Resident Evil 4 is considered by many to be the highlight of the franchise. It abandoned some of the more archaic elements of the series beforehand. Gone were the tank controls, static background and lack of true aiming. Now players could fully roam around in a full 3D environment and were given control of where they could aim their gun (with a laser sight to boot). It also did not fall into the traps of the games that came after it which were deemed too action packed and not enough horror. There were action elements to the game but there was always a sense of terror and suspense to go with it.
Players were once again given control of Leon S. Kennedy, who was one of the two protagonists of Resident Evil 2. In that game he was a cop who was about to start his first day but now he was on a special assignment to rescue the President's daughter. Set in a vague European country, Leon is left to face the horrors in an environment that he is unfamiliar with. This adds to the suspense as gone were the mansions, cities and laboratories. Now there were villages, castles and caves. Gone were the zombies and now were the infected. This was arguably the biggest change as the slow moving zombies were gone and now it was people infected with a parasite and could move and think like a normal person...plus added endurance.
The story was interesting as it's connections to the previous entries are tenuous at best. Ada Wong also returns from Resident Evil 2 and is once again the femme fatale to Leon. Included in the PS4/Xbox One version of the game is the Ada Wong missions which shows what exactly she was up to while popping in and out of the main story with Leon. Her story really shows the connection to the greater Resident Evil franchise and includes a special appearance by a certain sunglasses wearing villain. Leon's story is much more straightforward as he has to deal with the rescuing of the President's daughter while uncovering a bigger plot to assimilate the world's leaders.
The action in the game is deep. There are a variety of enemies that the player faces. From giant ordinary citizens to the infamous El Gigante. There are also the boss characters that are much different but if you have not played the game, I will leave those as a surprise. With the added mechanism of controlled aiming, players can be strategic in how they handle a enemy. Headshots always work best but if if's not a viable option or the enemy is protected, there are ways around that and always rewarding.This and the removal of tank controls were probably the best thing to happen to the franchise.
The game is coming to Playstation 4 and Xbox One in a HD re-release. Capcom, the company behind the franchise, has done this before many times. It's pretty much hard to find a system that Resident Evil 4 is not on. That being said, the game is deemed a classic for a reason. If you have not played the game, it will well be worth the $20. It not only has the game but all the bonuses such as the popular Mercenaries game as well as all the previously mentioned Ada content. If you have already played the game, it is still worth checking out once again. You just never know when you might get the itch to play the game again.