So the Resident Evil 4 remake is, surprisingly absolutely nobody given the quality of the source material, good. It looks great, it has some modern ideas about inventory and, on the PS5, it also knows how to make the most out of the DualSense controller’s fancy adaptive triggers.
If you’ve never held one, the DualSense doesn’t just have triggers, it has triggers that can have their resistance adjusted by the game, and which can also send vibrations through the player’s fingers. A lot of games use them, but most of them use them only in the most predictable, rudimentary ways.
Not Resident Evil 4! Capcom really put in work here, using the triggers in ways that are in some ways improvements on existing ideas, and in others just brand new ideas entirely. Take footsteps, for example. While many games will give you a little rumble to match the player’s walk, in Resident Evil 4 that feedback will vary depending on the type of terrain you’re walking on (or in some cases walking in).
Guns are another example of some outside-the-box thinking. Again, nearly every game that features firearms will send some rumble through the triggers when you fire, but Resident Evil 4 extends that to the act of switching between weapons; if you pull out a handgun it’ll feel light, while swapping to a shotgun will add some heft.
Also great (if not directly related to the triggers) is the use of the controller’s small speaker. Once more, loads of games use it, and many use it well, so in this case it’s not like Resident Evil 4 is pioneering anything, but still. The way the game’s radio conversations play out all crackly through your controller (instead of a cutscene like they used to) is a neat piece of immersion, and in other cases you’ll get tricks like most of the audio playing through your TV while some of the spookier effects come through the DualSense.
None of this is a game-breaker, and I’m in no way saying versions on other platforms are any worse for lacking these features. It’s just nice to see, like it was with the Dreamcast’s VMU and the GameCube’s various add-ons, when studios take the time and effort to cater to a console’s weird, specialised selling points!
(PS, is anyone playing on PC with a DualSense? Would love to know if the features work on that version too, or if they’re just locked to the PS5 edition)