- Resident Evil 4
Despite being a complete overhaul for the franchise at the time, Resident Evil 4 still contains the thrilling scares and horror ambiance the series is known for. What’s amazing is that it has been re-released and remastered for later consoles several times since its release. This speaks to the longevity and legacy of the game, which is still a blast to play a decade later. That said, it’s impossible to overstate the game’s influence on the survival horror genre. Later installments in the series have all switched to third person perspectives, further pushing the bounds into full blown action games (RE 6 anyone?). 4 strikes a perfect balance between shooting mechanics, quick thinking and puzzle solving established by the first 3 games.
What keeps me coming back is the constant sense of sensory overload and impending dread. The sound design and creepy hordes of enemies always manage to make my trigger finger itch. That said, escorting Ashley is still a pain in the backside and her A.I. is still one to run in the trajectory of your bullets. The difficulty in defending her from enemies makes the game both challenging and rewarding. When she vanishes for periods, you almost want to breathe a sign to relief. It’s Leon’s story first and foremost, aided by the best voice work in the series at the time. With extra content such as the Mercenaries Mode and Assignment Ada, there’s plenty of content to justify purchasing the recent re-mastering for the PS4 and Xbox One. – Matthew Goudreau