Resident Evil defines a generation of gaming

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Brandon Osborne

bosborne@radford.edu

2012 is not just the year the Mayans predicted the Earths demise; it’s also the year that Resident Evil makes its return. The Capcom video game series that has launched eight games, as well as four movies, has released two games already this year with one more slated for a November release. “Resident Evil” also has its fifth movie set to hit theaters in September. The franchise has already sold over 46 million units.

Resident Evil first hit the shelves back in 1996 when Resident Evil was released for the Playstation. The game was considered to be one of the first zombie video games as well as one of the first horror based video games. Resident Evil made a lasting impression with its creepy environments and its scary cut scenes.

The franchise only got bigger as Resident Evil 2 and 3 were released in 1998 and 1999. Both games received strong reviews as the franchise would continue to grow. In 2002, Capcom released Resident Evil Zero, the prequel to the series. It was released only for the Nintendo GameCube and was the first Resident Evil game to be released on the next-gen consoles.

In March of 2002, Screen Gems released the first film adaptation of Resident Evil. The movie included several main characters from the video game series but the story did not follow that of the games. The movie is based around Alice, a character who is not in any of the Resident Evil games.

In the next couple of years, fans were treated to two more movie releases as well as another video game. Resident Evil 4 was released on GameCube as well as the Playstation 2. The game would take on a new element as they got rid of the zombies for a new mind-controlling parasite that has taken over Europe. The game was very successful, but longtime fans of the series were not too happy to see the franchise ditch the zombie element that made it famous.

In 2009 Capcom released Resident Evil 5, which was the first game in the series that featured an AI partner. The game continued to follow the plot of a parasite controlling citizens called “Majini.” Resident Evil 5 was the first game to be released on the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. The reviews were very good, as critics loved the games graphics, as well as its playability. Around the same time the fourth Resident Evil movie, titled Resident Evil: Afterlife, continued to follow the story of Alice.

It’s been three years since Resident Evil 5 came out and after its release, Capcom told fans it would be awhile before another Resident Evil title would be released. The first game released this year was Resident Evil: Revelations which was released for the Nintendo 3 DS. The game received excellent reviews, as several video game magazines felt that the game had excellent visuals, as well as a strong story.

On March 20, Capcom released Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City which features play as the umbrella clean-up squad. The game has the player going into Raccoon City right after the outbreak of a virus, and the mission is simple: kill everything. This is the first game in the series in which players can run and fire their weapons at the same time. The game unfortunately has not received the reviews that Capcom was hoping for.

Scheduled for a November release, Resident Evil 6 is a planed return to the usual for Capcom. The company has confirmed that zombies are going to be the focus of this game, and players will also get to play as Leon S. Kennedy, one of the series biggest characters. The game has received a lot of attention as fans and critics are eager to see the series return to what made it popular.