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Resident Evil 4 Remake’s Lack of a Dodge Mechanic Feels Like a Necessary Departure
Resident Evil 4 Remake's Lack of a Dodge Mechanic Feels Like a Necessary Departure,While Resident Evil 3 Remake added a brand-new dodge mechanic to the franchise, Resident Evil 4 Remake takes the dodge away for the better.

Resident Evil 4 Remake’s Lack of a Dodge Mechanic Feels Like a Necessary Departure

Modern-day action games often don't feel complete without some form of dodge mechanic, whether it's a simple roll to avoid oncoming fire, a dash behind cover, or even a grappling hook that lets the player escape from combat quickly. But as an action-horror game, Resident Evil 4 doesn't need one, and in fact, the remake goes out of its way to show why its lack of a dodge mechanic is actually a good thing.

When Resident Evil 3 Remake launched in 2020, it debuted a new dodge mechanic. Resident Evil 3 Remake's dodge allowed skilled players to duck and weave through that game's insatiable hordes of zombies. But while this mechanic worked well for Resident Evil 3, Resident Evil 4 made the smart choice to leave that mechanic behind in favor of its own atmospheric techniques.


RELATED: One Mechanic Unique to Resident Evil 3 Remake Should Have Carried Over into Resident Evil 4 Remake

Resident Evil 4 Remake Doesn't Need a Dodge a Mechanic

Resident Evil 3's dodge mechanic worked well for a few key reasons. While it could be activated with just one button press, Resident Evil 3 Remake's dodge would only yield successful results when the player timed it right. If they messed up the timing, the consequences would be grave, likely resulting in some major damage taken. This mechanic required skill to use, and pulling it off successfully would lead to some intense but satisfying close calls. It was exactly what Resident Evil 3 needed to make its close-quarters, confined level design feel more energetic and empowering.

Resident Evil 4 Remake really doesn't need the same dodge mechanic. For the most part, Resident Evil 4's level design is more open-ended. Though tight corridors do exist throughout the game, players are always given room to move freely around the environment and keep distance between themselves and their enemies. Players very rarely need to run past a horde of enemies, and when they do, the lack of a dodge mechanic makes that moment feel all the more intense as Leon staggers enemies before making a mad dash to the exit.

Resident Evil 4's level design also encourages the player to make careful split-second decisions about their positioning. Introduced during the very first combat sequence in the game, Resident Evil 4 Remake teaches players early on to keep their foes at arm's length and ensure they don't get backed into a corner. If the player could simply dodge out of the way of oncoming attacks, that pivotal aspect of Resident Evil 4's identity could be lost.

That's not to say that Resident Evil 4 Remake isn't without its own share of modern-day mechanics. Over the last decade or so, largely thanks to games like Dark Souls, the concept of a parrying has become increasingly popular. Tied masterfully to a durability system, Resident Evil 4 players can parry a range of melee and projectile attacks with their knife, but doing so will cause the weapon to degrade and eventually break. So while a get-out-of-jail-free mechanic does exist in Resident Evil 4, it isn't without its consequences, and it definitely isn't unlimited. More often than not, Resident Evil 4's parry mechanic is a last resort, only to be used by the player when they're backed into a corner with nowhere to go. This parry mechanic doesn't reward the player for their skilled button presses, it instead criticizes them for being clumsy enough to need it in the first place, and encourages them to do better.

Resident Evil 4 is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

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