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Since today's Halloween, I couldn't think of a better time to discuss one of the most influential survival-horror games of all time. I think you can guess which one I'm talking about.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4 revolutionalized the survival-horror genre by re-working the entire control system widely seen in many survival-horror games- rather than progressing through a level by a series of fixed camera points and certain intervals, the entire game takes place with a simple over-the-shoulder view, meaning that the entire experience is seamless (for the most part).
An example of the games over-the-shoulder mechanic.
Resident Evil 4 is a side-story as far as Resident Evil canon is concerned, but that doesn't mean the good folks over at Capcom didn't pull out all the stops. The story takes place in rural Spain; the president's daughter has been kidnapped by some freaky-deaky cult, and it's up to you, our badass hero with the emo hair-do, Leon Kennedy, to save her.
This cult, known as Los Illuminados (the Enlightened Ones) has a dastardly plan to infect the president's duaghter not with a disease, but with a recently re-awakened parasite known as Las Plagas (the Plauges).
The atmosphere in Resident Evil 4 is top-knotch. The game always carries a rather austere look to it, and the graphical capabilites of the Gamecube really shine here. This is truly a beautiful game.
My personal favorite thing about RE4 is its boss-battles, a topic I discuss often. Too many times in games today, bosses are either too boring, too simple, or worst of all, too easy. RE4, however, does it and does it right, making boss-battles an exhilirating experience that never leaves you craving more.
I love RE4's bosses so much, that I'm going to dedicate this next part of the blog to my four favorites.
Del Lago (of the Lake)
The first boss encountered in RE4, Del Lago immediately throws you into an epic battle by dragging you throughout a heavily-obstacled lake, then pouncing at you with vicious ferocity. While the boss is fairly simple and easily defeated, he still is an exiciting opponent everytime you play him.
One of the first real challenges of RE4, Bitores begins the fight at a time when you are, most likely, running low on ammo. If that wasn't bad enough, he's a tough mofo to take down. What's worse, after you think he's down for the count and lying in two pieces in a pool of his own blood, he comes back again. It's the fight that never ends, and it gets your blood pumpin' too.
El Verdugo (the Exeuctioner)
Salazar's right-hand man, El Verdugo is a dangerous little mofo that can easily kill you dead if you don't know what you're doing. One of the games harder bosses to deal with, El Verdugo will tear you to shreads with his lightning quick and devastatingly powerful attacks. Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.
Probably the greatest and most horrifying boss ever, U3 will use up your ammo like it's going out of fashion. A hideous, grotesque sunuvabitch, U3 will reduce you to a state of FUBAR the likes of which your puny, mortal eyes have never seen before.