As part of Sony’s February 2023 State of Play showcase, we got a fresh trailer for the Resident Evil 4 remake that gives us our first look at the castle and island portions of the revamped shooter. The trailer also revealed that a demo is forthcoming, and that the game’s legendary Mercenaries mode will also be returning.
First off, despite some speculation to the contrary, the RE4 Remake will still feature the original game’s slightly maligned island chapter. After the thrills of the village and castle portions of the game, the island has always been kind of a B+ for me, with the level bolstered by some home run set pieces like Krauser’s boss fight and encounters with the seriously unnerving Regenerators.
The trailer also previews a revamped version of your first encounter with resident Arnold wannabe Krauser. Before he gets his Soul Calibur on with that dope boss fight later on, Leon tangles with Krauser in a cool cutscene with some rough quick-time events. Seriously, take a sip of your Dr Pepper at an inopportune time in the original game and bam, a Delta operator guy has dropped from the rafters and skewered you with a Bowie knife. Now that first Krauser fight is going to be a more traditional, full-control affair, and I can’t wait to see how it translates.
It also looks like we’ll be spending more time with the Remake’s new, sleazier, decidedly de-yassified take on Luis Sera, a monkey’s paw moment for fans of the original Spaniard to be sure. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he looks like a potential co-op character—there he is doing Donkey Kong minecart shenanigans with Leon, and oh, now he’s over here joining our hero for the dual-Gigante boss battle (Ornstein and Smough? Well how about Smough and Smough). Most curious of all, both of these set pieces take place after Luis’ death in the original game—get your betting pool ready to go for this “cop from Madrid’s” chances of making it out of Spain(?) alive this time around.
The confirmation of Mercenaries’ return is also extremely “hype,” as the kids say. Resident Evil’s arcadey, wave-based survival mode is one of the best to ever do it, and its original iteration’s maps are burned into my brain after five-starring them all with each character to unlock the Handcannon super weapon. I think there’s a lot of promise here in expanding the map and character selection—Mercenaries has come a long way in eighteen years. Capcom did not provide a date for RE4R’s preview demo, but it can’t be far off—the full game is set to launch March 24.
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