Fifteen years of Resident Evil 4 – a game that changed the genre of action games

January 11, 2005 Resident evil 4 – the game is truly epoch-making. Thanks to her, the cult series finally managed to leave all the game-design archaisms in the past and be reborn. In addition, the fourth part had a huge impact on the entire industry, and numerous developers have repeatedly admitted their love to the brainchild of the “Kapkomovsky” genius. Enormous success was given to the best staff of the studio oh how not easy.

Almost six years of production hell

After commercial success Resident evil 2 Hideki Kamiya got a big credit of trust inside Capcom and towards the end of the 90s he persuaded the leadership to entrust the development of the fourth part to him. The idea was to create a cool and stylish action about a certain person who has superpowers, and to make the secret of his origin the central plot intrigue. So that the hero can be seen from all sides, Kamiya decided to abandon the pre-rendered backgrounds, after which he went to Europe for 11 days to remove all sorts of statues, ruined castles and other Gothic buildings.

Returning to Japan and continuing development, the game designer suddenly caught himself thinking that his team’s work had taken too far away from the canons of the series. Eventually Kamiya made significant changes to the plot, as a setting chose a world engulfed by demons, and made a vermin hunter named Dante a hero. Resident evil 4 in its original form, died, giving birth to another landmark series – Devil may cry.

Slicing frames with a demonstration of earlier versions

The next attempt was made at the end of 2001 Hiroshi Shibata – a man, among whose merits at that time there were only prerendered backgrounds for Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Nevertheless, the version created under his leadership by the time of its announcement in November 2002 was already ready by 40 percent. According to the script, Leon Kennedy was infected with the progenitor virus, as a result of which his left hand inherited some power. The action of the game itself took place at the headquarters of Umbrella Corporation, made in the form of a castle. Also in the script appeared a certain girl, who apparently served as the basis for creating the future Ashley.

And although they decided to turn off the development once again, the idea with the progenitor virus was subsequently implemented in Resident Evil 5, and the hand with incredible power became the main tool of Jack Krauser – former partner of Leon and one of the antagonists of the final version of RE4.

However, already on E3 2003 The public presented a new version dedicated to the misadventures of Leon in a ghost-ridden Gothic building. This option, jokingly called hook man version due to the antagonist armed with a hook, it also had a great influence on the final look of the future RE4. The famous bomber, the view from behind the hero’s shoulder and the revived knights – all this migrated to the final version. But from the branching system of dialogs, alas, they decided to refuse. It was also assumed that Leon during the passage will experience hallucinations, emphasized by the “floating” camera.

The last option in development was canceled even before the announcement, as it was considered that the next battle against the zombie army was too commonplace.

Better late than never

Eventually Resident evil 4 reached the sunset era Playstation 2, although it was originally planned for release in the early 2000s. In addition, the owners of the console from Sony I had to bite my elbows with envy for almost 10 months. After all, first the game came out on Gamecube in the framework of the transaction on five exclusive projects, the development of which was engaged in Capcom. However, looking at low popularity P.N.03 and Viewtiful joe, Mikami under pressure from shareholders and other important parties, there was nothing left to do but to announce the port’s departure to PS2. Moreover, shocking news was made before the release of the “Cuban” version. This hit her sales very hard and gave a big break in the relationship between Capcom and Nintendo.

However, the game designer can also be understood: too much effort and money was invested in the development, and the situation Gamecube the market was very foggy at the time of signing the exclusivity agreement.

In order to spur sales, Nintendo has released a limited version of the console. The set did not achieve much success.

Herself RE4 already in the first hours of passage it made it clear that for the sake of such a project it’s not a sin to buy a separate console. After all, a brighter way to say goodbye to the sixth generation of gaming systems is impossible to imagine. The fourth part was the quintessence of the richest experience gained Mikami over many years of work in Capcom. The story of Leon Kennedy, from the time of the second part of the “pumped” to the status of a government agent, immediately dipped into his head. This was facilitated by the abundance of bright characters, as well as hand-crafted gameplay. Having shifted the focus to action and minimizing backtracking with the accompanying puzzle solution, the developers completely transformed the old mechanics.

Of course, orthodox fans did not hesitate to say that the fourth part killed the atmosphere of their predecessors, but this is not entirely true. At a minimum, the notorious fear of encountering zombies has not disappeared. Leon, although he became unlike the mobile “paralytics” from the classic games of the series, but to the briskly jumping Dante from Devil may cry He is very far away. Due to the inability to shoot on the move and a very limited viewing angle, getting in the head with an ax could be done in two ways. Three hits on normal difficulty were usually enough to send the hero to another world. Yes, and the rounds of the game weighed just enough not to feel defenseless, but also not to turn the gameplay experience into a shooting gallery.

Admit it, you also felt uneasy?

To help the player Mikami came up with a wonderful way to save ammunition – stun the enemy with a well-aimed shot in the head, knock him to the ground with a kick and finish him off with a knife. Another thing is that skirmishes for the most part occurred with the participation of a large number of enemies, and here you can think of a lot of ways to get out of the situation. Including flee, because the locations in RE4 for the most part quite spacious. There was also the opportunity to buy new weapons and pump them from a merchant teleporting from place to place following the example of “bottomless” boxes from the classic “Residents”. And the health scale could be increased by preparing a special mix of herbs.

By the way, the developers themselves called their brainchild nothing more than a survival action.

A variety of enemies is another fat plus in the piggy bank of the merits of the fourth part. The barely standing victims of the T-virus are in the past: the Las Plagas parasite-infected residents and cultists are able to run and attack sharply. Quite quickly dynamite checkers and crossbows will be in their hands, and military men armed with firearms can be found closer to the final. As a kind of hello to the past parts are the results of biological experiments like locust-like monsters that can become invisible, and regenerators – vile human-like carcasses, which can be killed only by falling into specific places on the body. Ideally, you should use a sniper rifle with a special aim, but you can squander a bunch of rounds at random. By the way, for the first time you will come across them in the laboratory, which can also be considered as a reference to past parts.

As the final praise of the gameplay – the bosses. Before the game series Resident evil could boast of literally a couple of memorable antagonists, one of which was the unbalanced Nemesis. All the rest were killed strictly according to one scheme: we drive round dances around the enemy’s not very mobile carcass and lower all the ammunition accumulated into it. IN RE4 there is no such. Each boss here requires a strictly defined tactic, to identify which you will surely fail more than one attempt. To stand still for a long time also fails – many bosses in response to this use a powerful attack, or even kill at once. No wonder the battle with Jack Krauser, consisting of several stages, is still set as an example as an example of one of the brightest boss fights in the history of games.

A graphic illustration of Mikami’s painstaking approach to creating bosses

Well, the last element of phenomenal success is the plot. Until the fourth part, the series hardly spoiled us with good scripts. Just remember memes ADA WAIT and absolutely absurdity third part. Therefore, when creating Code Veronica, the authors finally realized that the best way to brighten up the weak spots in the script is to add irony. Indeed, the dialogues between Chris Redfield and the “risen” Wasker from the first part made me smile. As well as one of the antagonists, who suffered a split personality and dressed up as a sister. The fly in the ointment was perhaps the very cringing drama between Steve and Claire, but the grain, as they say, was sown. And exactly Mikami managed to take the best of both worlds, feeling the perfect balance between black comedy and seriousness.

Of course, meticulous critics will complain about the fact that ONE agent was sent to save the presidential daughter, but these are trifles. Almost no game could boast of such lively and natural dialogues, not devoid of humor. To match this scenario is a dramatically increased timing of script scenes, some of which contained interactive segments.

And although the original version was not sold in the worst print run of more than one million copies, in fact, the fourth part shot in the fall of the same 2005, when the long-awaited port PS2. The graphics had to be pretty decent squeezed to match the weaker hardware, which, however, does not cancel the status of one of the most beautiful games for the console from Sony. In addition, the port contained a new campaign for Adou Wong, consisting of five chapters and retelling events Resident evil 4 from the face of a fatal beauty. Unlike RE2, the local narrative ran parallel to the main script, and did not come on his heels. Well, then Capcom went on a typical path for herself and began to reissue the game on all possible platforms. The last release was an option for Switch, which, as well as the version for Xbox One and PS4It boasts 60 fps. This feature, previously unavailable on consoles, greatly influenced the perception of gameplay due to the increased dynamics.


Despite the 15 years that have passed since Resident Evil 4 was born, the game is still striking in its scope, variety of game situations and the spirit of an unforgettable adventure. The famous view from behind the shoulder, even if it was not invented Mikamiquickly became the standard for the vast majority of third-person shooters. QTE segments, also originating in the distant 80s, precisely from the filing RE4, but not Shenmue, are increasingly appearing in games. Also, the fourth part became one of the few creations of the time, which made a strong emphasis on a fascinating and well-designed script. Of course, you can mount an hour and a half movie from all the videos. Once such a figure was impressive, but now has long been the standard for AAA titles. As well as the idea of ​​laughing heroes, it was reflected in a number of iconic franchises like Gears of war and Uncharted.

As for influencing further parts Resident evil – unfortunately, soon care Mikami of Capcom quickly nullified the success of his concept. Already RE5Despite a number of advantages, she was not able to offer an equally high-quality scenario, and quoted the predecessor with its content. It was an excellent, but not epoch-making “Resident”, which by definition was required by a new generation of consoles. Hopes to see such a thing collapsed after the release of the sixth part, which thoughtlessly grabbed ideas from competitors and seasoned all this with senile heroes who did not leave a living space on the gamer’s face – so often I wanted to beat my forehead with my palm from what I saw. After a long pause Capcom still managed to partially rehabilitate with the exit RE7. There were enough shortcomings here, but at least the developers were able to find an approximate formula that allows you to combine all the past achievements.

Detailed comparison of graphics in all existing (except mobile) versions of RE4

A full return to the throne took place only last year, when a remake of the second part was released – still awkward in a number of moments, but breathing new life into a depressed series. The updated “classic” managed to competently maintain a balance between action and horror. Surely many of the dissatisfied RE4 in the end, they exclaimed that they wanted to get such a game in 2005. Maybe the remark is fair, but at that time the industry was arranged differently, and a radical change of concept was perhaps the best that could have happened with the series. Otherwise, her fate would surely await Silent hill. And the fans of the classical parts in the end still got a spiritual heir, made according to modern canons.