My First Playthrough of the Resident Evil 4 Remake Demo was Disappointing in a Good Way

I bet every gamer worth their salt has already played the heck out of the recently released Chainsaw Demo for Resident Evil 4 Remake. This was easily one of the most anticipated demos out there because Capcom’s upcoming remake of one of the world’s most beloved games is something everyone wants to get their hands on.

That includes me, of course. I immediately went on my new gaming laptop and started downloading it off Steam. This was sort of a trial by fire for my Gigabyte G5 gaming laptop to see if it’s up to snuff to play modern games and to see how Resident Evil 4 Remake handles on it. Once I got it on there, I quickly booted it up, hooked up one of my spare PlayStation 4 controllers to it and started my first playthrough of the Chainsaw Demo, which is essentially the first chapter of the upcoming game. After I did, I couldn’t help feel a little disappointed from the experience.

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t an indictment of the demo and my first taste of Resident Evil 4 Remake. In retrospect, I kind of feel a lot of it was my fault. Still, I just couldn’t help but think “That’s it?” after finishing the Chainsaw Demo for the first time.

Now, I’m not putting any of the blame on the Gigabyte laptop. The Resident Evil 4 Remake worked beautifully on it. I used to think gamers saying that cranking up the framerate to 120 fps changes the experience was just hogwash. But, after playing through the Chainsaw Demo using those settings, I could feel the difference. Everything just moved at a really good clip and it made getting precise shots much easier. It does, however, contribute to some of the disappointment I experience but I’ll get to that later.

I do have to go through a little background of my experience with the original Resident Evil 4 before I move on. I remember being jealous and even betrayed when Capcom announced Resident Evil 4 was going to be a Gamecube exclusive. I was so sure the next entry was going to be on the PlayStation 2 because all of the previous entries were on Sony’s game console. That exclusivity deal was pretty short lived as, a few years later, Capcom did release a PlayStation 2 version and I couldn’t be happier! Sure, it was a crappier version of Resident Evil 4 but I didn’t care! I got to play it!

And play it I did! I must have finished the PlayStation 2 version of Resident Evil 4 a dozen times because the game was so good. Because of that, I became incredibly familiar with it. I searched every nook and cranny for all the hidden treasures. I knew were all of the traps were and went through the trouble of disarming every one of them, even though I didn’t need to. Okay, it helps that I did have a detailed walkthrough during my other repeated playthroughs but that doesn’t mean a lot of that knowledge isn’t burned into my subconscious somewhere.

This leads me to my first disappointment with the Chainsaw Demo: it plays almost exactly like the first chapter of the original Resident Evil 4. For some reason, I was expecting Capcom would modify the first chapter in some way like they did with the Resident Evil 2 Remake and Resident Evil 3 Remake demos. Those demos created a lot of suspense and uneasiness because you didn’t know what to expect. The Chainsaw Demo, while there were some minor edits, it still followed the same general structure of the first few minutes of Resident Evil 4. It’s still pretty fun but, as I knew what was going to happen, some of the thrill was gone. However, this is still just a demo so Capcom may be tricking us into thinking the Remake will be super faithful to the original and then have a totally new level layout in the actual game. You never know.

The next reason for my disappointment was the lack of treasures you can find in the Chainsaw Demo. And when I mean there’s a lack of treasures, I mean there aren’t any! I spent probably an hour in my first playthrough of the Chainsaw Demo and a good chunk of that time was spent looking for hidden glints of light, signifying spinels or some sort of goodie I could dislodge with a bullet or my knife.

Alas, there was none. None that I could find anyway. So I actually went online to see if anyone did find any jewels or anything that I just overlooked and I couldn’t find a single gamer who went through the demo and found any sort of treasure! Look, I don’t think the original demo on the GameCube had any treasures as well but I was hoping Capcom would give us treasure hunters something to sink our teeth into.

Finally, and this might sound like bragging, I thought the Chainsaw Demo was a little bit too easy. A lot of it has to do with the new Parry system. I found out how to do it by chance since I didn’t bother to go through the tutorial. Anyway, during the path towards the village, you come across a small hut with a guy hiding next to the entrance. I sort of expected it so I pushed the L1 button just as I entered. The guy then swung his axe at the same time, leading to a parry. I figured out I didn’t need any strict timing like the dodge mechanic in Resident Evil 4 Remake. I just push L1 when a guy with a weapon is close enough and Leon will parry the strike with his knife.

So, when I got to the village and everyone and their mother started going after Leon, there was a lot of time for me to practice the parry mechanic and parrying strikes with my knife like some kind of… parrying savant. Guy with pitchfork? Parry. Someone going after my head with an axe? Parry. It certainly helps that, after the parry, enemies are usually stunned long enough for Leon to run in with a melee attack. This might be because of the increased framerate I was playing at, increasing the window when the parry would work. I’m not sure but that’s what I think was happening because I can’t believe Capcom would make it this easy!

Speaking of the siege in the village, it did feel too short. During the attack, I was just running away from enemies and foolishly looking for treasures. I kept on going to the houses littered around the village and not really getting hit by enemies since I just kept on the move. Chainsaw bagman did eventually bust through the main gate but it didn’t matter since I was still dashing all over the place, never sticking to a single place long enough to get swarmed. Then, the churchbell rang and it was time for bingo. That’s what Leon said, anyway, before the game thanking me for playing the Chainsaw Demo.

Wait, it’s over? I hardly got to do anything! I didn’t even get the shotgun or anything like that! I never felt all that overwhelmed by the surge of enemies going after Leon and I never got cornered. I did get nicked here and there and I was at half-life when the bell rang. My knife was a little bit haggard from all the parrying but it was still alive. I did have a boatload of handgun bullets, gunpowder, herbs, first aid sprays and resources left over, as well as a ton of pesetas. All things I didn’t get to use since it was over before I knew it!

I have since gone through the Chainsaw Demo several times after my first playthrough. I did manage to find a few more things, like some herbs I didn’t pick up before. I even learned to do a sneak attack on one of the villagers. I even got that additional cutscene when you enter the two-storey house which contained the shotgun. I also went a little more combat heavy, which did make the village assault more difficult as I stood my ground instead of running away. I also now know Capcom hit a couple of hidden easter eggs, such as a higher difficultly that’ll pop up randomly and even the TMP that you can only get if you don’t have any equipment when you reach the village. There might be more stuff hidden in the demo that we still haven’t discovered!

Still, I can’t help but think about my first time playing the Chainsaw Demo. I guess I expected a little too much from it. I thought there would be some changes from the original level and treasures to pillage. I also thought I would get this feeling of desperation during the village siege. I simply didn’t get that. Then again, this is just a demo and there’s still a good chance Capcom will make some changes when they finally release Resident Evil 4 Remake at the end of the month. Until then, I’m going to try out the demo on my PlayStation 4 and tweak the settings on my laptop to get the best performance from it. I’m still having fun with the Chainsaw Demo now. But it was just a little rough at the start.

Have you tried out the Chainsaw Demo for Resident Evil 4 Remake? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below!


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