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 Remastered is a downloadable updated version of the 2005 third-person survival horror shooter. Violence is a key factor of this game, as players will use guns and explosives frequently against monsters and animals, resulting in large amounts of blood and gore covering the screen. Players will also notice that there's plenty of innuendo between characters, and female characters are frequently dressed in revealing outfits. Profanity is in Spanish and English.
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What's it about?
In RESIDENT EVIL 4 REMASTERED, you play as Leon Kennedy, a U.S. government agent dispatched to Spain to find Ashley, the kidnapped daughter of the president. After being dropped off by the side of the road by local authorities, you make your way through a rural village and many other grim, foreboding locales to root out power-ups and valuables to upgrade your gear at shops. You also hunt down and dispatch packs of possessed zombies before they corner you. This game also comes with improved, full HD graphics, bonus content from the original title, and downloadable extras from previous ports to other consoles.
Is it any good?
There's no getting around this basic fact: This survival horror title is extremely, extremely hard, but its gameplay has managed to hold up well over time. It stands in stark contrast to many modern video games, which have multiple difficulty settings and will shower you with extra lives and health power-ups. Since RE4 Remastered bills itself as a survival horror game, part of the thrill and fun is derived strictly from surviving. Enemies are incredibly strong, and this game is known for making a few seemingly minor but actually seismic changes to how playing the classic Resident Evil works: The camera is more directly behind you, you can't aim while you're moving around, and you move very slowly. These are all calculated design choices that assure every time you play RE4 Remastered, you'll be paranoid and cautious. The fact that ammo isn't abundant only makes everything better and worse at the same time.
Unfortunately, for a remastered title, most of the tweaks come in cosmetic changes or "upgrades," especially since much of the bonus content has come out in portions here and there across other editions. There's not much in the way of radically new content, and the downloadable title's information page shows the main reason why this is a remastered edition: The game is presented "in full 1080p HD with an increased frame rate." Ultimately, whether you think RE4 Remastered is any good boils down to whether you want to be coddled or challenged in a video game. This game comes from an era when more titles opted for difficulty. For some, it will be an unfamiliar and uneasy experience. But there's room to get acclimated and used to it, and it's well worth sticking through the challenge, as the thrills and tension in the game are major reasons why this game is being restored and rereleased for modern audiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about violence in games like Resident Evil 4 Remastered. Is the violence acceptable in this game because you're fighting monsters, or is the over-the-top blood and gore too much?
Talk about why so many entertainment products seem to be fixated on or even obsessed with zombies. Why are they so prevalent? What do zombies mean to you, when you see them in stories?
Why do products such as video games and movies and even TV shows get rebooted, remastered, and resold years after they were originally made? Who is the audience for them?
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