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Resident Evil 4 remake the red-robed zealot in the Wine Cellar Image: Capcom via Polygon

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The looks that slayed hardest in Resident Evil 4, ranked

Only the sexiest can survive

Capcom’s Resident Evil series has always centered around two things: being hot and staying alive, in that order. Well, and rocket launchers, but those are pretty hot, too. From the very beginning, since Resident Evil in 1996, Capcom has equipped nearly everyone — good guys, baddies, and hell, sometimes even the monsters — with outfits, accessories, poses, and glamour fit for a fashion show.

It’s only when the gunfire, zombies, and monologues about world domination and viruses arrive that it becomes clear that the Resident Evil franchise isn’t a fashion show. But you know what? The outfits in Resident Evil 4, and specifically its 2023 remake, deserve to be reviewed like one.

[Ed. note: The following contains mild spoilers for Resident Evil 4.]

Capcom wisely updated some character designs for the remake, including Ashley Graham, and added some new, optional costumes, but don’t worry: Leon’s classic jacket from 2005 is back, and it looks better than ever. We’ll get to him, but fair warning: It would be impossible to include every time a character served (it would just be a playthrough of the entire game?). So, here are the best, most fashionable outfits and slays from the Resident Evil 4 remake, ranked.

Leon Kennedy takes aim at an oncoming Iron Maiden enemy in Resident Evil 4 Image: Capcom via SHiNWiN/YouTube
A Regenerator (Iron Maiden) enemy in the 2023 Resident Evil 4 remake grabs Leon Kennedy by the head, as Leon brandishes his knife in response Image: Capcom via SHiNWiN/YouTube

5. Regenerator (Iron Maiden)

Picture this. It’s dark. You’re in a dank basement. There are trash bags hanging from the ceiling. You think you’re not about to stumble upon a gorgeous, hardcore display of fashion — but you are most definitely wrong.

Just as you’re thinking, Ew, gross, this juicy trash bag is dripping sticky drops on me, that’s when it happens. The trash bag slips down, and a lumpy guy just kind of slides right out. It’s hard to look closely, since these gray dudes are monsters who will definitely try to kill you — an important tip if you’re ever in the room with one of them — but they do have a very commanding presence.

Once their glowing, magic hearts are shot up, they get super-pointy spikes all over their body, and if you can manage to stay alive and not die, it is truly a fashion display to take in. It’s honestly art. But also watch out, because their spikes will shoot everywhere after they die, and their butt falls out, and it hurts when they hit you.

Two composited images of Leon Kennedy from RE4 make up this image, with a close-up of Leon aiming a gun on the left, and a full-body shot of Leon in his brown leather jacket on the right Image: Capcom

4. Leon and his classic jacket

“Not bad, right?” and “You twisted son of a bitch” are both things that Leon says while slaying enemies, and yet those phrases both seem to be apt descriptions for Leon’s classic, early-game fit. Though it’s sad that Leon’s coat is lost on his way to save Ashley Graham, it’s pretty easy to see why even a brainless Ganado would steal it. It’s a slay no matter who wears it. Capcom even allows players to correct the fashion narrative once they complete game’s main campaign, in case they want to keep Leon cute and cozy in the castle.

The spider-like Plaga Araña explodes out of the back of a man wearing a vest in an example image from the UI in RE4 Image: Capcom

3. Plaga Araña

VER-SA-TILE. For those who haven’t heard or don’t know, these giant spider scorpions from hell go with everything. Castles, beaches, outside at night, or, um, anywhere else you want to make a statement. The long, crawly legs, the hissing — it’s a whole vibe, but the fact that they reanimate the dead is a major slay (or should we call it a reverse slay?). It doesn’t matter how dead a room may feel or how last-season some outfits may appear, because once the Plaga Araña is on the scene, everyone is sure to get moving and screaming.

A composite of two images from Resident Evil 4 depicting Ashley Graham’s tear-streamed face on the left side, and a full-body shot of her new outfit (brown jacket, skort, and blazer) on the right side Image: Capcom

2. Ashley Graham and her cute brown blazer

Ashley Graham may be running for her life, held captive, and near death for most of her time in the Resident Evil 4 remake, but that doesn’t stop her from looking cute through it all. Her orange, sleeveless top is in season. It’s fashion. It’s now. But it’s her adorable brown blazer that steals the show.

Ashley Graham’s original 2005 design worked (for gross players), so Capcom’s updated redesign isn’t just a surprise: It’s empowering. Ashley’s green miniskirt from the original game, which couldn’t have provided her with any level of comfort or protection (either from players or from the elements), has been reworked into a skort and a pair of tights, eschewing misogyny while also bringing warmer and more appropriate wear for those autumn temperatures and rain.

In the original, Ashley’s skirt felt like it was worn for everyone else in the room. The original RE4 was aware of that, with the game even having dialogue built in for slimeball players who decided to look up Ashley’s skirt through a rifle scope while Leon was standing on lower ground. But in the remake, Ashley and Leon both feel dressed their best, as cool as the two can feel, as they help each other stay alive. It all adds up to be one of the biggest slays on Capcom’s RE4 remake runway.

One of the biggest. But not the biggest.

A Resident Evil 4 remake cultist with red robes and a bull skull on his head Image: Capcom via Polygon

1. Zealot with staff

Alright, so he’s pretty much one of the most slayest guys ever, let alone in Resident Evil 4. Objectively. This zealot enemy shows up and just immediately starts the party and turns heads (heh). This guy knows why he’s there. He knows his main objective isn’t to battle; it’s to dazzle.

He’s a drummer, dancer, singer, and fashionista in this fight. He knows how to play his part. He knows he is background — and so he works it perfectly. Outfitted in a red tattered robe and equipped with a mystical staff, this zealot leader is able to work all kinds of magic.

Once he starts chanting and singing, people in the crowd lose their minds. Literally. All of the other zealots have their heads explode, with the festering, twisting Las Plagas parasites popped and exposed through their necks. This slay brings the bad guy vibe all the way up to 11, even stunning Leon Kennedy briefly, presumably from how fucking cool the party just got. It’s a shame you have to kill the whole room, but you can always leave the zealot leader for last and achieve maximum spooky vibes.

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