For Mother’s Day this year my husband got me Resident Evil 4. And some oriental lilies. But this post is about the game.

I suck at video games. I really do. But Resident Evil 4 is pretty fun so far, so I decided to walk our readers through the game as I play it. It’s like vicariously playing the game as if you really suck at it.

Here goes.

This game takes place several years after Raccoon City got nuked because it was overrun with zombies and shit. The Umbrella Corporation has supposedly gone down the tubes. You play as Leon S. Kennedy, who doesn’t look a day older than he did in the first game. Seems the president’s daughter went on holiday in Spain and was kidnapped by some crazy cult, so it’s your job to get her back (though I fear I might regret saving her, because her picture on the DVD case even looks annoying. Leon better get laid for this.)

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The game starts with a cutscene of Leon driving through gloomy Spanish forest with two snarky policia who talk to each other in Spanish a lot, obviously making clever, cutting comments about Leon- probably about his hair, which, to be honest, is kind of ridiculously emo looking. They halt long enough for one of the cops to take a piss (with sinister music in the background!) and then they stop at this rickety little shack. The policia stay in their safe truck while Leon (you!) goes into the house, without even knocking (I mean, you’re not given the option to knock so you just have to barge right in). There’s this hollow-eyed, bearded dude putting some wood into his fireplace or something. There’s a cutscene where Leon approaches the guy and shows him a picture of the president’s daughter, asking if the guy has seen her. He asks in English, because he’s American and thus an asshole who thinks everyone in the world should speak English.

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Hollow-eyed man screams at him in Spanish. Leon actually retreats, and the man picks up this ax that was propped up by the fireplace.

And suddenly you find yourself facing a crazy ax-wielding Spaniard who wants to chop you into sausage meat. You have to shoot him or knife him. Since he has an ax, stabbing him is tough- an ax apparently being a longer-range weapon- so you really just have to shoot him. If you suck like I do, you have to shoot him about 5 times before he falls (and since your gun only holds 10 bullets at a time, this is a problem). But after he’s dead you get to loot the body, and he’s loaded with cash.

If you check out the rest of the house while the guy quietly decomposes downstairs, you’ll find more ammo. And also under the stairs you’ll find shelves lined with skulls. This makes you feel a lot less guilty about killing him.

Here’s the thing about this house (and the entire village so far): there is loads of ammo and cash and ‘green herbs’ (it took me a while to figure out what that was for. It raises your health meter, or maybe it just makes you not care you’re wounded…). Yet despite all this bounty, the villagers only ever attack with axes, knives, scythes, pitchforks etc. And in one unfortunate section, a chainsaw. But that comes later.

You leave the house and have to fight off some more guys armed with farm implements. This was where I realized you could shoot the bad guys’ feet and disable them, then once they’re on the ground, stab them to death. This really saves on ammo. It only took me half an hour and two deaths to figure this out!

I told you I’m crap at video games.

The cops have taken off, so after fighting off these farmers, you have to walk this creepy path through the forest to the village proper. Luckily there are signs with arrows pointing the way. Less luckily, these signs are all decorated with human skulls and ragged strips of bloody flesh. At this point I was wondering if the president’s daughter was actually worth it, because even her picture in the game manual looks annoying, but you really have to keep going forward. The path is lined with sheds filled with mutilated dead people and cash and ammo and herbs. And also some other murderous farmers, and- watch out for this one- an electrified fence. BAM! When you leave one shed you hear this whimpering, and see a dog caught in a big steel bear trap.

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At this point I was steeling myself to shoot the dog in the head. I mean, what else are you going to do? Put it out of its misery. So I drew my gun and prepared to kill this poor dog, when the option button popped up and said, ‘Help’. Oh, I thought. Okay. I am so fucking jaded it never occurred to me that the game would even give me the option to help. So I set the dog free and it bounds off (despite probably having a broken leg), barking. I was wondering if it was going to draw the bad guys to me, but I’ve had to do this twice and it doesn’t seem to.

Anyway, when you get to the actual village, you see this fire in the town square, and hanging above it, impaled on a big spike of indeterminate origin, is one of the policia. Aw, damn. They were kind of douchebags and all, but they didn’t deserve that. Leon says that they should have come with him instead, but the way I play, I figure they would have ended up impaled and burned even if they had come with me.

Even I know better than to run headlong into a group of insane murdering villagers, so I sneak around the outskirts, trying to see what’s going on before they notice me. I ran into this peasant woman who tried to stick me with a pitchfork. I didn’t want to shoot her as the gunfire would attract attention, so I stabbed her instead. She ended up screaming anyway (there was no option for ‘clap hand over mouth and slit throat’), so I found myself battling loads of these inbred Spanish farmers, one of whom jumped on me and tried to eat my face. I managed to shake him off and run into a house, where I barricaded myself with some wood. Ha! Take that, inbred face-eaters!

As I poked around the house, finding more ammo, green herbs, and cash money lying around, I heard a noise outside.

Oh shit…is that…is that a chainsaw?

I panicked, did the horror movie no-no, and ran upstairs. There was a shotgun mounted on the wall, but before I had a chance to use it the chainsaw-wielder tore through my barricade. They were on me like a pack of starving feral werewolves. Then the chainsaw guy, who wore a burlap sack over his head, chainsawed my head clean off.

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It was gross.

And that’s where I am so far. If this Ashley girl wants to be rescued, she’ll find herself waiting a long time.

I forgot to mention that Leon carries this radio thing and periodically his support staff (who appears to be just this one chick) calls to check on him and give helpful tidbits of advice. She always calls right after you have to fight off some of these maniacs, but at least she doesn’t call while you’re trying to kill them all.

The Wii controls take some getting used to but since I’ve played other games that require me to shake my hand while pressing buttons, it wasn’t too hard. For some reason, shaking your hand to reload your gun seems really goofy to me and I snicker every time I do it.

And finally, when you die this screen comes up to let you know (like you couldn’t tell when Leon sinks to the floor minus his head), and the font makes it look like the game is mocking you.

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More Resident Evil 4 fun will be on the way once I get past this current mob of crazy-ass murdering villagers!