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Resident Evil 4 Review

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In re-inventing its fearsome formula this has created a genuinely terrifying experience that makes its predecessors look like Pixar movies

★★★★★

In ditching the creepy camera angles and brain-hungry ghouls that made Resident Evil a worldwide hit — and adopting a Wicker Man-style story of the occult that takes the traditionally slow action in a more gung-ho direction — Capcom’s latest bout of bloodletting sounds like commercial suicide. But in re-inventing the fearsome formula from the ground up, the Japanese developer has created a genuinely terrifying experience that makes its predecessors look like Pixar movies.

Shifting the action from a US city besieged by zombies to a European village in the grip of mass hysteria, the game now features a fully 3-D world rather than cumbersome fixed camera angles. And whereas the shocks in the classic Evil games relied on monsters lurching from their off-screen hiding places, the latest installment really lives up to its “survival horror” tag; now your enemies, each moving faster than the shuffling corpses of old, can attack from all sides.

The graphics throughout are breathtaking — from naturalistic forests to the disturbing, Lovecraftian creatures that are sure to live with you long after you’ve switched off your console — and the twisting story will have you hooked until the end credits roll.

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