Hands on with the ‘Resident Evil 4’ remake

In dining, the amuse-bouche gives diners a taste of what’s to come. It’s a one- or two-bite serving that offers patrons a hint of the chef’s style and an idea of the cuisine.

The video game equivalent of this is the reimagined “Resident Evil 4” demo that I sat down to play last week. It was short — maybe 15 minutes max — but it showed the gorgeous new visuals and the type of horror that players will face in the remake.

It started off with Leon Kennedy stumbling upon a village dominated by a church. The people there are burning someone alive and I had plenty of ways to approach this situation. I replayed the demo a few times and tried a couple of scenarios.

In each one, I was eventually discovered by the villagers, and afterward, chaos ensued. They all charged at me with pitchforks and hurled hatchets. As Leon, I was able to shoot away the thrown weapons as I ran away. The controls are essentially as clunky as I remembered them.

As they chased me, I ran away occasionally quick-turning to fire at the horde of fanatics trudging toward me. Stupid me, ran into a shack and they cornered me, and I had to shoot and melee my way out. During the struggle, I could stab an enemy in the head and that freed me up enough to run away. If I shot at them sometimes, I would stun them enough for a follow-up melee attack. Despite my efforts, the villagers were relentless, and as I rushed out and ran toward a metal gate, the chainsaw man came busting forth.

That’s when panic gripped me, and I just fled for any type of shelter. I forgot how well “Resident Evil 4” could produce this type of reaction. In this state, the riot of homes all clustered together becomes a maze. Inside the domiciles, it’s not any better as the villagers and the chainsaw man come after you.

In my first three playthroughs, I barely managed to survive after running around like a madman. After that though, I began seeing the brilliance and diversity of this type of level design.

Going through barn, players can lay a trap for villagers in the “Resident Evil 4” remake. All they have to do is shoot at the lantern. (Capcom) 

I learned that the “Resident Evil 4” remake had stealth elements. Leon could crouch and sneak up on villagers in order to pick them off and pare the chaos that eventually ensues. When trapped in a house, I found that I could block a window by pushing a bookshelf over it. I discovered new routes other than the two on the periphery. One time, I incited a ruckus and had villagers following me through a barn. From there, I shot a lantern hanging perilously above a cow.

Hitting it at just the right time caused a fire that took care of the enemies and sent the flaming beast into the crowd. Elsewhere, I found one house had a grenade and another had a shotgun.

The more I played the demo, the more I had a sense of mastery of the environment, but every once in a while, I ran into surprises. One moment a villager held me in a full nelson and the chainsaw man rushed aty me tearing down a whole section of a ramshackle house. It’s another moment of unexpected chaos.

And just as shocking as the chaos, the end of the demo arrived just as suddenly. Right when, it seemed like this fracas would go on forever, the church bells rang, and suddenly, the villagers stopped. They all went into the church and just ignored me after I murdered half their number.

At the end, Leon asks: “Where’s everyone going? Bingo?”

The “Resident Evil 4” remake is scheduled for release March 24, 2023.

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