As previously reported, an inside source revealed that Facebook requested the game be censored; with in development footage showing alterations to scenes and dialogue that were focused on anything “that the gaming news media and social justice crowd may deem misogynistic.”
This includes dialogue deemed to be flirting, sexual harassment, sexist, and even “sarcastic expressions;” accounting for 30% of the game’s dialogue. This also included an innuendo based achievement name- “Secure the Ballistics” (named after how Luis flirts with Ashley, also cut) renamed to “Secure Ashley.” Two “major revisions” were also hinted at, but not revealed in order to protect the source.
This is all in spite of prior press releases stating “all cutscenes will be present in their original format” and Oculus Executive Producer Ruth Bram stating that there would be few changes, and those made would be done “reverently.” Peter Pischke, the reporter who revived the insider information, noted that footage in a hands-on preview by IGN cuts away before any altered dialogue would play.
Now, Upload VR reports they can confirm the changes. New content changes include cutting Leon’s line “Somehow I thought you would be a little older” when talking to female comm-support Ingrid Hannigan.
If the player aims under Ashley’s skirt, her dialogue asking Leon to stop was cut; yet the animation of her pulling her skirt down remains. While Upload VR state there are “similar changes throughout,” they note that the gameplay is otherwise unchanged.
A Facebook spokesperson issued a statement, echoing all-too-familiar statements on censorship of sexual content in video games before. They stated the changes to dialogue and animations was to update it “for a modern audience.” This statement comes a day before the game’s launch.
“Oculus Studios, Armature, and CAPCOM partnered closely to remaster Resident Evil 4 from the ground up for VR. This includes immersive environments and high-resolution graphics. It also includes select changes to in-game dialogue and animations that we believe will update Resident Evil 4 for a modern audience.”
The infamous Capcom Ragnar Locker Ransomware hack and subsequent leaks [1, 2] of 2020 revealed information of upcoming games (some of which seems to have come true), along with politically correct business strategies. To avoid drama and controversy, the documentation discussed avoiding discriminatory or prejudice language.
Other points of note included gender neutral cosmetic options, only featuring certain ethnicities or portraying them as unequal or stereotypical, and avoiding sexual or obscene language and jokes unless inevitable based on the context of a story or narrative. The Last of Us Part II and Shadow of the Tomb Raider were given as positive examples of LGBTQ characters; while Peach and Zelda were “damsels in distress.”
Sex appeal, such as bikini costumes or lewd poses and costumes, should be equal between men and women, and serve a purpose in the context of the story. However, costumes cannot appeal to only one kind of user base, such as only one gender.
Resident Evil 4 VR launches October 21st for Windows PC via the Oculus Quest 2. Resident Evil 4 is also available on many platforms; including Windows PC (via Steam), Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Android in Japan. In case you missed it, you can find our review for Resident Evil 4 HD here (we recommend it!)
Image: Happy Warrior