Resident Evil 4 director says Masahiro Sakurai praised the camera system during development
High praise from a big name!
Shinji Mikami is the man who wrote and directed Resident Evil 4, one of the most beloved and influential entries in the entire franchise. While Mikami appreciates the recognition Resident Evil 4 gets nowadays, he said the warm welcome was quite surprising back in the day. This is especially true of the game’s camera shift, which Mikami didn’t think was all that innovative at the time.
In a new video from Mikami, we learn that the move from fixed camera angles to the over-the-shoulder camera in Resident Evil 4 was done simply because the team thought it worked better. No one involved realized just how big of a shift it would be for the Resident Evil series.
“It felt natural, oddly enough. We weren’t planning on doing something innovative, but in the end everyone kept saying we did. To us personally, we just thought that angle was better. We weren’t trying to do something new or groundbreaking, there was none of that.”
Mikami first saw just how big of a deal the camera system change was when none other than Masahiro Sakurai (Smash Bros) came by to check out the game while it was in development. Sakurai specifically asked who came up with the camera system, which is when Mikami stepped up to say it was him. Sakurai responded by telling Mikami that the change was great, which took Mikami by complete surprise.
The praise and influence didn’t stop there, either. Mikami revealed that the Gears of War team met up with him during E3 to specifically tell him that the Resident Evil 4 camera system directly influenced the design of Gears of War. Once again, Mikami was very surprised by this revelation, and all the praise coming in took quite awhile for him to process.
Well deserved praise, and makes sense! If it weren’t for RE 4 I never would have rigged up a camera mounted to my shoulders so I could experience my entire life in the third person and know when any threats were looming in the distance or hiding behind objects.
I love stories like this. Getting a behind the scenes look and perspective on something that really was a huge innovation at the time. And seeing how sometimes these things weren't even thought of as such by the very people who created them. That it took someone outside of the development team to really drive home how great it was.