Monks are crashing down from the sky and crawling out of the sewers like a plague of rats; they’re swarming the water hall with no sign of stopping. But I have no time to stop and think about my growing predicament, not when I have the life of Ashley, the President of America’s daughter, to think about.
As Ashley cowers behind me, I yell at her to find somewhere to hide; it will just be me against the crowd of undead monks. Armed with shields, fiery crossbows, and maces, these cultists mean business. They crawl closer and closer until my eye line is crowded with bloodied and torn robes.
I back up and assess my surroundings. These guys may have some pretty scary-looking medieval bludgeoning weapons, but I have something more intimidating. I have a DualSense Edge controller.
Edging my bets
I’ll admit I’m not a console gamer. For the last six or seven years, I’ve played almost exclusively on PC, and for a long time, I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything. Most of the games we saw on PS5 would eventually come to PC, and I felt more at ease with a keyboard than a controller.
So when I decided to give the Resident Evil 4 remake a go on PS5, I was more than a little worried. It had been so long since I’d used a controller that I feared the part of my brain responsible for that area of expertise had died a rotten death.
At first, I was a bit shaky. I even tried auto-aim but quickly realized this felt like I was wrestling an invisible hand for control over my handgun.
After a couple of close calls and quick time encounters, I soon got to grips with the PS5's pro controller, the DualSense Edge, and honestly, I haven’t looked back since. I had forgotten how fluid it felt to use a gamepad to switch between weapons, quickly combo enemies, or swiftly dodge attacks. It became like second nature using this controller, so much so that I felt I was doing the great Leon Kennedy justice with my combat skills.
While this was a eureka moment for me, Resident Evil 4 working smoothly isn’t unusual, considering it's a console-first game with the original being made for the GameCube. Being able to quickly cycle between guns in the weapon wheel or parry and dodge upcoming shots with infinitely better ease than you would have on a keyboard is a by-product of Capcom thinking about consoles and, therefore, controllers before anything else.
On the Edge of glory
The Resident Evil 4 remake has convinced me of the PS5’s benefits more than Sony’s own exclusives. I bought the console to play God of War Ragnarok, but as exciting a game as that was, it didn’t get me using the DualSense at its best.
I button-mashed my way through God of War Ragnarok, rarely finding the combat challenging. I had no incentive to learn the gamepad, as my button-mashing ways were never punished. If there’s a way to complete a task and use none of my brain cells, you better believe I’ll do it that way.
The Resident Evil 4 remake is different. Its combat and boss fights can be punishing if you don’t master your skills and inventory, swapping items effectively in fights. Did you forget to slice the neck of one of the cult members as you shot down two more? Great, now you’ve got a wormy-molded monster on your hands. Are you trying to break a shield with just a pistol instead of quickly equipping your shotgun and smashing it to pieces? Now you have a mace in your face.
While this was a little stressful to get my head around at first, the trial by fire that this action horror game dishes out forced me to learn my lesson and truly get to grips with my controller in a way that I had yet to experience before.