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Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4

Resident Evil 4, known as Biohazard 4 in Japan, is a survival horror video game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 and released by multiple publishers, including Capcom, Ubisoft, Nintendo Australia, Red Ant Enterprises and THQ Asia Pacific. The sixth main entry in the Resident Evil horror series, the game was originally released for the GameCube in January 2005 in North America and Japan, and in March 2005 in Europe and Australia.

The story of Resident Evil 4 follows the U.S. government special agent Leon S. Kennedy, who is sent on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham, the U.S. President's daughter, who has been kidnapped by a sinister cult. Traveling to a remote rural area of Europe, Leon fights hordes of violent villagers and mutated monsters, and reunites with the mysterious spy Ada Wong. The game pioneered and popularized the "over the shoulder" third-person view perspective in video games.

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 PlayStation 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. Nevertheless, it was decided to start development over again. The game was intended to be a GameCube exclusive as part of the Capcom Five, but a PlayStation 2 version was announced before the game was released for the GameCube. Resident Evil 4 was subsequently released for Microsoft Windows, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and in heavily condensed versions for the iOS, mobile phones and Zeebo.

Resident Evil 4 garnered universal critical acclaim. It was considered by most critics as a top contender for 2005's Game of the Year, and was seen as a successful cross-platform hit that highly influenced the evolution of the third-person shooter genre.

Resident Evil 4 Plot

Six years after the events of Resident Evil 2, former Raccoon City police officer Leon S. Kennedy (Paul Mercier) is sent on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham (Carolyn Lawrence), the U.S. President's daughter, who has been kidnapped by a mysterious cult. He travels to a rural village in Spain, where he encounters a group of hostile 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 with Luis Sera (Rino Romano), a former Los Illuminados researcher. The two work together to escape, but then quickly go their separate ways. Leon discovers that Ashley is being held in a chapel, and rescues her. They both escape from the chapel after Osmund Saddler (Michael Gough), leader of the Illuminados, reveals his plan to use the Plagas they injected into Ashley to cause a disaster in the United States once she returns home. Leon and Ashley try to take refuge in a castle, but are attacked by more Illuminados under the command of Ramon Salazar (Rene Mujica), another of Saddler's henchmen, and the two become separated by Salazar's traps. Meanwhile, Luis searches for the pills to slow Leon and Ashley's infection, as well as a sample of Las Plagas. 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 (Sally Cahill), a woman from his past who supports him during his mission. He then battles his way through the castle before finally killing Salazar.

Afterwards, Leon travels to a nearby island research facility, where he continues the search for Ashley. He soon discovers that one of his former training comrades, Jack Krauser (Jim Ward), who was believed to have been killed in a helicopter crash two years prior, is responsible for her kidnapping. It is eventually revealed that both Ada and Krauser are working with Albert Wesker (Richard Waugh), for whom both intend to secure a Plagas sample. Suspicious of the mercenary's intentions, Saddler orders Krauser to kill Leon, believing 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 finally confronts Saddler, and with Ada's help, manages to kill him. However, Ada takes the sample from Leon at gunpoint before escaping in a helicopter, leaving Leon and Ashley to escape via her jet-ski as the island self-destructs.

Resident Evil 4 Gameplay

The player controls the protagonist 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.

An image of a young man defending himself against a hoard of humanoid enemies in a village setting. The camera is behind the man's shoulder, placing him in the bottom left corner and the attackers in the background of the picture.

Leon in battle with a group of Ganados. Unlike previous entries in the series, Resident Evil 4 has the camera following directly behind the main character. The laser sight enables the player to target key hit zones on enemies.

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 quick time events, 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 attaché 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 and treasures are kept in a separate menu. Items may be bought from and sold to a 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 PlayStation 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 the series' villain Albert Wesker. "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 includes the minigames "The Mercenaries" and "Assignment Ada" (using Ada to retrieve plaga samples), new costumes for Leon and Ashley, new unlockable weapons, and a cutscene browser.

Reception
The Nintendo GameCube 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 GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions had been shipped worldwide. According to January 17, 2007 sales figures provided by Capcom, the GameCube 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.


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