Following our look at the new preview of The Resident Evil 4 Remake, we had an email interview with the game’s producer Yoshiaki Hirabayashi and director Yasuhiro Ampo who told us more about the new knife skills in the game and the characters Leon will be meeting.
Yoshiaki Hirabayashi has been with the Resident Evil series for many years. He first worked on the original Resident Evil 4 as a Lead Designer, then would go on to be a scenario writer for Resident Evil 5 before becoming a producer of the Resident Evil 2 Remake and now the Resident Evil 4 Remake. Yasuhiro Ampo started off as a Software System Engineer for the original Resident Evil back in 1996. He eventually worked his way up to being the director of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, The Resident Evil 2 Remake, and The Resident Evil 3 Remake.
In this interview, they told us more about what’s new with the Resident Evil 4 remake, particularly how it expands on the characters of the original game. We should note that for this email interview, the two developers decided to give joint answers.
The Krauser Knife Fight
The big highlight of the recent preview for me was the Krauser fight. Seeing that the quick-time event from the original Resident Evil 4 was turned into a full-on knife fight looked stunning and certainly seems to put the game’s new knife skills to the test. Speaking about those knife skills we were told that the knife parry concept was actually about because of the Krauser fight and was then added to the rest of the game.
“The parry system actually came about from experimenting with the Krauser fight and exploring how to translate that scene into engaging gameplay. We felt it was a good fit for the game’s basic combat system as well, so we implemented it into the rest of the game”.
They also confirmed that the skill required to perform the parry correctly will vary based on the difficulty of the game. The timing will need to be precise on the harder modes.
Giving Luis More Screen time
One of the more notable things from the recent trailer was that it seemed that Luis, the doctor who assists Leon throughout most of the game will be given more screen time. The developers confirm that not only Luis but many of the other characters will have bigger roles this time around.
“We wanted to expand on Luis’ interactions and story, so we have him playing a larger role. And it’s not just Luis—we dove deeper into the minds and stories of other characters, too”.
Another character that will be getting an update is Ashley Graham, the president’s daughter who Leon’s been sent to rescue in the first place. People tend to have strong opinions on Ashley with many believing she was a little annoying in the original, especially with how often she was screaming for help. The developers say that they’ve taken player feedback into account when recreating Ashley.
“For the remake, we wanted Ashley to feel more like a real person, so we reworked how she interacts with Leon and how she operates in-game. She talks to Leon during normal gameplay and will no longer stay put in dangerous situations or refuse to traverse higher/lower terrain on her own”.
We’ve heard a lot about how characters will be reimagined for the remake. One of the toughest questions for any remake however is how much you change characters like Leon, Ada, Salazar, and the rest of the cast, and what should be kept faithful?
“The Resident Evil series has been around for a long time and as such has dedicated fans each with their own thoughts and feelings about the series. There’s a lot of pressure to reimagine all characters in a way that won’t disappoint them”.
The Fan Response
The developers ended the interview by telling us that they “absolutely love the passionate responses/analyses we get from fans whenever we release a trailer” and that there are always high expectations whenever they reveal more information about the game.
The pressure is pretty justified. Resident Evil 4 is considered one of the best games of all time, one that revolutionized the series, the survival horror genre, and the action genre with the introduction of over-the-shoulder third-person shooting.
Updating that and making it feel fresh again for 2023 is no easy task. It seems that the team has got it under control though. I for one can’t wait to see Leon and the game brought back to life when the remake launches later this month.
Resident Evil 4 (2023) will launch for the PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on the 24th of March.
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