Resident Evil 4 is, by all accounts, one of the most critically acclaimed and influential games of all time. Released for the GameCube back in 2004 (before making its way to what felt like every console in existence), Capcom’s soft reboot of the Resident Evil franchise went through several failed iterations before landing on the perfect concoction of action and survival horror.
One of the most notable changes Resident Evil 4 made to the series was the drastic shift in camera perspective. Prior to its release, the series focused primarily on fixed camera angles (with the exception of titles like Resident Evil Survivor and Resident Evil Outbreak) with pre-rendered backgrounds providing a level of detail and immersion that otherwise may not have been possible. With the fourth mainline title, however, the action shifted to an over-the-shoulder camera angle that has since been emulated by countless third-person action and survival horror games.
The change made a huge impression on gamers worldwide, contributing heavily to the critical and commercial success of Resident Evil 4. Apparently, however, the first person to actually heap praise on the camera system was none other than Masahiro Sakurai of Super Smash Bros. fame. As recounted by Resident Evil veteran Shinji Mikami in a conversation with Jun Takeuchi (which you can view below), Sakurai paid a visit to Capcom Studio Production 4 during development of Resident Evil 4 and specifically singled out the game’s camera system.
“The first person who praised the camera system in RE4 was actually Masahiro Sakurai, the guy who makes Super Smash Brothers”, said Mikami. “He came to check out the game in development and asked ‘who came up with this camera system?’.” Mikami raised his hand in the air and said “hey yeah, that was me”. Sakurai then praised the system, stating “this is great”, to which Mikami expressed surprise and gratitude.
Takeuchi then recounted an experience with Epic Games in 2008 during a showcase for Lost Planet at E3. The team apparently approached Takeuchi and asked why Lost Planet’s camera system wasn’t similar to Resident Evil 4’s, to which Takeuchi expressed that the two were completely different experiences. Epic Games then stated that the camera system in Gears of War was specifically influenced by Resident Evil 4 and was eager to show the game off to Takeuchi.
Resident Evil 4 is out now on the Nintendo Switch via the eShop for $19.99 / £15.99 (or you can pick up a physical triple pack which includes RE4 on cartridge alongside download codes for RE5 and RE6). A remake of Resident Evil 4 is currently in development for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S and will launch in March 2023, but sadly will not be making its way to the Switch.
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What do you make Sakurai’s praise for Resident Evil 4’s camera system? Do you agree with his assessment? Let us know!