resident Evil 4, but on-the-go. The game does show some signs of age, but it’s still reasonable pretty and very much playable. It might have its issues, such as some framerate drops and a bunch of annoying QTEs, but the fact that you can now play the fully remastered version of one of the most important games ever made is enough to warrant a purchase. Like the merchant would say, “I’ll buy it at a high price!”

 

Graphics: 7.5

New additions include improved textures and 60 frames per second. The game still basically looks like a Gamecube title, however, and hasn’t aged as gracefully as the Resident Evil remake or Resident Evil Zero.

Gameplay: 8.0

Resident Evil 4‘s over-the-shoulder shooting mechanics were groundbreaking for 2005 standards. While the gameplay is still completely fine and functional nowadays, it takes a few minutes to get used to the control scheme once again.

Sound: 9.0

The same eerie soundtrack as always, as well as excellent voice acting and memorable quotes from the Spanish townsfolk.

Fun Factor: 8.5

Resident Evil 4 is still a blast to play and being able to take it wherever you go is a blessing. Escorting Ashley is still annoying, though.

Final Verdict: 8.0

Resident Evil 4 is available now on PS2, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Gamecube, Wii, Switch, Zeebo and mobile.

Reviewed on Switch.

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