Most of us remember Resident Evil 4, the critically acclaimed survival horror classic that set the standard for future games in the genre. But, while the average player struggles to beat the game on the Professional difficulty level, speedrunners are already making a mockery of it. Recent records from Distortion2 and spicee have pushed the boundaries of the game to break the two-hour mark, thanks to leading-edge techniques and strategies. In this article, we'll take a look at how the speedrunning community is tackling this challenge and the strategies they are using to reach record times of under two hours.
Firstly, speedrunners take advantage of a strategy known as running past enemies, which saves time by avoiding fights and lengthy parries. Distortion2 and spicee have both implemented this technique, culminating in a 1:58:47 run from spicee and a 2:05:01 run from Distortion2. The strat is so effective and reliable that it's now the accepted way to play the Professional difficulty level.
The need for speed also has consequences, of course. Speedrunners often opt to ignore pickups such as the powerful Red9 pistol due to the time it takes to find it. Similarly, they often leave a sweet little dog to suffer in a bear trap in order to speed up the El Gigante fight. Though it's a sad sight, it goes to show how serious speedrunners take their runs.
Aside from a few glitches, the runs are mostly traditional Resident Evil 4—just played much faster. Both spicee and Distortion2 have said that there's a lot of potential for further optimization, and getting sub-two-hour runs will continue to get easier as improvements are made. If you're interested in watching the speedruns, both spicee and Distortion2 regularly stream their attempts on Twitch.
In conclusion, it's incredible to watch speedrunners make light work of the Professional difficulty level in Resident Evil 4. The use of clever techniques and strategies has enabled them to break the two-hour mark and get ever-faster times. Though some of the techniques used are a little harsh, it goes to show how tough speedrunners can be to reach the record times they do. If you're interested, both spicee and Distortion2 regularly live to stream their attempts on Twitch.