Newcomers won't have to worry about too much predictability; they'll be treated to many surprises and superb controls. A lot of gamers dread slap-dash Wii ports with ridiculous control schemes, and Capcom took heed. The Wii Remote and nunchuk are used to great effect, and their associated control scheme is mostly intuitive. Without researching it, I instinctively held the Z-button down and tilted the analog stick forward, expecting to run. It worked. I was impressed.
Holding down the B-trigger and aiming with the remote was not only fun, but challenging. The compact reticule is realistically restrictive, yet more forgiving than the old joystick scheme. Still, the controls are slightly compromised by one of my few gripes -- the camera, the feature few developers perfect, is governed by the d-pad.
No analog control equals imprecise camera movement. Along with the d-pad's out-of-the-way location, it'll cost you health in a close-quarters firefight. It's also prone to making you claustrophobic, which would've worked for a horror flick, but that's frustrating in a game. I would've preferred tilting the nunchuk around.
That issue can be overcome by playing with GameCube or Wii Classic Controllers, but adapting is the way to go. Overall, the Wii controls are the best Resident Evil has ever had. They'll serve you well through the best-looking version of RE4, which has been gifted with GameCube-quality surroundings and live-rendered cut scenes (which were pre-recorded and poorly compressed on the PS2 and PC versions), affording you some gorgeously gory sights.
Each of the stages is captivating in its own right, just like the filthy villagers who call them home. Wide-open spaces have the softly echoing sounds of nature, which enchant and forewarn of frights to come. In time, you'll leave those charmingly dingy outdoors behind, only to find yourself surrounded by anything from dank, rotting walls, to a grim facility of rust and rank.
Every area feels like it could be real, were your mind capable of reproducing whatever you'd see in your darkest, most creative nightmares. That adds to the sense of dread, an emotion successfully conveyed throughout RE4. Its visuals will thrill and shock you, but they wouldn't be as effective if it weren't for the enthralling aural accompaniment.
Music is used sparingly, and while this weakens some games, it's appropriate here. Dramatic chords won't strike your ears till you're about to be savaged by the ruthless ganados; when you're in the clear, merciless silence returns. You won't know when you're about to be attacked till you hear a foe's scream, or the roar of the chainsaw that's coming for your neck.
By the time you reach the sickly-breathing beasts of las plagas perfection, you'll know to keep your ears as open as your eyes. Whether it's because you've run out of bullets, your health is low and you've no healing herbs, or you've come face-to-face with a seemingly invincible beast, you'll be tried many times, yet you won't turn away. Once you've shot and stabbed your way to the end, you may even want to go back for more – multiple times. Resident Evil 4 is that well-crafted of a game, and the Wii version is the pinnacle of its existence.
Just remember to save your bullets.