A Drastic Improvement Over the Original Version
The newly released remake of Resident Evil 4 marks a significant upgrade from the 2005 original. This is evident for several reasons, but one particular area that showcases the remake’s success is the notorious Water Hall section. In the original game, this part was known for being exceptionally challenging, often hindering speedruns and posing a general nuisance due to its complexity.
The Water Hall throws various core gameplay mechanics from Resident Evil 4 at players within a condensed area. Here, you must combat numerous enemies, solve puzzles, manage resources, and protect Ashley, your sidekick, as she operates two different valves to advance. The section introduces different enemy types, including shielded cult members, archers, and grotesque infected creatures. Additionally, the narrow corridors within the Water Hall make navigation difficult, especially in the original version.
A Frustrating Test of Skill
The original Resident Evil 4 inherently presents greater challenges compared to the new remake, primarily due to differences in controls. In the 2005 game, the inability to move and shoot simultaneously creates a slew of tricky sections that involve dealing with large enemy hordes. Furthermore, the aiming and shooting mechanics are slower and clumsier by default, making survival in frenetic action sequences, such as the Water Hall, a painful endeavor.
To compound matters, the original version of the Water Hall featured random enemy spawns, requiring split-second decision-making to effectively eliminate them. The sheer number of enemies, combined with the confined pathways and clunky controls, creates an annoying difficulty spike. It often feels like you’re battling the controls and camera more than the enemies themselves.
Remake to the Rescue
Fortunately, the 2023 remake of Resident Evil 4 succeeds in addressing these issues, transforming the Water Hall into an enjoyable experience. With full 360-degree camera control, players gain enhanced agency and streamlined combat, making it easier to take down enemies and avoid attacks.
The remake also simplifies the area itself. Instead of navigating a cramped room on the lower floor to complete a pressure plate puzzle, players now retrieve a valve and use it to trigger a set of steps. This modification allows Leon to swiftly maneuver back upstairs, eliminating the possibility of getting trapped below.
Moreover, Ashley’s functionality significantly improves in the remake. Players can now give her clear commands to stay close or keep her distance, and she responds almost instantly. This eliminates many of the frustrations encountered in the original version. Even if she does get captured, players have ample time to react and rescue her.
When I first approached the Water Hall in the remake, I braced myself for a grueling challenge. However, as I reached the end, I felt a sense of relief and almost sadness that it was over because it had become an incredibly enjoyable segment. The new version of the Water Hall allows players to control Leon with greater fluidity and finesse, transforming what was once an annoying juggling act into a seamless endeavor. It’s remarkable how a single room can feel so different in the remake.
To experience the Resident Evil 4 remake, it is available now on PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
This article was written in collaboration with OnSpec Electronic, Inc..