Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Top 10 most Unexpected Games in a Series - Sneak Peak "Resident Evil 4"

Hey everyone, what's going on? I just wanted to let you all know that I'm sorry for not posting anything for yesterday's daily blog post, but I have a pretty good reason for it! You see me and the other writers here (specifically GlacialLeaf and Lugia) are currently working on a small writing project, and that has been taking up quite a bit of our time. Although I won't go into great detail about everything in this project, I did want to give you guys a sneak peak of it today!

So anyway, here you go guys! Here's a sneak peak of our newest project! A top 10 list of the "most shocking games in a game series!"

Game Number 9: Resident Evil 4

Back in 1996 Capcom decided to shock the world with a brand new game called "Resident Evil." Up until this point, the world had only seen a hand full of "horror" based video games. Most of the horror games released never really did what they set out to do, and most of them were actually pretty unknown. Now sure, there were a few games with a few good scares, but none of them really offered that in depth horror experience many people had been looking for. That is, until Resident Evil entered the picture!

The first Resident Evil game was a horror survival game which focused on two playable characters: one was named Chris, and the other named Jill. Both of these characters had entered an old mansion which was filled with flesh eating zombies, and mutated animals, and they both had their own skills and abilities to help the player progress. The thing about these characters is, well, players were able to really connect with them, and you truly cared about their well being as they explored this crazy mansion. The game used fixed camera angles with prerendered backgrounds to give the game a realistic feel, the game's music and sound effects always kept you on the edge of your seat, and you never knew when a zombie or monster would jump out and scare the heck out of you! For its time, the game was a horrifying experience, but its setting wasn't the only thing that scared players.

Resident Evil is what you would call a "horror survival game," which means it is also about surviving. As you explore the scary old mansion, you find items, read diaries filling you in on what happened to the people who lived there, and you also find weapons and other resources to help protect yourself. The monsters and zombies in Resident Evil are NOT ones to mess with, and unlike in most action games, they don't go down without a fight. You can use up all of the ammo from your gun trying to kill a SINGLE monster, but then you'll find yourself completely defenseless for who knows how long. You could also use health items to heal yourself when you get hurt, but just how many health items are actually IN the game? The thing is, EVERYTHING is limited in Resident Evil, and that even includes the save points! You can't save the game unless you find an item that allows you to save, and just like everything else they are very rare. Sure you could go ahead and save your game as soon as you get one, but how long till you find more? Then again, what if you hold onto that save item, go out exploring, solve a few puzzles, and then get killed and lose hours worth of progress? In Resident Evil you always had to question yourself on what the right move was, how much of an item you should use, which fights you should fight or run away from, and even when you should save; it was a survival game, and you were ALWAYS scared of dying and losing progress.

After Resident Evil 1 came out, the game soon became a series with games like Resident Evil 2, Code Veronica, and Resident Evil 3 following. Every one of these games offered a similar experience to the first game, and every single one of them focused on survival and limited resources. They were all pretty challenging games, but die hard fans could never get enough of them! So it was only natural that Capcom should make a 4th game right? Well, they did, and things weren't quite the same.

Resident Evil 4 is at number 9 on this list for a very good reason, but that reason also prevents it from being higher up as well. While RE4 was Resident Evil's first jump into full 3D, it also changed a LOT of the game's mechanics as well (so much it actually SPLIT the Resident Evil fan base)! Although RE4 follows the story of Resident Evil 2's main character Leon, it is really nothing like the Resident Evil most fans had come to know and love. While the game still did have tank controls, jump scares, puzzles, objects to find/collect, an inventory system which limited how much they could hold, and most of the same weapons and items; the rest of the game was not what you would expect from Resident Evil. Instead of a horror survival game, it was basically a "horror" 3rd person shooter.

Unlike in the past games, resources weren't as limited (most enemies drop ammo and healing items), there was a shop for you to buy power ups, upgrades, and equipment, you could save as many times as you wanted, and above all, THERE ARE NO ZOMBIES! The game is mostly about a parasite that lives inside the bodies of the people in a strange cult, and most of the game is spent shooting their heads off so you can shoot the parasite inside. Now sure the game is pretty disturbing (especially the bosses), but due to the fact that you can just shoot the heck out of everything, you really aren't on edge as much. This time around the knife is much more useful as well, and you can shoot enemies in the knees to knock them down, then follow up with a melee kick to the head to send them flying. Really, these guys are nothing to fear, and you are actually rewarded for taking them down instead of avoiding them.

Another thing that makes Resident Evil 4 so much different is the fact that it uses a level based set up! As you progress through the game you access many different types of areas, and each one of them is completely different from the last. There's really not much backtracking (there's no back tracking to older areas since they become locked off), and the game is more focused on moving forward in a linear style, rather than exploring every inch of a single house. This is another very unexpected change from past Resident Evil games, and it is also one of the reasons the fan base is split between Resident Evil 4 and the classics.

Really, Resident Evil 4 was something no one saw coming. Up until the release of Resident Evil 4 Capcom had been showing off tech demos of a few other versions of the game, and just about all of them showed off a game similar to what fans had come to love. They featured Leon walking through dark corners of a house with a flashlight, solving puzzles, and there were also a few jump scares thrown in as well. This is what most people thought Resident Evil 4 was going to be like, but when they got the final game, they found a completely new game unlike the classics. It was a shock to fans everywhere, but it is the Resident Evil style that has been with us ever since.

On top of all of that, Resident Evil 4 also shocked 3rd person shooter fans as well! The game featured a wide verity of features that were not yet common in shooters, and they really set the stages for future generations of games! In Resident Evil 4 you could actually enter houses, push furniture up against walls and windows to prevent enemies from entering, and you could also shoot through some materials such as wood! Locked door? No problem! Just blow it up! Before Resident Evil 4 came out these were the type of game features you would rarely see, and they really did shock a lot of people! (Both Resident Evil fans and 3rd person shooter fans alike!)

Although Resident Evil 4 may not seem as shocking today as it was back then, but let me assure you, it was in fact quite the shock!