Resident Evil 4 is a game I hold near and dear to my heart. It’s on my short list of favorite games of all time. I was ecstatic when I heard it was coming to Nintendo Switch as the first-ever portable version of the classic (well, not including that awful iOS version). After spending a hefty amount of time with this port, I’m happy to say that the game is still amazing as ever — despite being the same carbon copy we’ve received the last couple console generations.
There’s no sense in me telling you how amazing Resident Evil 4 is in this review. As I’m sure most of you know by now that it’s a must-play game. My guess is that if you’re reading this, you want to know how the game holds up on Nintendo Switch.
Let’s jump in.
Same old song and Plagas
Resident Evil 4 was originally aiming for realism when it released in 2005 on the Nintendo GameCube. So, as you can expect, the graphics didn’t age wonderfully. However, given the game is almost 15 years old, it doesn’t look too shabby.
Capcom seriously pushed the GameCube to its limits. Offering impressive particle effects, explosive set pieces, and cinematic cutscenes. Not only that, but they went over and above with its hauntingly beautiful sound design and musical score. I just realized it’s going to be really hard not telling you just how good this game is (seriously it’s so damn great).
Resident Evil 4 for Switch brings the game to HD for the sixth time. And sadly, this same old porting job has become a little tiresome. The Nintendo Switch port doesn’t bring anything significantly different to the table. In other words, if you’re like me and played the game on Xbox 360 or PlayStation 4, you know what you’re getting.
To my surprise, the Switch version comes packed with in-game achievements. Unfortunately, Capcom’s same old poor attempt at achievements/trophies comes with it. That’s right, it’s the same (terrible) achievement and trophy list as the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One versions.
I always took issue with Resident Evil 4’s trophies on other platforms because there are so many cool tasks Capcom could have chose to give us, but instead, we’re given extremely basic goals. It would have been awesome having trophies like “Play the game using only one gun” or “Shoot 30 people in the head in a row” or “Kill 50 enemies only using a knife.”
There is a boatload of fun things Capcom could have done with this trophy list. Instead, expect extremely boring “Complete the campaign” or “Collect all the guns” achievements. This mainly gets under my skin because this is the port Capcom could have given us something significantly different with very little development time or cost. The fact that this is still the same copy and paste porting job does leave a sour taste in my mouth. Which leads me to my other complaint; the lack of motion controls.
Resident Evil 4 came to Nintendo Wii packing intuitive motion controls that many felt was the definitive way to play the game. Making RE4’s tank controls feel more modern and quite frankly more fun. I was hoping to see this function in the Switch version given it’s in the game’s history on a Nintendo platform, and it was so greatly received. It seems nonsensical to leave out a control scheme that convinced 2 million people to buy the game on Wii. It seems that, on all accounts, Capcom really took the easy way out with this port. But, at the end of the day, it’s extremely hard to complain about Resident Evil 4, as it packs so much punch even without the additional controls. And in case you were unsure, this is the full Resident Evil 4 package including the base campaign, Assignment Ada, The Mercenaries mode, along with Ada’s Separate Ways campaign.
In terms of portable mode, the game looks excellent sized-down on the Switch screen. It’s a bit surreal getting a game of this magnitude on-the-go. I did notice that the graphics would become ever-so-slightly less detailed when undocked. I found this odd considering the game doesn’t push the hardware by any stretch. Still, though, you’ll only really tell the difference between docked and undocked if you have the two side-by-side.
Resident Evil 4 has become (probably) one of the most ported games of all time. Originating as a GameCube exclusive, then making its way to PS2, iOS, Xbox 360, PS3, Xbox One, PS4–and now Nintendo Switch. There are very few games that deserve being in the limelight this often, but Resident Evil 4 is the exception. I only wish Capcom went the extra mile with this port.
If you missed Resident Evil 4 over the last fifteen years, don’t wait any longer to play this gem. Even in 2019, I find myself engrossed by RE4’s dark, uneasy setting, its addicting gun progression, and incredible action-horror gameplay. It’s a game that changed the action-adventure genre forever, and for the most part, has stood the test of time.
Release Date: May 21
No. of Players: 1
Category: action, horror
A review code was provided by the publisher.
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Brett Medlock is Nintendo Enthusiast’s Editor-in-chief. He’s obsessed with action-adventure games, platinum trophies, and K-pop. To hear more about how lame he is, follow him on Twitter @brettnll