Resident Evil 4 Ultimate Edition review – classic game plagued by teething troubles

Capcom recently released a revised Resident Evil 4 version for the PC audience with its Resident Evil 4 Ultimate Edition which looks like being the definitive version of the rather aged but classic action horror game. The question one has to ask is, after so long, is it worthy of your time and money? Take a look at our review and decide for yourselves. Before checking out our review, be sure to look at our comparison video which showcases the slight differences between the console HD remaster and the PC Ultimate Edition.

Resident Evil 4 Ultimate Edition review PC

Capcom should be praised for injecting a bit of life into their old back catalogue of games what with the recently released Strider remake and now an enhanced version of the classic Resident Evil 4. The game has already been remastered for consoles, and so it’s perhaps fitting that PC gamers get to experience the delights of Leon S. Kennedy and all those zombie human enemies in glorious HD as well.  We won’t go into any depth regarding game specifics as most gamers will be well versed in what’s included in the game which fuses and eclectic blend of puzzle, action and survival horror and is perhaps lauded as one of the most successful Resident Evil games to date. The  question that has to be asked is whether this new version is worth while especially if you’ve already sampled the game’s delights on any of the other systems it has appeared on.

For starters, it has to be said, there’s no mistaking that the title of the game is in fact entirely correct, this is the ultimate edition as it comes complete with the additional Ada Wong chapters and a slightly tougher main campaign on default settings (we found less ammo to begin with compared to the console version). The first port of call is obviously the options where the display can be tailored to suit your PC set up. So opting for 1920x1080p is a good choice alongside the option to run the game at either 30 frames per second, or bumping up to the silky smooth 60 frames per second – although in terms of the game’s design, there’s not so much of a noticeable difference between the two. There’s also an option to switch the textures from standard to enhanced. There are some additional effects such as motion blur and 8x Anti Aliasing which can be used,as well as the option for some cool but not crucial post processing effects to give the game a slightly different visual hue.

So, with all the added extras, the game does play smoothly on paper and offers all the thrills and spills expected, but we found that there are some issues with optimization which Capcom are hopefully addressing via an update. Our rig should have easily run the game on maximum settings, but we found the game entering a slow motion mode which made the game almost unplayable in some sections. This is perhaps no fault of the game itself and more an issue with elements behind the scenes which need fixing via a patch. The problems are widely reported and so it’s not an isolated case with our PC. This raises questions about the validity of releasing the game in its “broken” state, which to be fair is a valid complaint. Whilst the game can be purchased via Steam quite cheaply, those taking the plunge should expect the game to run flawlessly – which at present it doesn’t. We also found issue when quitting out of the game, which would cause our PC to lock up and require closing the application via the Task Manager, which is cumbersome and something gamers shouldn’t have to tolerate.

So, in terms of this review, yes Resident Evil 4, looks great and when it’s working plays very smoothly, although in our side by side comparison with the console version, there’s very little difference between the two. It’s a shame the game hasn’t been granted a complete overhaul of the textures to bring the game into the modern age, as by today’s standards does look a bit dated. That said, for a bit of nostalgia, this is a worthy addition to one’s PC collection even if played to death on the Gamecube, PS2, PS3, Xbox 360 etc.  However, the game is marred by the issues which shouldn’t leave gamers having to wait for patch especially after spending money on the game. This is a bad practice for any developer/publisher and therefore impacts the final score for the game. Our advice as of now is to not purchase the game until the issues are addressed fully, and although there are workarounds, for gamers just wanting to game, these shouldn’t have to be employed, especially as they involve lowering the quality of the game – which in itself defeats the purpose of the release.

Score 8/10 – Review by Robert Cram.

 

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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