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The Making of Resident Evil 4

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The Making of Resident Evil 4 is 2005 documentary on the development of Resident Evil 4. It includes interviews with developers such as Hiroyuki Kobayashi and Masaki Yamanaka.


What's different about Resident Evil 4?

The game's producer, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, makes the first interview, in which he explains that the game's fully 3D environment with a fixed-camera perspective was decided on because of concerns production had become stale and repetitive, developers for the earlier games also deciding to move on with their work. Kobayashi cites himself as one of the deciding parties in the game changes, along with Shinji Mikami his co-producer.

Yusuke Kan, the background artist, cites that earlier Resident Evil games had a more urban feeling which allowed the player to experience an every-day environment crumbling around them. Kan admired the decision for expansive 3D environments, as it gave his team more freedom in creating a realistic environment. Yoshihiko Wada, the chief sound designer, cited non-English designer as being particulary unique to the game, as an informal rule to the franchise was to use only English no matter the game's language version. This, he felt, helped to revitalise the franchise. More research was also done to create weapon sounds than prior games.

Are there really no zombies?

Kobayashi confirms there are no Zombies in the game, but refuses to explain what the villagers are to avoid spoilers. Wada admits to adding in animal noises like growls to make the Ganados more inhuman, mixing it in with the audio samples from voice actors and in-house developer contributors. Masaki Yamanaka describes the decision to have the villagers work together as part of a herd mentality, which captures their animalistic nature. Though this succeeded in Kan's ideas at creating a tense situation, the Chainsaw Ganado were added in as a class of enemy to go one step further.

What is the story of Resident Evil 4?

Kobayashi gives an unspoilt description of the game story, citing Leon's mission to save Ashley and a subplot revolving something happening to them.

What was the inspiration for Leon's look?

Masaki Yamanaka explains the change to Leon from Resident Evil 2 as being due to the experience he has gained since that game. He was buffed up accordingly, but Yamanaka didn't want him "too buffed out".

Talk about the atmosphere.

Yasuke Kan discusses the use of fog in the game, an idea implemented to take advantage of the GameCube's processing power to give a more realistic atmosphere. The switch between day and night in Chapter 3 was to show to the player just how had the game could really become.

What is the musical mood?

Misao Senbongi, one of the music composers, does not wish to talk about the mood in case it suggests too much about the plot, but insists it will sound completely different from earlier games.

How is the camera system different?

The cinematics lead, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, discusses the rapid change in the camera system, with the game's cutscenes cutting to more angles than earlier games to better demonstrate what each scene is trying to capture. Kobayashi adds that there was a lot of trial-and-error in reaching the distance chosen for the gameplay camera, adding that certain QTEs use letterboxing to make them more cinematic.

Explain the use of motion capture.

Wada explains the use of motion capture in the franchise. While Capcom had used its own in-house system of recoding movements in previous years, the decision was made to use a 3rd party computer system to make more fluid character movements. The facial movements were more awkward, however, with the animators replicating the recorded dialogue in mouth movements.

Final thoughts?

Wada compares Resident Evil 4 to Resident Evil Zero and the recent remake, reaching the conclusion that there are far more "action elements" in this game. He finds it makes the game more enjoyable while the player continues solving puzzles. Kobayashi urges fans and non-fans alike to play the game.


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