RESIDENT EVIL 4 Or BIOHAZARD 4
( SURVIVAL HORROR )
( Introducing )
RESIDENT EVIL 4 Or BIOHAZARD 4 ( バイオハザード4 )
RESIDENT EVIL 4 Or BIOHAZARD 4 ( バイオハザード4 Baiohazādo Fō ) , is a survival horror third-person shooter video game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 and published by multiple publishers , including Capcom , Ubisoft , Nintendo Australia , Red Ant Enterprises and THQ Asia Pacific.
The game was originally released for the Nintendo Game Cube in January 2005 in North America and Japan , and in March 2005 in Europe and Australia.
The story follows Leon S. Kennedy , who is sent on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham , the President's daughter , who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult.
Traveling to a rural village in Europe , he encounters a horde of violent villagers who pledge their lives to the cult.
First hinted at in early December 1999 , Resident Evil 4 underwent a long development time during which four proposed versions of the game were discarded.
Initially developed for the Play Station 2 ( PS2 ) , the first attempt was directed by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami requested him to create a new entry in the Resident Evil series.
Nevertheless , it was decided to start development over again.
The game was intended to be a Game Cube exclusive , but a PS2 version was announced before the game was released for the Game Cube.
Resident Evil 4 was subsequently released for Microsoft Windows and Wii , and in heavily condensed versions for other platforms , including the iOS , Mobile phones , and Zeebo.
Resident Evil 4 garnered universal critical acclaim.
The game was considered by most critics as a top contender for 2005's Game of the Year , and was seen as a successful crossover hit.
The new gameplay alterations and immersive style appealed to many not previously familiar with the series.
( Plot )
Racoon City has been destroyed under orders from the U.S. government , after the company Umbrella set an experiment that caused major incidents.
Leon S. Kennedy is recruited by the U.S. Secret Service after they learned of his involvement within Raccoon City.
Leon is sent on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham , the President's daughter , who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult.
He travels to a rural village in Europe , where he encounters a group of violent villagers who pledge their lives to Los Illuminados ( " The Enlightened Ones " in Spanish ) , the cult that kidnapped Ashley.
While in the village , Leon is captured by its chief , Bitores Mendez , and injected with a mind-controlling parasite known as Las Plagas.
He finds himself held captive and tied up back to back with Luis Sera , a former Los Illuminados researcher.
The two work together to escape , but then quickly go separate ways.
Leon discovers that Ashley is being held in a chapel , and rescues her.
They both escape from the chapel after Osmund Saddler , leader of the Illuminados , reveals his plans to use the Plagas they injected on Ashley to cause a disaster in the United States once she is back.
Leon and Ashley try take refuge inside the castle of Ramon Salazar , a servant from Saddler , but are attacked by more Illuminados.
Both of them are separated by Salazar's traps.
Meanwhile Sera searches for the pills to slow Leon's and Ashley's infection , and then to bring a plaga sample.
He brings the two items to Leon but is killed by Saddler , who takes the sample , while the pills to suppress the infection remain in Leon's hands.
While in the castle , Leon briefly encounters Ada Wong , a woman from his past that supports him across his mission.
He then battles his way through the castle until killing Salazar.
Leon learns that Ashley has been taken to a nearby island research facility , and goes to find her.
Leon later learns that one of his former comrades from his years of training , Jack Krauser , is alive and is responsible for Ashley's kidnapping.
Both Ada and Krauser are actually working together for a third party related with Umbrella , and that Krauser intends to kill Saddler when he gets the chance.
Saddler knows this , and he orders Krauser to kill Leon , knowing that no matter which one dies , he will benefit.
After Krauser's defeat , Leon rescues Ashley , and they remove the Plagas from their bodies using a specialized radiotherapeutic device.
Leon confronts Saddler after seeing Ada as his hostage.
With Ada's help , Leon kills Saddler , and Ada takes the sample.
She then escapes from the complex in a helicopter , leaving Leon and Ashley to escape via her jet-ski as the island explodes.
( Gameplay )
The player controls Leon S. Kennedy from a third-person , over-the-shoulder perspective in a mission to rescue the daughter of the President of the United States , Ashley Graham.
The gameplay focuses on action and shootouts involving crowds of enemies in large open areas.
The camera is focused behind Leon , and it zooms in for an over-the-shoulder view when aiming a weapon.
Unlike previous games in the series , there is the addition of a laser sight that adds a new depth to the aiming , allowing the player to aim in various directions and easily change their placement at any time.
Bullets affect the enemies specifically where they are shot :
Shots to the feet can cause enemies to stumble , while shots to the arms can cause them to drop their weapons.
Another new aspect of Resident Evil 4 is the inclusion of context-sensitive controls.
Based on the situation , the player can interact with aspects of their environment:
Kicking down a ladder , jumping out of a window , or dodging an enemy attack.
There are also dynamic cut scenes , in which the player must press buttons indicated on-screen to execute actions such as dodging a falling boulder or wrestling an enemy to stay alive.
These are often incorporated into the game's many boss battles , where the player must avoid instant kill attacks.
The main enemies are violent villagers referred to as Los Ganados ( " The Cattle " in Spanish ).
Los Ganados can dodge , wield melee and projectile weapons , and are capable of working collectively and communicating with each other.
They were once simple farmers until becoming the product of an infestation of Las Plagas ( " The Plague " in Spanish ).
The inventory system of the game features a grid system , represented by an attache case , that has each item take up a certain number of spaces.
The case can be upgraded several times , allowing for more space.
Weapons , ammunition and healing items are kept in the case , while key items are kept in a separate menu.
Items may be bought from and sold to a wandering merchant that appears in various locations throughout the game.
He sells first aid sprays , weapons , allows for weapons to be upgraded and buys various treasures that Leon finds.
The various weapons each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Capcom added new content made specifically for the Play Station 2 , which was later incorporated into the PC and Wii releases.
The largest addition is " Separate Ways " , a minigame which revolves around Ada Wong's involvement in Resident Evil 4 and her connection to Albert Wesker , a former member of S.T.A.R.S. , who is now attempting to revive Umbrella.
" Ada's Report " , a five-part documentary , analyzes Ada's relationship with Wesker and his role in the plot.
Other unlockable content in all versions included the minigame " The Mercenaries " , " Assignment Ada " , a small minigame using Ada to retrieve plaga samples , new costumes for Leon and Ashley , new unlockable weapons and a Movie Browser.
( Development )
( Scrapped Versions )
First hinted at in early December 1999 ,Resident Evil 4 underwent a lengthy development time during which four proposed versions of the game were discarded.
Initially developed for the Play Station 2 , the first attempt was directed by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami requested him to create a new entry in the Resident Evil series.
Around the turn of the millennium,regular series writer Noboru Sugimura created a scenario for the title , based on Kamiya's idea to make a " cool " and " stylish " action game.
The story was based on unraveling the mystery surrounding the body of protagonist Tony , an invincible man with skills and an intellect exceeding that of normal people , with his superhuman abilities explained with biotechnology.
As Kamiya felt the playable character did not look brave and heroic enough in battles from a fixed angle , he decided to drop the prerendered backgrounds from previous installments and instead opted for a dynamic camera system.
This new direction required the team to make a trip to Europe , where they spent eleven days in the United Kingdom and Spain , photographing things like Gothic statues , bricks , and stone pavements for use in textures.
Though the developers tried to make the " coolness " theme fit into the world of Resident Evil , Mikami felt it strayed too far from the series survival horror roots and gradually convinced all of the staff members to make the game independent from it.
Kamiya eventually rewrote the story to be set in a world full of demons and changed the hero's name to Dante.
The cast of characters remained largely identical to that in Sugimura's scenario , although the hero's mother and his father , the latter an early version of Umbrella founder Lord Spencer , were written out of the story.
The game's new title was revealed as Devil May Cry in November 2000 , and development on Resident Evil 4 started over at the end of 2001.
The first official announcement of the game was made in November 2002 , as one of five games exclusively developed for the Nintendo GameCube by Capcom Production Studio 4.
This revision, commonly dubbed the " fog version " , was directed by Hiroshi Shibata and was 40 percent finished at that time.
The game saw Leon S. Kennedy infiltrating the Umbrella headquarters in Europe and featured traditional Resident Evil monsters such as zombies.
During the course of the new story which was again written by Sugimura's scenario creation company Flagship , Leon became infected with the Progenitor Virus and possessed a hidden power in his left hand.
The producer of the final version also pointed out that Ashley did not appear back then , though there was a different girl who was never revealed to the public.
Nevertheless , it was decided to start development over again.
At E3 2003 , another revision was revealed that is widely known as the " hook man version " now , though officially titled Maboroshi no Biohazard 4 ( 幻の「バイオハザード4」? , lit. " Hallucination Biohazard 4 " ) on the Biohazard 4 Secret DVD.
During Mikami's introduction of the trailer , he assured that development was proceeding very smoothly and claimed the game to be scarier than ever before , warning gamers with the quote " Don't pee your pants ! "
The story was set in a haunted building where Leon contracted a bizarre disease and fought paranormal enemies , such as medieval suits of armor , living dolls , and a ghostlike man armed with a large hook.
The game had an otherworldly feel to it , containing elements like flashbacks and hallucinations that were marked by a bluish tint and a shaking camera.
It also displayed various gameplay mechanics that carried over to the final release , like the over-the-shoulder camera for aiming in battles.
Other features , such as dialogue choices , were removed later.
Though ultimately scrapped, five minutes of gameplay footage for this version was released on the Biohazard 4 Secret DVD , a Japanese preorder bonus given out in January 2005.
After this attempt , the last canceled revision featured zombies again , but was discontinued before it was shown to the public as the developers felt it was too formulaic.
( Final Version )
Following that , it was decided to change the game's genre to reinvent the series.
Mikami took over directorial duties from Shibata and began working on the version that was released.
In a later interview , he mentioned that he was put under enormous pressure by Capcom, threatened with the series' cancellation if the game had not sold well.
According to newly-assigned producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi , the development team felt depressed and were hard to motivate after the focus of the game shifted from horror to action.
Although Mikami demanded the camera system to be completely revised, the staff members had reservations about making big changes to the series he had created.
Eventually , he intervened , explained his proposed changes , and wrote a new story for the title that , unlike previous installments , was not centered on the company Umbrella.
Inspired by Onimusha 3 , a game Mikami had enjoyed playing but felt could have been better with a different view , he decided to place the camera behind the playable character.
To go along with the new gameplay and story , a new type of enemy called " Ganado " was created , as opposed to using the undead creatures from previous Resident Evil games.
Furthermore , producers expended additional detail to modify and update characters that had previously appeared in the series.
In a documentary explaining the conception of the game's characters , a game designer stated he intended to make Leon Kennedy " look tougher , but also cool ".
The game's English voice actors recorded their parts in four sessions , over three to four months.
Capcom hired Shinsaku Ohara as the game's script translator and voice over coordinator.
In an interview with IGN , Carolyn Lawrence , who provided the voice for Ashley Graham , described her character as " vulnerable , because Leon has to come to her rescue all the time ".
She also described Kennedy's character as "more brawn , perhaps than brain ".
In addition to the voice acting , the game's designer detailed each cinematic sequence so that each character's facial expressions matched the tone of their voice actor.
Along with Resident Evil ( " Dead Aim " ) & Resident Evil ( " Outbreak " ) , two side story titles that did not fall under the exclusive policy , it was announced on October 31 , 2004 that Resident Evil 4 would come to the PS2 in 2005 , citing increased profit , changing market conditions , and increased consumer satisfaction as the key reasons.
The PS2 version included new features , primarily a new subgame featuring Ada Wong.
On February 1 , 2006 , Ubisoft announced that they would be publishing the game on the P.C. for Microsoft Windows.
On April 4 , 2007 , a Wii version was announced , and was launched later in the year.
The game features all of the extras in the PS2 version , along with other additions , including a trailer for Resident Evil ( " The Umbrella Chronicles " ).
( Versions )
Resident Evil 4 was ported to the Play Station 2 after Capcom stated that it did not fall under the exclusivity deal with Nintendo.
It was released in North America on October 25 , 2005.
Critics have stated that the PS2 version's graphics were inferior to the graphics in the Game Cube version.
However , some felt that the large number of exclusive features made up for these shortcomings.
The largest addition to the game is " Separate Ways " , a new scenario for Ada written by Haruo Murata.
The port was later included with Resident Evil ( " Code : Veronica X " ) and Resident Evil ( " Outbreak " ) as part of the compilation Resident Evil ( " The Essentials " ).
A P.C. port of Resident Evil 4 developed by Sourcenext was first released in Hong Kong on February 1 , 2007 , published by Typhoon Games.
It was later released in Europe , North America , and Australia in March 2007 and was published by Ubisoft.
The port contains the bonus features from the PS2 version , such as " Separate Ways " , the P.R.L. 412 laser cannon and a second set of unlockable costumes for Leon and Ashley , as well as an Easy difficulty level.
It also supports multiple widescreen resolutions.
The shadow and lighting issues were fixed in the first and only patch for the game, Version 1.10.
Resident Evil 4 : Wii edition was released for the Wii on May 31 , 2007 in Japan and on June 19 , 2007 in the US.
It features new controls involving the Wii Remote and Nunchuk , along with the ability to use the Game Cube controller or Classic Controller instead.
The Wii Remote is able to aim and shoot anywhere on the screen with a reticle that replaces the laser sight found in the other versions.
It can also be flicked to use the knife.
The Wii Edition also includes the extra content from the PS2 and PC versions , and a trailer for Resident Evil ( " The Umbrella Chronicles " ).
Biohazard 4 Mobile edition was released in Japan for au's BREW 4.0 on February 1 , 2008.
It was first announced by Capcom at TGS 2007.
Differences from the original include changing the flow of the story from being continuous to being divided into sections such as " Village " , " Ravene " , " Fortress " and " Subterranian Tunnel ".
There is also a more challenging Mercenary Mode.
The game uses the Mascot Capsule eruption engine and was adapted to the Zeebo and iOS platforms.
On July 13 , 2009 , without any formal announcement , Resident Evil 4: Mobile edition was released by Capcom for the iOS platform via the App Store in Japan , but was quickly removed.
Despite the quickness of removal , some players were able to purchase and download the game.
The game has since been officially released in Japan and North America.
Later , Capcom made an update that had different difficulty levels and highscores.
Recently , Capcom released a new separate version called Resident Evil 4 for Beginners , which offers the first two levels ( three counting a training level ) of both Story Mode and Mercenary Mode.
However , the rest of the levels are available for purchase in-game as downloadable content.
Due to the release of the iPad , Capcom recreated the iPhone version of Resident Evil 4 : Mobile edition and updated it to HD graphics thus creating Resident Evil 4 : iPad edition.
On March 23, 2011 , high definition remastered versions of both Resident Evil ( " Code : Veronica " ) and Resident Evil 4 were announced to be in development for the XBOX 360 and Play Station 3 , as part of the Resident Evil ( " Revival Selection " ).
The ports are to feature all the bonus content from the previous releases , including Separate Ways.
On July 23 , 2011 Capcom announced at Comic-Con 2011 that Resident Evil 4 would be released on September 20 , 2011 for the Play Station Network and XBOX Live Games on Demand.
In Japan , Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil ( " Code : Veronica " ) were released on a single disc with the title Biohazard Revival Selection on September 8 , 2011.
For North America and Europe , both titles will be only released as downloads on XBOX Live Games on Demand and Play Station Network.
( Special Editions )
The GameCube version featured two different collector's versions of the game.
The first was available as a pre-order that included the game , Prologue Art book , and a t-shirt.
GameStop offered another limited edition that was packaged in a tin box with an artwork book , a cel of Leon , and a soundtrack CD.
Australia received an exclusive collector's edition that came with the game and a bonus disc with interviews and creator's footage.
The PS2 version featured two standard and collector's bundles from pre-orders.
The standard package included the game and a t-shirt , and the collector's bundle included the game , t-shirt , a Leon S. Kennedy figurine , sculpted by NECA , and a black Biohazard Sound Chronicle Best Track Box.
This quickly sold out , and a second pressing was released that included an Ada Wong figurine.
Another , called the Resident Evil 4: Premium Edition , was packaged in a Steelbook media case , along with the artwork book , a documentary DVD , and a cel art of Ada.
( Merchandise )
Main article : Discography of the Resident Evil video game series An album titled Biohazard 4 Original Soundtrack , bearing the catalog number CPCA-10126~7 , was released in Japan on December 22 , 2005 , for the retail price of ¥2,500.
It contains 62 compositions from the game and the 48-page Visual Booklet with liner notes from composers Shusaku Uchiyama and Misao Senbongi.
In addition to BradyGames's Signature Series strategy guide for the Play Station 2 version , various figurines based on the characters and enemies were created.
Two were based on the likenesses of Leon and Jack Krauser.
Agatsuma Entertainment has also created various miniature collectibles based on several main characters and enemies from Resident Evil 4.
Two special controllers designed to resemble chainsaws were designed by Nuby Tech for the Game Cube and Play Station 2 versions.
( Reception )
( Sales )
The Nintendo Game Cube version sold over 320,000 copies in North America during the first twenty days.
The European release sold its entire 200,000 units during the first month.
By January 2006 , over 3,000,000 copies of the Game Cube and Play Station 2 versions had been shipped worldwide.
According to January 17 , 2007 sales figures provided by Capcom , the Game Cube version of Resident Evil 4 has sold a total of 1.6 million units worldwide , while the PS2 version has sold over 2 million units.
As of September 30 , 2011 , the PS2 version has sold 2.2 million units and the Wii Edition has sold 1.9 million units.
As of July 2011 , the game has sold 7.03 million units across all formats , making it the best-selling Resident Evil title and for which it holds the record for " Best-Selling Survival Horror Game " in the 2012 Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition.
( Reviews )
Resident Evil 4 was critically acclaimed and received an overall score of 96/100 on Metacritic for the Game Cube and Play Station 2 versions.
The characters and story generally received positive commentary.
GameSpot's Greg Kasavin praised the game's voice acting , but claimed that it was betrayed by "some uncharacteristically goofy dialogue".
Yahoo! Games' Adam Pavlacka and GameSpot's Kevin VanOrd acclaimed Capcom for adding great amounts of detail to the game's characters.
IGN's Matt Casamassina went into further detail in his review for Resident Evil 4 , praising not only the detailed character design , but also the fight choreography and three-dimensional modeling within cinematic sequences.
Casamassina also complimented the game's voice actors , especially Paul Mercier , commenting , " For once , the characters are believable because Capcom has hired competent actors to supply their voices.
Leon in particular is very well produced ".
IGN and Nintendo Power specifically recognized Resident Evil 4's character design and voice acting.
Hyper's Jonti Davies commended Resident Evil 4 : Wii Edition for its " visual improvements " but criticized it for having " no new content ".
The ratings of the PC port were not as high as for the other versions.
It was heavily criticized for no mouse support and frustrating keyboard controls , low-quality FMV cut scenes , choppy graphics rendering (lacks shadows and proper lighting ) and requiring a gamepad controller for more precise aiming and gameplay.
Despite the issues , the game still received positive reviews from IGN and GameSpot that praised the gameplay.
Japanese game magazine Famitsu reviewed the Wii version of the game , with two editors giving the game a perfect 10 score , and the remaining pair giving it a 9 , resulting in a score of 38 out of 40.
The reviewers noted that the game's improved controls offer something fresh and different.
One reviewer said that the game offers the feeling of being closer to the action as well as upping the tension.
Multiple reviewers agreed that even those who own the original will find something fun and enjoyable in this version.
British magazine NGamer gave the Wii edition a score of 96% , slightly lower than the 97% given to the GameCube version.
They praised the visuals , controls and features and commented on the fact that such an " exceptional package " was on sale for a low price ; however , when writing about the Wii controls , they said " if you've played the GC version this won't be as special ".
Official Nintendo Magazine gave the Wii version 94% , 3% less than the original due to it simply not having the same impact it did back then.
IGN praised the Wii version , stating it is the superior edition , but does not push the Wii like it did with Game Cube and PS2.
Game Spot praised the new controls of the Wii edition , but commented on the lack of exclusive Wii features.
The increased variety of weapons has been praised by gaming publications such as Game Pro and Game Over Online Magazine.
The makers of Resident Evil 4 worked on various innovations associated with the use and inventory of weapons.
Thomas Wilde explains that players can use the vast array of weapons to " go for headshots now ".
Game Informer explains that ammunition is more plentiful in Resident Evil 4 than in other games in the series , making the game more action-oriented.
( Awards )
The game has received several awards from various organizations from various video game websites.
Nintendo Power named it their 2005 Game of the Year , ranked it number one on their list of the " Top 20 Best GameCube Games of All Time " in their 20th anniversary issue and ranked it second on their list of the best games of the 2000s.
Game Informer gave the GameCube and PS2 editions of Resident Evil 4 a perfect score , and along with ranking it number one on their list of " Best Game Cube Games of All Time " , they named it their 2005 Game of the Year.
It tied with Kingdom Hearts II as Famitsu's Game of the Year 2005 and was named Game of the Year at the 2005 Spike TV Video Game Awards.
Nintendo Power acknowledged the title's voice acting in its 2005 Power Awards , while IGN gave the game the " Best Artistic Design " award in its the " Best of 2005 " segment.
The International Game Developers Association nominated Resident Evil 4 for their best " Visual Arts " award , but lost the award to Sony's Shadow of the Colossus.
The readers of Play Station Official Magazine voted it the tenth greatest Play Station title ever released.
The G4 TV show X-Play named it the greatest game since the beginning of the series.
In 2008 Resident Evil 4 was ranked number one on IGN's list of the " Top 99 Games of All Time ".
Game Informer ranked Resident Evil 4 number one on their list of " Top 25 Game Cube games ".
Game Informer also ranked Resident Evil 4 number three on their list of " Top 25 Play Station 2 games ".
( Impact )
Resident Evil 4 is regarded as one of the most influential games of the 2000s decade , due to its influence in redefining at least two video game genres : the survival horror and the third-person shooter.
It helped redefine the third-person shooter genre by introducing a " reliance on offset camera angles that fail to obscure the action ".
The over-the-shoulder viewpoint introduced in Resident Evil 4 has now become standard in third-person shooters , including titles ranging from Gears of War to Batman : Arkham Asylum.
It has also become a standard " precision aim " feature for action games in general , with examples ranging from Dead Space and Grand Theft Auto to the Ratchet & Clank Future series.
Resident Evil 4 also attempted to redefine the survival horror genre by emphasizing reflexes and precision aiming , thus broadening the gameplay of the series with elements from the wider action game genre.
However , this also led some reviewers to suggest that the Resident Evil series had abandoned the survival horror genre , by demolishing the genre conventions that it had established.
Other major survival horror series followed suit, by developing their combat systems to feature more action , such as Silent Hill Homecoming , and the 2008 version of Alone in the Dark.
These changes represent an overall trend among console games shifting towards visceral action gameplay.