Zombies, zombies everywhere.

So I finally beat Resident Evil 4 last night.

When I was at Gamestop with John a few months ago, he told me this was one of the greatest video games ever made.

“You mean one of the greatest games ever made for the Playstation 2?”

“No.  I mean, one of the greatest games ever made.  Period.”

I was intrigued.  And skeptical.

John and I have been on this zombie kick for the last couple of months.  I think RE4 started it.  We also watched Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead.  I recently started reading World War Z by Max Brooks (author of The Zombie Survival Guide) and am really excited about Brad Pitt’s movie that is supposedly coming out next year.

Anyway, I started playing Resident Evil 4 (henceforth referred to as RE4) when we first bought it.

My first impression? The game creeped me OUT.

I didn’t even want to play it at first, after watching John initially play it.

Set in the backwoods and ruins of rural Europe, you play Leon Kennedy, whose mission is to rescue the President’s daughter, Ashley who has been kidnapped and infected by some zombies.  They are not regular zombies though, shuffling along like the ones from Night of the Living Dead and a tortoise can outrun them.  They’re fast, they appear to retain some intelligence, and they can communicate and coordinate with one another and operate weapons and machinery.

Yeah. Scary.

I think the scariest thing about the game is just the sense of isolation.  John says it’s the isolation and total immersion that makes this game so wonderfully creepy.  You really do feel like you’re this lone warrior.  I was always afraid to turn a corner because then a horde of zombies could be coming at me with blazing torches and pitchforks, or some creepy monk/priest zombies screaming “Matalo!” (“kill him” in Spanish) and firing fiery arrows catapults at me, or flying insects that strangle and vomit venom all over you if they grab a hold of you.

I had to completely change my mentality from the shoot-em-up games I had been used to.  RE4 is of the survival horror genre, meaning the goal is not to kill as many zombies as possible, but to just survive.  If you try to take the whole mob, you may just waste all your ammo in the process when you could easily have run away. It’s all about running away.  Conservation of ammo.  Picking up health items.  Being smart.  Using the environment around you.  There was so much creative thinking and strategy involved.

Anyway, I finally beat it last night.  The last boss was Saddler, this gross parasite that had been controlling everything from the beginning.  This picture is tiny, but you can still see.  Dude was a beast.

I actually had a tougher time escaping the cave after I killed this guy.  You’re supposed to take this jet ski and then speed out of the cave with Ashley hanging on the back.  I think I crashed and drowned (or was crushed by falling rocks) about 7 times before I actually made it out of the cave!  Silly.

Days ago, John went ahead and beat the game on his own and then proceeded to beat the bonus side mission (where you play as Ada Wong, not Leon) so he could unlock the special infinite machine gun and the infinite rocket launcher.  He told me I could use those weapons but I refused.  I wanted to beat it on my own before I started using those “cheat weapons” as I called them.

Mission accomplished!  Now what’s next…?

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