The ‘Resident Evil 4’ Remake and Video Game Preservation


Leon Kennedy, the Protagonist of “Resident Evil 4” (Courtesy of Capcom)

By Ethan Blume, Arts Writer


Five or so years ago, I played my first “Resident Evil” game. It was the HD Remaster of the original “Resident Evil,” and that still holds a special place in my heart, even after playing a good chunk of the main series. Just recently, the highly anticipated “Resident Evil 4″ remake released to fantastic reviews, proving older games have still got it.

The original “Resident Evil 4” released in 2005 to good reviews, and the remake is getting reviews about how exciting and fresh the game still is. It kept most of the actual gameplay the same, removing quick-time events and making the AI a little tighter, but the brunt of the remake was focused on the graphics. The game looks significantly nicer than the original, with all the bells and whistles that come with most PS5 and Xbox Series X games.

See Old Games New Again

“Resident Evil 4″ Remake isn’t the only game remake to have come out in the last year. Already we have seen the highly anticipated remake of “Dead Space,” which also garnered incredibly favorable reviews, “The Last of Us Part 1” and the announcement of a suite of new “Silent Hill” games, including a “Silent Hill 2” remake. I was one of the people who screamed out of joy when the “Silent Hill Transmission” stream was announced. I told everyone I knew about how excited I was, regardless if they had even heard of “Silent Hill” or not. These old games can mean so much to people, and it is wonderful to see them brought back.

Video Game Preservation

One of the biggest concerns I have about video games, especially in our increasingly digital world, is that games can very easily be lost, never to be played again. Examples range from “P.T.” to “Flappy Bird.”

The creation of remakes and remasters prevent this from happening. They allow a whole new generation of people to experience these games. One of my all-time favorite games is the “Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy,” a remake consisting of the first three “Crash Bandicoot” games I had never played, despite loving Crash my whole life.

One critique I have of this trend, however, is the tendency to remake games that are still very easily accessible, including “Dead Space,” “The Last of Us Part 1” and “Resident Evil 4.” You can buy and play all of the original games on either Steam or the PlayStation Store (apart from “The Last of Us,” which already had an HD remaster to bring it to PS4). These are all critically acclaimed games, which is why I can understand the decision, but there are so many games that are not accessible without emulation or buying a second-hand console and game on eBay for an excessive amount. Think of “Silent Hill,” a PlayStation 1 title that has never been ported or remade. It’s the beginning of a huge series, yet it’s almost impossible to get your hands on.

The Heartbreak of Lost Games

Personally, I feel there either needs to be a change in the legality of emulation or major companies need to start cataloging and bringing back older games. You can find countless databases of lost games, and it is truly heartbreaking.

As of now, however, I am incredibly happy to be able to dive into a wonderful looking version of “Resident Evil 4.” I feel like it is about time to get that game back in the spotlight.

“Resident Evil 4 Remake” is out now on Steam, Xbox Series X and S, PS4 and PS5.


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