Some Tid Bits of My RE 4 Remake Playthrough on Hardcore.

***Warning, some Minor (non story related) Spoilers***

I have already finished a playthrough on Standard mode, and I must say, I'm pleasantly surprised by this remake. I would go as far as saying it's the best remake I've ever played. They've kept some of the classic battles the same or very similar, but much of the game is so reinvented it keeps you guessing on your first playthrough.

Compared to the negatives I've read about the new sneak kill option, I was surprised it can be used in a lot of places, even after some enemies in the same area have spotted you. I even stealth killed a Brute at the farm just before the village on my first playthrough. At the fish farm on this playthrough though, I did not get the stealth kill prompt when sneaking up behind one, though it may have been that I was in view of a guy with a crossbow up high.

The enemy AI is fairly complex in that sometimes the enemies at the other end of the fish farm for example will be already spawned by the time you take out the ones on the opposite end you start at. Other times they will spawn in at the other end as you approach it, and they can also spawn in back at the starting end as you circle back while scavenging.

Knife strategy comes into play more in this remake, since you can do a fair bit of sneak killing with it. At times I am reluctant to block attacks for fear of it wearing down the knife, but I'm not sure if blocks even damage it. I wound up with just enough knife stability at the fish farm though, as it literally broke on the very last enemy after killing her as she was trying to mutate. You also have backup knives you can find like boot knives and kitchen knives, but they wear faster and aren't as powerful. The backup knives can also be used to make bolts for the new Bolt Thrower.

This first one is a mix of stealth and open combat, the latter of which utilizes a ladder top choke point. I can never get enough of seeing the burly Brutes lose their balance and fall off the ledge after I pummel them with shotgun rounds. It feels easier to avoid the stumps in the lake when battling Del Lago in this remake, as the boat steers a LOT more responsively. He can very quickly turn 180 and lunge at the boat though, so you must be ready for that or the boat will take damage. You also can't swim to the boat if you get knocked out of it by the boss or hitting stumps, which is why it's important to avoid capsizing. It's hard to believe this guy started life as a miniscule salamander!

Searching the fish farm for boat fuel, and battling Del Lago!

This one I call Mining For Some Heart Palpitating Gold. The flash bang comes in really handy here to deal with this first nasty encounter with mutating dogs. However I had later come to regret that I neglected to buy the recipe to craft them. This starts out as a backtrack to find a Small Key to unlock a drawer that has the treasure. Small Keys are one of the things in this game that are seemingly simple, with less valuable treasure to find, yet they cleverly hide them and that treasure can add up if you miss it.

Revisiting the Lakeside Settlement for loot!

At first I thought they left out the dog that you can rescue from a bear trap, whom then later comes to help you with this boss. It turned out they just put him in a bit later in a different spot. This is where I was wishing I had a flash grenade or two to get in one or two easy melee attacks after stunning him with them. In reality though, the only reason I took damage from him was I wasn't patient enough to let him come near me at one end before running to the other. I had that in sync pretty well the first half of the fight, but you need to change up your pacing if he stumbles around, I didn't, and paid for it. However the final time he damaged me he nearly instantly pounced on me from the other end, I did NOT see that coming. Luckily I had plenty of eggs from my feathered friends at the chicken farm on the other side of the lake!

Defeating the first giant El Gigante!
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BTW, I did some more testing on sneak killing Brutes and have verified that if another enemy is seeing you while you try it, despite the Brute not being alerted, you won't get the prompt. If not seen by another while trying it though you can definitely sneak kill Brutes on Hardcore mode too.

I like this formula, it's not at all like the cheap hive mind AI many games use, and I think it's befitting zombies to be a bit clueless at times if only one of their kind sees an enemy. I have recorded some more footage, including passing back through the Village at night after rescuing Ashley, and it's mostly done with stealth, including a Brute.
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This next set of 3 videos takes you to the end of Chapter 5 with The Church, revisiting The Village (ending with Savage Mutt) and the The Farm, and finishing with Stand Your Ground.

The Church

This is really hard if not impossible to do with complete stealth, but I sufficed with not alerting the enemies in the church itself. If you can manage that, which is not hard, you can take on a couple isolated foes overtly, then make a mad dash for it if spotted again. I'm not sure if Ashley is visible or invisible to enemies, but sometimes I wish she'd get right behind me when I'm trying not to be seen by passing foes. Truth be told it's kind of worth it just to hear her classic Valley Girl-esque line, "Oh my GOD, what's WRONG with these people", when we get spotted. Oddly enough as I was backtracking off capture afterward to see if I could access the lake again to fish some bass for free healing, it was easy to take out all those remaining with stealth. It's not accessible though, as the cliff edge scaffolding collapses when you get back to the church.

Village Revisited

As promised, I was determined to show here that some fairly important segments can be played mostly with stealth. I was able to rack up 7 of the 11 foes with sneak kills. It's possible to do 3 of the other 4 with stealth as well, but can be hard to judge the timing. This ends with a Request called Savage Mutt, which is a particularly nasty mutating dog that's very dodgy with loads of health and a very nasty and extra long tentacle strike.

Farm Revisited/Stand Your Ground

I'm a bit upset that after a few tries I finally got a REALLY good start with 4 back to back sneak kills, but then I ended up taking my covert to overt ratio lower than The Village going a direction I shouldn't have and wasting lots of ammo on the last 3. It really pays to take a few seconds and peek to see what direction foes you CAN see are facing before taking an unsure path assuming the ones you can see will spot you. The reason The Village and Farm after the Church are fairly important segments as I said is you have the fairly tough Stand Your Ground segment to defend the house against waves right after it, and it's helpful to be well stocked for it.

The one thing I DID have in good supply for Stand Your Ground was handgun ammo, which I made pretty good use of for what seemed like over half of the battle. I was also able to craft some shotgun shells and got in some good shots with it upstairs to help Luis when he went up there. I also made good use of a couple grenades and 2 flash bangs, one of which allowed me to melee kill a Brute. Where I ran into trouble was staying upstairs too long where there's less room, and took lots of damage, but I was worried Luis would get killed if I left him up there without help.

Next I have to take on the dreaded Chainsaw Sisters in Chapter 6, and I'm worried I won't have enough ammo. I will likely pay for that final Power upgrade on the Riot Shotgun though, since it's a weapon I prefer to keep to the end anyhow.
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Here's Chapter 6, it's a short one with just two 10 min videos, but it packs a punch with boss fights against the Bella "Chainsaw" Sisters, and Mendez, the Village Chief.

Bella Sisters

I decided to include the very necessary prep for this fight to allow a safer, more effective strategy of breaking two doors open to facilitate a dash to a couple gas lamps that can be used to burn and slow enemies chasing you. I didn't make the best use of the first one, but got the sisters caught up in the 2nd. The other added beauty of this method is when you run to the edge of the area, the enemies, including even the Bella Sisters, retreat making it safer and allowing time to reload and switch weapons. This method is also very good if you are low on resources from the Stand Your Ground fight. It ends with a mad dash to escape the Village Chief and more crazed Ganados.

Defeat Mendez

This is a much tougher fight against the Village Chief Mendez. He has one attack that is particularly hard to avoid unless you manage a well timed drop to the lower area to avoid him. All others are relatively easy to see coming by comparison. I had planned to use the one tri-blend herb I had on hand anyway, as they also raise your overall health capacity.

So I'm now at the Castle and have the Stingray rifle, Blacktail handgun, and Broken Butterfly magnum. I also have some flash bangs I didn't use that will come in handy against the Novistador giant flying bugs. Last play through I was able to stun and kill 4 of them at once just with one flash bang and the knife. I have only afforded one power upgrade each on the Blacktail and Stingray so far, and none on the magnum, but the magnum was on a special offer at a lower price with free ammo, so I didn't want to pass that up. If I'd not purchased the TMP and maxed it's power earlier, which still sits in storage, I'd probably have been able to at least max the power on the Blacktail and Stingray, but I'm thinking it will come in handy for any stray Novistadors I can't stun with the flash bangs. The Castle also has plenty of treasure to make money for upgrades too.


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