Resident Evil 4, the surprising turning point for survival horror saga
GameCube got very good performance from Capcom by taking, among other games, several exclusives, both total and partial, of the survival horror par excellence of the Osaka company, starting with the memorable remake of Resident Evil in 2002, where it far surpassed the original . This was followed by its prequel, Resident Evil Zero , a few months later. And after the subsequent experimentation with the Internet with the PS2 Outbreaks, he played a most abrupt change of approach in 2005 with Resident Evil 4 . And the surprising thing is that it didn’t have so many detractors, quite the opposite, being one of the highest rated titles in the Resident Evil franchise .
The Resident Evil Black Album
It is not the first time that I have used the classic Metallica album as a metaphor with Resident Evil 4 , despite the fact that Capcom had been testing various changes in the saga for a few years and even modernizing with the superb Resident Evil Code: Veronica for Dreamcast of the year 2000. From its essence of survival horror with that tension at every corner and the successful use of fixed camera shots, as in the movies, it turned to the third person view over the shoulder and with a greater emphasis on action. and without any truly memorable puzzles, partly because of their drastic reduction in number and their certainly more arcade spirit .
Resident Evil 4 put us in the shoes of Leon S. Kennedy , the “rookie” we controlled (along with Claire Redfield) in the tremendous Resident Evil 2 , before a rescue mission (the daughter of the President of the United States, no more no less; Ashley Graham ) located in a remote town in Europe ( cough cough, Spain, cough cough) where its villagers muttered phrases in Spanish like the highly parodied “behind you, imbesil “, “grab him” or “to die is to live” . Some beings belonging to the somewhat strange sect of Los Illuminados. This other change was one of the most striking, because the classic figure of the zombie was dispensed with by some infected (who are still “zombies” deep down, yes, but with greater reasoning capacity and that extra speech to communicate with others), which did not prevent us, in any case, from running into extremely lethal large aberrations.
The beginning of a new way of creating nightmares
It was no longer the Resident Evil we knew , but at the time we welcomed that change. And that there were many, actually. There was one that is fully established today, like that development by chapters . The typewriter was preserved, but the story followed a structure divided into different sections and with an infinite number of checkpoints. Apart from this greater emphasis on action, with waves of enemies in certain sections, Quick-Time Events were introduced for the first time in the saga , along the lines of Shenmue , both to give the coup de grace to an opponent and to dodge at the last moment or to get out of a hold faster. In addition, 3D textures were also fully committed here, not only for the characters but also for the environment. The logical step after the evolution seen in the aforementioned Resident Evil Code: Veronica . Now, the control of the camera in Resident Evil 4 today seems to us quite improvable due to the suddenness when turning, the impossibility of adjusting the sensitivity or that slow aiming. And that allows you to alternate between several controls.
Resident Evil 4 reserved many surprises for us
For the avoidance of doubt, Resident Evil 4 made it easier for us with the map by giving it to us on a platter with each new area. The memorable pedlar (merchant) sold us an extra map with the location of the treasures, in case he bit us the itch to scratch more pesetas to buy and improve the equipment, something that required time and money. We could even combine certain treasures to increase their value on the market.
It goes without saying that the inventory underwent a complete facelift , being more practical than ever when approaching the management of classic role-playing boxes, being able to rotate the objects to place them better and make the most of the dimensions of the briefcase (which, of course, could be expanded). Much appreciated, by the way, the yellow grass to raise life . However, there was one thing that irritated players at the time and is still remembered in a negative way: having to deal with the useless Ashley . Leon’s orders were the simplest, limiting her to stop or follow us, with the possibility of telling her to hide in some trunks so we wouldn’t have to worry about her in battles. But he was a nuisance, especially having to catch her with every jump she couldn’t get down a simple set of stairs. Or get lost when we walked away.