Resident Evil 4Mark Macdonald
Release Date: October 2005
If Vegas set odds for the gaming industry, the chances of Resident Evil 4 coming to the PlayStation 2 would’ve fallen somewhere between “New Mario title exclusively for Xbox 360” and “Halo 3 will be a puzzle game.” In other words: not bloody likely.
For one thing, Capcom Producer and Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami was perfectly clear on the matter: “Resident Evil 4 will definitely release only on GameCube, not on another console.” And he didn’t stop there. “If that happens,” he said, “I will cut my head off.”
A year ago it didn’t seem like such a bold statement. The last two editions of the horror-adventure series—a remake of the original Resident Evil and a prequel, Resident Evil 0—were already GameCube exclusives. Besides, RE4 had been designed from the ground up for Nintendo’s system, its new behind-the-back perspective and revamped, fully 3D graphics squeezing every ounce of power from the Cube. “We were afraid it might not even be possible to port it over [to the PS2],” says Producer Masachika Kawata. His job? To port it over to the PS2.
Turns out the wishes of Capcom’s shareholders and millions of PS2-owning survival-horror fans are worth more than Mr. Mikami’s head (or at least his pride); for the past 10 months, Kawata and his team have been busy getting RE4 up and running on Sony’s console. “It’s taken a lot of work,” he admits. “The game underwent a thorough reworking to maintain the [high-quality graphics of the GameCube version]. We made changes to almost everything, including character models, background graphics and effects, etc.” Ironically, the net result of all these changes is a game that appears almost exactly the same—save for some slightly muted colors, you could mistake the PS2 version for the Cube original.
And as you’ll see over the next four pages, Capcom didn’t stop at creating a faithful port, adding extra options and bonus content: a true 16:9 ratio widescreen mode (that still runs in extrasharp progressive scan mode on HDTVs); new areas, weapons, and costumes; plus movies and files that fill in some of the game’s background and unanswered questions. “I’m confident,” says Kawata, “that all gamers, from those who are patiently awaiting the PS2 version, to those who already enjoyed it on the GameCube, and even those who haven’t played the series for a long time, will enjoy it.” Sounds like a safe bet to us.
Play Dress Up
You can unlock two new costumes in RE4 PS2: Leon’s purely cosmetic “smooth criminal” gangster getup and a full suit of armor for Ashley that actually affects gameplay. “The armor deflects bullets and makes her too heavy for enemies to easily carry her away,” says producer Kawata, “[so you] don’t have to protect her as diligently. It makes it easier to [replay] the game.” P
Getting Along With the Locals
Learn these useful expressions to help you blend in with RE4’s friendly Spanish locals:
“¡Allí está!” — “There he is!”
“¡Mueren!” — “Die!”
“¡Cogedlo!” — “Get him!”
“¡Agárrelo!” — “Grab him!”
“Morir es vivir...” — “To die is to live...”
“¡Mátelo!” — “Kill him!”
Have a great trip!
Copyright © 2005 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Electronic Gaming Monthly.