RE4 Remake is Phenomenal, Dead Island 2 is Decently Good, and Redfall is DOA

Amazing intro in…






*Bam* Your mind is blown.

Welcome to May, gamers. The sun’s out in full force which means it’s time to hide inside and do another six months of gaming. The sun’s overrated, and as always, I hope you’re all doing well.

I actually have had a few ideas spinning through my head on topics to cover, and instead of separating them into individual posts, I figured I’d put them in a recap style post much like the one I did in March. Quite a bit has gone on, and without further ado, let’s recap the happenings.

Resident Evil 4 Remake is Good… Really Good

Resident Evil 4 in-game start menu
Selfish plug, a live look at myself after completing the game on stream.

Continuing my trend of being late to the review party, I am here to tell you the good word about the Resident Evil 4 Remake.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, it’s freaking good, man.

I had my doubts which I think were warranted given the state of the Resident Evil 3 Remake and how the mere thought of remaking one of the greatest games of all-time after the previous remake scared many. 

The demo was a pleasant surprise after a random drop post the Capcom showcase, and I was surprised at how good it was. Safe to say the final product is even better.

Part of the previews for the remake made me worry because the tempo of the game has been drastically improved, ditching the quicksand mechanics for run-and-gun tactics that I grew up with. Safe to say it worked out incredibly, as I loved how fast-paced the gameplay was, allowing for tactical repositioning (shout to all the CoD players) and brutal combat segments. I was worried about the stealth being way too strong, and while the AI is pretty oblivious when you’re sneaking, it wasn’t game-breaking as they still have enough basic awareness to notice you and raise all hell.

The knife mechanics are pretty good, and I genuinely enjoyed how satisfying it was to deflect and parry attacks. Gunplay was good, although I felt like aiming down sight was too zoomed in, leading to some awkward fights, in my experience. Some of the reworked sequences are nice, with a huge shoutout to the Krauser fight; it’s still good, even without the quick-time events. It’s fun to go back and check how much remained the same or was changed between both games, and I highly suggest you do that if you’ve played both titles.

The story itself is a highlight, and from what I can tell it remains mostly the same albeit a few neat changes and twists to make it much more coherent. It may sound silly, but I enjoyed the opening as it gave us a good exposition on how Leon ended up on the search for the president’s daughter and how it impacts later plot points. Overall, I loved the narrative direction, and I’m excited for what comes next cough cough, give me Sheva Alomar, cough cough.

I will say, the castle opening sequence still sucks so much just like it did all those years ago. That’s extreme dedication from Capcom, which I tip my hat to. At least it looks pretty, with this being a breathtaking display of how powerful the RE Engine is, and for the love of God, please give me a Devil May Cry 3 Remake.

I will always preach that you could go back and play Resident Evil 4 to this day, as it holds up extremely well. However, much like the Dead Space Remake, this is the definitive way to experience RE4 as it retains what made the OG title so good all those years ago while modernizing it with a dash of innovation. Great job Capcom, and funnily enough, don’t be surprised if you see this and the Dead Space Remake in the running for Game of the Year when 2023 is at its end.

2023 is the year of remakes being better than new games (more on that later).

Dead Island 2 is Simple… but Good?

Dead Island 2, in-game screenshot
A pleasant surprise.

If the Resident Evil 4 Remake being good wasn’t a surprise to you, Dead Island 2 actually being a good title had to be a massive surprise, right?

Story time.

Dead Island 2 has been in the works for nearly a decade, switching developers left and right, as seemingly no one could make this dream a reality. Somehow, someway, it managed to find its footing and is finally out, with gamers getting their hands on the next iteration of zombie slaying.

End story time.

Now I’ve played only a bit of Dead Island 2 on PC, and I’m genuinely surprised at how it turned out. The game has a subtle charm as you run through the war-torn Hell-A: Los Angeles, California overrun by zombies. There’s nothing exceptional about the end product, as it’s what you’re used to in similar zombie games; pick up various loot to survive the zombie apocalypse and do a couple of side quests for good measure. Again, it’s nothing out of this world, but the core loop is fun as you hack and slash your way through zombies and assemble your army of survivors. Also, the actual act of killing the undead feels good control-wise.

I think what caught me off guard is how good this game looks in every instance. The locales are vibrant and full of that gorgeous California sun, the gore system is phenomenal as Dead Island 2 features a neat dismemberment system, rewarding you with chunks of zombie meat coming off as you beat the crap out of them. Each locale is memorable, and a massive shoutout to Dambuster Studios for making this a beautiful experience when they could’ve just dished out a PS3 title and slapped a $70 price tag on the final product.

Dead Island 2, in-game screenshot
It’s always sunny in Hell-A.

Speaking of the price tag, I don’t think this game is worth the price of admission, as it’s a shorter product retailing for $70 on console. Along with that, Dambuster opted to create smaller, open-world segments versus a large seamless open-world. While it is refreshing that it’s not another open-world game, I feel like this game would’ve benefited from a seamless open-world versus the approach the team took. What a weird thing to say, I know, and maybe that’s my point of view where I enjoy the massive open-world showcase from previous zombie titles. Overall, I’d say wait for a sale if you’re keen on picking this up, or get it for PC, if you can, since it’s only $60 plus taxes.

One thing that can’t go unnoticed is how polished this title is after the development hell it went through. It sounds strange, but this could’ve been a massive bug fest come launch, and given the state of a few other games that have launched alongside Dead Island 2, I guess development hell wasn’t that bad after all.

Triple AAA Games are Running on Fumes

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor artwork
The Dark Side of game development.

Double whammy for this segment and the first topic we’re talking about is alarming.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the sequel to 2019’s Fallen Order, a game I dearly loved, and was one of my most anticipated titles of 2023. After targeting a March 2023 launch date, Respawn Entertainment announced it needed extra time to iron out the bugs, opting to delay the release to April 28. 

No problem, take your time.

However, what ensued was a massive letdown for nearly everyone. Jedi: Survivor would launch to immense red flags, with highlights such as the game being nearly unplayable on PC and console versions struggling with performance issues. The Steam reviews were brutal.

What makes it even worse is that news broke detailing that the game’s director refused another delay because the team thought they wouldn’t need it. Despite this disappointment, the overall sentiment seems to be that a great game lies here; it’s hidden behind bugs and game-breaking glitches, and shoddy performance. Time will tell how we look back at Jedi: Survivor, as patches will be rolling out over time to fix it, but it’s a bit of a bummer as I’m sure everyone would’ve been fine had Respawn decided to take the extra time to polish this a lot more. Also, I’d say the goodwill EA slowly started earning after a spectacular slew of single-player games took a nice little blow.

In the end, Jedi: Survivor will sort itself out, however, one game will not be able to do that. That game is Redfall, and oh boy, Bethesda, Arkane, and Xbox sucked the blood out of this one.

Get it… vampire joke?


Redfall artwork
Trust me, the actual game doesn’t look anything close to this screenshot.

Arkane Studios, for the unaware, are the masterminds behind some gaming’s better immersive story games, such as Dishonored and Prey, with the former being one of my favorite titles. The team’s last project, Deathloop, really split the community, as Arkane took a deeper dive into an FPS style of game, and the final product was a mixed bag of menu surfing and brainless AI. Despite that sentiment, the team looked to push forward and experiment more with Redfall taking on this genre of co-op, looter-shooter as players take back the town of Redfall, Massachusetts from vampires.

I wasn’t too keen on what I saw, but I still opted to give Arkane a chance, especially since this was a Day One Game Pass launch.

With that in mind, I’ll be damned if I say there’s a good game here. 

From the studio that gave us Dishonored and Prey, games with worlds that feel believable and are full of enthralling stories, Redfall is like watching paint dry in prison, but there’s nobody else in prison, so you’re rotting away by yourself. It’s so lifeless in every aspect, it’s hard to believe that Arkane created this. It feels like the worst possible clone of Deep Rock Galactic, the four-player co-op Dwarf extravaganza, but Deep Rock is amazing, and Redfall is not.

The enemy AI is not bright, the gunplay is unsatisfying, and the mission design boils down to “go here, go there,” and flat-out, it’s not fun. The previous sentiments don’t include the technical state of the game, as it’s so poorly optimized, I felt that my game was going to crash multiple times when I traveled through the town. Graphically speaking, the PS3/Xbox 360 era created better technical showcases.

Redfall is rough, and this problem has gamers in arms at the chain of command. For those of you keeping track, Redfall joins the likes of Fallout 76 as a massive stain on Bethesda’s portfolio, and with Starfield launching later this year, the general sentiment seems to be that many are worried, especially if the project launches like Redfall. 

It’s gone even higher up the chain of command, as some fans are calling for Xbox head man, Phil Spencer, to step down. It’s been two years since Bethesda joined the Xbox family, and this is the first showing from the studio since the acquisition, and yeah, it’s not good.

Let’s not forget the recent news surrounding Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision is in jeopardy, and Xbox is dangerously close to falling very far behind in the proverbial “console war.” PlayStation released God of War Ragnarok last year to immense success, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom will fry your Nintendo Switch this week, while both Redfall and Halo Infinite are shells of what they should’ve been.

This is sad, I think what hurts me the most is that somebody actively went out to preorder and spend premium dollar on this product just to be gutted that this is what they got. Obviously, this isn’t the only outlier as Star Wars Jedi: Survivor launched very rough on PC, Call of Duty never manages to get it right year after year, and many more titles launch DOA. It’s a troubling trend that’s been on the rise, this “launch and fix it as we go” mentality, and more gamers need to keep their eyes peeled and raise awareness.

Since the launch, Spencer has come out and talked about the disappointment, but to me, it seems like he’s been doing too much damage control as of late. Time will tell how the remaining slew of Xbox titles fair, but Redfall needs to be left in the dirt. GG, Go Next.

That’s all I got folks. Hopefully, your enjoyed this style of content, as I might do this for future posts! Also, let me know what you’ve been playing and/or your thoughts on what’s been going on in the industry.

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