Resident Evil 4


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This is a summary of my analysis that I've written about Resident Evil 4.

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Resident Evil 4

  1. 1. Ida Eriksson
  2. 2. The game that I’ve chosen to play throughout the course is Resident Evil 4 on PlayStation 2. In this presentation I will talk about:  The history of the game  The story  The gameplay  My own game experience  Resident Evil and the expanded game experience  The previous games in the series  Conclusion
  3. 3. Resident Evil is a survival horror-themed third-person shooter game. It’s developed by Capcom and published by multiple publishers including Capcom, Ubisoft and Nintendo Australia. The game was originally intended to be released exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube, but on October 25, 2005, Resident Evil 4 was released on the PlayStation 2 with extra gameplay features, but weaker visuals. The first attempt in developing Resident Evil 4 was actually made from sometime in 1998 to 2000 for the PlayStation 2. The course which the project took was though considered too much of a departure from the traditional Resident Evil-style and the resulting game was released as Devil May Cry in 2001. The development of Resident Evil 4 got its official start in 2001 for the GameCube .
  4. 4. The first proposed version was the Fog Version. After the Fog Version came the Hooked Man Version. This version was apparently so scary that the director of Resident Evil 4 warned the gamers with the famous quote “Don’t pee your pants”. This version was however thrown-away due being far too paranormal for the Resident Evil plot.
  5. 5. In Resident Evil 4 players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, (from Resident Evil 2). It has been six years since the destruction of Racoon City. The Umbrella Corporation is destroyed. And the Government forces have managed to control the zombie threat. Leon S. Kennedy has become a Federal agent. When the President’s daughter, Ashley, is kidnapped by a mysterious cult organization, it’s up to Leon to rescue her. Leon tracks her to a remote, hidden fortress in Europe. When he arrives on the location there’s something weird about the locals. Leon quickly discovers that there are indeed things much worse than the horrors he faced six years ago.
  6. 6. Leon S. Kennedy encounters a horde of villagers who pledge their lives to Los Illuminados, the cult that was behind Ashley’s kidnapping. During the course of the mission, Leon is reunited with the spy Ada Wong (from Resident Evil 2) and he does also meet Luis Sera, a former Los Illuminados’ researcher, who starts working together with Leon. When examining Sera’s notes, Leon discovers that Los Illuminados gained control of their subjects by implanting a mind controlling parasite known as “Las Plagas” into their bodies.
  7. 7. The gameplay in Resident Evil 4 focuses on action, horror and enemies. You shoot at enemies, solve puzzles and hunt saving points. That’s the core in the game. There are many interesting elements that contribute to the shell in Resident Evil. The elements contribute to the scary feeling in the game and the atmosphere. The core (gameplay) and shell (representation) are equally important parts in a game. Together they made Resident Evil 4 to a real challenge for me. My first goal was to pass all the obstacles and chapters, to save Ashley and just play through the game. At the same time I guess another goal was to get that adrenaline rush when the enemies are hunting me from all directions.
  8. 8. “Do I really dare to play this game?” That was a question that came back to me several times during the gameplay. I actually thought of abandoning the game several times as I started to have nightmares (believe it or not!). I did not abandon the game though. I felt that I had to know how the story would end.
  9. 9. Here is one example of my game experience: I remember walking along a wooden path, feeling pretty safe when a cinematic show began. “Okay”, I thought and put down the consol.
  10. 10. But suddenly some villagers began pushing a boulder off a cliff and an on-screen instruction flashed at me. I should apparently hammer the “X” button in order to outrun the boulder. I grasped the control again and started to sprint as fast as I could. I was in chock!
  11. 11. Then the instructions on the screen suddenly changed to show a button combination that I would need to press in order to make Leon dive acrobatically out of danger. I was so surprised and chocked that it was not strange that I died.
  12. 12. I pressed that I wanted to continue and now I would be ready I thought. I knew what the button combinations where too. I managed to outrun the boulder and I was ready to press the square and “X” button. Though, this time I should apparently press the “L1” and “R1” buttons at the same time. I’ve come to learn that you can never feel safe when playing Resident Evil 4. And you can never think that you know what will happen because the game is always going to surprise you. You have to be constantly alert, even in these cut scenes.
  13. 13. My emotional mood when playing the game went from fear, anxiety, anger and constant panic to true happiness. I got for example so happy every time I found ammunition for Leon’s weapons or saw the typical typewriter saving point for example (the producers seem to have make sure that the pressure is on as the ammunition and healing herbs always were limited, as well as the saving points). I felt anxiety and fear when I never knew what would happen next (especially after that boulder attack in the cut scene).
  14. 14. “To play a game is to experience the game: to see, touch, hear, smell, and taste the game; to move the body during play, to feel emotions about the unfolding outcome, to communicate with other players, to alter normal patterns of thinking.” p. 314, Katie Salen/Eric Zimmerman, Rules of Play 
  15. 15. The model of expanded game experience presented in this course is a model of the actual game play but also what experiences the game provides. The EGE-model is identified with its six different activity steps: 1. Information retrieval 2. Enabling 3. Preparations 4. Gameplay 5. After play 6. Disposal Let’s look closer at these steps!
  16. 16. 1. Information retrieval I got information about Resident Evil 4 through my boyfriend and some other friends. They told me that it was a great horror game. I should try to find Silent Hill 2 or Resident Evil 4. I went to the game shop and asked the shop assistant if it was a good game. He immediately told me that it was one of the top 10 best games in the world.
  17. 17. 2. Enabling I brought the game the same day and my boyfriend brought the console (as our PS2 at home had broken). So we did invest some money in this step. Well, of course did we buy the consol to be able to play our other PS2 games too and not only RE4. But my expectations on the game were even though very high. 3. Preparations of the game There’s not much preparation needed when playing a PlayStation game. All you need to do is to turn on the TV and insert the disc in the consol and start playing.
  18. 18. 4. The gameplay: Look at slide 6. 5. After play: I often spoke to my friends after having played Resident Evil 4. Just to compare thoughts, share what I was thinking of the game and discussing how different problems were solved. I looked up the official websites of the game and tried to find the other games in the series. I accidentally stumbled upon Resident Evil Code: Veronica X on a Swedish trade site. I also watched the Resident Evil movie from 2002, starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. I’ve also been following the progress of Resident Evil 5 as it was released on March 13, 2009 in Europe and North America.
  19. 19. 6. Disposal I have not disposed of the game yet. Resident Evil 4 is a game that you can play again, after you have played it through one time. There are three different modes; easy, normal and hard. After you have beaten the game once there are several minigames that you can play, for example Assignment Ada. RE4 has a lot of replay ability.
  20. 20. Resident Evil 4 is a game for both hardcore and casual gamers. I think that you appreciate the game more if you play it for longer periods though, so that you get in the mood. You can dig deep into the story, the characters and the series. There are so much more that can expand your experiences. I see myself as a casual gamer as gaming is like a hobby to me, whereas for hardcore gamers the interest in gaming is almost professional. But I guess when it comes to RE4 I’ve gotten more and more hardcore. It took me 27 hours and 44 minutes to play through the game once and I don’t think I’ve ever played a game so much during just some few months of time. Upon that I’ve expanded my experiences by trying out Code: Veronica X for instant, and reading about the series online, and discussing and comparing the games with friends.
  21. 21. One thing that I have done to expand my game experience is to look at the previous games in the series. I’ve only tried one of the other games, Resident Evil Code: Veronica X. But through conversations and discussions with friends, as well as reading about the game on the web, I’ve come to realize that RE4 is not like the earlier games. It’s in many ways different. I’ve come to realize how well designed Resident Evil 4 is.
  22. 22. Here are some differences: 1. There are no zombies in RE4. 2. In RE4 is the traditional fixed camera of old is gone, replaced by a fully 3D environment. 3. You can reload your game from designated “start points” if you die. 4. You don’t meet a small number of zombies and infrequent mutants. Instead, you are swarmed with masses of enemies (I killed 1085 enemies during the play). 5. RE4 is more action-oriented (even though I think it’s scary enough). 6. Another new feature is money. You find treasures on your travels and the cash you raise can be spent on upgrading your weapons or purchasing new ones. 7. The environment is more interactive than before (Leon can jump over fences, kick down ladders, fling himself out of windows and roll on the floor to dodge blows). 8. The enemy interaction is also improved. Their bodies react according to where you shoot them.
  23. 23. It took me almost 28 hours to play through the whole game. I died 28 times and killed 1085 enemies. I have always seen myself as a casual player but when it comes to Resident Evil, I’m more and more seeing myself as a hardcore one. Graphics don’t make a game but in Resident Evil 4 they almost do. Nothing is as spectacular visually as the bosses. They are nightmarish creations. Everything is just so well designed. I’ve come to realize (through conversations and trying out another game in the series) that Resident Evil 4 is in a completely different level than the predecessor games. It is much more improved. The gameplay in Resident Evil 4 focuses on action, horror and enemies.
  24. 24. If I should get even deeper into this analysis and broaden my understanding in the game I would like to expand my experience more. I would like to discuss the game with people in online forums; I would definitely try out all the other games in the series and look more at the whole series in itself. I would love to get to know the whole story in the RE-series. I would like to watch all the movies and also play the games on different consoles like on the Wii for instant. I think that playing the game on Wii will give a completely different experience. I’m so happy that Resident Evil 4 was not released exclusively for the Nintendo GameCube. I don’t think I would have been able to try out the game then.
  25. 25. To sum it all up was Resident Evil a great gaming experience for me. I have never played any game like this before. This is a game for both hardcore and casual gamers. Even though I had thoughts of abandoning the game, I never did. And I’m glad I didn’t, because I had an incredible game experience.