The Resident Evil 4 remake is bringing familiar elements to players, while also adding in its own style to differentiate itself from the 2005 original. A new video shows off both of these halves, as it includes gameplay from its iconic cabin fight sequence with Luis in addition to a brand-new enemy.
In an interview with Game Informer, Art Director Hirofumi Nakaoka spoke about bringing out each character’s personality in the remake while also not losing what made them special. He brought up the chainsaw villager and noted that he didn’t need anything special to stick out because he looks scarier when he just looks like a normal person in normal clothes (aside from the chainsaw and burlap sack).
He used this opportunity to show off a new character, which is a hulking brute that wields a giant hammer and wears an animal head on top of his own. Nakaoka explained that it wasn’t the team’s intent to make a new character and was added much later in development. But during playtests, the studio felt like there were sections where a tougher enemy should jump in, which is when the gameplay and art sides started discussing such a beast.
Resident Evil 4 has very little setup. Pretty boy Leon Kennedy bursts into the first house he sees, quickly kills…
Nakaoka said this character wears an animal head because there are a lot of human-looking characters already in the game. This covering helps him stand out and reinforces the presence of the Los Illuminados cult in the game. The series also has a lot of severed deer and cow heads decorated around its many levels, so it was time to have a character actually wear one, according to Nakaoka.
He’s not a minotaur, though, and is merely an infected person wearing the head as a mask. Nakaoka mentioned that the team put a lot of detail into that distinction, as the mask doesn’t look at players and just flops around. And while Nakaoka said the studio didn’t intend on making a new enemy, it does bear a rough resemblance to a character in Resident Evil 4‘s original concept art.
And while not the focus of the video, it also has bits of gameplay from the cabin fight that’s about a quarter into the game (at least, in the original). It shows that players can board up windows like they could in the Resident Evil 2 remake, in addition to blasting, kicking, and stabbing the hordes pouring in. There are also come brief snippets of gameplay in the village during a rainstorm and one other location.
A post on Game Informer’s website also highlights how Capcom changed Ashley this time around. Players can click in the right stick to tell her stay close or keep distance, but it’s no longer possible to tell her to hide in a dumpster or bin like the original. Director Kazunori Kadoi said the team is trying to balance the feeling of protecting someone while also not making that subject a nuisance.
She doesn’t have a health bar, but she will go down after a few hits. If she get struck while she’s down, she dies. Enemies can also still carry her away, which also can result in a game over, but players can attack or execute the assailant to get her back. She can also now climb down ladders without Leon’s help and crawl through certain spaces to unlock doors, giving players incentive to revisit areas.
Capcom also tweaked her personality with the aim to make her more likable, saying she is more serious and will react more realistically to situations. This applies to her conversations with Leon, and this bond almost took form during gameplay, as there was one point where players could guide Ashley by the hand. However, this Ico-like feature was cut because it “looked like they were too close.”