The impact of resident evil 4

The Resident Evil series was always critically and commercially successful. It single handedly defined the survival horror genre, the first 3 sections of the game set the player against pre-rendered back grounds of spooky mansions and cities in zombie chaos, after several spin offs, prequels and side stories creator Shinji Mikami wanted to take the fourth iteration in a totally different direction, he wanted the game to move at a much faster pace, a complete 3D environment and even at one point eliminating zombies all together! One of the previous results was a game so different that it was worthy of being a series of its own and was later released as Devil may cry.

Eventually, resident evil 4 in the shape that we know emerged gathering every single game of the year award possible. RE4 abandoned a lot of themes in favor of others, slow moving dumb AI zombies were dropped for enemies that are faster moving, more resourceful and somewhat present. They will run after you, they would climb ladders, open doors and jump through windows; and to top it all a notch, there’s a madman running around with a chain saw. With those elements, RE4 managed to create a new type of terror swamping the player with hords of challenging enemies.

But that wasn’t the only thing that RE4 had packing, probably the most prominent feature of the game is the use of the over the shoulder camera for shooting.

That seeming simple mechanic has revolutionized adventure gaming ever since.

The over-the-shoulder camera zooms in when the weapon is drawn allowing for additional accuracy. The genius of it is that you can freely control your character and at the same time have the optimum space for aim and shooting action. Action adventure games before RE4 relied on several camera mechanics that were ok but don’t compare: fixed camera angle, over head camera, tracking camera and the FPS camera. Most of the time the player found it difficult to control the camera while shooting at such different angles.

The impact of RE4 is now apparent, spanning across several platforms of genres, you can clearly see it on most of today’s releases: Batman Arkham franchise, Uncharted, Shadow of the Damned, RE5, All new silent hills, Vanquish and even the 3rd person eye view in Skyrim.