When a future — hopefully hideously old version of me — lies on his deathbed, I reckon he’s going to regret all the hours he spent playing Resident Evil 4 remake. That’s probably because I’ve spent all the hours playing the Resident Evil 4 remake.
I really shouldn’t be in charge of my own free time. Left to my own devices, I end up in ludicrous situations like that of the last three weeks. Over a 20-odd day period, I decided it would be a good idea to finish Capcom’s brilliant redux six times. Yes… SIX.
Why, you ask? To get the Resident Evil 4 remake platinum trophy on PS5. Obviously. Going into the remake, I’d nabbed the platinum pot in the last four straight Resi titles — Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil 2 remake, Resident Evil 3 remake and Resident Evil Village. You can now make that five plats after I made Resi 4’s ultimate trophy ping mere hours before writing this article.
The numbers behind unlocking this imaginary piece of virtual silverware are more horrifying than any chainsaw-wielding villager. 107 hours, 28 minutes and 58 seconds of horrifying, to be exact.
First, there was an initial ‘normal’ playthrough where I — and try not to keel over in shock — played the game as intended. This meant merrily spending 16 hours blasting the Los Ganado in their stupid undead faces without giving all that much thought to when a trophy may or may not pop.
And that’s the last time the Resident Evil 4 remake was an actual video game to me. Ever since finishing that first, oh-so-innocent playthrough, Resi 4 has been a job.
My evenings over the past month have been dominated by Leon S. Kennedy’s riveting remake. While throwing all my downtime into one of the best games of the year is hardly what you’d describe as a grueling shift, the journey to the platinum trophy has been far from carefree.
Looking back, it feels like my experience of the Resi 4 remake has been half shooting decomposing monsters, and half forever juggling between multiple trophy guide tabs.
Finishing the game to obtain various completion ranks has been particularly tricky. This is especially true when you’re chasing the elusive S+ rank. On Standard difficulty, this involves speeding through the game in under five hours. While on Hardcore and the most challenging Professional setting you get another 30 minutes to get the undead job done.
Nailing an S+ rank using the game’s standard weapons with finite ammo is a task for nihilists only. Thankfully, this challenge becomes much more palatable if Leon is rocking special guns with unlimited bullets; like the Chicago Sweeper machine gun you get from finishing Professional mode with an A rank.
Even with an infinite rocket launcher or an unstoppable magnum though, there’s no amount of firepower that can blast through the fatigue of repeat playthroughs. The sheer repetition involved in finishing the game so many times has been draining.
The only reason I’ve got to the other side of this trophy hunt with a sliver of my sanity still intact is by listening to roughly 793 Arsenal podcasts while shooting all those ghoulish hordes.
My lowest ebb? Watching Jake Gyllenhaal eat scorchingly hot chicken wings on YouTube while I repeatedly failed to knife a blind beastie with hooks for hands for the ‘Never Heard It Coming’ trophy.
What makes this tale evermore cautionary is the fact I’ve not only finished Resident Evil 4 remake half a dozen times, but I’ve also completed the 2005 original at least that many times.
At last count, I’ve finished the genre-shifting survival horror on GameCube, PS2, PS3, Nintendo Wii and PC. I’ve even played the surprisingly excellent VR version on Meta Quest 2.
The moral of this story? Finishing various versions of Resident Evil 4 a dozen times doesn’t exactly scream ‘a life well lived.' Still, the remake is incredible… I just fear my future self is going to regret that 108 hours he spent earning a pretend PS5 trinket.