Resident Evil

Relationships go through many stages. Some can be measured in days, months, years spent in each others company. Others by the countries travelled, or children raised. Mine, by the games played, and in some cases suffered through, together.

The iconic mansion – the setting of Resident Evil 1

In the early days, there was Resident Evil 4. Unfamiliar and exciting, but never punishing. Then there was Resident Evil 7. Brutally hard but completely enthralling and rewarding. The remastered RE 2 and 3 followed after a significant break (about three years) which reignited the Resident Evil passion. We stuck with the order and played RE 4 next (again). The beauty of being unable to go anywhere through various lockdowns. And the logical next step was, of course, Resident Evil Zero. Then the HD remaster of RE 1, followed by the much maligned fifth incarnation.

I enjoyed playing Resident Evil 5 in co-op mode with my brother at the time of release. My only past experience of Resident Evil had been some psychologically scarring encounters in childhood, so at the time I couldn’t understand the criticisms of the fifth game. It was a perfectly serviceable and creepy action game, which was exactly what I had expected. After playing through the older iterations I could start to see how the DNA of the series was mutating like the T-virus itself from a puzzle-driven survival horror into pure vanilla action. I am yet to delve into number six, but the lacklustre reviews at the time of release put me off. Billed as more of an action-thriller by some critics, it was closer to RE 5 than the first games. Perhaps now that we are playing the games in numerical order (mostly) we’ll get round to finally trying the sixth game. Then back to 7, and eventually, Resident Evil Village/8.

On a similar but slightly different note, the original game is still inspiring dedicated homebrew developers. I stumbled across an article on Dark Side of Gaming about a first person Resident Evil remake by Perro Autonomo titled Biohazard (the original Japanese name, if you’re not familiar with the series). Although there are bugs and it feels a little silly, it’s an impressive piece of work and is being embraced by the community. We made it all of a few minutes in before being murdered by the zombie that unceremoniously decapitated fellow S.T.A.R.S. agent Kenneth. It’s worth a look if you have any interest in the series.

If you hadn’t gathered, we’ve been quite enjoying Resident Evil over the past year or two. It was a welcome distraction during the worst of pandemic-induced lockdowns, and there was an extensive back catalogue for us to explore. The films are a bit naff except the animated incarnations but the game series continues to be one of the strongest to date. We look forward to playing Resident Evil 8 in the near future. That is if we don’t end up playing 2, 3, 1, and 0 all over again.

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