After quickly kicking the awful PC port to the curb back in 2009 (no, the HD patches didn't help and controls required at least 2 taskbar utilities to not be completely terrible), I got a copy of the Wii version, ripped it and started running the best version of this game possible on the latest Dolphin emulator. Using an HD patch as well.
After completing the first village level I have to say I'm a bit confused. THIS is the gold standard for the last console generation?
Everything about the game screams juvenile. From the characers' appearance and the way they act (seriously, Leon is basically Action Man without the orange clothes), to the paper thin plot and setting that is just an excuse to shoot things. The sense of atmosphere in say, Silent Hill 3 or Penumbra is non-existent here. The hilariously cheesy "scares" the game throws at you are basically the kind of gimmicks you'd find in an amusement park.
The reverence directed at this game has got me thinking: was this game released when a new generation of gamers were just starting to get their voices heard?
I understand this kind of subjective enthusiasm: I am convinced to this day that Metal Gear Solid is a peerless masterpiece (the game was available in the shops when I was 17).
I get the feeling that Resident Evil 4 is one of those well executed games where a younger audience would not look to closely at the campy/bad plot and characters, but would rather be overwhelmed/impressed by all the well executed game design aspects of the game.
Out of curiosity, any of you older gamers objectively consider Resident Evil 4 the best game you have played in your entire lives?