Today, during my daily internet search, I came across an interesting gameplay video, of what could be called "Resident Evil 3.5". <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=223zDelxjDs&fmt=18" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=223zDelxjDs&fmt=18</a> Basically, this is the gameplay of early development stages of Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil 3.5 was supposed to be the Resident Evil 4 that we all know, but it was canceled for reasons that we will get into details below, and the game mechanics were completly overhauled, and it became what we currently have. So lets makes some comparisions from the beta to the final version. The graphical aspect of the game is pretty impressive, concidering the time when it was in development, and concidering that it was supposed to be released as a Nintendo Gamecube exclusive, it was certainly very well made, enough to be inpair even with our next-gen games, with it's beautiful illumination, (high?)quality textures, lots of details, shaddings in Leon's cloth (as well as the rest of the scenaries), realtime shadows, effects and flashlight illumination. Well, while Leon's 3D model remained the same, apparently all the graphical quality of the beta stages of development were lost in the final version of Resident Evil 4, where we can clearly see the insanely amount of low-quality, with not-so-much detailed, unfiltered textures. We can notice that the Leon voice actor is still the same from RE4, the sound files used when he gets hurt remained the same. The animation in were very well done, and they flows very nicely. The movements theirselves are insanely good, even the zombies movements, or rather, ghosts. Since in this video we only see Leon, it is uncertain if this game was supposed to have more playable characters. But we are safe to assume that, at that point of development, he was the only playable character, considering that, in the original RE4, released in 2005 for the Nintendo Gamecube, the entire game was played with Leon only (aside the one section where you had to control Ashley in the main story, and the other three characters that you could control in the Mercenaries mode, after completing the game). The gameplay is absolutely different from what we have in RE4. Instead of the trademark over-the-shoulder, "pirate's parrot" gameplay camera, the game featured a more dinamic, behind look camera (similar to the one seem in Silent Hill: Homecoming), with ocasional environmental re-positioning, relative to the player's position in the scenary, like the classic camera format used in the previous Resident Evil games. The game has an "auto-aim" function, that automatically looks the gun's aim to the nearest target, just like in the classic Resident Evil games, but the game also features a "free-aim" function, which is nothing more but the gun aimming mode used in the relased RE4. We can also notice that Leon holds a flashlight in his left hand. Whenever a pickable object is lit by Leon's flashlight, it starts to glow, (very similar to what happens in Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare) indicating that it can be picked. Instead of the current, continuation to the Resident Evil saga, in the early development stages, this Resident Evil was supposed to follow a paranormal, more science-fiction oriented plot (much like the afore-mentioned Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare reference), completly unrelated to the original series, and is very focused in the psychological horror rather than in the fast-paced action, that the series is widely known for, aspects that are very well illustrated in the video, with it's atmosphere of tension, mood, as well as the (needless) sudden scares. Different from what we have in RE4, where Leon has to venture himself through many lands, in the early developments, the plot of the game was supposed to fully explore a haunted massion, and, the enemies, instead of the common zombies, or villagers, for that matter, were ghost-zombies (that are aesthetically like and whose the moviments are like the ones seem in the movie Thir13en Ghosts) and babie-dolls (threats with similarities to the Gray Children, monters found in the original Silent Hill game). The conclusion is that Resident Evil 3.5 was completly overhauled (or better, canceled, since this and it's released, final counterpart, are completly opposite products) due to the game's "abnormal" nature, "supernatural" horror, "out-of-place" plot, since it had nothing to do with the Resident Evil's original story, even though the gameplay itself was pretty good. While Resident Evil 4 is the polar-opposite case: the story continues, but much of the horror and tension that it had were sacrificed, and substituted with intense action, a game that, eventually, become the harbinger of a genre that is now very popular (the action-horror game), and was the restart of the series, that lately got it's new installment of the series, it's continuation: Resident Evil 5.