Resident Evil 4 Remake Preview | Re-Enter the Horror

We were lucky enough to gain access to a hands-off preview of the upcoming Resident Evil 4 remake and we can tell you all about it!

This is a full remake of the classic that was originally released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2005. However, it’s now been built from the ground much like the 2019 Resident Evil 2 remake

Before we continue, we must state that this is a hands-off preview. This means that this written feature is based on the 20-minute gameplay footage provided by Capcom.

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Resident Evil 4 preview begins with Leon exploring the lake

The gameplay preview begins with Leon S. Kennedy waking up from a two-hour slumber after being called by Field Operative Support agent, Ingrid Hunnigan. Judging from the big lake in the background, this likely takes place after Leon battles giant Del Largo.

Leon mentions that he’s still trying to locate Ashley Graham, the daughter of the US President. Also, he’s Leon’s boss and the father of the daughter he’s assigned to rescue. Leon soon enters a cold, damp cave full of Ganados that were encountered in the village earlier in the game. However, seeing as its night time, we encounter the Ganados further mutated by the Plaga parasite.

resident evil 4 remake
Credit: Capcom

This form of Ganado is much more challenging than the normal types, mainly due to the Plage tentacles. Get too close and they’ll do you some heavy damage. Thankfully, Leon can now parry the tentacle slashes with his knife, a new feature in the remake. Leon also shows off some of his more swift melee attacks.

The night-time Ganados pose a greater threat to Leon

Upon dispatching the Ganados, including those armed with dynamite and Molotovs, Leon passes one of two puzzles. Unfortunately, we never got to see any of these puzzles being solved. However, we’ll know that a puzzle is near as indicated by the yellow-painted symbols located on walls and structures. It seems that some of these symbols may even contain clues to how some of the puzzles are solved.

resident evil 4
Credit: Capcom

What’s more, Leon discovers a blue note that Capcom had previously mentioned in presentations. The blue note is called “Chicken Hunt”. This triggers a side mission and if Leon was to discover a Gold chicken egg, he’s rewarded with three Spinels.

In the OG RE4, Spinels were found throughout the game and could just be picked up. However, Leon has to do more leg work, though that’s not to say that some will be more accessible on the fly.

Side-missions are new to the Resident Evil 4 remake

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Leon soon boards a small wooden board and enters another nearby cave in the lake. What’s more, Hunnigan previously suggested to Leon that it may be worth exploring the lake for secrets. So there may be much more to this lake than what was in the original. Once Leon gets off the boat, he then finds himself at a merchant store.

Fans of the original game may be familiar with this store prior to the first encounter with the El Gigante. However, now in the remake, the Merchant store is much more vast, filled with all sorts of goodies. I must say that it’s a little strange not hearing the original “what are ya buyin?” voice. I suppose we’ll get used to that soon enough.

Here, Leon also buys a few weapons and items to help him on his way. Furthermore, you can now trade with the Merchant, as well as buy, sell and upgrade items.

re4 merchant
Credit: Capcom

Once Leon finishes his mini-game of Tetris, we see weapons being assigned to shortcuts activated by the D-pad. This is an improvement over the original game which required you to essentially pause the game to select any weapons or items. Now you can quickly swap weapons on the fly in the Resident Evil 4 remake.

Mini Tetris and storage Typewriters galore in the Resident Evil 4 remake

Leon then saves his game via the trusty old typewriter. However, this typewriter has a few new tricks hidden within its ink ribbon. In the remake, the typewriter also acts as an Inventory box.

So Leon can carry items into combat via the attache case and store other items via the typewriter. The typewriter will allow you to customise your attache case with new skins and charms. Some of which will be your pre-order items.

resident evil 4 remake inventory
Credit: Capcom

It’s time to explore the castle with Ashley Graham

The second part of the preview takes Leon and Ashley to the outer grounds of Salazar Castle. Before Leon proceeds into the castle, he quickly scopes ahead with his binoculars to see what might lurk ahead. He catches a quick glimpse of the red-cloaked Zealot standing before a gate that grants access to the inside of the castle.

However, before Leon can enter the main castle, they must first fight off hordes of infected cultists. Soon before it all kicks off, we see some of the basic stealth mechanics introduced in the remake. All this preview showed was Leon and Ashley being able to crouch and use walls for cover as enemies passed on by. We’re not sure if they’ll be more to the stealth mechanics. So I guess we’ll have to wait for the full game to find out.

re4 remake ashley
Credit: Capcom

When the action gets too intense, especially with Ashely around, similar to the OG RE4, Leon can issue basic grounds. Leon can ask Ashley to hold back or stay near. This should help prevent the cultists from kidnapping Ashley. However, you just know that you’re going to hear Ashely call for help soon enough.

Speaking of which, icons in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen will signal Ashley’s current status. Whether she’s by your side, hiding, downed from an enemy or being taken away. This subtle improvement is particularly helpful because in the original game, the cultists would likely kidnap Ashley during the heat of a battle and it might be too late to save her. So at least there are more triggers to identify what danger Ashely may or may not be in.

Cultists can crown the ceilings in the RE4 remake!

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Some of the cultists will also mutate like the Ganados. However, others have different, more aggressive forms. We see one particular mutated cultist standing at a bloody altar before the Plaga takes form. Then, rather than attacking the ground, this mutated form grapples the ceiling. If you get too close, it can also gobble you up.

As Leon and Ashley get closer to the main gate, they must dodge a barrage of catapult attacks. Thankfully, Leon can use this weaponry against the cultists as well as blow the main gate to bits for a dramatic entrance. However, prior to entering the main gate, I saw what looked to be blue medallions scattered throughout the background.

Fans of the OG RE4 will be familiar with the blue medallions. These acted as side quests that could earn you a free Punisher handgun from the Merchant. So, is this a similar blue medallion quest located in a different area or is there more than one quest of this type? Only time will tell.

resident evil 4 remake
Credit: Capcom

Finally, Leon enters the castle and he is greeted by the theatrical Ramon Salazar. However, this encounter is brief due to Capcom’s editing in the preview. Sadly, we did not get a look at the Verdugo, which I suppose much like the Regenerator, that reveal might be saved for the full game.

The Garrador encounter is intense!

As the preview enters its final stretch, we find the duo wandering some creepy dungeons, before Ashley helps Leon access a new area. However, Ashley soon disappears from the preview, so it’s likely that she’s been kidnapped at this point. This leaves Leon alone with the deadly Wolverine-like Garrador. 

This enemy may be blind, but its hearing is ultra-sensitive and any subtle noise will draw it near to Leon, slashing its claws and trying its utmost best to decapitate Leon. If you’re quick enough, Leon might even be able to parry a close-range attack from the Garrador.

re4 remake
Credit: Capcom

In the original game, this first encounter was a small dungeon. However, in the remake, this dungeon is much larger with squared rooms and narrow corridors. So presumably, this encounter will be more in-depth. What’s more, there is debris, and rattling chains everywhere, so Leon will have to be more cautious than ever if he wants to survive this encounter.

Finally, we’re treated to one last treat in the Resident Evil 4 remake preview. While this footage lasted less than a minute, we got a glimpse of the first form of the Jack Krauser boss encounters. In the original game, this battle was very QTE-heavy and perhaps hindered a little by Leon’s somewhat clunky movements. Which is a pain in the backside with Jack being quick and nimble.

The Krauser encounter looks improved in the RE4 remake

re4 remake jack krauser
Credit: Capcom

In the remake, this boss battle appears to be a lot more free-flowing and the only kind of QTE required will be some button mashing to prevent Krauser from stabbing Leon in the neck with his knife. In turn, Leon will also be able to parry certain attacks from Krauser with his own knife. 

During this battle, Krauser mentions Operation Javier, a mission from Darkside Chronicles in which Leon and Krauser are enlisted to South America to apprehend a notorious drug lord. It will be interesting to see if we learn more of this backstory in the remake.

Well, that concludes this hands-off preview, so we’ll have to wait to see if the remake plays as well as it looks later this month. The Resident Evil 4 remake will release on 24th March for PC, PlayStation and Xbox Series X|S.

Featured Image Credit: Capcom