Why RE4 Changed The Series (A Historical Perspective and Argument)

UniqTeas

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Hi all,

I have made this argument before and I wanted to get more people to comment on this considering how many people on this site (or in general) despise RE4 for changing the formula.

A TIMELINE
THE EARLY DAYS

Resident Evil was obviously a smash hit with the first few games. We all know this. It is undisputible. Capcom had a mega hit on their hands. RE1 and RE2 sold super well for PS1 games making between 5-6.1million a piece. RE3 saw a drop off and only sold 3.5 million, but was available on less platforms. The PS1 era was great and the games only added a few new things withe each installment. I was playing the games at this time. They were wonderful and I could play them over and over. However, due to the lack of changes and a drop in interests - the PS2 era games would sell significantly lower.

THE PS2 ERA BEGINS

The two main series titles we have in this category (despite RE4 later being released for PS2) are RECV, RE0, and REmake. We all know these games have remarkable value and are wonderful games in their own right. But if you were alive for this time period - you will remember the constant complaints from fans saying these games were too formulaic. People and critics alike were clamoring the Resident Evil was creating the same game over and over with slight tweaks and new locations. I mean, this was CONSTANT on forums of the early 2000's. As a result of the formulaic experience and the loss of interest - at the time - these games could hardly muster 2 million in sales which was QUITE a drop off from the early days in the 90s. I was playing at this time. And while I enjoyed these games, I do agree that the formulaic experiences didn't add enough to keep most people interested. If you bought every RE game when it came out, it'd be akin to playing every COD game now. You get the same game with slight tweaks each and every year. Luckily, the RE games had a ton of added value with new stories and lore being one of the great features of the franchise. The series was losing customers, money, and the ratings of their games were getting lower and lower. But seriously, Code Veronica and REmake are SO good.

RE4 CHANGES EVERYTHING

After a bunch of well documented restarts on the RE4 cycle - Capcom released the game we now know as RE4. They embraced a more action oriented game, but truly kept the horror alive. People were stunned. Some were polarized going in to it, but most couldn't ignore the shire fun of fighting something a little smarter than a zombie. The most unfortunate thing about RE4 is the lack of a finale for Umbrella and leading in to a new storyline for the next few installments. But they wanted this game to be its own being (like they would later do with RE7 after the backlash from RE6). People ATE it up. Critics loved it making it the highest rated game in the series by most accounts. Some game companies even made it the GOTY and it was well deserved. It was new and fun and DIFFERENT which is what the series needed lest it become too stale. Yes, I missed the old games, but by God, did I love playing RE4. The sales were off the charts. Selling 8.2 million games told Capcom what they needed to know. Keep making THIS kind of game instead. RE5 and RE6 would go on to sell more to different reactions by fans and critics.

When I say people were really hating on Capcom prior to RE4 for making the same game over and over - it is an understatement. Fans were livid. They felt like they were getting SUB-par games just so Capcom could milk the RE cash cow. The movies further divided people.

I am not saying anyone must LOVE RE4 - but seeing it in a historical context might answer some of those nagging questions on WHY it was changed. You could apply a lot of these same things to RE7 after the critical PANNING of RE6, but that is a slightly different story.

Let me know what y'all think!
 

Turo602

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I don't think you quite got all the important details. The later games sold poorly due to being on the Gamecube, the weakest selling console of that generation. And even then, REmake was recieved extremely well and continually praised by fans today. It wasn't really up until 0 where people started to think Resident Evil was getting stale. But ultimately, it was the poor sales that led to RE4's drastic change, which even then, was Capcom's fault for having an exclusivity deal with Nintendo. Had the games been available on other platforms, like the PS2, it would be a very different story. Resident Evil 4 didn't need to go down the road it did.
 

Albertwesker959

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I think it was time for resident evil to change itself, and re 4 in my opinion is a masterpiece and not only changed the re series but the entire game industries...
Resident evil redefined the action game, If today we have game that use the third person camera when you point your weapon it's because resident evil 4 created that...
So he changed everything in better in my opinion...

Also devil may cry was originally resident evil 4 before it was changed to devil may cry, so re 4 not only changed action game but created a new concept of hack and slash in devil may cry, that would be later carried on in other game like God of War prince of persia ecc..

Whoever say that resident evil 4 is not a good game doesn't understand its importance and is simply a resident evil fanboy in my opinion, resident evil 4 changed the game industries forever...

The difference between call of duty and resident evil and call of duty is that nobody care about the fac that call of duty is the same since they get new multiplayer content whit every call of duty, the multiplayer aspect is more important... Resident evil wasn't properly the same in my opinion since every game always added something new but it needed to change itself but in the end the gameplay was very similar

For example God of War series was ok for me but It needed to change that's why they make the new God of War, a series can't stay the same forever, it need to innovate to survive and resident evil did that and worked....

Edit: @UniqTeas i think you should edit that post since the next game in the series after re 3 were on Nintendo console like the game cube, the ps2 game were only the outbreak one and dead aim, resident evil code veronica and 4 were first released on Nintendo console and later ported to ps2... Also you quoted re 0 and re remake but they were never released on ps2 but only on Nintendo console, they were portend on the playstation only whit the HD remastered on ps3 and 4... You should probably change it to Nintendo era...
 
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Turo602

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I think it was time for resident evil to change itself, and re 4 in my opinion is a masterpiece and not only changed the re series but the entire game industries...
Resident evil redefined the action game, If today we have game that use the third person camera when you point your weapon it's because resident evil 4 created that...
So he changed everything in better in my opinion...

Also devil may cry was originally resident evil 4 before it was changed to devil may cry, so re 4 not only changed action game but created a new concept of hack and slash in devil may cry, that would be later carried on in other game like God of War prince of persia ecc..

Whoever say that resident evil 4 is not a good game doesn't understand its importance and is simply a resident evil fanboy in my opinion, resident evil 4 changed the game industries forever...

The difference between call of duty and resident evil and call of duty is that nobody care about the fac that call of duty is the same since they get new multiplayer content whit every call of duty, the multiplayer aspect is more important... Resident evil wasn't properly the same in my opinion since every game always added something new but it needed to change itself but in the end the gameplay was very similar

For example God of War series was ok for me but It needed to change that's why they make the new God of War, a series can't stay the same forever, it need to innovate to survive and resident evil did that and worked....
Resident Evil definitely needed to evolve and that's exactly what was happening if you look at some of the early beta gameplay that even included over the shoulder shooting. The Resident Evil 4 we got was not the kind of change this series needed. There's a certain degree of change that is acceptable when evolving a franchise because if taken too far, like RE4, then you start to lose what made the series popular to begin with. Resident Evil 4 is a great game, but it's definitely not a great Resident Evil game and it was definitely the wrong direction for this series.
 

Albertwesker959

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Resident Evil definitely needed to evolve and that's exactly what was happening if you look at some of the early beta gameplay that even included over the shoulder shooting. The Resident Evil 4 we got was not the kind of change this series needed. There's a certain degree of change that is acceptable when evolving a franchise because if taken too far, like RE4, then you start to lose what made the series popular to begin with. Resident Evil 4 is a great game, but it's definitely not a great Resident Evil game and it was definitely the wrong direction for this series.
I don't think it was the wrong direction for the series, I think it was the right direction , they should only have kept more enigma and some concept of the old inventory...

Nonetheless resident evil 4 is a great resident evil game in my opinion, and the review were all exited about it so there was actually nothing wrong about it, the only wrong re was resident evil 6 and on a certaint degree 5 because he original concept were simply great but than that damn Co op came in an ruined every thing, but still re 5 is a great game...
 
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Turo602

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I don't think it was the wrong direction for the series, I think it was the right direction , they should only have kept more enigma and some concept of the old inventory...

Nonetheless resident evil 4 is a great resident evil game in my opinion, and the review were all exited about it so there was actually nothing wrong about it, the only wrong re was resident evil 6 and 5 a bit, the origal concept of 5 were simply great but than that damn Co op came in an ruined every thing...
Reviewers don't dictate what's wrong or right with a video game in a series they don't care about. RE4 appealed to a brand new audience who never played a Resident Evil game before who suddenly thought it was the greatest survival horror game ever. Resident Evil 4's direction was awful as it paved the way for RE5 and RE6. Resident Evil 4 is not a survival horror game, it completely did away with the series' plot in an opening narration only to make it accessible to newcomers. You can like the game as it is, but there is no way in hell it's a great Resident Evil game when it fails to capture or meaningfully build on the ground work laid out by the original.
 

KennedyKiller

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* Insert Resident Evil 4 Opinion Here * Everyone else's is wrong, mine is right because * Insert subjective reasoning here * ! Rawr Rawr Rawr! Lol...I love the internet.
 

Turo602

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* Insert Resident Evil 4 Opinion Here * Everyone else's is wrong, mine is right because * Insert subjective reasoning here * ! Rawr Rawr Rawr! Lol...I love the internet.
Except it's totally objective reasoning. Something most people can't do when it comes to talking about things they like.
 
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Albertwesker959

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Reviewers don't dictate what's wrong or right with a video game in a series they don't care about. RE4 appealed to a brand new audience who never played a Resident Evil game before who suddenly thought it was the greatest survival horror game ever. Resident Evil 4's direction was awful as it paved the way for RE5 and RE6. Resident Evil 4 is not a survival horror game, it completely did away with the series' plot in an opening narration only to make it accessible to newcomers. You can like the game as it is, but there is no way in hell it's a great Resident Evil game when it fails to capture or meaningfully build on the ground work laid out by the original.
In my opinion it's a great resident evil game ... Why you should not respect what I think? Why you say there is no way in hell is a great re game? That's just your opinion and not an universal things... For me it's a great resident evil game for you it's not I m fine whit it

Reviewer don't act like fan boy that's the difference and that's why they are suitable to make review and can probably say what is right or wrong, and Infact resident evil 4 is seen as one of the most important and most beautiful game ever made....

Resident evil fan should be proud of this but instead no, they act like fanboy

Also why you say that resident evil 4 is not a re game? What are you motivation?
 
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Turo602

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In my opinion it's a great resident evil game ... Why you should not respect what I think? Why you say there is no way in hell is a great re game? That's just your opinion and not an universal things... For me it's a great resident evil game for you it's not I m fine whit it
Reviewer don't act like fan boy that's the differce
I don't have to respect your opinion if I don't think it's a particularly strong argument. Especially when you use reviewers as a source rather than your own objective reasoning which shows a lack of confidence in your own opinion or knowledge of what you're talking about.

It's also ironic that you keep throwing the word fanboy around when you blindly refuse to see any flaw in the game.
 
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Albertwesker959

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I don't have to respect your opinion if I don't think it's a particularly strong argument. Especially when you use reviewers as a source rather than your own objective reasoning which shows a lack of confidence in your own opinion or knowledge of what you're talking about.

It's also ironic that you keep throwing the word fanboy around when you blindly refuse to see any flaw in the game.
You are a fanboy, since you say that your opinion is the absolute right while mine is not even expressable
I expressed my opinion and I only added the fact that reviewer were happy whit the game
And while I expressed my opinion on why Re 4 is a great game and a great resident evil game, you simply say that there is no way in hell resident evil 4 is a great re game, and you didn't give any other feedback or explanation
This is your strong opinion? Wow
Sorry but I will not lose any more time talking whit someone like you, who cannot exchange opinion and express himself like a child...
 
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KennedyKiller

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Except it's totally objective reasoning. Something most people can't do when it comes to talking about things they like.
Resident Evil 4's direction was awful as it paved the way for RE5 and RE6.

Resident Evil 4 is not a survival horror game

You can like the game as it is, but there is no way in hell it's a great Resident Evil game when it fails to capture or meaningfully build on the ground work laid out by the original.

Are all completely subjective statements.


In my opinion it's a great resident evil game ... Why you should not respect what I think?
Better question..Why should he HAVE to respect your opinion? We don't have to respect each others opinions at all. If I said, "In my opinion, saving someone who's drowning is dumb because there's already too many humans on earth." Do you HAVE to respect that just because it's my opinion? No lol. We can choose what to, and what not to respect. Now. I'm on your side. I think RE4 is a great RE game. I actually disagree with his opinion here. But the idea that an opinion has to be respected by virtue of it being an opinion is stupid.
 

Turo602

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You are a fanboy, since you say that your opinion is the absolute right while mine is not even expressable
I expressed my opinion and I only added the fact that reviewer were happy whit the game
Sorry but I will not lose any more time talking whit someone like you, who cannot exchange opinion and express himself like a child...
Learn how to formulate better arguments and form stronger opinions before you have childish outbursts on the internet over someone stating their opinions. The problem isn't that I think my opinions are the absolute truth. I can back my opinions because I know what I'm talking about, you just haven't done a good job of justifying your point of view or counter arguing my points. If you honestly still think all opinions are valid just because everyone is entitled to one, then you have a lot of learning to do.
 

Albertwesker959

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Learn how to formulate better arguments and form stronger opinions before you have childish outbursts on the internet over someone stating their opinions. The problem isn't that I think my opinions are the absolute truth. I can back my opinions because I know what I'm talking about, you just haven't done a good job of justifying your point of view or counter arguing my points. If you honestly still think all opinions are valid just because everyone is entitled to one, then you have a lot of learning to do.
Sorry but what are your opinion? You didn't even express yourself, you simply say That resident evil 4 is not a great re game... While I write an entire post on why Re 4 is a great game whit all my feedback and opinion... What did you write instead?
I don't need to learn anything from you thanks...
 
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Albertwesker959

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Are all completely subjective statements.



Better question..Why should he HAVE to respect your opinion? We don't have to respect each others opinions at all. If I said, "In my opinion, saving someone who's drowning is dumb because there's already too many humans on earth." Do you HAVE to respect that just because it's my opinion? No lol. We can choose what to, and what not to respect. Now. I'm on your side. I think RE4 is a great RE game. I actually disagree with his opinion here. But the idea that an opinion has to be respected by virtue of it being an opinion is stupid.
OK so we should just not respect each other opinion? The example you made is something completely different, than having different opinion on a game... If someone say Tha re 4 is bad or good i respect him for his motivation and opinion, but if someone say let that man drown, obviously I will not respect this opinion, they are two completely different things
The fact is that he doesn't even think That my opinion should be expressed whit the world that he says: there is no way in hell resident evil game is a good re...

Also I'm currently waiting for his motivation on his argument since he doesn't even express himself in his post he simply say that re 4 is no a good re game but nothing more
 

KennedyKiller

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OK so we should just not respect each other opinion? The example you made is something diffetb than having different opinion on a game
The fact is that he doesn't even think That my opinion should be expressed whit the world that he says: there is no way in hell resident evil game is a good re...

Also I'm currently waiting for his motivation on his argument since he doesn't even express himself in his post he simply say that re 4 is no a good re game but nothing more
No. He thinks your opinion sucks. Not that you shouldn't be allowed to post it. There's a difference. And also, No. I'm not saying we shouldn't respect each others opinion. I'm saying, we don't have to. No rule should be made where we DO have to. And if you have the time to get butthurt online about a video game opinion not being respected, then by god do we live in an amazing time to be alive that we're taking for granted XD. No...He shouldn't have to respect your opinion. No one should HAVE to respect any opinion. Period.
 

Albertwesker959

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No. He thinks your opinion sucks. Not that you shouldn't be allowed to post it. There's a difference. And also, No. I'm not saying we shouldn't respect each others opinion. I'm saying, we don't have to. No rule should be made where we DO have to. And if you have the time to get butthurt online about a video game opinion not being respected, then by god do we live in an amazing time to be alive that we're taking for granted XD. No...He shouldn't have to respect your opinion. No one should HAVE to respect any opinion. Period.
OK he think my opinion suck? What are his opinion instead? XD
He as no opinion he simply wrote that Re 4 is not a great re game... Sorry I correct myself he had an opinion, the one I write before but it's based on no valid argumentation since he didn't express his motivation

Also i think that some opinion should be respected, while there are absolute think that should not like the one you say before
 
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KennedyKiller

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OK he think my opinion suck? What are his opinion instead? XD
He as no opinion he simply wrote that Re 4 is not a great re game... Sorry I correct myself he had an opinion based on no valid argumentation since I didn't express his motivation

Also i think that some opinion should be respected, while there are absolute think that should not like the one you say before
Ok...You think there's some that should and some that should. Who gets to choose what's worthy of always being respected and not respected. Who's the arbiter of truth. Who has that kind of power huh? At the end of the day, if you hold a believe of "Someone HAS to do this in regards to an opinion," then you're wrong lol. Which is, funnily enough, my opinion.
 

Turo602

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Are all completely subjective statements.
Clearly not. Resident Evil 4 did indeed pave the way for RE5 and RE6. Which led Capcom themselves to do another soft reboot and "take the series back" with RE7. Resident Evil is a survival horror franchise. Any other direction that deviates away from its very genre would in turn lose the very thing that made it what it was. Hence, Capcom wouldn't feel the need to go back to survival horror.

Also, Resident Evil 4 is not a survival horror game. While it may still retain some of the necessary tropes, they are completely altered to make for a easier and linear experience where you shoot a bunch of enemies with all sorts of weapons that you can upgrade. It may have some elements of survival horror, but it is most definitely an action game, as was RE5 and RE6. With RE5 being well regarded as an action game despite Capcom having stated that they were indeed trying to make a survival horror game, which we all know was just by copying RE4.

I'd also like to know in what way did RE4 build on the formula created by the original Resident Evil? I'll give you the over the shoulder perspective, sure. But in what way is it actually improving on the design when it's very clearly doing away with it by dumbing it down for a much more linear experience to be more accessible and friendly to newcomers?

I fail to see how any of this isn't true. But you're more than welcome to try to tell me otherwise.

Sorry but what are your opinion? You didn't even express yourself, you simply say That resident evil 4 is not a great re game... While I write an entire post on why Re 4 is a great game whit all my feedback and opinion... What did you write instead?
I don't need to learn anything from you thanks...
I do apologize if I didn't elaborate enough on my side, though I was simply trying to give you the opportunity to interject and this is a pretty tired topic for me already. But I'm sure you can find more than enough posts about my thoughts on RE4 around this forum. But as much as I would like to regurgitate the same thing I've been saying for years about RE4 to you, I honestly don't think it's worth my time given your attitude. You're clearly not open to hearing my reasoning or willing to take the time to understand what I'm saying since you're just gonna write me off as a fanboy anyway because if reviewers loved it, then we should too.
 

KennedyKiller

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Clearly not. Resident Evil 4 did indeed pave the way for RE5 and RE6. Which led Capcom themselves to do another soft reboot and "take the series back" with RE7. Resident Evil is a survival horror franchise. Any other direction that deviates away from its very genre would in turn lose the very thing that made it what it was. Hence, Capcom wouldn't feel the need to go back to survival horror.
It being "Awful" because it paved the way for 5 and 6 is completely subjective. Sorry. There's no getting around that.

Also, Resident Evil 4 is not a survival horror game. While it may still retain some of the necessary tropes, they are completely altered to make for a easier and linear experience where you shoot a bunch of enemies with all sorts of weapons that you can upgrade. It may have some elements of survival horror, but it is most definitely an action game, as was RE5 and RE6. With RE5 being well regarded as an action game despite Capcom having stated that they were indeed trying to make a survival horror game, which we all know was just by copying RE4.
Your idea of "Survival Horror" is not the end all be all definition. Fact is, when you look up "Resident Evil 4" no matter the website, Google, Wikipedia, whatever, the genre is listed as "Survival Horror." You may not like this. You may not agree. But oh well...Your opinion of what survival horror is, is completely subjective in this case, and frankly, I do find it a survival horror game. As do many others. Your opinion on survival horror is not inherent fact to the genre. And you can't make an objective case as to why it's not survival horror, when by definition, as well as creators decision, it meets those requirements.

I'd also like to know in what way did RE4 build on the formula created by the original Resident Evil? I'll give you the over the shoulder perspective, sure. But in what way is it actually improving on the design when it's very clearly doing away with it by dumbing it down for a much more linear experience to be more accessible and friendly to newcomers?

I fail to see how any of this isn't true. But you're more than welcome to try to tell me otherwise.
Your quote, exactly was, "but there is no way in hell it's a great Resident Evil game when it fails to capture or meaningfully build on the ground work laid out by the original. "

Well...It is a Resident Evil game. In the most literal sense it is. And you said "Build on the Ground Work." The Groundwork is much more than just how the gameplay changes and differed. It builds on the groundwork by giving us a more developed returning character, as well as more information on the story of Wesker, Ada, and their goals. It builds on the groundwork by showing, this is no longer about a midwestern town, but can happen anywhere at any time. Builds on the groundwork MUCH like 28 Days Later by making the traditional "Zombie" enemy faster and more aggressive. All while retaining a "Horror" element, (Whether it was a good horror element or not, is debated, but the fact is it's there), at least minimal puzzle solving, sound design, and story that follows what the series has been built up to at that point.

So yes...Anything you have said, is not objective fact about Resident Evil 4, and is really just your own opinions on why it's a bad Resident Evil game, that have the appearance of being objective because they're well thought out, which is at least more than I can say for most people's opinions on here.