Resident Evil 4 is a survival horror video game developed by Capcom Production Studio 4 and released by multiple publishers, including Capcom, Ubisoft, Nintendo Australia, Red Ant Enterprises and THQ Asia Pacific. The sixth main entry in the Resident Evil horror series, the game was originally released for the Nintendo GameCube in January 2005 in North America and Japan, and in March 2005 in Europe and Australia.
The story of Resident Evil 4 follows the U.S. government special agent Leon S. Kennedy, who is sent on a mission to rescue Ashley Graham, the President's daughter, who has been kidnapped by a sinister cult. Traveling to a remote rural area of Europe, Leon fights hordes of violent villagers and mutated monsters, and reunites with the mysterious spy Ada Wong. The game pioneered and popularized the "over the shoulder" third-person view perspective in video games.
First hinted at in early December 1999, Resident Evil 4 underwent a long development time during which four proposed versions of the game were discarded. Initially developed for the PlayStation 2, the first attempt was directed by Hideki Kamiya after producer Shinji Mikami requested him to create a new entry in the Resident Evil series. Nevertheless, it was decided to start development over again. The game was intended to be a GameCube exclusive as part of the Capcom Five, but a PS2 version was announced before the game was released for the GameCube. Resident Evil 4 was subsequently released for Microsoft Windows and Wii, and in heavily condensed versions for other platforms, including the iOS, mobile phones and Zeebo. In 2011, the enhanced Resident Evil 4 HD edition was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Resident Evil 4 garnered universal critical acclaim. The game was considered by most critics as a top contender for 2005's Game of the Year, and was seen as a successful cross-platform hit; the new gameplay alterations and immersive style appealed to many not previously familiar with the series.