Happy 20th Anniversary Resident Evil
On March 22nd, 1996, Resident Evil was released. That’s right; it is the 20th anniversary of this beloved survival horror franchise! I have been a fan from the very start. First released as Biohazard in Japan, the franchise has grown to include numerous sequels, spinoff games, comics and even movies. So let’s take a walk down memory lane and celebrate the RE video games!
Resident Evil 1996 (Director’s Cut 1997)
I’ll never forget the first time I saw this game. I’ll never forget the FEELING the first time I played this game. I loved everything about it. There were puzzles to solve, a creepy old mansion to explore, cheesy B-Movie dialogue, and of course my favorite: ZOMBIES! I loved the playable protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, along with NPC Barry. Rebecca was a bit on the annoying side but we’ll let that slide. I also loved the fact that you basically got two games in one as you could play through two different campaigns. They just don’t make ‘em like this anymore. And then a year later we got the Director’s Cut! This was even better!
Resident Evil 2 1998
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, RE2 was released. The two main protagonists in this game were Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield, sibling of Chris from the first game. Claire is perhaps one of my favorite female game characters of all time. She is tough when she needs to be, but also has a heart of gold going to any length to protect the little girl, Sherry, while on her mission to find her brother. In this game the world has expanded from the mansion grounds to the heart of Raccoon City. I’ll never forget the terror I first felt every time I encountered this game’s Tyrant.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis 1999
Jill Valentine has returned as the main protagonist. With hunky soldier Carlos by her side, Jill is out to conquer Umbrella’s latest mutation of the Tyrant: Nemesis. This guy makes the Tyrant from RE2 look like something from Disney World. One of my favorite aspects of this game was after you beat the game the first time through, you had time trials as extra characters you could run through to earn money to unlock alternate weapons including the rocket launcher possessed by Nemesis. Though this weapon is clunky and slow to lift, it was very satisfying to use!
Resident Evil Survivor 2000
This game was a first-person shooter, taking place after the launch of the missile. I’ll be honest, this game was not great, but it is also not meant to be what the rest of the franchise is.
Resident Evil Code: Veronica 2000
Now this was much better! Claire is back, with new sidekick Steve. Though the voice acting for Steve can be at times annoying, there was just something very likeable about him.
Resident Evil Gaiden 2001
This game was released on Game Boy Color featuring three playable characters and top-own scrolling. The creep factor was generally not evident in this game due to the presentation. The old-school pixel graphics of this handheld game is very reminiscent of SNES games.
Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica 2001
This is the second in the Survivor series. The player can choose to play through as either Claire or Steve in this first-person shooter.
Resident Evil Remake 2002
Much like the original RE game, the player can choose to play as either Chris or Jill but each character has his or her advantages and disadvantages. The story is the same as the original game, but the graphics and dialogue have been updated in this gorgeous remake.
Resident Evil Zero 2002
In this prequel to the original, the player controls both Rebecca Chambers (from RE1) and new character Billy Coen. Rebecca is far less annoying in this game, and this game received pretty positive acclaim.
Resident Evil Dead Aim 2003
Another first-person shooter, however this game uses third-person view when the character is moving. This game also features all new characters. Not a great game but not the worst.
Resident Evil Outbreak 2003
This was the first game in the RE series to incorporate cooperative gameplay and online multiplayer support. Outbreak is set a couple of days after the initial T-Virus outbreak in Raccoon City.
Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2 2004
The same eight characters from the first Outbreak game have returned in this sequel with five new scenarios available.
Resident Evil 4 2004
Leon Kennedy has returned! This game introduces some new enemies. The main enemy in this game is the Los Ganados who unlike your typical zombie have higher battle and defense capabilities and can even run and yield weapons.
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles 2007
There are several scenarios in this game featuring nine playable characters from previous RE games such as Rebecca, Billy, Chris, Jill, Carlos, Wesker, Ada Wong, Richard Aiken, and Hunk.
Resident Evil 5 2009
This game continues using much of the same type of game play style as RE4. Chris Redfield is the main character in this game, along with his partner Sheva who can also be controlled by a second player in cooperative gameplay mode. I felt like this game was the point in which RE started to feel more like an adventure game and less like a survival horror game. Needless to say, though I know quite a lot of people who enjoyed this game, it was not my cup of tea.
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles 2009
Darkside Chronicles, an on-rails shooter for the Wii, is the prequel to RE4. The events in RE2 and RE Code: Veronica are retold. There are certain elements about the re-telling that I like, specifically in the Code Veronica portion.
Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D 2011
This third-person shooter for the Nintendo 3DS serves as a combination of the mercenary mini-games in RE4 and RE5.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2012
This was quite possibly the first RE game in a VERY long time that went back to RE roots as far as being a survival horror, puzzle solving, collecting items, etc. THIS is the kind of RE game that I know and love.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City 2012
Yet another shooter game, because Heaven knows that we haven’t had enough of those in the franchise yet! This is a non-canon, hypothetical scenario type game taking place around the same time as RE2 and RE3.
Resident Evil 6 2012
This game is classified as survival horror on promotional material, but defined as “dramatic horror” by game developers. I really wanted to like this game, but I found the shooting style extremely frustrating and the controls overall very clunky. All in all I gave up very quickly on this game as I found it way too hard to be enjoyable….but my mom has beat it three times already and seemed to enjoy it a lot so maybe I’m missing something….
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 2015
CLAIRE IS BACK OMG!!!! Sorry, I got a little excited. I am still only in the beginning stages of this game but I am very much enjoying it so far. Once again we are back in the realm of puzzle solving and collecting. This is an episodic survival horror game featuring playable character swapping ability. The main protagonists are Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, daughter of Barry from the original RE.
Resident Evil Games Yet to be Released
Umbrella Corps (anticipated release of May 2016)
This is a multi-player survival horror shooter that is a spinoff of the RE franchise. Set two years after RE6 and several years after the collapse of the Umbrella Corporation. Mercenaries are released into zombie infested areas in search of lost Umbrella Corp. secrets.
Resident Evil 2 Remake TBA
This complete remake of the original RE2 currently does not have a release date, nor have I been able to find any trailers or teasers for it. I am simply DYING for this remake to such an amazing game!
That’s gonna do it for today, gamer nerds. It has been a great 20 years, Resident Evil! Here’s to another 20! Happy Birthday RE!
Stay Nerdy, my friends!