Resident Evil 4 on iPhone 15 Pro Is Playable, But With Some Caveats
December 18, 2023 Andrew Cheng

Playing a full AAA game on the go is an increasingly feasible option in this day and age. Whether you’ve got a handheld gaming PC like the Asus ROG Ally or a smartphone like the iPhone 15 Pro, you can do some serious gaming on these mobile devices.

In the case of the latter, it is now possible to play a AAA game like Resident Evil 4 on the iPhone thanks to Apple’s new A17 Pro chip, which I did over the weekend. However, while the game is very much playable on the 15 Pro, there are some caveats to keep in mind.

I’m about a couple of hours into Resident Evil 4 on the iPhone 15 Pro right now, and it’s nostalgic to jump back into the game after I played through the original 2005 title on the PS2 back in the days. Of course, the graphics have been improved quite a bit since then, and the game (for the most part) looks good on the iPhone.

That being said, there are some portions of the game where details are lost with noticeable pixelation on the iPhone 15 Pro, even on the character model. This does affect the immersiveness of the game, though it’s still impressive that the iPhone can run a full-blown AAA game.

Graphics quality aside, the iPhone 15 Pro can maintain a relatively stable 30fps frame rate in Resident Evil 4, from what I can tell. There are some occasional frame rate drops here and there, but the game gets back up to 30fps relatively quickly.

While gaming at 30fps doesn’t sound particularly great, Resident Evil 4 still runs quite smooth on the iPhone 15 Pro. The game doesn’t feel sluggish at all – beyond the aforementioned frame dips in certain sections – as I move Leon around the eerie village, and I had minimal issues aiming and shooting at enemies.

But here’s the caveat: I was using the PS5’s DualSense controller for the majority of my gameplay on the iPhone 15 Pro. While the on-screen controls work reasonably well when I’m just strolling about, it’s a different story in combat situations where I need to hold down on certain buttons to aim and shoot.

It also doesn’t help that the buttons take up screen space as well, even if they can be repositioned and resized to my liking. If you want the best gaming experience, I highly recommend getting a compatible gamepad, such as the excellent DualSense controller.

Controls aside, there’s also the fact that Resident Evil 4 drains the battery of my iPhone 15 Pro quite rapidly. This doesn’t come as a surprise, of course, given just how graphically intensive the game is. If you want to help Leon save Ashley as you’re out and about, keep this in mind.

All in all, I do think Resident Evil 4 is very much playable (and entertaining) on the iPhone 15 Pro. At least, that’s my takeaway after spending a couple of hours with the game on the iPhone. While it is not the best way to experience the game, I definitely enjoyed playing it on a mobile device, albeit with a gamepad connected. The on-screen controls are not exactly ideal for an action game like Resident Evil 4.

Resident Evil 4 will be available on iOS, macOS, and iPadOS on 20 December for RM121.90 as part of the game’s launch discount until 17 January 2024; that is 50% off the main game. You don’t have to buy the title before you try it either, as you can play a certain portion of the game first before committing to a purchase.

Aside from the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max, Resident Evil 4 is also compatible with Macs and iPads that are powered by Apple’s M1 chip or later. I will be testing the game on the M3 Max MacBook Pro very soon, so stay tuned for that!