Review: Resident Evil 4 for iPhone


Back in early 2005 Capcom released the latest iteration of the Resident Evil series. The franchise had lost much of its luster as ports of the beloved original PlayStation games seemed to be just milking the franchise for cash. Fortunately,Capcom not only remembered what the series great, they also kept up with the trend of making large changes in each new release. Subsequently, Resident Evil 4 is the highest rated game and the best selling since the original title. It was successfully ported to the PS2 and Wii consoles, and also got an atrociously lazy port to the PC. Now it comes to the iTunes App Store … well, sort of. Let’s take a look!

The Hype:
It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and, in that time, the U.S. government has conducted an investigation in which several Umbrella officials are implicated in the heinous wrongdoings, and prosecuted. Ultimately, the Government formally and indefinitely suspends Umbrella’s business practices, causing the company to become bankrupt and dysfunctional. Meanwhile, Leon S. Kennedy, formerly Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop, is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission to rescue Ashley Graham, the President’s daughter, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization. Leon must begin his investigation with a trip to an undisclosed Spanish-speaking village in Europe, where he encounters a horde of unruly villagers who pledge their lives to Los Illuminados , the cult that perpetrated Ashley’s kidnapping. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.

Cinematic views and intense combat.
– 3rd person perspective camera immerses you in the action with a panoramic wide-screen view and frenetic action.

Location based damage for more strategic combat.
– Use Resident Evil 4’s intuitive aiming system to blast enemies apart with laser precision. Location based damage means where you aim is what you hit. Shot enemies in the legs to slow them down or in the head for a quick kill.

Perform complicated actions with a touch of the screen.
– Context sensitive controls pop up as need allowing you to perform complex actions with a tap of the button. Climb ladders, equip binoculars and jump out windows with a press of an icon.

Upgrade or die.
– Use in-game money to purchase and upgrade weapons from the” Arms Merchant.” Increase the damage, reload time and capacity of your weapons and unleash total devastation in battle. Money can be found when you defeat enemies or from pawning in-game jewelry.

Endless reliability with Mercenaries mode.
– Play through “Scenario Mode” to unlock “Mercenary Mode,” a separate mission mode with pre-set goals, weapons and conditions. Both modes can be replayed over and over.


The Reality:
So what exactly did I mean when I said that the game was ‘sort of’ Resident Evil 4. Well … the basic story is there, as are the basic gameplay elements. But that is about it – it plays more like a Cliff Notes version of Resident Evil 4.

Anyone who has only played the iPhone version will likely dispute what I say, maintaining that the game looks great, has solid gameplay, and does tell a story. And I would completely agree with two of those statements! The graphics look fantastic.  Capcom has done a great job with making the game fir and perform perfectly well on the small screen – certainly better than they did with the PC port!


The action is clearly the highlight. The game plays as an over-the-shoulder shooter and uses a modified version of the Resident Evil: Degeneration system. This means that combat is intense, but also satisfying. While Resident Evil: Degeneration had tight areas and an on-rails feel, Resident Evil 4 has a much more open feeling and more freedom in terms of combat. In that microcosm, it is an excellent experience.

It goes even further. The levels themselves, just like in the original, are intense and chilling and action-packed and loaded with great design choices. The controls take some getting used to, but soon you will have no problems with getting around.


However, you cannot escape the fact that this is being marketed as Resident Evil 4. Sure you should realize by the app size it isn’t the full game, and I have seen folks say that we shouldn’t expect the whole game – but why not? If they could manage to put a fun action-centric game like this in 37MB, why couldn’t they do much better in a few hundred megabytes?

And that is pretty much my conclusion – what is included is very well done and loads of fun. However, the package excludes so much of what makes the original game great that it is hard to recommend. My advice is to watch for a sale, because at $7.99 my recommendation is to skip it.


Where to Buy: iTunes App Store Link

Price: $7.99

What I Like:
– Solid gameplay.
– Great graphics

What Needs Improvement:
– Majority of the game is missing.
– Combat heavy port loses focus of original.

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2 replies

  1. Review: Resident Evil 4 for iPhone (via @GearDiarySite)