Resident Evil 4

Common Sense Media says

A fresh but still violent take on the horror series.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Since you spend most of your time killing everything in sight, the message from the game is that it is OK to kill. Apart from the numerous enemies to be killed, players can also receive bonus items from killing animals that populate the background.

Positive role models

While you are a hero trying to rescue the President's daughter from a horrific situation, however you use extreme measures to kill everything in your path including chainsaws and the like.

Ease of play

This game in the Resident Evil series showcases a wonderful overhaul of the controls. Thanks to floating camera angles and more intuitive controls, the main character Leon is more agile than his Resident Evil predecessors. The result of these changes is that gamers feel more in control of their hero but it is also more immersive.

Violence

Full of violence against humans, animals, and monsters, usually depicted with copious gore and blood. Expect beheading, burning, shooting, stabbing, and dismemberment.

Sex

A couple of female characters wear revealing outfits. Cut scenes feature flirting and sexual innuendo, like discussion of one character's breasts.

Language

The game includes bilingual swearing (English and Spanish).

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One character asks another for cigarettes, but no smoking is depicted.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Resident Evil 4 is a violent, bloody game. Players must stab, shoot, and bomb their way through hundreds of realistic-looking humans and monsters. With some cursing and sexual dialogue in the mix, Resident Evil 4 is a game that earns its M rating. Parents need to know that the star rating given this game is based on quality of gameplay within this horror genre of video gaming and not endorsement of the violence within the game.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

RESIDENT EVIL 4 is really more of a horror-themed shoot-'em-up than a survival horror game. Players assume the role of Leon Kennedy, a U.S. government agent. Leon is a veteran of the Raccoon City Police Department, but the whole former Resident Evil setting has been scrapped. Instead, Leon finds himself sent to Spain to retrieve the president's daughter, Ashley, who has been kidnapped by mysterious foes. Finding Ashley will take Leon through a rural village, an elaborate castle, and a run-down research facility, all the while killing just about everything in sight including possessed people and monster aliens. Players can expect a number of plot surprises and double-crosses through a linear and surprisingly long one-player adventure.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In addition to new environments and new baddies, Resident Evil 4 ditches survival-horror gameplay for something more akin to straightforward action. Players will also appreciate the truly wonderful overhaul of the controls. Thanks to floating camera angles and more intuitive controls, Leon is more agile than his Resident Evil predecessors. The result of these changes is that gamers feel more in control of their hero.

Resident Evil 4 is in many ways an outstanding game. It is a long, involving, graphically gorgeous action experience, and a wealth of unlockable gameplay modes adds a lot of replay value. But remember that in the Resident Evil universe, ramping up the action means ramping up the gory carnage. Combine this with a splattering of curse words and some sexual innuendo in the cutscene dialogue, and the result is a game that is most definitely for adults and mature teens only. But it's still pretty amazing.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the role of violence and gore in the horror genre. Do games and movies need to be violent to be scary? Do science fiction elements -- like monsters -- make the violence more palatable than in reality-based games like Grand Theft Auto?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Windows, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube
Price:$49.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Capcom
Release date:January 12, 2005
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:M for (Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2, Windows)

This review of Resident Evil 4 was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byed1993 April 14, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
Resident Evil 4 is too funny to be taken seriously. The dialogue parodies American rhetoric in the "war on terror" perfectly. The violence may be a little shocking perhaps, but it's too comic book to be serious. Overall, despite the gore, I wouldn't object to 10 year olds viewing some of it and certainly by the teen years it's not at all too much
Adult Written bycrazypyro June 4, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Worth it 100%

Ok, I'm not going to touch gameplay until later on (because quite frankly, the vast majority of this site's audience couldn't care less). First issue is language. Yeah, they swear, it's on the box M for strong language. That said, it's nothing too bad and more importantly, nothing your kids haven't heard before if they have any interaction whatsoever with other kids. Next is the violence. And boy is there a lot. From the satisfying explosion of a perfect headshot to the death of your character at the hands of the chainsaw wielding maniac, this game is violent. That said, it's not overly violent (like, say, Saw). The genre of the game is survival horror, and the dark element adds to the game perfectly. This game is scary, intense, well-made, hard, and not good for anyone who scares easily. It's a fantastic game, one of my personal favorites, and by no means the worst one out there. You want really violent? Try Dead Space. (also a great game, just gorier) Finally, the sexual content. I don't understand why everyone is getting so worked up over it. Ashley dresses in a miniskirt. The game is made in Japan. Miniskirts are normal there, and her skirt is actually quite modest by comparison (trust me, I was there) Oh, and as for gameplay, I recommend ign.com's excellent review. It describes the game far better than I ever could.
Kid, 10 years old January 28, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

should be kids first m rated game

this is the best game ever.I think its iffy for ten beacuase it is really violent and the use s-t in every cutseen gets annoying but it is an iffy game
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Essential School Tools