Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition

Apr 24, 2017
In the beginning of 2005, Capcom finally released the oft delayed Resident Evil 4 after redoing it almost from the scratch, the third (or fourth considering Dead Phoenix) Cpacom Five title. While it was promised as a GameCube exclusive, with Mikami swearing that he would cut his head off if it was released in any other platform, in fall 2004, just months before the release, Capcom announced a PS2 port, which was released in October 2005, Killer 7 which was the final Five title was released simultaneosly for both platforms, ending the three year partnership with nintendo which was considered many by a mess for many reasons. Today RE4 is the Street Fighter of the franchise, receiving ports up to eleven except for the microwaves.

However, back at the time of the PS2 release, by surprise, Ubisoft announced that it would publish Capcom's three biggest games of 2004 and 2005, Onimusha 3, DMC 3 already in it's special edition version and Resident Evil 4. The PC version of DMC 3 SE was actually released before the PS2 counterpart in EU.

But there was a big fuck up, those ports were not handled by Capcom or Ubisoft, instead, they were all outsourced to SourceNext (no pun intended), and the results were pretty poor for ports, with all of the games receiving significantlly lower scores. Resident Evil 4, the biggest title of the trio, which was delayed multiple times (at least to my memory), was finally released in 2007, and it brought a plethora of issues with it.

To begin with, the game, likely by accident, DIDN'T BRING ANY KIND OF LIGHTINING, yeah you've heard that right, the original asian and EU release didn't have it and it was fixed by a patch released shortly after and fixed by default in the NA release. Then the graphics are based on the PS2 version of the game (remeber when Infogrames released the LeMans PC game based off the PS1 version?) It's clearly noticeable by the simple geometry and two fingers of the ganados being modelled as one and cutscenes are low quality FMVs. Then the fact that the game DOESN'T HAVE A MOUSE SUPPORT, yup, what the fuck were they thinking? God knows. and the last one, QTEs doesn't show the keyboard buttons BUT JOYSTICK ONES, expect a lot of cheap deaths.

Nonethless, the game got a big modder support which fixed part of the issues and made content mods for it. Shortly after this release, Capcom went full Street Fighter 2 on it, the Wii version was launched and it was considered the best version as it was the GameCube game with the PS2 content, YEARS LATER released as digital download (disc in Japan) for the PS3 and Xbox 360.

In 2012, one of Capcom Unity members asked if Capcom would release RE4 on Steam as they did with DMC3, Sven, which was the manager at the time, said no, as Capcom was aware of how shitty and fucked up it was.

Then fast foward, at the very first days of 2014, Capcom announced that RE4 would get a Steam version, but this time it was a completely new port called Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition, developed the by the Polish Q-LOC, which promised to fix all the issues from the previous incarnation and include a 60FPS option and better textures.

But how it goes compared to the previous port?

First of all, I've got essentialy for free thanks to an payment app here in my country that was offering bonus in account cash for new registered members, the price itself in US is 20 dollars (I don't live there), which I think it's a bit expensive for such old game, but got it during the Steam Sale. After getting it, i've downloaded quite a size that I didn't expect, 9.5gb, that turns into 13gb installed, so this game asks for a bigger space disk compared to the retail version of RE5 and the original port of RE4.

After downloading, i've tried to start the game but it would immediately crash, I was almost considering a refund after seeing a few reports of the game not running on Windows 10, but decided to give a try on the file integrity check, which detected missing 75mb, whether it caused because I turned the PC off when it was starting to download and was no longer considering as a game to be installed, or any other failure, I do not know, but this can be a hint for those who get this problem.

With all fixed, I could finally run the game, the menus have a good resolution quality and finally the mouse support. The first thing I did was going to the options section to set it up properly for my taste, running at the 1080p, HD textures and 60 FPS, the keybinds can be set up (also a native X360 controller support, I don't have one to test), but decided to kept as is. One of the funny features is that there's four palette colors to choose, the stock and three diferent ones, there's a fifth that seems to be just the stock colors, so maybe it went unused?.

All set, let's start the game.

Finally we got what we expected, real time cutscenes just like the original console release (GC) had it, and running at the 1080p makes the details even more noticeable, the 60fps itself works well and smooth, after Leon reaches it destination in a Land Rover that miraculously didn't break up in the travel, I decided to explore the small things that triggers few cutscenes with the guards, and as I hoped, the action button that shows on the screen is now the keyboard one, fixing one of the most annoying problems of the 2007 port, and again, all the cutscenes rendered in real time, HUD section is also in an HD quality.

(official screenshots, not mine)

Then, I do what the average person who finished the game multiple times would do, kill the crows before getting into the house, and I was graced by competent default keybinds, WASD to move, press shift to draw a firearm, mouse to move, and right click to shoot, fixing another huge gameplay issue and turning into a tasteful adventure of genociding spanishs to keep going, pretty much the same as Resident Evil 5. Space is used to draw the knife and have the same bindings as pistol for moving and attacking and works like a charm.

With the basic set, I proceed to get into the first house and kill DES-PA-CI-TO Don Juan, triggering the radio cutscenes, getting some ammo and jumping off a relatively high house without breaking Leon's back. Proceed to kill Don Manuel, José y Alfonso, everything smooth with no problems. All the assets are from the GC version, which means more detailed enemies and scenarios, plus the HD texture option gives a somewhat better texture work on objects to rid the blurry and pixelated original textures. After making my way through the village, I finally get into the Indiana Jones QTE which shows the keyboard action for repeated press, but can also switch to the both left and right mouse buttons for single press ones, so the player doesn't have to guess what buttons might be the ones to use like in the 2007 version.

Loading times are pretty fast, it takes just a second to load from a section to another, load a game or a checkpoint.

Pressing TAB will bring up the inventory and status menu, and pressing M will bring up the map, the pause menu can be brought up by obviously pressing ESC, you can change most of the stuff just like in main menu , but not FPS and textures ones.

And this is were the most negative part of the port happens.

The inventory for some reason cannot be controlled around with the mouse, only the right click button will work for the Equip/Exam/Discard action, and mouse scroll to move through it, plus if you want to change the position in the briefcase, you have to press Backspace, to rotate it? Use the Page Up and Down, and that cannot be changed, which brings some annoyance to players. Similar issue happens with the merchant menu, you can't go through left and right, but for some reason when you buy or sell something, the mouse cursor gets and can be used to select the option.

Other annoying issue is that both mouse and keyboard in all menus won't go well, if you are just using the keyboard and then start to move the mouse, it can cancel one of the actions when you press enter as it consider the option based on the side it spawns the cursor and the mouse is now rendered as the focus controller on those sections until you stop moving and just switch back to the keyboard. I ended up quitting the game three times by accident because of it, so either just use the keyboard or the mouse, not both.

There are two visual issues, when you use the sniper rifle (doesn't matter which one) the animation is rendered at 30FPS which makes it look like a frame jumpfest when playing at 60FPS, one of the head plaga types also suffer from it during it's spawning animation. QLOC never made any patch for the game, making this animation issue a very noticeable oddity. Another, while very rare, is that the camera almost suddenly rotate to Leon's side, maybe it's a input delay consideration when the player tries to move after finishing an action?

One performance problem that I didn't have, but there are reports, is that the game requires quite a beefy hardware to run at the 60FPS or you'll face slowdowns, since mine is a high end (1070TI, R7 1800x and 16GB of Ram) I finished this game many times with no issues.

I also didn't like the QTE button switch from the X-C keyboard binds to a suddenly mouse one in some events, apparently it becomes a bit more diffuclt also thanks to the 60FPS, my keyboard arm doesn't go well with pressing buttons repeatedly fast, so I had to invert during the chapter where you escape from the Mecha Salazar, but that's more personal than a total issue.

To end with the bad section, a big issue that happens with every port since the PS2 one, the Separate Ways cutscenes are pre rendered and the Special Outfit 2 doesn't have animated counterparts, relying on a switch to the normal ones (real time except PS2/2007 PC). And to this day, even the PS4 and Xbox One, which are based from this UHD version, doesn't have it, something very lazy I must say.

Nonethless, despite those issues, this is a solid port overall and it's what the original 2007 release should have been, based on the Gamecube version, with the PS2 content, with keyboard and mouse support. The issues in this port are much way less problematic than this previous one and despite being over seven years late, it's worth the buy, especially on a sale. Smooth controls, graphics that didn't age bad with an HD touch in part of the assets, and 60FPS made a enjoyable ride replaying this game.


The Pros:

-Fixed controls with good default ones
-Graphics from the GameCube version
-Somewhat better textures (not in every model).
-Fast loading times.
-Still kick ass.

The Cons:

-Lack of proper mouse support in inventory and merchant menu
-Conflicting issues using both keyboard and mouse in all menus.
-Small animation oddities.
-Separate Ways cutscenes are pre rendered.
-Reports of poor performance in underpowered hardware.

Final Score: 8.5
Mar 6, 2017
The HD release of Resident Evil 4 was definitely worth picking up if you were a fan of the original, it ran rather well for me as well. However i went with using a controller rather than mouse and keyboard so i never had to face the mouse and keyboard issues you mentioned. Apart from that i agree with most of what you've said from my recollection of playing the game.

Good review +1