Game Reviews

Resident Evil 4 (iPad)

Star onStar onStar halfStar offStar off
Resident Evil 4 (iPad)

Capcom ought to have issued a quarantine after the iPhone and iPod touch release of Resident Evil 4 because this iPad version is symptomatic of a plague.

Our generous take on the stripped-down survival-horror adventure identified areas of concern, all of which have manifested into full-blown flaws on iPad. Outdated controls, primitive graphics, and a general lack of value denigrate the Resident Evil franchise.

Contracted from the 2005 GameCube original, the story puts you in the role of Secret Service agent Leon Kennedy as he searches a remote European village for the US president's kidnapped daughter.


Instead of the first child, Leon makes first contact with Los Ganados - hostile locals under some form of weird possession. Like zombies, they're out for blood. You're more than happy to give it to them.

Leon comes packing a handgun and knife, though additional firearms including a shotgun, Magnum, and rifle are acquired through the course of the 12-mission Story mode. Firing is a matter of tapping the 'attack' button to prime the gun, then once more to shoot. Since the knife is fixed as a secondary weapon, there's a separate button for it.

Curiously, you're unable to move and attack at the same time. Priming a gun or the knife cements Leon in place. It's enormously frustrating and indicative of antiquated design. This setup may have sufficed for the original Resident Evil, but it's inexcusable on iPad.

Thumb-less stick

The same can be said of the movement controls, which merge both walking and camera into a single, all-purpose virtual analogue stick. It was barely passable on iPhone, and it's nothing short of insufferable here.

With as large a screen as iPad has, there's no reason why the camera can't be adjusted by swiping anywhere on the screen. In this way, the analogue stick could be reserved solely for movement.

Instead, Resident Evil 4 sticks with this awkward, uncomfortable control scheme on iPad. It smacks of laziness, and this apathy extends to other aspects of the game including several typos in dialogue that remain unedited from the iPhone version.

A sore sight for eyes

Increasing the resolution of an iPhone release and packaging it as iPad-optimised doesn't cut it. Characters and enemies are blocky, textures muddy, videos blurry - it goes on. It's understandably tough preparing a game for a launch, but when you consider that iPad has more processing power than GameCube - on which Resident Evil 4 first appeared - the graphics ought to be better.

As if all this weren't bad enough, you're asked to pay nearly twice as much for the privilege of playing it on iPad as on iPhone. And that's without any bonuses or extra content.

It's difficult to know what kind of cure can be concocted for Resident Evil 4 given how much it's degenerated, but we can't recommend picking it up before the game doctors sort it out.

Resident Evil 4 (iPad)

Resident Evil 4 infects iPad with an insufferable mix of clunky controls, outdated visuals, and overstated value
Tracy Erickson
Tracy Erickson
Manning our editorial outpost in America, Tracy comes with years of expertise at mashing a keyboard. When he's not out painting the town red, he jets across the home of the brave, covering press events under the Pocket Gamer banner.