resident evil 4 It’s a few weeks away, but eager fans can play its first chapter right now thanks to the recently released Chainsaw demo. The timeless demo allows fans to experience the opening of the upcoming remake, which sees Leon S. Kennedy fending off a town full of angry villagers. It offers a taste of the reworked combat system from the full game, but also reveals some very significant story changes in the new version.
like the original resident evil 4, the demo opens with a voiceover from Leon summarizing previous Resident Evil games. However, the content of those two openings is radically different.
The original game chronicles what happened in Raccoon City and details the subsequent downfall of the Umbrella Corporation, the pharmaceutical company responsible for creating a zombie virus. After a quick appearance in the title, Leon explains that he received special training after the Raccoon City incident and was given a government job. His task would be to protect the family of the President of the United States. When her daughter goes missing, Leon is sent to a remote Spanish town to find her.
That’s pretty much all we have in terms of setup. it’s a quick and convenient way for the series to ditch its traditional zombie premise and transform Leon from local cop to international government agent. From resident evil 4 it was a whole new chapter for the game, there wasn’t much of a pre-existing lore to carry on in regards to what happened to Leon between resident evil 2 and 4.
In the new version of resident evil 4, that opening tells a very different story. León recalls the events of resident evil 2, explaining what happened in Raccoon City and the government’s decision to bomb the whole place. He’s not so practical about the incident this time; he expresses deep trauma over the event and appears to harbor resentment towards the government for its actions.
This is where things get interesting. Leon doesn’t just say that he got special training after the event; he notes that he was forced in government service this time. That’s significant to fans because it acknowledges a significant part of the lore that was introduced into Resident Evil: Chronicles of the Dark Sidean obscure Nintendo Wii light gun game that would retcon Leon’s backstory in 2009. That game reveals that the government essentially blackmailed Leon into commissioning, threatening to kill G-Virus-infected girl Sherry Birkin, who rescued in resident evil 2 if he did not comply
It’s worth noting that the movie guy messes up his own timeline by accident. When talking about that event, he shows footage from the Netflix CGI miniseries. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, which implies that this is when all this happened. In fact, that series takes place after resident evil 4, so its inclusion doesn’t really make much sense despite looking like accurate B-roll. You certainly won’t need to watch it to catch up (nor will you need to watch Netflix’s recent live-action adaptation for that matter).
The rest of the intro adds some original pieces to that backstory as well. Leon explains that his government training was exhausting. To illustrate that, we see footage of him fighting Jack Krauser, a character that was originally introduced recently in resident evil 4. Krauser’s backstory has since been expanded significantly: he and Leon are actually partners in chronicles of the dark side. That game also establishes why he eventually goes rogue and what happens to his arm. However, to my knowledge, this is the first time we’re told that Krauser formally trained Leon.
All of this opens up some interesting possibilities for the remake. It looks like we’re going to get a version of Leon who’s more of an unwitting participant in his mission and who’s dealing with trauma and resentment of his employer. We can also expect Krauser and Leon’s relationship to go much deeper this time around, playing into their story. All this could make the new version of resident evil 4 it feels more consistent with the nearly 20 years of plot development that followed its success.
You can see the scene for yourself at resident evil 4Chainsaw demo right now on PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.