After being announced and shown off at Apple’s iPhone 15 event back in September, the Resident Evil 4 remake is coming to iPhones, iPads, and Macs with Apple silicon on December 20.
For those unaware, the original game was released back in 2004 for the Nintendo Gamecube and was released on PC and other consoles in subsequent years to critical acclaim. The game revolves around Leon Kennedy, the protagonist who is sent to a village in Spain to rescue the President’s daughter from a cult called the Los Iluminados.
After remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3 were released in 2019 and 2020 respectively, fans had been hoping for a remake of the fourth entry. Their prayers were answered in June 2022 with a reveal trailer. Released on March 24 earlier this year, it again received critical acclaim for its gameplay, its narrative, and how it was a faithful remake of the original all these years later.
The Apple silicon port has some notable differences from Resident Evil Village, released last month. It’s a universal purchase, which means if you buy it once on your iPhone, you can download it on your Mac and iPad at no extra charge. The remake also takes advantage of hardware-accelerated ray-tracing that was shown off at both the iPhone 15 event and Apple’s ‘Scary Fast’ event on October 30. If you have an M3 Mac or an iPhone 15 Pro model, you’ll be able to switch this on for the game as these models support this feature.
The port also comes with new DLC (Downloadable Content), released for console and PC back in September, called ‘Separate Ways’. Here, you control a new character in the story, called Ada Wong, a US agent, and there’s a new mode to play called ‘The Mercenaries’. This is a score-attack mode where you face hordes of enemies, and you simply have to survive as long as you can.
The port will be available to buy for $59.99 / £59.99 once it’s made available on December 20. However, if Resident Evil 4 plays like Resident Evil Village, we’d recommend playing it with a controller, to save your hands from major cramps.
The price you pay for Survival Horror - iMore’s take
In my hands-on with Resident Evil Village back in October, I mentioned how busy my iPhone 15 Pro Max’s screen looked with the touchscreen buttons. Trying to move, aim, and fire in quick succession was very difficult, and it was nowhere near the great experience had with the game on my Steam Deck back in 2022.
It wasn’t until I used the RIOT PWR USB-C Controller, that everything felt natural again. Using its analog sticks and shoulder buttons to quickly aim at the hordes of enemies felt great, and I could even see the vast landscape of the snowy village, instead of touchscreen buttons. I can’t help but feel that the same scenario will occur once I play Resident Evil 4 next month on my iPhone.
The other concern is its price, which may spook some users. At $59.99 / £59.99, it’s a big ask for those who may have already played the game just six months ago. When you combine this with the cost of a controller too, you may be looking at spending almost $100 for the privilege of playing a console-quality game on your iPhone.
However, the devil, or the zombie, is in the detail here. Once you buy the game, you can play it on your other Apple devices, free of charge. If you have an Xbox and a PC at home, you have to buy the game twice to play the game on both devices. It’s the ease of use here that will appeal to many.
There’s also the ‘Separate Ways’ DLC, which costs an extra $9.99/£9.99 on consoles and PC but is included in the Apple silicon port.
For me, this is where Resident Evil 4 on iPhone wins out. You get the convenience of playing it on more than one Apple device, and the recent DLC, for just $59.99 / £59.99 in total. Also, if you have a spare DualShock or Xbox controller, you don’t even need to buy a new pad, you can pair these to your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and get the full experience, as I did with the RIOT Controller playing Village.
It’s a great deal, and for a game that came out in the same year on console and PC, I’m looking forward to going back to Los Iluminados once again during the Christmas holidays on my iPhone.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.