Apr 19, 2007

PC Review: 'Resident Evil 4'

Resident Evil 4 on the Nintendo GameCube is a uniquely sublime game, sporting some excellent eye-candy, an above average plot and moments of sheer horror followed by extended, yet relaxing, periods of violently shooting stuff. It also is an obvious, major even, evolution of the whole Resident Evil series and the first RE game to do away with zombies and go for the rather more nimble possessed peasant variety of baddies. Oh, and it's in glorious real-time 3D.

What's more, RE 4 has also been made available for the mainstream PS2, which, despite the underpowered hardware, got a pretty impressive port, only slightly lacking in the looks department and more than making up for this drawback by offering a few extra gameplay hours. Kudos to Capcom for successfully pushing the PS2 hardware, then.

So, what happens when Resident Evil 4, the same president's daughter saving supernatural survival horror video game that amazed the console crowds, hits the PC? Tragedy, that's what. Or to be more precise, what happens, is a tragedy of such epic proportions Sophocles might consider producing it, for Capcom has somehow ignored the hardware muscle of the PC, the fact that the mouse is now (for this deceivingly 10 year long decade, at least) considered a pretty standard piece of high-tech equipment, that contemporary gamers like to have a proper save (let alone quicksave) function and that PC gamers aren't as game-starved as in the very early eighties, and went on to promptly produce the shoddiest Resi 4 port imaginable.

That's ...uhm... stunning?

The game, cunningly avoiding to offer mouse control as an option, is virtually unplayable without a gamepad (even though being prompted to press buttons 1, 2, 3 or 4 can still be baffling) as the keyboard-only control method is frankly shocking (WASD to aim?). Even if, and this will be a very ill-conceived if, you do decide to give RE4 a try just to experience the story and visuals, think again.

So, I'm supposed to press 3, am I? Oh, you mean enter? No? Ctrl, perhaps?

The thing not only plays but looks decidedly shite and doesn't even bother to provide a way to exit the game without going for the ol' ctrl-alt-del trick.The graphics themselves are a travesty, which could a) have been easily avoided b) really wouldn't be so important if they hadn't removed daylight, night and fog effects in a brilliant attempt to strip away any sense of atmosphere. Then again, instantly disappearing characters have been added, thus succesfuly adding to the hilarity of the whole affair. Obviously anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering and modern soundcard technology have seemed to evade Capcom's attention all together. And still, the bloody thing will eat up almost 5 Gigas of your hard drive. For what? I really can't imagine. Probably just to irritate you.

Warning, obvious conclusion: Avoid Resident Evil 4 PC like the plague. In fact, given a choice, go for the rotting away to death fetish, and if you really desperately need to play Resident Evil 4 -which you do- you're better off buying a GameCube and the original version. Or a Wii and waiting a bit. Or, why not, a PS2. Heck, you'll probably enjoy playing the offending Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man more. Oh, and to remind you... THERE'S NO MOUSE SUPPORT. Tsk, tsk.

Related @ Gnome's Lair: Need for Speed ..err.. Russia, System Shock 2 2k7, Medieval II Total War review, reviews archive


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43 comments:

  1. thanks for the review (and warning!) :D

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  2. Glad you'll probably heed my advice oh indy gaming Tim!

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  3. I played RE4 on the GameCube a week or so ago. I've been wanting to play it for years, but never had the opportunity. Needless to say, it's great. And about the PC version, I guess most console games can't make the jump to PC, and vice versa. You don't want to play Halo on your computer, do you?

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  4. Actually, I would, as it's a bloody FPS and I prefer usimg me mouse on them... Oh, and the leap from console to PC isn't difficult provided there's a competent developer. See Beyond Good 'n' Evil for example...

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  5. I guess there's a patch that pretty dramatically increases the graphics of the game, but still not to par with the GC an PS versions. It's a pretty horrendous port. Capcom WTF?

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  6. Makes one wonder really... Guess I'll look into this patch you mentioned...

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  7. you can also quit with alt-F4. Not quite as bad as ctrl-alt-del

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  8. Indeed, indeed. A wise remark...

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  9. Ha, love your reviews, esp for the bad ones ;) Maybe you would like to do us a favor by reviewing Onimusha 3 for PC. It's also a PS2 port by Capcom ;)

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  10. I played this on Gamecube when it first came out. I was a huge fan of the series and was anxiously anticipating this sequel. I got about 10 minutes in to it and realized that they had sucked all of the life and uniqueness out of the game. It seemed to play like I was trying to control a wet bag of sand with chopsticks. It is easily the biggest disappointment in my gaming experience since "Raid on Bungling Bay" for NES.

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  11. So there are more of 'em Capcom ports around, huh? Guess I'll go buy me a shotgun and go hunting. Still, Onimusha does sound like an interesting name for a game... Better check it out. Oh, and dear Munkey, glad you enjoyed the review...

    Oh, come on jb, you didn't like Mr. Wright's first game? But why? It was shooty enough ... :)

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  12. I loved the original RE4 for the Dreamcast. Kickass game. You can't really compare it to the other RE games though, it's a different game.

    I am sad to hear that the PC version sucks so much...

    Good review Gnome. If I see this in Big Lots for $10. I will avoid it...

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  13. A wise decision wise Caleb... Oh, and good luck with the sale...

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  14. Give it another five years and it will be coming to the PS3 as well....

    I really enjoyed the GC version, too bad they have to over do it now..

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  15. no mouse control and wasd to aim.. lol.. thats hilarious.. you always were the joker... lol..

    ..what?.. whadda mean your serious.... they never.. how could...

    ...i need to sit down...

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  16. (brings Elderly a chair, turns on the A/C and orders lemonade)

    Here, here, they didn't mean no harm. See? WASD can be so entertaining after all dear mr. Elderly.

    Oh, they definitely overdid it dear Deitrix. A Wii version will soon be hitting the shelves, too...

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  17. Hmm, the Wii-version will probably be a sucessful port, unlike this one. I stand by my "console-to-PC-and-vice-versa" statement. Thou shall not port games from PC to/from consoles. Amen.

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  18. Yes, waiting for the Wii version is the reasoned I uninstalled this crap.

    Anyway. Amen.

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  19. I plan on getting the Gamecube version once it's dirt cheap (should be soon, considering the Wii version is soon to be released and that used game stores are flooded with copies of it). Despite loathing previous games in the series, this one looks awesome. Also, I hear that the PC version is crap. And the box are you guys get is very stylish and beautiful. I guess us U.S. gamers are just not worthy of it...

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  20. they don't even up the graphics's for the Wii version... What a hokes!

    Plus save the money and get the GCube version... awweee aahhhh piss on it!

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  21. Yep, ross, PC version is crap indeed, whereas the GC version is already cheap enough.

    Deitrix, got a point there mate, but they will be bringing the PS2 only levels to GC quality. At least, that's something, right?

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  22. Right Gnome! I'm bloody well going down to Capcom right now to kick arse! How dare they fuck up THE BEST Resident Evil in the series!

    BTW I've run into a sticky patch on RE DS it's fiendishly difficult innit? Keep playing large chunks and then getting killed without being able to save...

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  23. the DS, never heard of it? (polishs psp screen....)

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  24. Yep, stopped trying RE DS because of some silly (that's what I call bad game design) murderous birds. just can't target the little bastards. Bah! As for Capcom regarding the PC, well they deserve to be ceremonially mutilated...

    (shows Elderly a DS) See?

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  25. It's pretty dreadful how bad it looks. It's supposed to look better than the GameCube version, but it looks ALOT worse. Also didn't the lighting effects in this game have to be patched after release or some silly crap like that? *shakes head in dissapointment* A damn shame. Good review Gnomey Womey! Sorry!! I mean Gnome. *looks ashamed and runs away*

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  26. Glad you enjoyed it J. BTW, I think a patch has been released but I've yet to install it.

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  27. You mean you actually bought this crap Gnome? Why didn't you buy the GameCube version instead!?

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  28. Yes, I know, I should have, but I haven't managed to get a GameCube controller yet, so, uhm, Well... Ok, I'm a cretin.

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  29. danno zx10r5/17/07, 6:50 PM

    Can't understand all the slagging off of this game, probably the most addictive game I've ever played& moaning about the controls is just silly.
    I spent an entire £10 on a pc world controller & once used to it the game plays extemely well. Graphically not the best (far cry has that honour imo) but the games atmosphere is great, the unlockables are quality & I can't wait for re5 ! Put a usb controller in there & enjoy. btw the reset screen is a quick way out if ya'd bothered to look instead of griping ...

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  30. No, moaning about the controls is not silly. It's obvious. The PC has been graced with the keyboard and mouse combo and the developers should have bothered.

    BTW, if you had played any of the console versions you would have noticed the shoddiness of the port. As for the game per se (on GC and PS2), well, of course it's bloody brilliant.

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  31. danno zx10r5/18/07, 2:50 PM

    well I've gotta admit u were right about the porting cos I d/loaded the patch & what a difference graphically! Also plays better as I had some fps drag on waterworld(mercenaries). I do think though that this game is more suited to a controller, it has many keyboard wrecking moments which play better by a controller. Just like to say thanks to Joe for bringing up the patch( capcom should have done it right 1st time)

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  32. And really, it could have been more polished.... I mean they had years to develop it y'know... Anyway... Hope the Wii bit's better.

    :)

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  33. Never played any of the console versions, but you can tell from the screenshots that the GC still has graphical superiority over the post-patch PC version. However, the guys over at http://z6.invisionfree.com/Resident_Evil_4_PC have already coded mouse support, a laser colour/transparency editor, improved definition cutscenes (the PC version ships with the crappily compressed PS2 ones) and are currently working on restoring the textures, models and lighting to GC quality.

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  34. This game is poop. THE biggest disapointment. they just slapped the ps2 version on pc...except they crappified it...morons you can use game pad. but that makes it no dif from ps2.......

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  35. Thank you very much Wraith (funny, used to use that nick age ago)... I'll check them out and compare to the stuff I've already posted about. Thanks a ton!

    Anonymous, can't say I disagre, since ..err.. I dont.

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  36. lol I actually figured out a way to exit the game by using menu options instead of "Ctrl+Alt+Del", it's pretty weird thou, and I forgot how I did it because I didn't play it for quite a while and never gonna play it again.

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  37. Hehe! Amost helpful, there :)

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  38. Its a classic on whatever format, don't freaken diss =D

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  39. Just a bit. For its own good you know...

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  40. (tapping microphone) is this thing still on?

    Wow - either you were a little edgier of a gnome 3 and a half years ago or I'd just never read a review of yours where you were displeased with a game. I never owned (and still don't) a Gamecube so I played the PS2 version and it is one of my favorites for the system. Then my wife got me the Wii version maybe a couple of years ago and I thought it was nice upgrade - although I never played the Wii version to completion. I never tried the PC version either but based on your review it looks like that was a fortunate happenstance.

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  41. It's on, it's on! Stop shouting.

    I was actually this close to grabbing the Wii version of RE4, just to overcome how horrible the PC version was, but then, well, I didn't. Oh, regarding the reviews, I'm just trying to put the effort into reviewing games I actually like and simply ignoring the rest. This might just change though...

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  42. Well it's nice therapy to tear into a crap game every once in a while. And knowing which games, or which ports of them, to avoid is valuable knowledge too.

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  43. Can't disagree with that, it's only I usually never progress with such games and almost never feel like writing about them. Starcraft II was a recent exception to those two realities.

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