The Resident Evil series in the late 1990s cracked almost all the ideas allowed by its original survival horror format with a static camera. The transition to a 3D environment was not entirely smooth, and the series was sought after the third part through various spin-off titles like Code Veronica and Outbreak that did not repeat the glory of the original trilogy.
The fourth part has been in development since 1999. For two years, the concept of an action game was developed, from which a separate title was created - Devil May Cry. The game was officially announced for the first time in late 2002 based on 40% of the completed concept. Although that version also ended up in the trash, by then, one could already see the concrete outlines of what the 2005 final release brought.
Capcom's idea was to make the Resident Evil game scarier than its predecessors, and the key to that was positioning the camera behind the back of the main character. Enemies in the game were supposed to be famous zombies at first, but with the return of the series' creator, Shinji Mikami, new ideas emerged, and the whole project came alive in fresh form.
Leon S. Kennedy, a favorite character of Resident Evil fans, is back in the lead role. He was sent on a rescue mission to Spain where he faced a new type of threat - the Las Plagas parasites, which make their hosts extremely violent, and at an advanced, stage replace their heads with their bodies.
Unlike the slow zombies and other Umbrella bio-weapons, Plague-infected opponents retained the ability to communicate with each other, the motor skills of performing all functions, and were able to use different types of weapons and tools. The chainsaw certainly stood out as the scariest type of tool. Some of us still have nightmares from the sound of that chicken and a certain Dr. Salvador.
Leon’s mission in Spain was equally exciting and terrifying, and Resident Evil had never looked better before. In addition to switching to a new camera, the fourth Resident also brought contextual actions - such as kicking the opponent, but also quick-time events during the animation so that the directed scenes were not viewed passively.
In 2005, Resident Evil 4 won numerous awards for the best game of the year. Initially, it was released only on the Gamecube console, but at the end of the same year, it appeared in a graphically infernal, but content-expanded version for PlayStation 2. Two years later, versions for PC and Wii followed, and then for mobile devices. The game came to the PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles in 2011, and the current generation of consoles in 2016. The year before last, it also appeared on the Nintendo Switch console.
Although it has appeared on almost every possible platform, Resident Evil 4 has sold just over 7.2 million copies. Still, that was enough for him to become the best-selling survival horror game, at least for a while. This brought additional popularity to the series, and the next two sequels set new sales records for this Capcom franchise. In addition to these two sequels, the format of this Resident Evil was taken over by the spin-off series Revelations, and the view with the camera behind the back of the main character was chosen for the remakes of Resident Evil 2 and 3.
It has been rumored for some time that a remake of Resident Evil 4 for PC and the next generation of consoles is being prepared. This is probably true information, but there have been no official announcements so far. In 2021, Resident Evil 4 was switched to a VR environment, exclusively for Oculus Quest 2 devices.