(Pocket-lint) – Not for the first time, we’re going back to Resident Evil 4 – Capcom confirmed during June 2022’s State of Play presentation that one of its most successful ever games is being remade for next-gen consoles and PC.
The game is going to be updated to 2023 standards, according to Capcom, and should therefore look absolutely superb, given how impressive Village looked last year. Here are all the key facts for you.
Resident Evil 4 trailer and release date
Resident Evil 4’s trailer appeared during a PlayStation State of Play event in early June 2022, and was that rarest of things – a gaming reveal that ended with a concrete date.
Thanks to that trailer we know the game will be arriving on 24 March 2023 – so you’ve still got a little while to wait before you can step into Leon’s shoes again.
A second story trailer came out in October 2022, showing off a more cohesive look at the game’s famous plot.
It gives glimpses of famous set-pieces from the original. You can also check out gameplay that has filtered out of Capcom further down this page.
Resident Evil 4 platforms
While the game was shown off as part of a PlayStation event, it’s not going to be exclusive to Sony’s platform – Resident Evil 4 will release on PlayStation 5, but also on Xbox Series X/S and PC. Finally, it’ll have support for PSVR 2, Sony’s next-generation virtual reality headset.
This means that the game is skipping last-gen consoles, a significant step. That said, by its release the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S will have been out for well over two years, so we’re very much in the phase where releases do start to skip the older consoles for the sake of more focussed performance.
Resident Evil 4 story
We’re going to keep things vague in case you’ve never played the original Resident Evil 4, on any of the many, many platforms it has been re-released on since it first came out.
The game sees Leon Kennedy, star of Resident Evil 2, take on a dangerous mission to rescue the American President’s daughter. She’s been abducted by a cult based in rural Spain, taking the series into the wilderness slightly.
There, a mysterious plague has eaten away at the community and rendered them rageful and violent, leaving a gauntlet of ambushes and traps for Leon to navigate.
Meanwhile, there are typical Resident Evil shenanigans involving Albert Wesker and Ada Wong, among others, playing out in the background. It all adds up to one of Resident Evil’s more pulpy stories, despite a tone that is at times quite realistic.
Of course, we don’t know how much Capcom will change the story and script – its remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 did make some updates and lengthen certain sections for pacing reasons rather than leaving things exactly as you remember them, after all.
This means that one of gaming’s most familiar campaigns could well have some surprises up its sleeve when Resident Evil 4 does eventually release.
Resident Evil 4 gameplay
Resident Evil 4 was a big step toward action-packed gameplay for the series when it was released, and we’d imagine that things will stay that way for its remake, with Leon gunning down big crowds of enemies with limited ammo.
From the reveal trailer, you can already tell that the visuals are an enormous step up, and one side effect of that will be far more realistic lighting, which could lead a wide range of locations to look a heck of a lot creepier and more atmospheric, from castle interiors to rundown houses.
In October 2022, as part of a Resident Evil showcase, Capcom showed off an extended gameplay demo from the game, which you can view below.
We know that the over-the-shoulder camera viewpoint will return, thankfully – so that’s one way in which the game will remain true to its roots. One enormous change, though, is that Leon will be able to move while aiming his gun – probably the single biggest limitation in the original title.
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This will make things more fluid and significantly more modern but looks like it might be the most major gameplay change that Capcom is making.
We can catch glimpses of returning characters that will help Leon along the way in various trailers so far, and the game also has him shepherding Ashley (the kidnap target) for a lot of its length, so it’ll be interesting to see if Capcom has made that escorting process a bit smoother and easier to control.
Capcom did mention in its summer showcase that the Ganados, the main enemy type in the game, have been totally redesigned to be scarier, so we might see a more widely varied stock of enemies in the villages and castle that Leon will navigate.
Certainly the gameplay we’ve seen so far underlines that the environment itself will be much scarier than in the original thanks to massive steps forward in lighting since then – expect actual darkness, for one thing.
Writing by Max Freeman-Mills.