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.

Discussion

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.  

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.

santinegrete
santinegrete

@GameSptop  aside from zombies, the rest of enemies are so dumb that it's not even fun to fight 'em. I'll be defending RE6 if at least was fun, but with that and also it's poor pacing, I only recommend you to find a way to play Leons Campaign and forget the rest. Resident Evil was excellence, when they give you a game a Little above mediocrity the only thing you can see is dissapointment, but I admit it could have gone worse.

gamespot2DBOne
gamespot2DBOne

@GameSptop  because somebody understands regames more than other,,specially while have played it from the start;)

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.

ButtonBasherBW
ButtonBasherBW

@jayd02 I'm with you hear. Unless you play on the easy difficulty, the game keeps you on your toes. Even at times when you think you've got the room covered, something is silently sneaking up behind you.

I recall times where I cringed at the sound of those necros with the explosive arms, especially when I couldn't see them - one wrong move or if you didn't find him in time and BAM! You're gone. Hardcore really brought the game to life for me.

ButtonBasherBW
ButtonBasherBW

@XxTheEvilxX Here's another comment I'm agreeing with - the co-op. Having loved Dead Space 1 & 2, I'm worried what will become of #3, purely because of the co-op aspect.

I'm looking forward to playing it still - and will do so with my brother who'll play it seriously too - but I just can't see how it can have that sense of lonely fear that the first 2 did.

chun-IDGAF-li
chun-IDGAF-li

@Deadly_Nemesis  you sir are totally right im glad i was a teen in the 90's and enjoyed good games im sure you did too

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

But see it wasn't really the tank controls or fixed camera angles. It was the sense that you did not have a proper handle on the situation. For the most part in those games you were winging it. Never sure if you should waste your shots on a zombie now or try and run for it and save it for something else. and let’s not forget that after 4 it seems everyone forgot all about atmosphere.

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

Jake Wesker? Please change your name. You are NOT a RE fan. You are a poser casual that thinks RE4 is the best RE game. If RE4 is your favorite game, that tells me alot about your inexperience as a gamer. You sound foolish.

Jediprince
Jediprince

@jake_wesker survival horror isn't dead. Just because Resident Evil as a series has stopped being in that genre, doesn't mean it's dead. Wether  we like it or not Amnesia is a survival horror game, heck... even ZombiU is a survival horror game. The point of all of this is, the big household names are moving away from what made them stay in this genre. But as the games get more realistic in terms of graphics, animations and the like, all the genre's will continue to evolve. And survival horror is evolving, maybe not like everyone would want it to, but it is. And right now, the only ones that "get it" in a way are indie developers.

"Realism" in videogames is becoming greater because of all the power new graphic engines can muster. The fact of the matter is, we don't need tank controls, we don't need clunky animations, we don't need the CCTV camera angle and the painted backgrounds. What we need is a good story, good character development and a terrifying atmosphere. We don't need strong military character types, we need an average joe that's thrown into a seemingly no win scenario.

The closest to this feeling I have had at this point, has been zombiU. Granted, it's not perfect, I will not sing it's praises, but it does give me a sense of dread as I navigate through the streets and buildings. It does make you dread opening a door to the other room because you barely have ammo, if you're surrounded there's no way to escape, and a single bite and you're dead. So, is the survival horror genre really dead? Because of RE4? No. Is survival horror dead in the RE series because of RE4? Maybe so. But that would be a more accurate statement.

Lash540
Lash540

@Compact87 More action takes away from what it's trying to be. It's suppose to be survival horror, your not suppose to be able to kill everything, your not suppose to have enough ammo, your suppose to jump in your seat, your suppose to fear the noises you hear. That's survival horror.

Doom 3 was never really survival horror, Doom has always been and always will be an action game. They just tried a little scary in the mix with part 3 and I'm not talking about that lame BFG edition from EA but the Original Doom 3, it was cool because you had to make a choice, your gun, or your flash light. It was a nice twist to keep Doom fresh.

Resident Evil 4 was not scary it was a great stroy a great action story. Not once did RE4 make me jump like I did in RE , RE 2, or even RE 3.

Remember where the origins of the game are... Survival Horror, when they turn away from that they are pretty much throwing something great into the trash. They are also abandoning the original crowd who purchased the original games to play something that was trying to scare them and force them to figure out ways out of horrible situations. It made you think and your palms sweat. That's what made those games great.

Everyone will have there own opinion but I played RE series because it was trying to scare me and that is why I no longer play it.

They aren't trying to scare me.

pgrammus
pgrammus

@Compact87 You're talking about comparing a FPS with a history of action to a 3rd person game that had more elements of puzzle solving than action with bad pacing.

More action makes it a totally separate game.

pimpofdoom
pimpofdoom

@Compact87 FEAR also had a lot of action but was still a scary game, Some games really can balance action and scares I think.

XxTheEvilxX
XxTheEvilxX

@Deadly_Nemesis Amen Brother! Today's so-called horror games feature a consistent atmosphere equivalent to jumping out of an exploding airplane with something slimey (the horror) hot on your heels while buildings are exploding and the sky is raining ash.. LOL

Today atmosphere is another Michael Bay movie backdrop in most games.

DiamondDM13
DiamondDM13

@SgtStrungOut RE4 is the best game. It introduced the over the shoulder camera that makes the games better. I would give anything to play RE 0, 1, 2 ,3 and CVX with that camera. Those games have excellent atmosphere and story, but the tank controls and fixed cameras suck. Give me those 5 games with RE4 camera and controls, and I'll be one truly happy gamer.

Mininum they could do is put DMC like controls on them, so that you're playing as a human, not a tank...

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

@Jediprince @jake_wesker The survival horror genre did not "evolve", it devolved to appeal to idiot gamers that sucked on the older RE games. RE4 is a joke of a survival horror game. It is what ruined the RE series.

pgrammus
pgrammus

@pimpofdoom FEAR was a lame FPS ripoff of every bad scary movie out. "Let's take the girl from The Ring and make her a focus of the this game using a bullet time mode that doesn't fit the story at all."

Lame.