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BIOHAZARD 4 PC
A little over two years ago Biohazard 4 was released for the
Nintendo Gamecube. Shocking the entire videogame world with
stunning 3D realism, new gameplay mechanics and an engaging
story, it became one of the untouchable titles of the
generation. Just months before it's initial release, a
PlayStation 2 version was confirmed for later next year.
This caused some shock around the Biohazard community,
considering Shinji Mikami, father of Biohazard and director of
Biohazard 4, promised exclusiveness to the Gamecube. Mikami-san
went as far as to say he'd cut his own head off if this were to
happen. Luckily he didn't go through with it.
Included in the PlayStation 2 version was an entirely new
scenario, Separate Ways. This expanded the story of Ada Wong,
further explaining her motives. Separate Ways also introduced
valuable plot information for upcoming Biohazard titles. This
was never released on the Gamecube, so player would have to buy
the PlayStation 2 version to experience this.
A few months after the PlayStation 2 version was released one of
our own members discovered Biohazard 4 may be coming to PC.
Reactions everywhere were the same, doubtful. However, it ended
up being a reality. Most players were excited to see how well
the game could look on a high end PC and today we have the
answers, as we are one of the first to get our hands on a import
The graphics in Biohazard 4 were always one the games stronger
points. The Gamecube version was highly detailed and ran
everything in real time, including cut scenes. The PlayStation 2
version was a drop in quality, a noticeable amount of detail was
lost in the translation and the cut scenes were not in real
time, thus taking away costume visibility. Sadly, the PC version
is the worst out of the three.
Running at maximum resolution the game has a welcomed sharpness
to it, considering the other two were a bit grainy, even in
(480p). However, that is where it ends. First off, the port
itself is from the PlayStation 2 version, so any details left
out for the PS2 are missing here as well. On top of it, it is
missing more detail and textures, thus giving off a flat look.
Surrounding structures look flat and vegetation looks like a
jagged mess, it's almost hard to see at times.
The cut scenes are not in-game and run at a set 512 x 336
resolution. No higher feeds are available, so prepare for blurry
scenes to compliment your overall sharp play through. This
definitely takes the player out of the game even more so than
the PlayStation 2 version.
The character models have a small drop off, but running in
higher resolution they are actually the one thing that looks
acceptable. Maps and text look better, but there are a ton of
small details that were never updated for the PC version and
remain running at very low resolution, thus sticking out like a
sore thumb. The best example would be the life bar. The frame
rate is locked at 30fps, but remains solid throughout the game.
There is little if any noticeable drops.
The sound in the game has also dropped from the Gamecube
version, with missing tracks and compressed audio. It doesn't
have as many sound pops and pitch errors as the PlayStation 2
version though. It's certainly deal able and even nice at times,
when everything is in place.
Playing any console game on the PC without a game controller
usually results in disaster, this one is no different. The
keyboard and mouse method is barely playable. More effort could
have resulted in an enjoyable control scheme, but the time was
never utilized and it shows. With a game pad it works well. The
configuration takes a minute or so and offers various schemes.
Played the game with two USB controllers, each worked about
The sensitivity was lessened, feeling less responsive and the
aiming mechanic was noticeably tweaked. Sometimes the laser will
go through items or enemies and out the other side instead of
stopping, which resulted in some painful memories. Either way, I
actually credit the group in this area. Building a game around
hundreds of compatible controllers and finding one medium that
works well with them all is a tough task and it actually worked
very well. A few more options for unique customization would
have helped, but otherwise it was fine.
While the door was open to make a fantastic game even better,
the opportunity wasn't taken advantage of. The PC version of
Biohazard 4 is playable, but does not do the game justice in any
area it originally excelled. Aside from better resolutions and
having all of the PlayStation 2 extras, it is a downgrade in
every other way.