Fans of the Resident Evil franchise yelled in excitement when it was announced that certain games were coming to the Nintendo Switch – including Resident Evil 0, 1, and 4 for the time being. We’ve seen the success of console games ported to the Switch and play fantastically in the portable fashion (e.g., Skyrim), so the idea of playing one of history’s greatest horror classics on-the-go is an exciting notion.
Yes, it’s great that games like the original Resident Evil are getting the porting love it deserves, but what’s most intriguing is Resident Evil 4, the franchise’s most beloved title. There are many reasons for this one’s success – from the campy plot points to Leon’s Hot Topic haircut – the game has a lot to offer. We’ve compiled a few reasons for seasoned players and newcomers to the franchise to be excited for the fourth game’s port to the Switch.
Top 5 Reasons Resident Evil 4 Remains a Favorite
The Resident Evil franchise has gone through many tone changes over the years, staying in-tune with the current generational trends. The first game was a bleak and macabre horror piece that tortured gamers with its intense zombie-encounters and mind-bending puzzles, but by the fourth game, the formula changed to something more in line with horror-action films. The plot follows Leon Kennedy, a former RPD officer who’s hired by the president to save his missing daughter in eastern Europe. If that doesn’t already sound like campy gold, then we’re not sure what is. In some ways, this does hurt the game in a retrospective sense. For instance, the president’s daughter is a typical “damsel in distress” that serves no purpose outside of being a plot point. In this modern era, a character like this wouldn’t survive the developmental phase, but it’s nice to go back and see how different games were. The final note on the camp: Leon’s hair is something out of a Hot Topic marketing campaign that smells of 2005.
The Unity of Horror and Action
The fourth installment was a significant formula change for the franchise. First, it changed POV to a third-person shooter. Second, it added action elements not previously seen in the series. Many criticized the game for this reason, but it was a stable marriage of both horror and action. The action lies within the weapon variety, fight sequences, and plot points (especially toward the end). The horror elements are mixed throughout, relying more on the intensity of the situation rather than isolated scares. One of the first encounters that players experience is in a small village where dozens of locals surround Leon and attempt to kill him (this includes a local villager with a chainsaw and a potato sack mask on his head). This scene, although not filled with jump scares, is utterly terrifying and stress inducing.
The Solid Inventory System
Although not much different from other Resident Evil games, the inventory system for 4 was solid and easy to access. In a quick pinch, all it took was one press of a button and Leon equipped a different weapon or a grenade or the knife. It’s safe to say that this system will feel great on the Switch’s handheld component.
Legendary Boss Battles
The franchise has a history of memorable boss fights, most of them being from 4. Can you imagine fighting a tall, bearded man that breaks in half and turns into a kind of insect creature? What about a guy that’s dressed like he’s in 17th century Europe and turns into a giant, blob-like monster with tentacles? All of these are encounters that Leon has throughout the game.
Scariest Enemy of All
Being known mostly for the mindless zombies, Resident Evil finally introduces a type of enemy that isn’t a slow walking flesh-eater, but local villagers with weapons. Ranging from pitch-forks to chainsaws and even to machine guns, Leon has to face off against the worst of the worst.
This game also introduces one of the more intense versions of an Umbrella experimentation in the form of iron maidens – a creature that is no longer human that shoots spikes out of its body when Leon gets too close. They’re tough to fight, hard to avoid and can kill the player in a just a few hits. This game definitely introduces new legendary nightmares.