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Resident Evil 4 Preview

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Resident Evil is a series that made its mark and has left a lasting impression on the gaming industry ever since. Blending a mix of clever puzzles, intense action, loads of suspense, and more mutated zombie creatures than you can shake a stick it, Shinji MIkami's "survival horror" forever changed the way we look at third person action/adventure titles. It proved that an old idea — one pioneered by Alone in the Dark — could successfully be rewired and provides a true sense of fear.

Having been a staple of the PlayStation family of consoles since its inception, I'm sure more than one PlayStation 2 owner flipped the bird and swore when Capcom announced that the series' latest, Resident Evil 4, would be exclusive to Nintendo's GameCube. After all, the 'Cube was the new hot thing at the time, and Nintendo just so happened to have some money hats to dispense. But after months of insisting that RE4 was, and would remain, a 'Cube exclusive, Capcom turned coat earlier this year and announced the game would be appearing on the PlayStation 2 after all.

Looks like those angry RE fans spoke a little too soon.

Set for release at the end of October, Resident Evil 4 will be coming to the PlayStation 2 as an "extended cut," of sorts. The game will feature all the same modes and gameplay that the original version had, but will also feature additional content such as new weapons, some special costumes for the game's two main characters, as well as an additional side mission featuring Ada Wong. Also appearing, allegedly, are added cut-scenes and a little more fleshing out in terms of the game's story.

The story of Resident Evil 4 involves the hero from Resident Evil 2, Leon S. Kennedy. It's been several years since the events of Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and the Umbrella Corporation are out of the picture. Leon has moved on from his misadventures in the zombie-ridden metropolis of Raccoon City, and is now a Federal agent. His first assignment is to find and rescue the president's daughter Ashley, who has seemingly been abducted by an unknown group in Europe. Sounds like a pretty basic case of snatch and grab, but it proves to be quite the opposite as he finds that the villagers of the town he visits aren't quite right… And that's where his new nightmare begins.

For the unacquainted, Resident Evil 4 also features an updated gameplay engine. This time, instead of using the series' infamous "tank controls," now the camera is fixed behind Leon's shoulder in a slightly askew FPS-esque view. RE purists needn't fear though; the core mechanics of the series are all alive and well, just with a little bit of added polish.

It goes without saying that RE4 earned critical acclaim on the GameCube, so there's no reason to believe that PS2 owners won't be in for quite the ride when this title drops in just a few weeks.

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