Resident Evil 4

  • Review Date: December 4, 2021
  • Release Date: January 11, 2005
  • Platform: PlayStation 2
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Genre: Shooter

I’ve scoured the Internet researching this game and the fandom that surrounds it. It’s generally regarded as the best of the Resident Evil games and anyone who disagrees gets verbally slaughtered like Aaron Rodgers at Soldier Field. No one is allowed to say anything bad about this game or criticize any part of it, with one major exception. That exception is Ashley. These crazy fanatics will not only allow others to tear apart Ashley, they will also join in blasting Ashley to smithereens. They HATE Ashley. Her hatedom is larger than any gaming character I’ve ever seen, including those that were supposed to be hated. In summary, don’t EVER say anything bad about this game (except Ashley) or the fans get the pitchforks out.

Well, fans of Resident Evil 4, get your pitchforks out. I hated this game. I got stuck trying to fight off a horde of “ganados” (which the game insists aren’t zombies) in a cabin with my only help being a jerk named Luis that I wish I could shoot. Meanwhile, Ashley takes a page from the “Small Wonder” playbook by standing in a closet the whole time. I quit after about 40 attempts at that and the gunshot sound effects were giving me headaches. And this isn’t even my “Negatives” section yet; this is the overview. I’m just getting started.

The story has more cheese than a Packers game and makes less sense than the NCAA volleyball rankings, but I’ll give it a try. President Graham’s daughter has been captured because this game’s Secret Service is far inferior to the real thing. She ends up in España somehow, where she’s isolated away in a church where the doors magically open by solving puzzles. Government being what it is, they send ONE GUY to go find her. Seriously; that’s it. ONLY one guy, and his name is Leon. Once Leon finds her, it is up to Leon to protect the young woman as she is not a trained fighter. It sounds good in theory, but more often than not, I just tossed her into a dumpster, killed everything, got her out of the dumpster, and moved on. I’m not making this up; Ashley does actually hide in dumpsters. This whole plot is ridiculous; it can be good for laughs. This absurd plot is more fun than the gameplay. Maybe that’s why they’re making a movie based on this series.

Ashley exits the dumpster. Since when do zombies Ganados need a dumpster? Don’t they just burn their garbage?

I’m going to be positive now, but I’ll be quick because there isn’t much to be positive about here. I actually like Ashley’s personality. Although she is lacking backstory, Ashley is a very realistic portrayal of a young woman. She’s sweet and stupid at the same time. She’s helpful sometimes and useless at others. She can be really annoying one moment and quite charming the next. Young women do tend to act like that. Many of them are good at heart, but very scared for various reasons. Ashley is the same way.

However, Capcom just couldn’t resist screwing up Ashley in just about every other way, so I have complaints. My biggest one is just how badly Capcom oversexualizes her at every turn. I’m fine with sexualization to a point. We are sexual beings. This game, though, takes it too far. Giving Ashley a skirt and allowing players to look up it so she can scold them shouldn’t be in the game. The camera will make sure we see her rear more than needed. The worst, however, is when that creep Luis meets Ashley for the first time and makes some nonsensical joke about her breasts. If Luis knew Ashley, I wouldn’t have an issue with this, but to say something about her chest before anything else to someone he’s never met is strange and creepy. If our society wasn’t so taboo about breasts and constantly forcing them to be covered, leading to oversexualization, stupid scenes like that one never happen.

It’s a sad reflection on how women are oversexualized; part of the problem is that women are blamed for this instead of the men that are causing the problem. Like I said, it’s fine to appreciate and enjoy looking at the female form. However, they’re human beings, so keep the comments to yourself, don’t touch her, and don’t stare at her.

Meanwhile, many fans aim their gripes at Ashley while being complete hypocrites in the process. They get tired of Ashley yelling the same phrases over and over, most commonly “Leon, help!” Those same people never mention how annoying hearing Homer Simpson say “allí está” for the thousandth time is or hearing a ganado say “te voy a hacer picadillo” every 30 seconds for minutes on end. I’m annoyed and I understand basic español; this has got to be “punch that whistling jackass in the face” bad for people that don’t know the language. (By the way, if you’re a whistler, be thankful if no one has punched you in the face yet. Most people hate it as much as I do.) The ganados say the same things over and over, but unlike Ashley, there’s nothing players can do to prevent it. At least Ashley will stay quiet if players are playing well.

Another complaint the masses have about Ashley is that they claim she’s useless. Maybe I didn’t get far enough, but Ashley was helpful with opening gates. She isn’t a fighter, other than screaming at that idiot Luis, so she can’t be expected to slay zombies…er, I mean ganados. She seems smart enough to get out of the way when Leon aims the gun in her direction so that he doesn’t go Alec Baldwin on her.

The game is set in España, but no one ever bothered to give a more specific location than that. Personally, I would have thrown a dart as a map of Spain and used the city name of wherever it landed, but that’s just me. It’s lazy, just like the visuals. Everything is just drabby browns and grays and there are plenty of dark hues to go around. The only thing in this game worth looking at is either Ashley or Leon, depending on your taste. Nearly every outdoor area looks exactly the same, but with varying amounts of trees, leaves, logs, fences, and buildings, ALL with an overwhelming stench of brown.

Capcom decided at this point to move Resident Evil out of the horror genre and into shooter territory. This created a HUGE problem in that there are tons of enemies to get rid of, but ammunition is constantly running short. This is what caused me to give up after consistently losing the cabin fight in Chapter 2-2. I had very few bullets to start and there’s no place to grind for more. Buying them isn’t feasible, either, so I had to rely on drops. However, the drops were surrounded by zombies ganados, so I died a few times getting them.

President Graham needs to reread the Constitution.
The whole game looks like this. Get used to it.
Hunnigan offers nothing of value to this game. She’s the Kamala Harris of this game world.
I guess the oversexualization wasn’t just aimed at Ashley. This gratuitous shot is about an inch away from an R rating.
And now for a complete gameplay change, I’m going to fight a whale with harpoons while riding on a boat attached to it.
Say hello to Ashley, who was hidden away in a nice, spacious room with a lock that opens by solving a puzzle. She’s amazingly clean at this point.
Screw you, Capcom. This is both stupid and insulting at the same time.
What is the CEO of Moderna doing here?
Burn, baby, burn…Disco Inferno!!
Ashley gets carried off kicking and screaming like she’s getting arrested. Seeing this means it’s game over.
Somehow, Ashley’s leg is strong enough to get caught in a bear trap and be just fine.
They summed of my review of this game in one sentence!
Ashley makes herself useful by opening this gate from the other side.
Ashley’s already had enough of Luis’ stupidity.
Here are Ashley and Leon right before I quit playing this game.

Maybe this game gets better after Chapter 2-2, but I’m not going to suffer through this game any longer to find out. Go play Leon’s first adventure again and skip this.

Grade: D (only covers up to 2-2)

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