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.
The player controls the protagonist Leon S. Kennedy from a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective in a mission to rescue the daughter of the President of the United States, Ashley Graham. The gameplay focuses on action and shootouts involving crowds of enemies in large open areas. The camera is focused behind Leon, and it zooms in for an over-the-shoulder view when aiming a weapon. Unlike previous games in the series, there is the addition of a laser sight that adds a new depth to the aiming, allowing the player to aim in various directions and easily change their placement at any time. Bullets affect the enemies specifically where they are shot: shots to the feet can cause enemies to stumble, while shots to the arms can cause them to drop their weapons.