Resident Evil 4 Remake is just a few weeks away but IGN got one more look at the highly-anticipated survival horror game ahead of the launch, with plenty of enticing new details to pore over. While we would have preferred to actually play the game, especially since it’s so close to release, instead we were shown just under 20 minutes of new Resident Evil 4 Remake footage. However, it gave us enough of a look to spot some of what we think will be the biggest changes coming to the horror classic.
In an interview with IGN about how the development team figured out what new gameplay mechanics to add to Resident Evil 4 Remake, director Yasuhiro Ampo said, “when looking into making the remake, the team didn’t want to disturb the main mechanics that the original game had. However, when looking into the game, they looked into what they could add on top of what was already there, what was already good, and making everything even better.”
To highlight this philosophy, Ampo specifically cited knife combat, which is enhanced from the original. In the original Resident Evil 4, Leon would use the knife as a last resort; in the Remake, Leon is able to parry attacks, making the knife not only a viable weapon but a necessary one, especially if you’re running low on health.
Parrying enemy attacks transforms the knife from a last-ditch tool and glorified wooden crate opener into a defensive tool where you’re able to keep yourself alive just a little bit longer, so long as you have the dexterity to block incoming attacks.
New Finishing Moves
Similar to the parrying skill, you can also use knives as finishing attacks when enemies are on the ground. In one particularly striking scene from the footage we previewed, Leon was able to approach an enemy on the ground and slit their throat.
It’s a particularly brutal sequence, but one that points to how Resident Evil 4 Remake will maintain an equal balance of horror and action. In our interview, Ampo said the team was “highly focused on creating a really balanced game with both horror and action.”
In previous interviews, the Resident Evil 4 Remake team said the game will be somewhat bigger than the original. While that suddenly won’t turn Resident Evil 4 into an open-world game, there appears to be some optional side quests Leon can complete through mysterious blue parchments.
In one scene, Leon picks up a blue piece of paper asking him to bring them a rare gold chicken egg. Completing this side mission rewards Leon with three Spinels he can later sell to the Merchant for some cash.
Leon’s best friend is an attache case that houses all of his gear. Not only is the case back in the Remake, but players are able to customize the attache case with different colors and can even add little charms to personalize the case. In the preview video we watched, Leon is able to add a little chicken charm to the corner of his case. And as a bonus, organizing your gear in the attache case’s grid system still looks incredibly satisfying.
Your mission in Resident Evil 4 is to rescue Ashley Graham, the daughter of the President of the United States. Spoiler alert, you find Ashley partway through the game, but that doesn’t mean your mission is over just yet. Ashley follows Leon around and it’s up to the player to keep her safe from enemies while trying to escape this hostile village.
Ashley has new abilities this time around, like being able to unlock doors. Leon is also able to direct Ashley to either stay close behind him or hang back a bit while he takes care of some enemies.
She also sports a new look in the Remake, something Capcom producer Yoshiaki Harabayashi says was meant to remedy something from the original game. In our interview he said, “So looking into the environment that she is in and looking into the season that the game is taking place in, it was taking place in a very cold area in Europe, and in that way, she was a bit underdressed for the weather, so to speak. So the team decided to add a jacket that suited her.”
Fans may have already spotted this in some of the new trailers, but Resident Evil 4 Remake will feature at least one new weapon: the Bolt Thrower. These are explosive mines attached to silent bolts that can not only take care of tough enemies from afar but they’re delivered in a silent way, making them almost like a stealth weapon (at least until they explode).
This brings us to another point: stealth. The developers confirmed in our interview that Leon will be able to use stealth to get past enemies in the Remake. Not only can Leon crouch, but if you’re careful enough, you can get past enemies by silently dispatching them with the knife, or create distractions from a distance using the bolt thrower.
The new stealth mechanics are particularly handy when fighting the Garrador, which rely on sound to track down Leon’s location.
Different Boss Fights
Our preview ended with a glimpse of the fight against Leon’s old teammate Jack Krauser. While the fight was originally a QTE event in the original game, the boss fight is now fully playable with Leon using his improved knife to go toe-to-toe with Krauser.
Capcom confirmed to IGN there will be no “cutscene-based QTEs in the Remake,” however, there are times during combat when players will have to mash a button in order to escape. So there are still button prompts like that in the Remake.
Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s Senior Features Editor. You can reach him @lawoftd.
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Author: Alex Simmons