Resident Evil 4 (Sniper)
Genre: Survival Horror
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 4
Art direction in RE4 is consistent throughout: every area has a distinct color scheme, both as it pertains to lighting and texturing. Player models are detailed, and lots of fancy light filtering effects are put to good use. 16-bit color means there are a lot of dithering artifacts, but outside of that, this game proves that good visuals are possible on the Wii.
Like most modern games, there is a disappointingly small number of proper songs in the game. Rather, the title opts for ambient noises, and the occasional, hauntingly rhythmic battle-style songs during the more intense action sequences. Fortunately, the voice acting is very strong, and, frankly, rescues the game from aural mediocrity.
I couldn't imagine playing this title without the remote; the core of the gameplay involves rapidly aiming between multiple targets at point-blank range, and to that end, the Wii control scheme works fabulously. The level design is good but suffers from an inordinate number of cheap plot devices designed to cramp the player's style. Still though, there are plenty of creative encounters, both with bosses and ordinary baddies.
RE4 is a perfect example of both the good and the bad from the Miyamoto-era of the game industry. Positively, there is an engaging narrative, consistently clever gameplay elements, and some beautiful graphics. Negatively, not only is the game linear, but it resorts to ridiculous plot devices to keep the player in check-- your character can backflip off a 30-foot wall during cut-scenes, but won't step over 6 inches of rubble during gameplay. RE4 is a very good game all-in-all, but is hardly a paradigm-shifter.