RESIDENT EVIL 4
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on August 28, 2015
Have you ever had your employees drive you absolutely bonkers?! Well, I had! After seeing my crew's adventures back in 2005, the majority of the staff back at our HQ was convinced that it would be cool to be a vampire. Can you imagine what it is like to have to deal with morons like that?! My once so productive and normal looking staff was now skulking the grounds of our headquarters, complete with pale facepaint, capes, false teeth, wigs... the works! Some of them have even adopted a stupid accent to sound more like Dracula. One individual in particular, is so convinced that he is the descendent of Vlad the Impaler that he regularly hangs upside down from a heating duct on his break. I mean, come on; who is THAT dumb? We already had to take him to the emergency room four times, not to mention the fact that he tries to steal a blood bag each time he's there... What an idiot!
At first it was fun to see them dress up and act silly, but after a couple of days the fun kinda wears off. So I took matters in my own hands and came up with a plan to get things back to normal; I dressed up to look exactly like Hugh Jackman in Van Helsing (only a bit more handsome, of course) and chased them through the hallways, armed with a crossbow that fired wooden stakes, dipped in garlic essence. They thought it was a pretty funny game... at first. But after I staked one of them to a wall, things quickly changed! fangs were quickly shed, as were the capes and wigs and in terror they fled back to their workstations. So now I have a quite pale and silent workforce on my hands... just the way I like it! And although I cannot divulge the name of the sorry sod I turned into an oversized voodoo-doll, I can tell you that the blood bags at our nurses station as well as our heating ducts are safe once more. And I'm one engineer short, so... anyone need a job?
With all this going on, I haven't had the time to relocate my brave time travelling crew, so I told them to stay in 2005 and find me another game worthy of mentioning, preferably without vampires. And just as I suspected, they searched and found me a doozy of a game. Off with the vampires and bring in the infected; it's time to play Resident Evil 4!
Before being launched in 2005 By Capcom for the Gamecube and the PS2, Resident Evil 4 had been in development for over four years, during which time it underwent a couple of significant changes. Well, not so much changes as the scrapping of the first three versions of the game, the first of which went on to become Devil May Cry. The final version actually was actually the one that was most true to previous Resident Evil installments, albeit with significant changes. The static camera views were discarded and replaced by a single dynamic camera behind the protagonist, which would change into an 'over the shoulder' third person view when aiming your weapon. This resulted in a much more action-oriented gameplay that would eventually become the golden standard for the modern Resident Evil series as well as the possibility to more accurately aim the characters gun at enemies. For the first time in Resident Evil history, players were able to aim a specific limb of an enemy, resulting in more types of damage to said enemy. If you would shoot an enemy in the arm, they would drop their weapon, if they were carrying one. If you shot an enemy in the leg, it caused them to stumble. And if you shot one in the head... well... let's just say the enemy in question wouldn't have to go shopping for hats anymore.
And speaking of enemies, Resident Evil 4 took a somewhat different path than previous installments in the series. Instead of the Umbrella Corporation being the main antagonist, it is replaced by a mysterious cult known as Los Illuminados. And, unlike any previous Resident Evil game, Resident Evil 4 doesn't feature the undead. No sir, the zombies are replaced by infected people, known as 'Los Ganados'. These people are the direct result of the Illuminados cult infecting people with a parasite called 'Las Plagas'. This parasite controls the minds of the people it infects, turning them into mindless pawns, prone to violence. Now, Los Illuminados plan to infect Ashley Graham, who happens to be the daughter of the president of the United States. Leon S. Kennedy, known for his zombie-fighting antics in Resident Evil 2, is sent in to rescue the girl and bring her home safely. So he travels to an unspecified rural village somewhere in Europe and starts his investigation.
The graphics of Resident Evil 4 were a giant step forward for the series. The character models are much more detailed, as are the environments and the items and weapons you find during your travels. Thinking back, I believe it was the first time any of the characters didn't seem to suffer from the infamous 'Square Hand Syndrome'. They even dropped the pre-rendered environments entirely in favor of 3D rendered ones. This also was, as far as I'm concerned, a big step forward at the time. It just made the game look and play that much better. True, a bit of the suspense died along with the pre-rendered environments and fixed camera's, but the thrill of being able to see every angle of the environments and placing a few well-aimed headshots along the way, more than made up for this minor loss. I know a few people out there will not agree with me, but I think it definitely improved the game and even made horror survival games into what they are today.
The audio of the game saw less of a change. Now, Resident Evil and in-game audio has always been kind of a love/hate relationship. While the SFX was mostly celebrated as being progressive or even revolutionary, the voice acting has always been a point of debate; dialogs often seemed out of place or just downright silly. And while Resident Evil 4 does improve the quality of the voice acting, it too features some lines that are quite nonsensical or out of place, albeit a lot less than previous games. The SFX is still top notch and really enhances the overall eerie feel and look of the game.
Story-wise, Resident Evil is absolutely great. During the game, you'll receive tons of information about Las Plagas, Los Ganados and Los Illuminados. With every twist and turn the plot thickens, giving the game the depth it needs to be worthy of the Resident Evil title. And trust me, it's worth it! Although the Umbrella Corporation doesn't hold the rank of main antagonist, it is still featured in the story and you will see a few familiar faces cross your path. The cult, the parasite and the mindless followers all add to the story and make it an adventure that is most definitely worth your time and effort. Resident Evil is truly a vintage horror survival rollercoaster-ride from start to finish!
We have reached the end of this week's fun and games here at time travel HQ, so it's time for me to sign off once again and wish the best of times playing your favorite old or brand new games. Maybe some of you will even get inspired and pick up their Playstation 2 or Gamecube controller and give Resident Evil 4 a go. Hey, if that's my contribution to mankind's happiness, that's fine by me! And just in case you don't own either of these consoles, you can even play a HD version of this awesome game on your PC. Because from February 27, 2014, the Resident Evil 4 Ultimate HD Edition is available for purchase from the Steam Store. So if you haven't played the game, this is your best chance to experience the full horror journey with improved graphics and other enhancements. So have fun blasting your ways through legions of infected enemies, and always remember: It's good to be stealthy, but it's even better to have a shotgun!
RESIDENT EVIL 4