Resident Evil’s 20th Anniversary: A Look Back at the Series


Today, March 22, marks the 20th anniversary for the horror series Resident Evil. The game has come a long way over the past 20 years, so I figured it’d be imperative to take a look back at the series and how it has evolved over the years by talking a little about all of the main Resident Evil games.

resident evil ps1Back on March 22nd, 1996, the very first Resident Evil game graced us with its scary presence, introducing gamers to a whole new brand of horror in gaming. The game released on the first PlayStation, and introduced us to the first main characters in the series – Jill Valentine, Chris Redfield, and Albert Wesker. The game took place in a mansion where indescribable things were occurring. You choose to play as Jill or Chris, and so begins your descent into the world of Resident Evil.

resident evil 2The next installment of the series introduced us to Chris’s sister Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy in 1998 on the PS1. You play as one character or the other in Resident Evil 2, and take on the hordes of zombies that have overtaken Raccoon City. This game is possibly one of my favorites in the series, and still one I play to this day.

resident evil 3The third game gave us a whole new level of horror with Nemesis, an over-powered mutant that chased you down and found you all throughout Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Resident Evil 3: Nemesis released back in 1999 on the PS1, and brought us back to veteran RE character Jill Valentine. So if you want a heart attack while gaming, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is your go-to, as there is nothing more unnerving than having Nemesis bust through a wall and scaring the daylights out of you!

re code veronicaThe next main entry into the series is Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, which focuses more around Claire Redfield, and her brother Chris. Code Veronica came out on the PS2 in 2000, and is considered as the true sequel to Resident Evil 2. It’s also the first RE game to release on a non-Sony console (Sega DreamCast).

resident evil 0Resident Evil 0 was the next main release in the series, releasing back in 2002 only on the Nintendo GameCube. You play as Rebecca Chambers, a medic for S.T.A.R.S. who accidentally gets thrown into the the virus outbreaks calamity. You switch between her and the secondary character Billy Coen, a prison inmate. Switch between the two characters in order to solve puzzles and advance in the story.

resident evil 4The next major installment into the series is Resident Evil 4, which released in 2005 on the PS2 and GameCube. This game in the series was quite the turning point for the series, as they left behind the old mechanics in the game, and adopted third-person perspective, which allowed players an over-the-shoulder view of their character and gave them better and more accurate aim. This style would continue on in the series with future titles. In RE4, you play as Leon Kennedy, going to another country to investigate some pretty strange happenings. RE4 is also the first game to not use zombies, but another form of infected, called Ganados.

resident evil 5After Resident Evil 4, came Resident Evil 5 which released back in 2009 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. This game introduced co-op, as you could play two players via online play or local play. The game follows Chris Redfield and his new partner Sheva Alomar who both work for the B.S.A.A. They venture to Africa and find villagers who have been infected by parasites and are being called “Majini”. The game also introduces more action sequences, where you just press buttons in a sequence as they are displayed on the screen.

resident evil 6Resident Evil 6 was the last main release in the series and released in 2012 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. This game stands out from the rest because it has four different scenarios that follows with each of the four main characters. RE6 also featured two player gaming with either local or co-op play. The four main characters in the game are Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, Jake Muller, and Ada Wong. Each story is different, but they all intertwine with one another. A lot of people didn’t care for this installment as much because it relied rather heavily on action button sequences, and was deemed more of an action game than that of survival horror.

In honor of the game’s 20th anniversary, one of the people who have been there since the game’s beginning, Hiroyuki Kobayashi, made a video talking about how the game has been developed over the past 20 years.

What was your favorite game from the series? Sound off in the comments below!

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