On October 26th, Capcom via Twitter announced some new, but predictable ports for the Nintendo Switch. They would be bringing Resident Evil 0, the classic Gamecube remake of Resident Evil 1, and the game that has basically appeared on everything system (even the iPad), Resident Evil 4. Capcom did not specify whether or not the Switch versions would be the recent HD remasters, but all three are indeed on the horizon. With the coming arrival of 4, we will be getting the classic Ada missions, tons of fun bonus weapons & costumes to unlock, and everyone’s favorite mode: Mercenaries.
Yet, I cannot help but wonder if Resident Evil 4 for the Switch could be the best iteration of the game yet, even more so than the Steam port. I’m not referring to it having the HD remaster, but the singular element that only one port of this game has ever had and what ultimately made an already great game even better in my mind: Motion Controls.
Now, don’t go clicking to another window or closing out just yet. Motion Control is a concept that is dirty to some or brings back bad memories for those who played the Wii back in the day like I did (and still do) for many reasons. Unresponsive controls, overly convoluted motions, or actions that were easily done better with a single button press all come to mind. But the Wii version of RE4 did not have those problems.
Motion controls were kept to three simple things: aiming, swiping, and waggling. Pointing the remote allowed for pinpoint accuracy, allowing for an easier time shooting targets and enemies than what a joystick could provide. A quick swipe of the remote allowed you to pull out your knife and auto aim at boxes or enemies to cut into them without messing around with camera and feeling almost natural. Waggling was smartly kept to quick time events and breaking free from enemies’ grasps, the latter not even requiring that much shaking of the remote to get the results. All the motion controls were smartly implemented into the game in perfect ways, so much so that I can’t imagine playing it now without them.
I get people saying that motion control for RE4 takes the challenge out and make things much easier. From my own experience, I found certain sections to be a breeze with motion controls, like the castle chamber with all the water in it. Heck, at one point, I was sniping with the damn TMP without the need of the stock. However, I do find that the challenge is still there due to the excellent level design and enemy placement. It’s still very easy to get swarmed, overwhelmed, or run out of ammo if you’re not careful. Plus, easier controls don’t make the one hit kills and very stocky enemies go away. The control scheme can only make things so easy at times.
So, I really feel that having motion controls, now gyro controls, should be in the Switch port. They provide a fun way to play that’s not cumbersome, but that also enhances the overall experience. It can make things easier and more accessible for all kinds of players, while still remaining challenging due to how well made the game is. The control scheme is already used sort of in Splatoon 2 and Doom with the gyro aiming, so it wouldn’t be a stretch with programming since those two already paved the way and many people enjoy that playstyle. Plus, having more variety in ways to play the game, as long as it isn’t the only option, is good in general for everyone. Just having that extra bit of customization in a game is always appreciated.
Resident Evil 4 for the Switch arrives in America sometime in 2019, with no other details really known at this point. While the game will be good regardless whatever form or shape its delivered, I do genuinely hope to see this port with the motion control options that the Wii had. In the end, I do think that control scheme only enhanced this masterpiece of a game more than anything.