Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
The Resident Evil Games That History Forgot
Resident Evil is one of the most prolific and famous video game series, boasting over 20 original titles on over 20 different platforms. There isn’t a gamer worth his salt who hasn’t at least heard of the bone-chilling experience that was the first Resident Evil back on the PS1, or the eerie feeling you get when you first enter the RCPD station in Resident Evil 2. But alas, as is the case with most legendary game series, we’re left with tons of bottom of the barrel to explore, with spinoffs, mobile games, sequels and of course, remasters.
A bunch of these unmemorable titles managed to get buried in history, and we’re going to unearth a few of them, and see whether they’re still worth a try.
The following text contains spoilers!
Survivor was the first Resident Evil game that made the switch from third to first person. Due to political reasons, the light-gun mechanics for Survivor were actually removed for the North American release, which made the game nigh unenjoyable.
- Is it canon: Yes.
- Cause of death: Slow gameplay and no light gun feature in the US.
This game has a rather intriguing plotline that almost makes the game worth a play, even today. However, the gameplay seems to have taken direct inspiration from the original Resident Evil games, most importantly in terms of pacing. This made no sense, considering that light gun games thrive on speed. Therefore, the game is far too slow to be exciting.
The very first mobile Resident Evil experience, RE-Gaiden was a Gameboy Color title developed by Capcom and the now defunct British company M4 all the way back in late 2001. Critics agreed that this game was an all-around flop, owing most likely to the complete shift in perspective, to a top-down dungeon crawler style, combined with RPG like chance-based combat.
The game takes place entirely on a luxury cruise liner and tries to encourage a sense of claustrophobia and helplessness, but that effort is all but extinguished by the pace-breaking combat and generally slow delivery.
You play as a lovable hunk, Leon Scott Kennedy, and good old Veteran Barry Burton, from the original Resident Evil. They manage to bump heads more than once in this game, as there’s a lot of shape-shifting magic going around in the form of Umbrella Corp’s newest biological weaponry. They’re accompanied by a young orphan girl named Lucia, whom the plot revolves heavily around.
- Is it canon: Absolutely not.
- Cause of death: Slow gameplay on an outdated platform.
It’s evident that the developers were trying to squeeze out as much performance as they could out of the GBC, which couldn’t be expected to compete with the mad powerhouse of a PlayStation.
This game, also known as Gun Survivor 2, is an oldie but a goodie. With now mediocre PS2 graphics and light gun mechanics, Gun Survivor 2 boasts more than enough classic shooter action and a return to the story of Code: Veronica, with several added elements that shake up the formula. You get to fight The Nemesis from RE:3, for instance, adding a significant amount of fear factor to the gameplay and keeping you on your toes.
Claire Redfield continues her search for her brother in the aftermath of the Raccoon City incident. Paired up with Steve Burnside, the two of them fight to escape an Umbrella facility, after which the player learns that the entire story was, in fact, a dream that Claire has after the end of Code: Veronica.
- Is it canon: It is, but as a dream sequence.
- Cause of death: Old age and niche status.
The game is based around well-executed light gun gameplay and a helpful AI partner to keep you company. The graphics are dated, but the action still holds firm.
No list is complete without including at least one mixed bag. Dead Aim is an odd combination of third person room exploration, nearly identical to the RE:4 experience, combined with first-person light gun shooting. The game introduced cocksure playable hunk Bruce McGivern, whom fans had really taken a liking to. He’s just different enough from previous characters to remain memorable, and he flows through the heroic anti-Umbrella storyline quite well.
An Umbrella-owned cruise liner, an island facility and a romantic subplot. A complete experience.
- Is it canon: Yes, but as a spinoff.
- Cause of death: Old age. Light-guns going out of style.
Light-gun games are weird and clunky, but if you like Resident Evil, you’ll enjoy this one. It’s definitely fun and flows very smoothly. The dialogue is a bit cringe-inducing, but you’ll get over it quick enough to enjoy the story. It won’t blow your mind, but you’ll have a blast.
Truly the oddest in nomenclature, the semi-successful Resident Evil: Outbreak and its sequel, Outbreak File #2. In fact, ‘’sequel’’ is the only thing there is to say about OF #2, considering that the publishers themselves marketed this game in relation to the first part stating that they’ve severely improved many elements of the gameplay and controls, to offer players a better experience.
Both games aren’t half-bad. They share common features like the same third person locked camera we’re learned to love, with responsive controls, even though certain camera angles are a bit discomforting, as you switch back and forth between different rooms.
Outbreak File #2 followed in the unfortunate footsteps of its predecessor – basing the entire gameplay around eight characters unique to this duology, rather than featuring any of the legends from the previous games that we’ve come to know and love.
There are five chapters and each is blander than the previous, with the goal to all of them being a very watered down ‘’escape’’ plot, with very few plot twists or titillating turns of events.
- Is it canon: Yes, but only due to lack of contradicting overlap.
- Cause of death: It relied on a centralized server – It was on death row from day #1.
You couldn’t play it with your friends if you wanted to. The core gameplay revolved around the multiplayer and the servers for this game shut down a long time ago. Besides, the communication with your teammates was primitive. You can play with bots, though. We’d recommend you watch a full playthrough online, sped up to 200% speed, so you only have to suffer for 2 hours, instead of 4. For instance, check out these playthroughs, for Outbreak and Outbreak File #2 respectively.
A Spec Ops resembling shooter with both single player and multiplayer both of which are equally forgettable. It does boast the largest roster of playable characters unique to the series, but it’s all somehow buried beneath the fact that the game was obviously built around the multiplayer, which, while not terrible, resembles other games of the same genre that it is clearly inferior to.
An alternate timeline, hypothetical scenario, in which HUNK and the USS work to stop Dr. Birkin from handing over his T-Virus research to the US Military. You essentially play as the baddies, and towards the end have the option of siding with Leon and Claire, or execute them.
- Is it canon: No, it’s a theoretical scenario.
- Cause of death: Infected with the T-Virus. It’s still very much alive and kicking, but with horrendous reviews.
On this game, IGN stated: ‘’An actual zombie outbreak would have been less tragic,’’, and we think they were onto something. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re not looking for a Resident Evil game, but are looking for a casual shooter to play with friends, you should give this game a shot. Just don’t expect a horror experience.
Probably the farthest stray from the OG Resident Evil experience, Umbrella Corps cashes in on the series’ appeal in the same way that Metal Gear Survive tried to cash in on MGSV’s popularity. In short, it is a third-person multiplayer shooter where players compete against each other for points — and also there are zombies.
There isn’t one to speak of.
- Is it canon: Unfortunately, yes.
- Cause of death: It’s a Resident Evil game that has nothing to do with Resident Evil. But the servers are still up so it’s technically on life-support.
You can’t have a Resident Evil game where the zombies are a casual nuisance, but you’re focused on everything else instead. This game has a chronic condition of wanting to be another game. It is as if the developers wanted to make a third-person Call of Duty, but their financiers insisted that they somehow shoehorn in the Resident Evil vibe at any cost. So you’ve got third-person Call of Duty, with janky controls and memorable locations from previous games.