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Resident Evil 4

Game review by
Chris Jozefowicz, Common Sense Media
Resident Evil 4 Game Poster Image
A fresh but still violent take on the horror series.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 103 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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 & Representations

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.


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


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


The game includes bilingual swearing (English and Spanish).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byed1993 April 14, 2011
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 li... Continue reading
Adult Written bycrazypyro June 4, 2011

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... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byCamala April 9, 2008

Great game, some parental issues

First off, I'll say that age probably depends on the way your kid was raised. If you've let them see this kind of stuff before, they'll love the... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love action games

Our editors recommend

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