Great Games, Terrible Legacy - Resident Evil 4

Tom Mc Shea takes a look at how the legacy of Resident Evil 4 has shaped the survival horror genre.

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942 comments
Alexander2cents
Alexander2cents

I never seen a scary Resident Evil game besides number 2 and the remake. Resident Evil 4 by any standards is a generic shooter with survival horror elements. If Doom where released today it would be considered a survival horror game. These are the facts people. Remember it. 


Resident Evil 4 is a fun game. But by little means is it ever really scary. 

santinegrete
santinegrete

If this a new line of videos, do Half Life or CoD4 next Tom.

santinegrete
santinegrete

What I liked about Dead Space and RE4 was that, as earliers RE games, enemies were gruesome and brutal, and usually a gun not suited for the job could lead you to defeat, or a severe waste of limited resources. This new action and horror blend took elements of old Survival Horror games and made it work along with something essential as the challenging enemies. Wish they could understand that.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

This is one of the greatest games of all time, and the legacy it left was a great one. Tom was a complete fool, and his wishy-washy, ridiculous opinions are what (thankfully) got him laid off from Gamespot. He will never work for a major game site again.

Gen007
Gen007

Yup Ive always found it ironic how RE4 was one of the best games ever made and yet at the same time the main cause of the death of eh horror genre. At least they are starting to make sort of a comeback although i can't say im a giant fan of the new style that everyone seems to be doing. You know the cheap jump scare collectible amusement park thing. Examples being slenderman or daylight  even the new silent hill teaser does it. 


Thats cool and all but it's already played out imo I want to see a real return  survival horror. I personally feel the original horror games were amazing they did it right and are still the best. They just need to get rid of a few common complaints like the bad controls and cheesy story / voice acting and bad camera angles. Recent games fixed these issues but we never truly went back to horror they fixed the cameras and controls but used it to make a new sub genre of action game instead.

IanNottinghamX
IanNottinghamX

This is where the director makes all the difference though. Shinji Mikami didnt do any more RE after 4 so thats why it shifted to action. and the other games youve mentioned werent directed by horror game directors...

naryanrobinson
naryanrobinson

"A zombie caved at your feet when you landed an explosive headshot".

Zombie?  Tut tut, Tom.


Also, I think perhaps one of the main reasons why Resident Evil 4 was so fun to play is the same reason the original Doom was:  Each enemy had a pattern, and alone they were trivial, but together they were daunting.  Engrave their attack patterns deeply into your brain, however, and learning their habits so completely that you know their moves almost before they make them, and even huge crowds of enemies could be danced around without taking a hit or even firing a bullet.

Absolutely sublime.

Darkeus
Darkeus

Welcomed combat? In Dead Space 1 and 2? Are you nuts???

Enforcer246
Enforcer246

Yall do know that RE5 is the same as 4 right?5 is just a little more action oriented.

AzatiS
AzatiS

We like it or not , personally i liked RE4 a bit , RE4 was the start of downhill for RE series. Period

dangermouse2k
dangermouse2k

More like Resident Evil 4 has shaped all succeeding over-the-shoulder shooters.

dino77c
dino77c

Zombi U is the only recent real survival horror game

chun-IDGAF-li
chun-IDGAF-li

silent hill homecoming was awesome! im sure it took some farts outta you

uncle-link
uncle-link

I too don't blame RE 4! In my opinion, I would say it was the uncontrolled evolution of the industry and corporations with dollar signs for eyes demanding ways to quickly generate revenue at the expense of quality! What? I'm not sure even I understood what I wrote!

GameSptop
GameSptop

People say RE6 sucks, yet they don't explain why it sucks... not defending it, I just need an explanation of the downfall of this series.


I thought ZombiU is scary because of the sound system and a lot of other stuff.

Chris_Tofu
Chris_Tofu

Resident Evil died with Raccoon City.

jayd02
jayd02

Closer and closer to action movies, and call of duty is what happened.  Dead Space was terrifying to me.  I was always afraid of what was going to come next.  Even when you think you're safe you aren't.  I was adding on to my gun and when I get done and turn around, what do you know a monster.  I was battling something done a long corridor and when I step inside of a room, a monster was there to give me a warm welcome.  Dead Space 2 was good for the mechanics that it brought in rather then the environment that it was presented.  I'm pretty sure that Dead Space 3 will do the same.  

AzatiS
AzatiS

@jayd02 Totally agree here. Dead space 1 was a phenomenal survival horror game , fantastic atmosphere. RE5/6 on the other hand , not even close. I dont get why Tom thinks DS was not fearful game at all ! Maybe he got ear problems , cant hear too well those creepy sound!! No sound = no fear.


Ds2 was okish DS3 a joke ... DS1 was amazing , simply amazing.

jayd02
jayd02

I would have to disagree with you on the original Dead Space

LoganWesker
LoganWesker

after finally finishing RE6..RE has a long way to go to restore what it used to be

LoganWesker
LoganWesker

RE4 is a good game but incredibly overrated and it did kill the old school RE forever 

sochio
sochio

si fue un gran juego

XxTheEvilxX
XxTheEvilxX

RE 4 was and is a great title. The original Dead Space is sweet too. I love the RE Remake on Game Cube. It was a classic, but I am fine with RE 4. It may have changed survival horror, but it was still horrifying. The problem is that RE 5 and RE 6 went off a cliff. They saw Activision raking in a billion dollars on a single title and tried to copy it. At least RE 5 bared some resemblance to RE4 (barely). But RE 6... what a load of crap that is. I still regret my pre-order. Yes, I played it... a lot. And I still hate it. I will not preorder RE 7. I will wait to hear from the fans on sites like this first. Lesson learned. I miss the horror that used to make these games fun. I still can't get the twisted, dark amusement park out of my head from Silent Hill 3. Or turning a corner in the Residence during the RE Remake and seeing a some dude swinging from a noose. You enter the bathroom, exit, and he is gone. Only to show up right behind you. That is what I miss. Even RE 4 had a great balance with the creepy rooms that would trap you with chanting cultists trying to cut you down. Now Dead Space is going co-op too. Why does everything have to be co-op?? If I want real co-op... I will pop in something like Borderlands 2. I don't blame COD. I blame the Capcom and other developers for not having the guts to believe in their own product. You CAN be different and successful. See Dark Souls or even better... Demon Souls (which is still heavily played today).

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

I don't blame RE4 for what has become of survival horror. I blame Capcom and their inability to look beyond their greed, I blame people and I blame COD(sorry COD but this sadly is on you too)

enrique_marrodz
enrique_marrodz

The key, for me, is overpower. You don't need a lot of guns and super weapons. They don't fit in a horror game. Also, cheap scares are not the main point, sometimes a simple room can be scaring and a promise of what to expect. Good art design, some mind tricks, the fact that you'll be dead if you don't watch yourself, and that your dead will be, likely, a horrible one.

There's nothing wrong with action games in the supernatural realm, but just don't try to label them like "horror" games.

blkgsr
blkgsr

to start off ive played most of the games in the RE series except the rail shooters, I do love those games but most of the scares were from bad controls and camera angles, if they made a game like that now it would get bashed on that alone, amnesia was a scary game and the new one coming out forgot the name looks really good, hope DS3 is good liked 1 and 2 so im sure it will be fun. All im saying its gonna be hard to make a game like silent hill and re the way they were, it gonna fill more action oriented just because  your not moving like a tank, but i will always have love for those games(still can remember the first time those damn dogs break through the windows scared the hell out of me on RE and the great voice acting)

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

Well the key here is within the names look who was behind re4 no not capcom but Shinji Mikami look that name up and one can see why his games have been good the fact is survival horror games are not dieing off or rather turning into survival horror action but if done right can still be very fun just take a look at Shadows of the DAMNED

2w-sephiroth
2w-sephiroth

I lost my interesting in the RE franchise after 5. Having Co-op was so annoying. There was however a lot of things I liked about it. But yea, its more of the same.

jake_wesker
jake_wesker

i really love RE4, it is my favorite video game ! but yes is not the same from the first resident evil games, the survival horror has already end. But Im happy with the new concept of survival horror that RE4 has.

blaze_craze
blaze_craze

i just finished it AGAIN in 10 hours, this time from the playstation network lol

Compact87
Compact87

Why is more action a problem? What about doom 3, it had alot of action and, god it was scary!! RE4 was preety scary too, remmember regenerators? They doesnt freak you out but u get that creepy feeling when they walk towards you... those guys had it, dunno what but i enjoyed fighting them. Somehow, less ammo i had i was more scared so maybe difficulty could increase fear level... I have a friend who plays every game on easiest level, how can he enjoy game, how can he be frighted by monsters who take 2 shots to die. And then he uses his experience to judge game he played? We, players, are spoiled.

mcarloss89
mcarloss89

People want to complian about the changing of video game series.....change is inevitable...its going to happen,  RE6 is a great game....yes it has tons of action in it but what a bunch of people overlook is the fact that there are 3 campaigns split up to provide the gamers with each of the genres of resident evil (i.e, Leon-survival horror, Chris- Action & Jake- A mix of the two). People complain about petty instances in video games because they want them made for just them, well its not going to happen. For example Call Of Duty has been horrible for years but alot of people continue to brag on it like its the best thing since sliced bread when the makers of Call Of Duty add one or two uninteresting features upon every release/sequel of the next upcoming game. Game styles change for the better, some change for the worst, but complaining about how it used to be won't change anything....just go rent a game or borrow it from someone, play it, then call it a day. Can't complain about a game when you bought it on your own free will!!!! (Oh yea, can't wait for the release of GOW: ASCENSION. The beta is badass!!!!!)

joe_chebs
joe_chebs

Hmm...some interesting comments guys. The remake of Res1 and Res2 will always be my favourites, maybe I'm just a slave to nostalgia? Res4 was and still is fantastic fun but as so many have said, those jumpy moments have gone, it continues with very graphic violence sure but I wouldn't hand it the horror label, more like something Paul Verhoven would make in the 80's. After Res4, number 5 came along and although missing the target it claimed to hit, the game wall loved was in there somewhere. As for number6, I'm really not sure, I wont say I hated but it simply wasn't my kind of game at all, I finished Leons story and touched the surface of the others but I honestly couldn't stand them.


I would be happy to continue showing interest in this series but until it suits my style like the way it used to then I think I'll be giving it a miss from now on...


...On that note, I'm gona keep trying to beat Krauser with my knife! Ha!

chenggigi
chenggigi

I completely agree with the commentator! While Resident Evil 4 was revolutionary, refreshing and enjoyable and RE 5 managed to maintain a reasonable balance of fear and intense actions, Resident Evil 6 just took the actions way too far. Where is the fear and horror? After spending an expensive 100 soaring Australian dollars I realised the game was totally unplayable due to my disappointment from the lack of fear and repeatedly killing monsters with the clumsy control. 


Please Capcom team, bring back my favourite game of all time to life! Revolutions are not always successful and we must take failure as a lesson. Trace some steps back and think why fans loved the Resident Evil series, think the mansion, the creeping enemies, the lightening in RE 5 Lost in Nightmare - that game made me scream to the roof! 

DuaMn
DuaMn

None of the games mentioned here were bad. As Mc Shea explains, they were just not horror games as they claimed to be. RE6 is not a bad game, but it definitely is not great. You might enjoy it, but who should you be to enjoy it? Horror game fan? Action game fan? That's what new Resident Evil games are missing. They claim to be horror games, but they are just gothic action games that don't satisfy most people.

Resident Evil 4 did it on the limits of horror genre. A little push and it'd become a horrible game. That's the reason new games are all fooled by its success. You are not supposed to do the action your main tool in a horror game. Horror is your main tool in a horror game and nothing ruins the ways of horror more than strong characters and action.

andruxandd
andruxandd

Saturday i just start play again RE1...RE2 and RE3 was masterpieceses....From RE4 to RE6 + Op.Racoon City was fail...Come-back to RE1,2,3 - this games are true horror. SAVE RE!!! Back the game to play like in 90'S no need this fail racoon city!

Atermi
Atermi

Why does one call RE4-6 a survival horror? Nor they have survival elements, neither they are horror.

1)RE games don’t belong to survival genre. The linear gameplay is not survival. You just need to kill all foes, and reach the end of the level. You need to do the same thing in COD or Super Mario. This is not survival. Example of survival game: Dead Rising, Pathologic, System Shock.

2)RE 4-6 are not horror. Because they are not scary. Yes, the game can’t be called horror just because there are dead people in it. L4D is not horror. Dead Rising is not horror. Plants vs. Zombies is not horror. RE4-6 are not horror. BECAUSE THEY CAN’T SCARE ANYONE unless that would be a 10-years-old who piss their pants while playing Plants vs. Zombies. Example of horror game: Amnesia, Fatal Frame, Silent Hill.

Conclusion: RE4-6 have nothing in common with survival or horror, so please. 

kavadias1981
kavadias1981

I would suggest that you all go back and play the survival horror type games that you didn't play in the 90's and early 00's. 

I just bought Dino Crisis 2 on PSN. And even though it isn't survival horror per se, it does have that old Resident Evil feel to it. 

Quite frankly, it is the most gaming fun I have had in a very long time. Remember, just because the technology gets better, it doesn't mean the games do. Go back and experience the massive, quality library of previous consoles.   

nonfanboygamer1
nonfanboygamer1

Survival horror is not dead, it just doesn't get the respect and attention it deserves. Many developers just aren't creative enough to come up with a real horror experience. Either that or it just doesn't have enough of a following to sell. Anybody miss the condemned series?

fotis52
fotis52

Resident Evil is obviously going the wrong way... It used to be a survival horror when it was you, your pistol and like 10 bullets... Every single one of them was important... The player was afraid that in the next corner there will be more zombies than the bullets could kill, and was terrifying... Also, Raccoon city had a story of itself, a dark background, it can not be compared with the setting of RE4,5 and 6...

solidsnake50
solidsnake50

So this was basically another way of slamming RE6. Nice one gamespot.

Vitex2003
Vitex2003

Not a big fan of such games, but must admit that they have their niche among gamers.

HandBananaFTW
HandBananaFTW

Resident Evil may have lost its way, but at least there are still games like Amnesia and mods like Afraid of Monsters and Cry of Fear to breathe life into the survival horror genre without compromising its scares and atmosphere. Also, I would urge RE fans to check out "Cry of Fear". It's a mod for Half Life 1 and it's one of the scariest things I've ever experienced, it has action, jump scares, atmosphere, good story and some of the most disturbing enemy designs I've EVER seen lol. It also revamps the entire gameplay aspect of HL 1 to be more realistic and hardcore, check it out when you get a chance.

lordshifu
lordshifu

This kind of games were created in early days cause they were made by people who are totally invested into gaming and had a feel towards the end goal, a feel of the game mechanics. But as the companies grew bigger they hired a lot of peeps to create bigger things.... but as time goes on the creators leave and the peeps remain are just those who are doing their jobs..... they never gone through the pain to build things from a scratch. So what they do create sequels and copy game mechanics etc. Capcom feels they have really perished now

Nightelf123
Nightelf123

you can call it on of the best games of RE ever

Denji
Denji

Resident Evil 4 was a step up from the poorly translated "point and click adventure with a controller" that was Resident Evil 1, 2, 3 and CV. Dead Space 2 was my first Dead Space game and I thought it played out really well. You can't have an entire game of just "running away from everything" because you just wouldn't have a game at all. What would be the point if you can't turn around or come back to make your stand? Nobody's going to go for just getting through a story by running from point A to B the entire game in the upmost literal sense.