Resident Evil 4 (2023)
Graphic, bloody, mature but exciting horror action game.
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Resident Evil 4 (2023)
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Resident Evil 4 is a third-person action/adventure horror game for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, and Windows PCs. Using guns, knives, explosives, and his feet, players have to kill zombie-like infected people and dogs, as well as monsters and giant insects, some of whom use chainsaws, tentacles, and other weapons. As a result, there's tons of bloodshed, gore, impalement, and dismemberment, including both disembowelment and decapitation, as well as screams of terror and pain. There are also numerous dead bodies, human and otherwise, left lying around, instances when people are set on fire, and a lot of disturbing imagery, music, and sound effects. One police officer is shown smoking, while two people mention needing to urinate. One is heard doing so, though this isn't shown. The dialog includes such curse words as "a--hole," "s--t," "f--k," and "Hell."
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What’s It About?
In RESIDENT EVIL 4, Leon S. Kennedy has been sent to a small town in Spain to rescue the daughter of the U.S. president from a mysterious cult called Los Iluminados. Except when he arrives, he finds that the villagers are not religious zealots, they're infected with a mind controlling parasite called Las Plagas that makes them act like zombies. And that's not the only horror Leon has to survive in this game. It's a good thing he's a good shot, knows what herbs can be ingested and combined to heal himself, and can solve the complicated puzzles they use to lock the doors and gates that are between him and, well, more unruly villagers.
Is It Any Good?
Like the other updated remakes of games in this series, this remake of this classic third-person survival horror shooter is just as engaging and frightening as the original. In Resident Evil 4, Leon S. Kennedy travels to a small Spanish village to rescue the U.S. president's daughter from a cult, only to find the cultists are controlled by a parasite. That's why Leon shoots a lot of mind-controlled people, as well as infected animals, insects, and monsters, while searching for supplies and ways to solve the overly complicated puzzles that keep him from proceeding to the next area he needs to explore.
For people who played the original, this remake didn't just get a visual upgrade, it got some mechanical ones as well, with improved controls and animations making it run smoother. Its gameplay is also slightly altered. Not only have many of the puzzles been redone, but your knife can now be used to parry attacks or to take out unsuspecting enemies from behind. Most importantly, this still holds up, and never feels out-of-date. As for people who missed this horror classic, it plays a lot like Resident Evil Village, but with more variety in the kinds of enemies you face and how you take them out. But even just the basic scenarios -- in which you're attacked from all sides by pitchfork- and machete-wielding villagers -- are equal parts exhilarating. Which is why, whether you've survived this horror before, or this is your first trip to spooky Spain, Resident Evil 4 remains an epic and effortless scary shooter.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Resident Evil 4 affected by the graphic nature of the combat in the game? Does killing a human make you feel different than when you kill an animal or monster? Would the impact be lessened if the visuals weren't as realistic?
In Resident Evil 4, Leon steals items from houses to survive when people are trying to kill him, but does that justify breaking and entering and theft? Is it ever okay to break the law?
- Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Windows, PlayStation 4
- Pricing structure: Paid ($59.99)
- Available online?: Available online
- Publisher: Capcom
- Release date: March 23, 2023
- Genre: Survival Horror
- Topics: Adventures, Bugs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language
- Last updated: March 17, 2023
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