Resident Evil 4 (バイオハザード４ Baiohazādo Fō , known as Biohazard 4 in Japan; abbreviated RE4) is a horror-themed, third-person shooter/action-adventure game published and developed by Capcom. Resident Evil 4 is the sixth installment of the Resident Evil series. It first debuted in North America on January 11, 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube, and was later released in Japan and Europe. On October 25, 2005, the game was released on the Sony PlayStation 2 with additional gameplay features, but weaker visuals. A PC port was released on March 2, 2007. A Wii port was released on May 31, 2007 in Japan, June 25, 2007 in North America, June 29, 2007 in Europe and July 5, 2007 in Australia. An HD format port was released as a downloadable game for Xbox Live and PlayStation Network on September 20th, 2011.
The game's main protagonist is Leon S. Kennedy, of the few survivors of the Raccoon City incident, who was recruited and trained by the US Government to become a special agent after they learned of his actions in Raccoon City. Now an agent for a special security agency, Leon is sent on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham, the President's daughter, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult organization. Leon travels to an undisclosed village in Spain where he encounters a horde of unruly villagers who pledge their lives to Los Illuminados, the cult that perpetuated Ashley’s kidnapping. He meets Luis Sera, a former Los Illuminados researcher, who aids Leon on his mission. By examining Sera’s notes, Leon discovers that Los Illuminados gained control of their subjects by implanting a mind controlling parasite known as "Las Plagas" into their bodies. Unfortunately, Leon and Luis are captured, during which time Leon is injected with the parasite. After escaping and meeting a mysterious man known as the Merchant, who supplies Leon with ordnance and weaponry, Leon returns to his objective. He travels across a lake where he faces a large and dangerous creature, "Del Lago". Leon defeats the creature, but is severely fatigued, and collapses in a cabin. After regaining consciousness, he obtains a key to open the church where Ashley is being held. On the way back Leon fights with the gigantic "El Gigante". While escaping with Ashley, he meets the mastermind of Los Illuminados: Osmund Saddler. He tells them about the Plagas growing in their bodies. The two escape from Saddler, and make their way to the extraction point. Meeting up with Luis once more in a cabin, they are ambushed by a seemingly never-ending crowd of Ganados. When the attack ends, Leon and Luis separate. However, Leon finds out that the helicopter has been shot down. After traveling through a canyon, where the two face another El Gigante. Traveling down a gondola, and facing village chief Bitores Mendez, Leon takes his false eye, and uses it on a retinal scan to open a door, which leads to the castle. Leon and Ashley believe they can take refuge in it until another chopper arrives. They were wrong.
After meeting yet another of Saddler's acolytes, the castle's castellan, Ramon Salazar, who jacks Leon's communication with Washington, Leon and Ashley travel to the center of the castle. But Ashley starts coughing blood, which distresses her, and she runs off, and is captured. While searching for Ashley, Leon meets Ada Wong, who is there for the sample of the "Master Plaga" for her enigmatic employers, The Organization, but she doesn't tell Leon about it. Then Leon fights his way through the underground sewer system, despite assaults by Saddler's mutated "Novistadors". When Leon finds Ashley and is about to rescue her, Luis runs in with drugs to suppress the growth of the parasite, and a sample of Master Plaga for the U.S. government, when he is killed by Saddler. Saddler retrieves the sample and leaves. Leon rescues Ashley, but vows to avenge Luis' death. While Leon can't get to Ashley, she must find a way to him. She is, however, caught again and sent to the military research island, forcing Leon to travel to there too with Ada. After numerous altercations with Saddler's fiends, Leon is able to successfully rescue Ashley, and run from Saddler with Ada's assistance.
After an intense fight with Saddler, Leon kills him with a special Rocket Launcher. He finds the Sample but Ada forces him to give it to her. She then escapes from the complex on a helicopter, leaving Leon and Ashley to escape via jet-ski. Although Leon and Ashley manage to escape from the island, the sample's whereabouts and fate remain uncertain.
GameplayResident Evil 4's game mechanics have been completely revamped to incorporate fast-paced gunplay, quick controls and shootouts involving massive crowds of enemies in large, open areas. Previous titles in the series have focused on exploration and attempted to instill a sense of fear via limited ammunition and healing items, deadly enemies in enclosed spaces and a limited arsenal. In Resident Evil 4 however, the player can fire more ammunition and kill more enemies in one playthrough of this game than in all of the other games in the franchise combined (not including the Gun Survivor sub-franchise, in which the player is deliberately given infinite handgun ammo) - a typical playthrough can result in the player killing hundreds of enemies. One of the main influences of this was an expanded arsenal at the players disposal and the large quantities of ammunition available through ammunition drops and destructible items. Another would be the necessity to fight enemies, unlike previous titles where most enemies can be dodged or avoided completely.
Some cutscenes in Resident Evil 4 contain "command prompts" in certain situations. This will run like a normal cutscene until an event, for example, in the beginning of Chapter 1-2, a Ganado entered the room with an axe. Leon and Luis are cuffed up together. When the Ganado is about to attack, two buttons appear on the screen, flashing in red, with the word "DODGE" below them. Pressing the buttons before the Ganado brings his axe down enables Leon to give Luis the signal to move, so the Ganado will destroy the cuffs and free Leon and Luis. Failing to press the buttons however, will have Leon and Luis killed. Command prompts are also employed in some boss fights to give the player a chance to deal more damage than usual or dodge one-hit kill attacks. The buttons to press will often alternate for more of a challenge to the player. The Wii version of the game features "command prompts" which will have the played having to move Wii remote or nunchuk to mimic Leon's in-game actions.
Full Model Change
Because the game contains no zombies, this installment is a radical departure from the series formula. The enemies were originally planned to be more paranormal in nature, but this was seen as too much of a departure from the rest of the series. Instead, the main enemies are parasitically-controlled humans referred to as "Los Ganados". Considerably more intelligent and more agile than the zombies from previous games; Ganados are a very different sort of foe. These new enemies run, dodge, wield melee and projectile weapons and are capable of following complex instructions and working collectively. Once simple farmers, these Ganados are the product of an infestation of Las Plagas parasites. They are also capable of following Leon up ladders, through doors and even through windows, proving them to be very relentless in their pursuit.
Resident Evil 4 also contains changes to the inventory, camera angles, and movement control system. Normally, the camera remains behind the player character, who is visible from the waist up, and stands just left of the center of the screen. The camera zooms in close behind Leon for an over-the-shoulder view when the aiming button is held, and all ballistic weapons (save for those with telescopic sights) are given laser sight for aiming.
The inclusion of laser sight and over the shoulder aiming gives players an unprecedented amount of control in their attacks. Previous Resident Evil titles always had the gun pointing straight ahead with the ability for players to tilt their weapon up, or down; Resident Evil 4 expands this considerably. Enemies now respond differently to bullet impacts to various parts of the body. For example, a shot to the foot may cause an approaching enemy to stumble, while a shot to the arm might make an enemy drop their weapon. Ammo is more plentiful than in previous installments, primarily because enemies drop ammo after they are defeated. A large selection of weapons may be purchased from and continuously upgraded by the Merchant using the currency in the game, the peseta.
Item management has also undergone significant change. While previous installments restricted a character to carrying a set number of items, Resident Evil 4 bases the number of items a character may carry on a grid system in which each item takes up a set of squares on the grid. The player's carrying capacity may be expanded by purchasing larger attaché cases. In addition, key items are now kept separately from weapons and healing supplies, allowing the player to acquire them without dropping current items or backtracking to the nearest item chest to make room. Treasures may be collected and sold to the Merchant for pesetas. The healing herbs from the previous games are back and in addition to the traditional green and red herbs is the yellow herb, which when combined with a green herb (or a mixed herb), increases the player's maximum health. Blue herbs don't make an appearance in this game since there is no risk of poison.
Another new aspect of Resident Evil 4 is the inclusion of context-sensitive controls. Based on the situation, the player can interact with specific aspects of their environment, such as by kicking down a ladder, jumping out of a window, or dodging an enemy attack. The player can perform a melee attack against a Ganado (as well as other enemies) while the enemy is stunned or crouching. The game also features a permanently mapped knife button, which the player can use in addition to firearms. The knife is more useful than in previous titles as significant damage can be dealt without being at risk from attack.
The game also features a more cinematic presentation by using letterbox. Loading times are kept to a minimum, unlike previous Resident Evil games, where moving between areas required a load screen. In Resident Evil 4, the game loads only between areas denoted by green action text. An area may feature anything from a few buildings to a huge military base. Doors are manipulated by hitting 'action' next to them, after which the character opens the door slowly and quietly. If the player presses 'action' twice, the character will kick the door open (which can send enemies to the ground). Cutscenes load almost instantaneously making the transition between gameplay and cutscenes almost fluid. However, the PlayStation 2 version loads slower, and has lower fidelity sound effects outside of cutscenes due to audio RAM constraints.
Resident Evil 4 uses fully three-dimensional in game graphics; in game scenes and movies (for the GameCube, Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions) are rendered in real-time. This allows for a mobile camera - a change from most of the previous games in the series which used pre-rendered, occasionally animated backdrops with superimposed 3D characters. The game's visual quality and attention to detail were lauded by critics and many described the title as the best-looking GameCube title.
Some graphical differences exist between the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions. The PlayStation 2 version uses pre-rendered FMVs recorded from the GameCube version instead of real-time footage for cutscenes, though these FMVs have comparable graphical quality to the rest of the game. For the PlayStation 2 version, graphical effects are reduced in detail. Even more noticeably are the water, shadow, and fog effects, as well as a reduced draw distance. Polygon count has also been lowered on certain details. The game is presented in widescreen on both formats: the GameCube version features only a letter-boxed format, while the PlayStation 2 version can also be displayed in widescreen.
Resident Evil 4 has garnered critical and popular acclaim. It has received dozens of awards from various organizations (see below), and stellar reviews from various video game websites.
The GameCube version was released in the US on January 11, 2005 with US sales exceeding 320,000 copies in the first 20 days. The European release on March the 18th mirrored this success, selling its entire 200,000 unit allocation within the first month. As of January 2006, reported sales of Resident Evil 4 show that it has shipped over 3,000,000 copies world wide. Sales totals include the PlayStation 2 port that was released on October 25, 2005.
The decision to port Resident Evil 4 for the PS2 was a successful one from Capcom's part as the PS2 version of the game managed to outsell the GameCube version in a few months. According to the last Capcom software sales charts, the PS2 version had sold 1.8 million units as of May 2006.
The drastic changes paid off, and the game was considered by industry insiders and the casual gaming public as a top contender for 2005's Game of the Year. The fourth iteration (although it is the sixth game in the main series, which includes Code: Veronica and Zero) has reportedly made fans out of players who would not otherwise have given the Resident Evil series a second glance. Both versions of Resident Evil 4 scored over 95% on Game Rankings, a review aggregator site.
Nintendo Power also gave it a perfect 10, and also ranked it their 2005 Game of the Year. It also ranked #2 on their NP Top 200 list (featuring the best games ever on Nintendo consoles), behind only The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Later they ranked it the second best game in the past decade, beaten only by Super Mario Galaxy, also saying the game was not only one of the best of the past decade, it is one of the best games of all time. Resident Evil 4 was 230th reason to love Nintendo. The Official PlayStation Magazine named it the Game of the Year on the PlayStation 2. Game Informer gave both editions of Resident Evil 4 a perfect score, and ranked it their 2005 Game of the Year. It tied with Kingdom Hearts II as Famitsu's Game of the Year 2005.
Subsequently, Resident Evil 4 was named Game of the Year at the 2005 Spike TV Video Game Awards.
In addition, it is the only game to receive two 5/5 ratings from X-Play (one for the GameCube version and one for the PlayStation 2 version). X-Play also declared it the best game for the Nintendo GameCube in a Top Ten countdown after the release of the Nintendo Wii.
In addition, it won Game of the Year at the 2005 GameSpot Game Awards.
In September 2001, Capcom announced that the core Resident Evil series would become exclusive to the Nintendo GameCube with three new games: a remake of the original Resident Evil (better known by its informal abbreviated name, REmake), a prequel titled Resident Evil Zero, and Resident Evil 4. This caused a stir among long-time Resident Evil fans who owned the series on PlayStation and PlayStation 2. In fact, Capcom had previously proposed a version of Resident Evil 4 for PlayStation 2, but the idea was revamped into Devil May Cry
Many believed that Capcom would follow their actions with Resident Evil Code: Veronica, which was originally marketed as a Sega Dreamcast exclusive, but eventually made its way to the PlayStation 2 and GameCube in the form of an updated version. The fans' beliefs were helped by the financial losses Capcom took in 2002 and 2003 due to lower sales of Resident Evil (remake) and Resident Evil Zero on the GameCube, as well as high sales of Resident Evil Outbreak on PS2 (see next paragraph). Despite this, Capcom, especially Shinji Mikami, touted the three new games as GameCube exclusives. In an interview with a Japanese magazine, Mikami even claimed that he would "cut [his own] head off" if Resident Evil 4 came to the PlayStation 2.
After the announcement of the exclusivity policy, Capcom still announced two Resident Evil titles for the PlayStation 2; Gun Survivor 4 (Resident Evil: Dead Aim) and Resident Evil Outbreak. Capcom's justification for these titles appearing on the PlayStation 2 was that they were side stories and, as such, were not subject to the GameCube policy, also required the use of additional peripherals (a light gun and online support) that were not available for the GameCube.
However, on October 31, 2004, Capcom officially announced that Resident Evil 4 would come to the PlayStation 2 near the end of 2005, citing increased profit, changing market conditions, and increased consumer satisfaction as the key reasons (this, and that Capcom was equally pleased with the sole sales of Resident Evil Outbreak). Resident Evil (remake) and Resident Evil Zero would remain Nintendo exclusives. Similar to the fans' outrage in 2001, some were angered that Capcom had remitted three years worth of exclusivity promises.
On February 1, 2006, Ubisoft announced that they would be publishing the game on the PC.
Special editions and bonuses
During the GameCube launch, retailer chain GameStop released Resident Evil 4 in a limited special edition, packaged in a tin box, along with an artwork book about the story of the series, a laser cel of Leon, and a soundtrack CD. The PlayStation 2 also saw a special edition, (though official, released by Capcom itself), packaged in a "fake tin" plastic case, along with the artwork book, a documentary DVD, and an Ada laser cel.
Game developer NubyTech also made a special chainsaw controller. This controller is a reference to the chainsaw-wielding Ganado, Dr. Salvador. The GameCube version is yellow, while the PlayStation 2 version is orange. The controller is very detailed in appearance, featuring blood-stains and a bloody image of Leon. However, due to its less-than-ideal layout and cost, it is seen more as a collector's item rather than an enhancement to the gameplay.
The GameCube version of Resident Evil 4 went through slight modifications in each regional release since the initial one. The North American version was the first and the original to be released, followed shortly by the Japanese version (titled Biohazard 4). These two versions are reportedly identical in most aspects (excluding localization), with the major differences being that animation involving decapitation were censored and removed from the Japanese version. This was presumably due to the fact that Biohazard 4 was the first game in the series (not including re-releases and ports) to be rated by the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, which objected to the game's depictions of decapitations. When Leon is killed by a chainsaw-wielding Ganado, his face is rather unrealistically mutilated. In Japan, the Assignment: Ada minigame is titled Ada the Spy. In addition, the Japanese release of Biohazard 4 contains an "Easy" mode, while also lowering the amount of money and first aid spray which can be found throughout the game.
The PAL versions of the game went through several changes from the North American version. This includes more balanced gameplay, a new Easy mode and increased firepower in some guns. In addition, the listed firing speed for rifles has been changed to reflect their actual firing speed in the game more accurately.
In terms of violent content, all the PAL region versions are identical to the North American version. This is with exception to the German version of the game, which has the Assignment Ada and Mercenaries minigames left out. Since all PAL versions include multiple localizations, the game sold in the Netherlands is identical to the UK version. Only the language of the manual is different in each country. The Swiss and Austrian version, however has all the original violence of the normal game and also includes the two mini-games that were removed from the German version while shipping with a German booklet.
PlayStation 2 port
A PlayStation 2 port of Resident Evil 4 was released in America on October 25, 2005. Despite earlier rumors of a downgraded port due to the PlayStation 2's hardware limitations, impressions of the port based on a preview build have been generally favorable. Many critics stated that the PlayStation 2 version's graphics were very close to the GameCube’s, despite a lower polygon count, which resulted in a loss of character and environment detail.
The port is missing many lighting effects, however, and water effects needed to be re-designed (ripple with transparency, but a flat surface with no reflections) as the PlayStation 2 hardware does not have the same capabilities as the GameCube. Some small things were left out of the PlayStation 2 version, for instance, the barrels that Leon breaks throughout the game are missing a circular rim on the top compared to the GameCube version.
Additionally, almost all the GameCube’s real-time cut scenes were converted into movie files in order to maintain a better quality. In other words, the player’s character will appear wearing their default costume, regardless of which accessories or outfits were actually chosen. The gameplay balancing present in the PAL GameCube version applies to the PlayStation 2 version as well (though the North American release has no Easy option).
Voices and sound effects quality outside of the cutscenes had been reduced due to disc space being quickly used and audio RAM constraints.
To compensate for the late release, Capcom added new content made specifically for the PlayStation 2 release and later the Wii and PC versions.
- Separate Ways (The Another Order in Japan), a five chapter minigame which revolves around Ada Wong's involvement in Resident Evil 4, and her connection to Albert Wesker, a former member of the Raccoon City's S.T.A.R.S. division, who is now attempting to revive Umbrella. During the minigame, the player can use two exclusive weapons (a pump-action shotgun and a bowgun with explosive arrows).
- Ada's Report, a five-part documentary, which analyzes Ada's relationship with a particular character and their role in the plot. One unlocks portions of the documentary as they progress through the Separate Ways minigame.
- New costume set, which portrays Leon as a 1930s Mobster, and puts Ashley in an indestructible suit of armor. If equipped while Leon is in his mobster costume, the Chicago Typewriter turns into the 1928 model, with a drum magazine as opposed to the regular box magazine. Since the Chicago Typewriter has infinite ammo, and thus no need to reload, hitting the reload button while in the mobster costume and aiming the Chicago Typewriter will result in a "taunt" from Leon, one in which he adjusts his hat, the other he throws the hat into the air, catching it while posing. In addition to the Mobster and Knight Outfits Leon can be equipped with a Raccoon City Police Uniform with Ashley wearing a somewhat revealing Pop-star outfit.
- P.R.L. 412 (Plaga Removal Laser), a laser gun which can be used to instantly destroy enemies. Unlocked by beating the Professional difficulty setting.
- Movie Browser, a feature that allows the player to view cutscenes from the both Separate Ways and the main game. The feature is unlocked after a player beats the game.
- Amateur mode, an easier difficulty setting which is exclusive to the Japanese and Spanish versions.
- The PlayStation 2 version also offers support for widescreen televisions.
A PC port of Resident Evil 4 was published by Ubisoft. This port was released in the United States on May 15, 2007 and Europe on March 2, 2007. Capcom also released a PC port of the game in Japan and Taiwan. The port contains the bonus features from the PlayStation 2 version, such as "Separate Ways", the new weapon P.R.L. 412 laser cannon, and unlockable costumes for Leon and Ashley. The port was less than well received, despite this, as it features numerous flaws (such as requiring a hack to use the mouse to aim). Still, the PC version has perhaps the most active modding communities of the series. The port also has the worst graphics of the ports as the lighting is even worse than the PlayStation 2 version and textures and colors being much flatter than in other versions, this was remedied in a patch which made the game near identical to the GameCube version.
Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition is the Wii version of the game. It has many alterations from previous ports to take account of the Wiimote aiming: the shooting mechanism uses a much larger reticule that turns from green to red when an enemy is targeted as opposed to a very narrow laser sight, a "quick knife" command is added that auto-targets the nearest enemy or object, and motion sensitive quick time event prompts are included as well as button presses. It also features the PS2 additions of the Separate Ways mission, the Movie Browser, Ada's Report, the P.R.L. 412 weapon, and the PS2-specific bonus outfits. Visually the game is on par with the original GameCube version, as opposed to the somewhat inferior graphics of the PlayStation 2 version, and features full 16:9 widescreen, without the letterbox of the GameCube version, although it appears to be only zoomed in instead of giving the player a larger field of view. The P.R.L 412 was significantly upgraded and now shoots several beams instead of just one. The Wii version also supports both the Wii's "Classic" controller and GameCube controller, which reverts aiming and the laser sight back to it's original format. The only other noticeable differences are that the game seems significantly easier, and that all of Leon's actions appear to move slightly faster (the most noticeable is the knife aim animation. Holding C will equip the knife, aiming is done with the control stick. Leon noticeably aims the knife significantly faster than in all previous versions.)
- The graphics are slightly less smooth.
- The Mobile Edition of the game is much shorter.
- The game has five difficulties: Beginner, Normal, Professional, Hell, and Extreme.
- Aside from the greenish-yellow liquid that bursts out of an enemy after dying, there is no bleeding in the Mobile Edition of the game.
- All breakable objects that can contain items are all wooden crates.
- No money can be found in wooden crates.
- All in-game scenes are replaced with slideshow pictures with text (with the exception of the ending scene).
- The player cannot barricade doors and windows.
- The Merchant only appears before you start a mission.
- New weapons can only be unlocked in the main game. They cannot be unlocked by completing minigames.
- The only weapons that are available to purchase are the Handgun, Shotgun, Semi-Automatic Rifle, Rocket Launcher (both normal and infinite), Chicago Typewriter, Hand Grenade, Flash Grenade, Magnum, Mine Thrower, and the TMP.
- Ammunition is available to purchase from the Merchant.
- Green Herbs can be purchased from the Merchant.
- The price of all weapons are lower.
- Incendiary Grenades and the P.R.L. 412 are excluded.
- A rifle called the "P.M. Rifle" can be found in a wooden crate, and it is equipped with the Infrared Scope.
- All Iron Maidens were replaced with regular Regeneradors.
- The enemies that were excluded from the Mobile Edition were Iron Maidens, Novistador, Colmillos, Armored Garrador, and Super-Salvador.
- The bosses that were excluded from the Mobile Edition were Del Lago, and Bitores Mendez.
- All death scenes were excluded (such as decapitation scenes).
- Luis Sera does not fight with Leon on the Cabin scenario.
- Krauser can only be fought in his parasitic form.
- The player cannot play as Ashley.
- All enemies and bosses do not have special looks on them; they all look like standard enemies.
- Ganados only attack by strangling or by using hatchets and pitchforks.
- Zealots only attack by strangling are using scythes and crossbows.
- When a Ganado throws an axe, he cannot take out another one.
- Treasure, Keys, and other items can be easier to find.
- Minigames are excluded (with the exceptions of the "Coin-Shot" and "Mercenary Mode").
- Blue Medallions cannot be found in the main game.
- The player cannot change into different costumes.
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions
Capcom released a remastered high-definition version along with Code: Veronica for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A disc version was released only in Japan on September 8, 2011, called Biohazard Revival Selection. In Europe and North America, the game was released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on September 20, 2011.
Resident Evil 4 had one of the most tormented developments in any game in which three proposed versions of the game were discarded by the developers before the finished product was released in 2005.
An earlier attempt in developing Resident Evil 4 was made from sometime in 1998 to 2000 for the PlayStation 2, with Resident Evil 2 director Hideki Kamiya leading the project. The first year was primarily spent on R&D of what the project would be, and included a trip to Spain for the development staff to study Spanish castle architecture. The direction that the project took was considered too much of a departure from the traditional Resident Evil style and the resulting game was revamped and then released as Devil May Cry in 2001. In Devil May Cry, several similarities can be observed when compared to the Resident Evil games, hinting that those parts were "leftovers" from the development of that version of Resident Evil 4, including:
- The "Phantom" boss, a gigantic spider, a monster design that has appeared in almost every Resident Evil game.
- The "Marionette" is a puppet-like enemy. They have no brain of their own and act as cannon-fodder, much like the zombies do.
- The "Blade" enemy is modeled after the Hunter enemy from the Resident Evil series.
- The sound effects created by spent shell cartridges clunking against a wall or floor after a gun is fired in Devil May Cry are identical to those used in the early Resident Evil titles.
- Both Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry contain a quasi-ally/enemy; Ada Wong and Trish respectively.
- Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry both have game segments set in a castle.
- Apart from hair color and style, Leon and Dante are very similar in their appearance.
- In Resident Evil 4, players collect money to upgrade weaponry, whilst in Devil May Cry, players collect orbs to upgrade weaponry. Both are collected by killing opponents and destroying surrounding objects.
The development of Resident Evil 4 got its official start in 2001 for the GameCube as part of an exclusivity agreement between Capcom and Nintendo. The first proposed version, dubbed the Fog Version, was unveiled in the Tokyo Game Show in 2002 and had Hiroshi Shibata (background designer for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis) attached to the project. This version's premise featured Leon infiltrating Umbrella's HQ in Europe, getting infected by the Progenitor Virus (covered in the Resident Evil remake and Resident Evil Zero) and fighting fog-like creatures. One of the most notable areas shown in this version was a flying airship. However, Capcom scrapped the second prototype of Resident Evil 4 quietly and created a new version without any outside announcement.
After the Fog Version came the Hooked Man Version. First shown at the E3 in 2003, this version was set in a haunted mansion and featured Leon fighting what appeared to be paranormal enemies, such as medieval suits of armor and living dolls armed with knives. It also seemed that there were two different worlds, one relatively normal (our world) and one where the bizarre enemies would appear, similar in many ways to the Silent Hill game series. The most notable enemy in this version was the aforementioned "Hooked Man", a zombie-like being armed with hooks (hence it's name). The game displayed numerous elements that have been carried over to the final release:
- The camera moves to over Leon's shoulder when his weapon is drawn. However, in the video, there are a few times when Leon aims without the over-the-shoulder camera. The game reverts to a third-person view like a traditional Resident Evil game.
- A red laser sight for Leon to use during aiming. Not in Wii version (unless using a classic controller or GameCube controller).
- The flashlight that is added to Leon's character design.
- A suit of armor suddenly attacks Leon when he attempts to pass it, as well as the button combination to dodge the attack.
- The ability to throw a grenade.
- The concept of assigning the L button to draw another type of weapon. A player can use a grenade in the prototype, but it is a knife in the final release.
- The 'struggle' feature where you have to break free from an enemy's grasp.
- Leon's health indicator. In the prototype, it flashes when Leon is hurt, but in the final release the developers decided to add a HUD to display more information.
This version was reportedly so scary that Shinji Mikami himself warned the gamers with a famous quote "Don't pee your pants" prior showing the initial trailer at E3. Gameplay footage of this version was featured in the Biohazard 4 Secret DVD released in Japan only. This version was scrapped due being far too paranormal for the Resident Evil plot.
The final proposal before the finished product reportedly featured zombies as enemies once again. Not much was known about this version as it was never shown publicly. It was considered too formulaic by the developers.
Paul Mercier (the voice of Leon) talked about the game on an interview on Wiretv saying that the reason it was scraped was that at the end of the game, the virus was going to take over Leon's body and kill him. The workers apparently didn't like that so it was scrapped and they wrote another script.
The game's English voice actors recorded their parts in four sessions, over three to four months.
|Paul Mercier||Leon Scott Kennedy|
|Carolyn Lawrence||Ashley Graham|
|Rino Romano||Luis Sera|
|Salli Saffioti||Ingrid Hunnigan|
|Sally Cahill||Ada Wong|
|Rene Mujica||Ramon Salazar|
|Jesse Corti||Bitores Mendez|
|Jim Ward||Jack Krauser|
|Michael Gough||Osmund Saddler|
|Richard Waugh||Albert Wesker|
|Carlos Carrasco||Villagers & zealots|
|Alex Mendoza||Villagers & zealots|
|Carol Bach y Rita||Villagers & zealots|
|Ward E. Sexton||Title Call|
- Main article: Biohazard 4 Original Soundtrack
The original 2-disc soundtrack CD for Resident Evil 4, composed by Misao Senbongi & Shusaku Uchiyama, was released in Japan on December 22, 2005 and its catalogue number is CPCA-10126~7 .
- The game was originally released as a GameCube exclusive, however, due to its success, it was ported to other consoles such as the PlayStation 2 and the Wii.
- Before going to the Pueblo, Leon will encounter a White German Shepherd dog which was stuck in a bear trap. If the player choose to help him, the dog will appear again in a scene where Leon will fight El Gigante.
- In some wooden crates, there're snakes in them, if killed, they'll drop an egg.
- Resident Evil 4 is the first Resident Evil game not showing t-virus infected creatures.
- One of the differences from the PAL and the NTSC versions of Resident Evil 4, is that in the PAL version the player cant dispatch the torches around the game and Ashley has less "animation" than the NTSC. This could be because the PAL version the game can be set its video frequency and change the language of the game ( English, Spanish, German, French and Dutch. This will just happen for the text in game although the characters will still have the same voices in English).
- In the NTSC GameCube version, sometimes a player can't press the A button if an enemy is really close to them, so they can't either shoot or dodge and just wait to the enemies to get a bit away in order to do any action.
- Official Japanese site
- Official PS2 version Japanese site
- Official American site
- Official European site