Resident Evil 4 was actually the sixth game in the main series (one, two, three, Zero and Code Veronica being the first five) and some people felt that the series was starting to become stale. The first five games are brilliant games in their own right, yes they have problems which especially now can seem very dated but overall they are some fantastic games.
Anyway, due to the series going stale Capcom took a new approach (well four approaches before settling on this one) with Resi 4 and pretty much dropped the survival horror aspect of the previous games and turned it into an action game that featured the player shooting and killing rather a lot of infected villagers known as Los Ganados. Capcom dropped the Umbrella/zombie storyline and introduced Las Plagas parasites which is what infected the villagers and what tries to kill you all throughout the game.
As per the previous games there are different types of enemies ranging from the standard zombie like villagers who go around in hordes trying to hack you to death or the Garrador who chases you around with
massive Wolverine like claws and the Regenerator who can regenerate limbs and can only be killed by shooting off parasites until it explodes. It's a fun mixture of enemies.
The main character for the game is the returning Leon Kennedy (having not been seen since Resident Evil 2 in 1998) who has been tasked with finding the kidnapped daughter (Ashley Graham) of the president of the USA. Leon travels to a remote village somewhere in Europe to take back Ashley from Los Illuminados, the cult that took Ashley. Whilst working to rescue her Leon runs into a couple of familiar faces from previous games (just because Capcom dropped the zombies and Umbrella storyline didn't mean that they dropped everything) and must navigate around these people alongside the Los Ganados as well as trying to find a cure for the Las Plagas that is inside both himself and Ashley.
For Resident Evil 4 Capcom shifted to the third-person view which really adds to the game over the precious ones as it allowed for a smoother and more fluid movement. Adding in the laser sight from the gun was also a good move as it allowed for easier and quicker take downs of the enemy, especially when being attacked by multiple villagers.
The game was originally, as reports go, supposed to be only released for the GameCube as part of the Capcom five exclusive games for the system. It did later be released for the PS2 and PC and then for the Wii and then finally PS3 and 360. The GameCube and PS2 versions are slightly different with the latter having more features but the former supposedly being the better version for graphics and sound. The Wii version has the extras of the PS2 but implements the Wii control system which makes some people consider it to be the best version. The PS3 and 360 versions were high definition remastered versions which also had all of the extras on. I own both the Cube and Wii versions and have completed the Cube version multiple times but am yet to properly play the Wii version.
Is Resident Evil 4 a perfect game? Unfortunately not as it does have a couple of flaws such as the AI of Ashley who just isn't quite perfect and some of the quick time events can be very annoying, especially if you fail one after a cut scene as Capcom didn't see fit to put a skip option in for the scenes. They are only really minor gripes though in what is still an absolutely fantastic game.
What are ya buying?