Resident Evil, known as “Biohazard,” in Japan, is a legendary video game franchise that has left a huge mark on the survival horror genre. Created by Capcom, the series made its debut in 1996 and has since become a household name, thrilling gamers with its spine-tingling narratives, horrifying creatures, and intense gameplay. The roots of Resident Evil can be traced back to Shinji Mikami, the mastermind behind the franchise. Inspired by the horror films of George A. Romero and the works of author Stephen King, Mikami thought to blend the cinematic experience of horror with interactive gameplay. The result was a groundbreaking concept: a game that forced players to confront their worst fears head-on.
Resident Evil played a vital role in defining the survival horror genre, characterized by limited resources, atmospheric tension, and terrifying villains. It introduced the “tank controls” and fixed camera angles that became synonymous with the early entries in the series. Moreover, the game’s compelling storyline, revolving around viral outbreaks and sinister corporations, added depth to the horror experience. With its success, Resident Evil paved the way for a multitude of survival horror titles and influenced other mediums, including film and literature. Resident Evil is a cultural miracle that continues to attract both veteran and new gamers alike, making sure of its place as a cornerstone in the history of video gaming.
The Main Storyline Resident Evil Games
Resident Evil’s main storyline games have served as the backbone of the franchise, each contributing a unique chapter to the ever-evolving story. From the nightmarish streets of Raccoon City to distant and eerie locales, the series has taken players on a rollercoaster of horrors. These games have carried over the same progressing story over the years. Each event to take place in one game has had effects on the upcoming one, even explaining some loose ends that left fans confused. The numbered titles of the franchise are all connected to one another, in one way or another.
Resident Evil 0
Even though it was released later on in 2002 after the first 4 titles, Resident Evil 0 gave us a perspective of the events that took place before the first game. In the spin-off game, fans are able to control police officer and medic Rebecca Chambers and convicted former Force Reconnaissance Officer Billy Coen.
Resident Evil 1
Resident Evil 1 picks up where Resident Evil 0 left us at. Players play as one of two S.T.A.R.S. agents, who are Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine. They come to the Spencer Mansion while investigating a series of murders in the woodlands outside of Raccoon City. Chris/Jill encounters the murderous, mutated victims of the T-Virus and uncovers key information about Umbrella and its biological experimentation.
Resident Evil 2
Taking place two months after Resident Evil 0 and 1, Resident Evil 2 introduces two new protagonists. Rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield each have their own connected yet distinct campaign. Resident Evil 2 also introduces the recurring character Ada Wong and the iconic Tyrant enemy.
Resident Evil 3
Resident Evil 3 has 2 parts to it. The first part takes place before the events that took place in Resident Evil 2 and the second half takes place after them. Jill Valentine is the first character we get to play with, as she is trying to escape from an overrun Raccoon City after what happened in Resident Evil 1. Later, we go over to her ally Carlos Oliviera. Resident Evil 3 also introduces Nemesis and reveals what finally happened to Raccoon City.
Resident Evil 4
Resident Evil 4, often considered a turning point for the series, shifted to an over-the-shoulder perspective and introduced a more action-oriented style. It followed Leon S. Kennedy as he ventured to a remote European village to rescue the President’s daughter, encountering a sinister cult and other monstrous foes.
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 5 continued the action-oriented direction, this time with cooperative gameplay featuring Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar. It explored new settings and took us deeper into the biological threats posed by the Umbrella Corporation.
Resident Evil 6
The sixth installment presented intersecting storylines with various characters, but its departure from the series’ survival horror roots received mixed reviews from fans. The game has 6 playable characters, which made the game a bit confusing, as it was mostly based on the past of each character we controlled. It did give us some perspective of what went on in the past of our beloved characters, and how they made it to where they are.
Resident Evil 7
With Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Capcom returned to the franchise’s survival horror roots, giving players a terrifying experience with a first-person perspective, a new protagonist named Ethan Winters, and a family of horrors in rural Louisiana.
Resident Evil Village
The most recent mainline game, Resident Evil Village, also known as Resident Evil VIII, introduces players to Ethan Winters once again as he faces new horrors in a mysterious village led by the enigmatic Lady Dimitrescu. Ethan is tasked with saving his kidnapped daughter who got kidnapped in a town full of mutant humans and other horrors.
Resident Evil never stuck to a single narrative which would make it quite boring. The game has a variety of characters that have different personalities, which adds a touch of their point of view to each scene. These characters fight, bleed, and sweat for the betterment of the world, staking their lives for others.
Also Check Out: An Introduction to the Resident Evil Game Characters
Leon Scott Kennedy is an American of Italian descent currently employed as a federal agent by the Division of Security Operations (D.S.O.), a counter-terrorism agency under direct Presidential command. Kennedy is a known survivor of the 1998 Raccoon City Destruction Incident, at the time a police officer. Following his escape, he was forcefully recruited into a top-secret anti-Umbrella team under USSTRATCOM devoted to anti-B.O.W. combat, serving until 2011 in repeated operations around the world.
Claire Redfield is a current member of the human rights organization, TerraSave. She is the younger sister of BSAA operative and former S.T.A.R.S. member Chris Redfield. Since her survival in the Raccoon City incident in 1998, Claire would become involved or end up in the midst of several Biohazard outbreaks around the world, prompting her, as well as Chris, to devote her career to combating the threat of Bio Organic Weapons.
Captain Chris Redfield is an American Special Operations Unit operator in the Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance, which he has served since its foundation in 2003. Redfield has built up and dedicated his career to destroying Bio Organic Weapons and fighting against producers and sellers of bioweapons after his experiences with bioterrorism in 1998. He is the older brother of TerraSave member Claire Redfield. He is also the mentor of American superhuman Rosemary Winters.
Ada Wong is the pseudonym of an enigmatic unnamed spy of Asian-American descent. She has gained notoriety in the corporate world for being able to handle serious situations and the most difficult requests without guilt. Wong has acted secretly in the background of many biohazard incidents and collected information that became useful to several organizations, while at the same time operating to undermine them. However, Wong follows only her own “true purpose” and has often betrayed the organizations and customers she is affiliated with to achieve it.
Resident Evil Spin-off Games
Capcom is a stranger to spin-off games, as every successful franchise they have released has a bunch of spin-off games. Resident Evil is the very same, with a lot of spin-off titles to it. These games allow players to take a closer look at their characters, as they provide a lot of backstories to the beloved characters, as well as answer a lot of questions in the minds of fans. Some of these games are just for fun, while the main storyline is underway, while some like Resident Evil 0 provide a bit of perspective as to what really caused the huge incident, we just saw the heroes and heroines resolve bravely. The spinoff games released by Capcom are:
- Resident Evil Gaiden
- Resident Evil Outbreak
- Resident Evil Outbreak: File 2
- Resident Evil Survivor
- Resident Evil Survivor 2 – Code: Veronica
- Resident Evil: Dead Aim
- Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- Resident Evil: Resistance
- Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D
- Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles
- Umbrella Corps
Resident Evil Remakes
Some games have interesting storylines, exciting characters, and wonderful experiences. The only thing lacking is the modern technology to put them back up there with the more recent titles. Many game-producing companies have started to make remakes of their old hits, which allow fans to revisit their favorite games with a hit of modernity. It also allows new gamers to enjoy the experience of these wonderful games, just like the ones in the past did. Capcom successfully used this to cater to the demand and love of older but certainly not forgotten Resident Evil games.
The major story titles such as Resident Evil (2002), Resident Evil 2 (2019), Resident Evil 3 (2020), and the latest release from Capcom, which is credited as the best remake to ever come out, Resident Evil 4 (2023). These titles are a major blast from the past, going through the story once again, with better graphics, more intense gameplay, and many more improvements to the interface and other aspects of the game that were lacking before.
Resident Evil Animated Movies
Success is imminent if something is unique and popular. Such is the case with Resident Evil. Other than games, the franchise also tried and succeeded in giving their fans more of their beloved characters in unique stories. The animated movies of Resident Evil are very famous all over the world. Capcom, with the help of Sony Entertainment Japan, produced and created these movies for an exciting adventure back to Leon and his allies. These movies peek into the world that the game is yet to explore or go off of altogether. What makes these movies more exciting is that they are completely canon, which means that the events of the movies and games are connected, which allows them to explain or describe things from each other’s stories to help fans better understand what actually happened. There are a total of 7 animated movies so far, which are:
- Biohazard 4D-Executer (2000)
- Biohazard 4: Incubate (2006)
- Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008)
- Resident Evil: Damnation (2012)
- Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)
- Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (2021)
- Resident Evil: Death Island (2023)
Resident Evil Live Action Movies and TV Shows
After famously succeeding in the world of both games and animated movies, Resident Evil stepped into Live Action movies and TV shows. These movies and shows told stories of characters fighting zombies to survive Raccoon City while saving the world from danger. The most famous live-action production of Capcom is certainly the 6-movie series that ran from 2002 till 2016. This series took the spotlight off of Leon and friends, focusing mainly on a woman called Alice. Of course, the characters from the game played major roles, they were side characters deeply involved in the plot. This proved to be a breath of fresh air as Alice was sure to capture every aspect we love from Resident Evil.
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil: Apocalypse
- Resident Evil: Extinction
- Resident Evil: Afterlife
- Resident Evil: Retribution
- Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
- Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Resident Evil is a gem to this world. The showrunner of the Horror genre of video games, Resident Evil is loved all over the world. All credit is due to Capcom for keeping up the quality of Resident Evil throughout the years and through so many forms, that it is hard to keep away from them. No other video game franchise even comes close to what Resident Evil is, and that is what makes it more exciting and fun to watch and play.