|This is a /v/ related article, which we tolerate because it's relevant and/or popular on /tg/... or we just can't be bothered to delete it.|
Resident Evil, known as Biohazard in Japan, is a series of zombie-focused Survival Horror games (the first big-name franchise of that type, and the first to make the genre at all "mainstream") produced by Capcom from the mid-1990s on. Its longtime rival is Silent Hill and it spawned a short-lived (three games) rival/spin-off, Dino Crisis, which was basically "Resident Evil on an island with timetraveling dinosaurs instead of bio-engineered zombies!"
As might be guessed, the basic plotline of Resident Evil is simple: the pharmaceutical megacorporation Umbrella has its fingers in some very sticky pies, namely secret divisions working on genetically tailoring viruses and mutant monsters to make illicit millions in the bio-weaponry underground. Naturally, these things keep getting out of their control, and a bunch of innocent schmucks need to try and survive in the resultant monster-filled hellholes. Add in lots of creepy background lore, apocalyptic logs, bizarre traps and puzzles, and enjoy yourself some fun.
Though a video game series, Resident Evil is a perfect source of inspiration and ideas for a DM of D20 Modern, especially if the game being run is at all focused on horror or intrigue. Indeed, Resident Evil 1 has been likened to a horror-themed dungeon crawl in a modern environment. Naturally, the game series would mesh perfectly with All Flesh Must Be Eaten, but since there's no official writeups, that requires a lot of ZM setup.
- 1 Survival Horror vs. Action Horror
- 2 Camp
- 3 Resident Evil 1
- 4 Resident Evil 2
- 5 Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
- 6 Resident Evil: Code Veronica
- 7 Resident Evil 4
- 8 Resident Evil: Revelations
- 9 Resident Evil: Revelations 2
- 10 Resident Evil 5
- 11 Resident Evil 6
- 12 Resident Evil 7
- 13 Resident Evil 8: Village
- 14 Resident Evil: Outbreak 1 and File#2
- 15 Resident Evil Survivor
- 16 Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica
- 17 Resident Evil Dead Aim
- 18 Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
- 19 Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles
- 20 Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
- 21 Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps
- 22 Biohazard: Clan Master
- 23 Movies
- 24 Man-Made Pestilence
- 25 Bio-Organic Weapons & Irregular Mutations
- 26 /tg/ Stuff
Survival Horror vs. Action Horror
Whilst it actually named the genre of "Survival Horror", Resident Evil has always had a somewhat... complicated relationship with it, though of course don't expect /v/ to acknowledge that. In contrast to the "dread-fueled walking simulators" of the more iconic Survival Horror games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Resident Evil has always been almost as much about being an action game as much as a horror game. Lest we forget; even in the very first game, whilst you're stalking warily through the halls of a monster-infested mansion, you're also doing so with a shotgun and grenade launcher at your hip, and your boss fights center around your ability to blow them into bloody chunks of goo.
Things only got more actiony as the series progressed. As early as the original RE2, once you got past the chokepoint of the zombie-infested streets, ammunition became so plentiful (especially if you learned where the hidden ammo stashes were) that you could kill every single thing that moves and still have ammo to burn by the end of the game. This wasn't helped by the fact that later games continued to bring back the same characters, who by the laws of decent storytelling became increasingly jaded to the whole "virus spill and evil corporation producing monster super-soldiers" shit since, y'know, they'd seen it all before.
The split between Survival and Action Horror is the biggest skub element of RE, so if you're going to play a tabletop game set in the universe, it's probably best to get a Session 0 done so you can get everybody on the same page as to what kind of RE game you'll be playiong.
From the get-go, Resident Evil has had its roots in 80s b-movies, and that applies to both its horror and its action elements. It may make you laugh, it may make you groan, but a certain bit of silliness has always been an inherent part of the series, in contrast to the po-faced psychological horror of Silent Hill. As with the Survival Horror to Action Horror ratio, when gaming Resident Evil with your players, try and get everybody on the same table as to how campy you want the campaign to be.
Resident Evil 1
This is where it all begins. An elite force of police officers, known as the Special Tactics And Rescue Squad (S.T.A.R.S for short - see! Clever!) are sent into the Arklay Mountains in response to gruesomely violent attacks on hikers and campers in the area. Bravo Team goes first, then vanishes. Several hours later, Alpha Team goes to investigate and find their missing comrades. They are attacked by a pack of diseased, decaying, bloodthirsty dobermans, and their chickenshit pilot promptly flies off in terror. The survivors flee for a mysterious mansion, only to find it crawling with zombies and other engineered freaks. As either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine, you need to explore the mansion and find a way to safely escape. In your efforts, you discover that the mansion had been a secret research facility for the pharmaceutical megacorp "Umbrella", where illegal experiments into engineering viral weapons and super-soldiers had gone horribly wrong. At the game's climax, you must defeat Umbrella's ultimate Bio-Organic Weapon, the Tyrant, and escape the mansion's self-destruct system.
Gamers had never seen anything like it before. Resident Evil 1 was a smash hit. And thus a series was born...
The original version of this game is also famous for its hilariously bad voice acting, with narmy dialogue and actors who clearly don't know how to properly emote, to the point where some people were disappointed with it getting fixed in the remake. In fact, amazingly, the game was actually created IN English by Capcom, and then dubbed in Japanese for their local market!
The original Resident Evil is already an experiment in telling variable stories; whilst the plot remains identical in the broad terms, as do the puzzles and areas, your different characters have different strengths and weaknesses, and they interact with different side characters. Jill is faster, has a bigger inventory space, gets access to the shotgun quicker, can pick locks (thus freeing up more inventory space over the long run) and gets exclusive access to the grenade launcher, the best "common" weapon in the game - in fact, she's literally designated as the Easy Mode character in the Japanese version. Her side character is Barry Burton, hilarious fountain of memes and a skilled asskicker in his own right. In contrast, Chris gets... more health. And that's it. His side character is Rebecca Chambers, Capcom's attempt at a moe waifubait nurse. Sadly, it also introduced the series' first ever plothole: canonically, all four characters are supposed to have survived the Mansion Incident... but, in-game, you'll ever encounter the secondary protagonist character locked up in a cell in the final lab, with their supporting character never to be seen, making it impossible for all four to have survived in any actual playthrough.
This game got ported and remade a lot, but the most noteworthy version is the Director's Cut, which restores things cut from the American release, uncensors the game, and adds a few new gimmicky modes. This would later give rise to the infamous Dual Shock Version, a variant of the Director's Cut which replaces the soundtrack with a completely new score best described as "choir of farting trumpets".
Resident Evil REMake
In the early 2000s, Capcom signed a deal with Nintendo, and brought Resident Evil to the Nintendo Gamecube. One of their first efforts was this game, a remade version of the original game with many new changes; tweaked puzzles, expanded environments, better dialogue, smoother graphics and a reworked story. Unlike earlier platform ports and reshuffles, this game was a total retcon, and is the "official" prelude to the game series. Initially released for the Nintendo Gamecube, it was subsequently ported to PC and PS4.
The biggest change to the story was the introduction of the Lisa Trevor subplot. This was the daughter of George Trevor, the architect who designed the mansion, whose whole family was kidnapped by Umbrella and used as test subjects for early strains of the Progenitor and/or T-Virus. His wife and one of his daughters died, but little Lisa survived, transforming into an insane, brutally strong mutant with an absurd healing factor - she survived everything that the researchers threw at her, even Ebola. In fact, they ultimately tried out the Nemesis-Alpha parasite on her, and she ate it; the foundation for the G-Virus was cultivated from her cells when they were testing her to see what had happened. Ultimately, they tried to kill her... but they couldn't. They even shot her with an anti-tank rocket, and she just got back up. So, when Chris and Jill arrive, they end up having to evade her in the wilderness surrounding the mansion and the tunnels beneath, until they finally get rid of her by letting her recover the skull of her long-dead mother.
Ironically, despite having a golden opportunity to do so, Capcom failed to retcon the infamous "where was (Barry/Rebecca)?" issue from the original game with this remake.
Resident Evil 0
Whilst Resident Evil 1 told a compelling story, it raised many questions. How was the T-Virus leaked? Where did it come from? What happened to the doomed Bravo Team? And what was the story of Rebecca, Bravo Team's last survivor, prior to her rescue by Chris in the mansion?
This game answers those questions. Shortly after their flight into the Arklay Forest, Bravo Team discovered an overturned military prison transport truck, which had been carrying an ex-marine convicted of mass murder and sentenced to death, and separate to look for him. Rebecca found her way aboard a mysterious train and was separated from her unit. There, she was forced to team up with the ex-marine, Billy Cohen, in order to survive zombified passengers, mutant animals, and killer leeches. Ultimately, they learned that they had become swept up in the machinations of Dr. James Marcus - the mad scientist who was one of Umbrella's founders, who had created the T-Virus by splicing the mutagenic "Progenitor Virus" with leech DNA, and whose sadism and psychosis had grown to the extent that Umbrella had ordered him assassinated. But one of Marcus' leeches had absorbed his body, growing over the years into a giant monster with Marcus' memories, the ability to assume his form, and a burning desire for revenge - his attack on Umbrella's Arklay facilities had released the T-Virus and caused the disaster into which the S.T.A.R.S had been drawn. Slaying the Leech Marcus, Billy and Rebecca go their separate ways; Billy strikes off towards a nearby road in hopes of hitchhiking away to safety, whilst Rebecca, promising him that she will claim he was killed in the Arklay Forest, heads to the Arklay Mansion to wait for the rest of her team to join her.
This game came out shortly after the Resident Evil 1 Remake, and was likewise a Nintendo Gamecube debut. It introduced two revolutionary new ideas; the ability to play as two characters simultaneously, and the removal of the Item Boxes mechanic, allowing players to drop items wherever they pleased and then come back to grab them. Unfortunately, the latter idea just led to players having to backtrack all the time and proved annoying, but at least Capcom tried to do something new! Reception to this game was... mixed, with many disliking its status as an official prologue to RE1, but lore from it is canon to all later games.
One irony is that it actually doesn't give as much of a history lesson into Umbrella as it promised; the ultimate origins of the T-Virus and Umbrella's obsession with it wouldn't be revealed until much later, in Resident Evil 5 specifically.
Resident Evil 2
After the disaster of RE1, Umbrella fucked things over for Raccoon City even further when they inadvertently caused the biggest biohazard disaster in history: in one of their secret labs under the city, a top researcher named William Birkin was working on a prototype super-virus that would put the T-Virus to shame. However, he was being too slow to deliver on this "G-Virus", and Umbrella grew suspicious that he was planning to betray them by selling it to a rival company. So, they sent in a commando team from their private paramilitary forces to take the G-Virus from William, by force if need be. Shot in the struggle, William injected himself with a G-Virus sample and transformed into a hideous mutant, which slaughtered all but one of the commandos - but caused a T-Virus leak that leads to a wide-scale infection, devastating the city.
Into the chaos comes Claire Redfield, younger sister of Chris Redfield above. Sherry Birkin, the daughter of William Birkin. Leon S. Kennedy, a rookie cop on his first day in the force. Lastly Ada Wong, a mysterious woman working as a spy for a rival organization.
These four must now forge alliances and find a way to get out of the city. Opposing them are the various legions of undead and mutated creatures, most of whom evolve to be deadlier as time passes. William Birkin, who is now too far gone and has devolved into a strong but cunning Bio-organic weapon. And Mr. X, a humanoid bio-weapon called a T-103, an upgraded version of the "Tyrant" faced by Chris and Jill, deployed by Umbrella to tie up loose ends in the RPD. The Tyrant is particularly unique in that he doesn't look like an abomination against nature. Instead he's a tall, trenchcoat-clad giant of a man that silently lumbers towards you, akin to something like Jason Vorhees or Michael Myers, only with more violent punching. He's also a total trooper as after getting downed; he'll dust himself off and continue his chase towards you at a later time, also imitating the two horror stated icons previously. That is until you dunk him into a smelting pot, where he stops being cool as a cucumber and simply decides to tear you apart with extreme prejudice.
The last of the lesser-known but important survivors is one of the Umbrella Security Service Commandos, codenamed "HUNK" and popularly known as "Mr. Death", due to his track record of undertaking Umbrella's most dangerous missions, with him typically being the only one to survive upon completion. Despite being injured by Birkin, alone, and surrounded by a town's worth of bloodthirsty monsters: HUNK managed to survive and outwit his adversaries and call in an extraction to evacuate a G-Virus sample for Umbrella. This would be his last canonical appearance as HUNK proceeds to drop out of the story entirely, being only briefly mentioned in files in later games. Still, due to his generally cool attitude and SAS-style appearance, he becomes a staple in several minigames featured in later Resident Evil titles.
Storywise, RE2 was a major ambitious leap from its predecessor, as it attempted to tell not one, but two interwoven stories by means of its double-disk system. Rather than simply having a Leon campaign and a Claire campaign, it has two of each, and the overall story told depends on the order you play in. Some story elements are common between the "A" and "B" scenarios - Mr. X only shows up to bother the B scenario character, and which bosses you fight depends on whether you're playing the A or B scenario. Other elements are more character specific: in the Claire A/Leon B story, Sherry Birkin becomes infected with the G-Virus and Leon has to try and cure her with the DEVIL Vaccine, whilst in the Leon A/Claire B story, this never happens, for example.
After the 2002 release of the REmake to a thunderously positive reception, fans immediately began clamoring for Capcom to give a similar treatment to Resident Evil 2 (and, to a lesser extent, Resident Evil 3). Capcom... ignored them. Until 2015, when they finally declared they were going to make a RE2Make. And four years later, in 2019, the RE2make was launched and became a smash hit. Professional critics heaped praise on it for its incredible new graphical engine and the way it managed to walk the tightrope between being a true Survival Horror game and being accessible to the casual audience. Long-running fans lavished it with adoration for continuing to uphold the promise of RE7 that Resident Evil would return to its Survival Horror roots.
Storywise, the RE2make is essentially a blend of both the Claire A and Leon A scenarios from the original RE2, focusing on each character's attempts to escape from the zombie infested city they unwittingly drove into alongside a secondary character; Sherry Birkin for Claire and Ada Wong for Leon. It preserves the broad strokes of the original story, but is more or less its own entity.
Shifting from its predecessor's fixed camera angles and tank controls to the over-the-shoulder style popularized by RE4-6 and Revelations 1-2, RE2make sports an almost completely redesigned map to account for this. The combat system attempted to step up from RE7 but without going full RE6; whilst RE6's quickshots, voluntary melee system and omnidirectional dodging mechanics were dropped (as was the context sensitive melee of 4, 5, and the Revelations duology), the game brought back the self-defense items system from the 2002 REMake, and it was the first OTS game in the series to allow players to move and aim at the same time, which was considered revolutionary. Zombies and lickers were showered with praise for their graphical and mechanical redesign, whilst Mr. X is now a mutual threat for both protagonists and actively stalks them through the RPD, constantly patrolling until they give their position away with gunfire, fulfilling in acuity what Nemesis had convincingly faked in the original RE3. He's widely considered the highlight of the early game, and earned the game comparison's to Alien: Isolation, another well-received Survival Horror title from the late 2010s. However it has been rightfully received by fans and critics as a masterful return to horror, and unlike it's First Person cousin, the third person camera is featured.
It has divisive elements, however, just like all games. Enemy variety catches a bit of flak; apart from zombies, zombie dogs, lickers and bosses, the only other enemies in the game are the Ivy Zombie (itself kind of controversial, because it replaced the original mutant plant monster with a plant-infested zombie) and a mook version of the G-Spawn boss - in defense of this change, the crows, spiders, enhanced lickers and giant moth boss didn't appear that frequently. The decision to go with a massive retool into an Over-The-Shoulder game instead of the more REmake-esque "graphical update" approach many fans expected is probably the biggest controversy. The story changes, most prominently the neutered "Second Run" scenario vs. the original A/B scenarios, also have been called lazy, since it results in issues if you try to put Main Game/2nd Run stories into a single narrative. Finally, there's the lack of music: whilst the game has a solid OST, it barely plays save for certain moments, largely restricted to cutscenes, and this bugs people because Resident Evil has a history of really solid atmospheric music. There are arguments in favor of the enforced silence, largely that it makes the game more realistic and that it builds up the feeling of dread, but as always, taste is subjective.
Resident Evil 3: Nemesis
Set a few days before the events RE2, this story charts Jill Valentine's attempts to survive and escape the zombie-infested hellhole of infected Raccoon City. Umbrella realizes that this entire incident basically proves the S.T.A.R.S team's claims against them after they escaped the mansion incident, and so sends in one of their newest bio-engineered weapons against the team's survivors: The Nemesis T-Type, an even angrier and scarier T-103 Tyrant whose ability to tank any firepower reminds many of the Plague Marines. Additionally unlike the T-103, he isn't a silent giant, he'll roar his arrival and relentlessly chase you down to beat you into a bloody pulp like a punchy, muscular, and more relentless version of Leatherface, minus the chainsaw as he's also equipped with a rocket launcher.
Aiding her in this ordeal is Carlos Olivera, one of the many Umbrella mercenaries contracted to assist evacuation of the city, but he and his unit were overwhelmed and largely decimated. Now, the two of them search for a way out of the city before it's too late, while also evading the Nemesis' tireless pursuit with either brutal cunning or cunning brutality.
Overall, it ends with the US government unable to retain control of the city, so drastic measures had to be considered. Fearing the virus getting out (and also the US Government's involvement with BOWs), they wiped out Raccoon city with a barrage of thermobaric bombs, completely obliterating it off the map. Umbrella would later be embroiled in a series of criminal lawsuits that ultimately destroyed the company as a whole, largely thanks to the survivors who provided evidence and their testimonies linking Umbrella and the outbreak.
Quite ironically, due to Umbrella shutting down, their research and experiments are now at the hands numerous other unsavory characters, all of whom are advancing their research in their own ends, which would fuel later sequels.
As a side note, despite what a lot of people will tell you, Nemesis actually doesn't "actively" stalk Jill throughout the entirety of RE3. Let's be honest: this was a PlayStation 1 game; they couldn't pull off something like that! Instead, there are a grand total of 13 scripted encounters with Nemesis placed over the course of the game (two of which have variants depending on which path of an A/B route you took), and of which only 3 late-game encounters are mandatory "fight to the 'death' style" boss fights. Thus the illusion of a constant pursuit is provided, even if you can actually chart out ahead of time where Nemesis will appear and plan accordingly.
RE3 is generally regarded as the first Action Horror game in the RE series, unless you count RE2 and how much it spoiled you for ammo (once you hit the RPD area) compared to RE1, for a single major reason: this was the first game where you could dodge enemy attacks... admittedly with very clunky and prone to misfire controls, but, hey, a dodge was a dodge. Also, it was the first game where your character would automatically walk up or down stairs, rather than needing to use the Action button to move down them.
Whilst the first single-character game of the series, it did try to include some of the at-that-point iconic story flexibility by including branching scenarios; different areas could be visited in different orders between playthroughs, which would trigger unique cutscenes and encounters as a result.
With the massive wave of positive reception to the 2019 RE2make, Capcom realized they'd found a new wave to ride; a similarly styled remake for RE3 debuted in April 2020, to everybody's shock (which is sarcastic).
Remake 3 is a...pretty divisive title, it got pretty decent reviews, and Capcom is pleased with it's sales, but it's quite clear the game wasn't made with nearly as much polish as it's immediate Remake brother, 2, or even care. To the game's credit, it does several very fun things. It polishes the dodge mechanic from the original 3 to the point it's actually now a safe action to do (and rewards players with the chance to inflict massive damage). The first half features very fun Pursuer mechanics in the form of a greatly enhanced Nemesis; who can create Zombie parasites, wield a fucking flamethrower (alongside his original rocket launcher), and is a good deal smarter and more scary in his pursuit of Jill. It also features some nifty new monsters and it's story elements have also been considered a step up, in contrast to Remake 2's divisive changes; Carlos in particular is ten times more likable.
On the other hand; it really dropped the ball in terms of removing content from the original game, far more then Remake 2. It flat out deletes an entire area (the flavorful and iconic clocktower) and replaced it with mediocre sewer sections, redesigns an area so heavily it's a new portion (one that's a huge downgrade, the Dead Factory; a horrifyingly damp and disgusting area that was a disposal area for Umbrella's dirty secrets (read: corpses and failed bio-weapons) has been turned into, quite literally into a reskin of NEST from Remake 2), and takes out game's only non-Nemesis boss, the Gravedigger. It's also far shorter then Remake 2 (though this can be attributed to the OG's game length) and has become rather infamous for it's lack of content. Especially since it didn't ship with the highly popular "The Mercenaries" mini-game, something the original had to help with it's lower player-time then previous Resi games, but instead shipped with a new 4 vs. 1 asymmetric multiplayer RE game that nobody really cares about. Add this to the fact the second portion of the game becomes more or less a linear shooter with horror elements, and a complete lack of the dynamic stalking the early-game had with Nemesis (whose now reduced to two okay set-piece boss battles) you can really see why so many people thought it was a downgrade. View it as a comprehensive expansion for 2, and you'll have a good time.
Resident Evil: Code Veronica
CV occurs right after RE2 and has Claire Redfield continuing to look for her older brother Chris, but was caught by Umbrella and ends up on Rockfort island, a private prison island run by the incredibly psychotic Alfred Ashford. Things however, once again go not as planned as a bio-terror attack on the island by a mysterious organization left the island in total, flesh-consuming chaos. She later meets an inmate named Steve Burnside and the two of them think up of a plan to escape the island.
Its later revealed that Alfred has been planning the return of his sister: Alexia Ashford, who has been in hibernation for the past 15 years in the middle of an abandoned Umbrella lab in the Antarctic. She's the creator of a new strain of mutagenic virus that Rockfort was attacked for; the T-Veronica virus, created by splicing the T-virus with a primordial virus found inside an amber-preserved fossilized ant. This new strain allows the host to retain their sanity, even after being mutated by the virus, and anyone infected second-hand will be under the control of the virus' original carrier (which would be Alexia), also there's this random bit about their blood being flammable. Although the downside is that it has a long incubation time, that if improperly handled, will cause the host to degrade into regular T-virus mutants, hence the 15-year power nap.
Learning of this, Claire, Steve, and later Chris himself after Leon got Claire's distress call, set out to ensure that Alexia does not escape and start a new wave of bio-terrorism. They eventually prevailed, in what is probably one of the most frustrating boss fights in RE history.
Oh and Albert Wesker, the bad guy the team in the original who seemed unimportant in the long term, comes back and gave himself superpowers. Its also revealed his organization was the one responsible for unleashing the bio-terror outbreak on Rockfort island. He also tried to take down Alexia after she woke up, but ended up being outclassed, even with his superhuman bullshit (also he had no guns, so that's probably another thing). He does a 180 and has Chris battle the newly-awakened Alexia instead, which he succeeds in putting down, unsurprisingly with guns (which kinda makes Wesker's superpowers underwhelming in the larger scope).
RE:CV is also notable for being the first Resident Evil game to use fully 3D environments, rather than the static, pre-rendered ones in the PS1 era.
Resident Evil 4
This game tells Leon's fate after Raccoon city incident. The US government eventually picks him and Sherry up and he's been roped into becoming a governmental secret agent, partially out of duty, but also to protect Sherry. His first mission is being sent into not-Spain to rescue the US president's daughter named Ashley Graham, who was kidnapped.
Its later revealed that she was kidnapped by the "Los Illuminados", a psychotic cult that worships ancient parasites called the "Las Plagas" that induce mutations and mind control, both of which Leon and Ashley were infected with. The cult's plan is to infect Ashley with a plaga, send her back to the US, then have her do the cult's bidding once the plaga inside her fully matures. Of course this does beggar the following questions:
- Why are the cultists hellbent on killing both Leon AND Ashley, if the latter is so instrumental to their plans?
- Why did they need Ashley to be kidnapped and sent to not-Spain in the first place? Its been shown in-game that plaga infection is relatively simple (be injected with one by a syringe). There was never a need to kidnap Ashley, infect her, then draw attention to it. Especially since the Las Plagas were largely unknown by the outside world until Saddler drew attention to it by involving the US into a rescue mission, so he would have had the total element of surprise once he used his trump card.
Glaring plotholes aside, these cultists are led by three people: Bitores Mendez, a not-Tyrant. Ramon Salazar, a kinda-Spanish aristocrat with a Napoleon complex and two not-Xenomorph bodyguards. Last is the cult's supreme head-honcho Osmund Saddler, a charismatic man who may or may not have a long, bladed tentacle as a dick that he uses to impale people with (it doesn't help it comes from under his robes and between his legs). He also faces off against Jack Krauser, whom is described as one of Leon's closest old agency friends, but his character and history wouldn't be explored until a few years later in a separate game, so everyone at the time was just confused when Leon acts like he's a big deal and we should be feeling some remorse for.
Predictably, this isn't taken seriously in the slightest. Hell even Saddler sort-of breaks the fourth wall and mentions how cliche this entire thing is. The B-movie atmosphere and campy writing blend together to make for an entry that was one of the more memorable, if not the most, and actively played into it in a way that gave it an edge over the next couple of entries.
Now, Leon and Ashley must find a way out of not-Spain, fight through the Los Illuminados cult and their many experimental creatures, and get rid of the plagas infesting them. Like in the previous game, Leon is still being aided by his not-love interest: Ada Wong, who is impractically dressed for a spy mission. The post-Gamecube/Wii versions of the game even added a short secondary campaign that you play as Ada during her adventures in the region too.
If RE3 is arguably the first Action Horror game in the franchise, then RE4 is the first unchallenged Action Horror title. Aside from the new over-the-shoulder camera angle allowing Leon to precisely target foes and the loss of the restrictive tank controls, Leon no longer needed to sacrifice a precious inventory slot to carry a knife or deliberately equip it. Furthermore, this was the game that added "context sensitive melee"; stunning an enemy by shooting them in the right spot (usually the head or the leg/knee) would temporarily daze them, and the player could then deliver a melee attack by getting in close and pressing the Action button. This mechanic would be ported into the Revelations games and the subsequent RE5 and RE6.
Resident Evil: Revelations
Chris and Jill end up stranded on ships that have been overrun by a new breed of zombies, and a terrorist cell named Veltro is threatening to infect the entire oceans with their new virus called the T-Abyss virus. Except that the terrorist treat isn't real and it ends up with more plot twists that kind of make sense, and are also kind of dumb.
The most remarkable thing about this game is a spelling error on the box for the Nintendo 3DS version of the game. Otherwise it literally has no bearing on the plot of later games. We're not kidding, nobody exclusive to the cast of this game were ever mentioned in later games, nor did the plot of this game affected the entire status quo at all.
Still, it did introduce a fun mini-game that added a lot of replayability to it called Raid Mode, which is the only thing that did carry over to future installments, so it wasn't all bad.
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Unlike previous games, this plays in two scenarios: one for Claire and one for Barry Burton, a former STARS member.
Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, Barry's daughter, are kidnapped by a mysterious figure called "The Overseer", thrown into not-Russia, and infected with the T-Phobos virus, a virus that only triggers with a certain level of fear. The virus itself mutates its host in.....unspecific ways, the only constant is that hosts have an increased level of aggression and their bodies are horribly mutated and seem to grant them some form of immortality as hosts can survive for months without food and severe necrosis. They may or may not retain some form of higher thought. Overall Capcom can't seem to decide on what they want their virus to be and just does whatever's convenient for the plot.
The mysterious figure is later revealed to be Alex Wesker, a survivor of the Wesker children. Claire and Moira must now venture through not-Russia to find a way out. Claire later manages to escape, but Moira is left behind. Whether she survives or not is dependent on the player's single asinine, poorly-explained choice (spoiler: have Moira shoot the Ouroboros-infected boss to get the good ending where Moira lives).
Barry comes in a few months later after learning about the situation from Claire after being rescued and was told his daughter is dead. Unwilling to accept it without confirming it himself, Barry travels to not-Russia to investigate and personally confirm his daughter's fate, all the while surviving the new breed of horrors the T-Phobos virus cooked up over the months. He's aided by Natalia, a young girl who has somehow survived the craziness of the island and sense monsters around her. He eventually finds out about Alex Wesker, and also makes it a priority to ensure the remaining vestige of his old enemy is eliminated once and for all.
Anyways, it's eventually revealed that Wesker was using the T-Phobos virus to achieve immortality, using Natalia as a catalyst. But predictably, something went not-as-planned and she's stuck being a mutated, multi-limbed hag and Barry comes it to settle the score, once and for all.
This game is notable for going back to the genre's survival-horror roots and foreboding dark atmosphere, with some stealth sections thrown in to make the game easier but isn't 100% necessary to do (that said, it does save you a lot of ammo and time, so its recommended). Also comes in with several plot-holes, like how Claire or Moira are dealing with the fact that they might have been rescued, but still suffering from T-Phobos infection, or how Moira has been able stave-off mutation by the T-Phobos virus by being able to stay as calm and collected as Claire, despite having no military background nor experience with a biohazard outbreak (which Claire has survived thrice at this point, games and CGI movie included).
But that isn't an issue since Revelations games do not make any impact to the overall plot of the series.
Resident Evil 5
RE5 is... The odd point of the series. This is where Capcom were getting on the "Call of Duty" bandwagon that was growing in the west by making their games more action-oriented, instead of survival horror. A lot of fans were divided on this game's new direction.
For the story, this stars Chris Redfield, whom you would have never recognized due to Capcom designing him as a roid-raging body builder, and Sheva Alomar, which is there as the token black character (we're not kidding, this is the primary reason she's even there). Both of them are members of the BSAA (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance), an international paramilitary group dedicated to fighting the new wave of bio-terrorism spurred on by the collapse of Umbrella. They're currently in Africa to investigate a potentially large bio-weapons exchange.
This once again features the Las Plagas from the previous game, except it's been refined by a mysterious organization to be more potent. Another is the "Uroboros virus", a new pathogen developed by Wesker himself and covertly funded by another company known as Tricell, led by Excella Gionne, an absurdly seductive Italian woman and not much else. The virus itself is....odd. It turns people into a creature comprised of multiple worm-like organisms that only live to consume more and more biomass to grow, unless they were genetically compatible with the virus, which just grants them superhuman powers.
Wesker plans to spread the Uroboros virus into the stratosphere to infect the entire world, where only a chosen few would rise and those who would be consumed by the virus were deemed unfit to live. This plot is so unbelievably stupid for a cunning sociopath manipulating everyone from the sides for his ambitions that even Chris calls him out on it.
Anyway, silliness aside, Chris and Sheva embark on a mission to stop Wesker's plot. Standing between them is the infected population of Africa that have turned into raving lunatics and the new horrors unleashed by the Uroboros virus. Also a giant boulder, which Chris punches into submission, which many fans interpret as either the highest or lowest point of the series that no other event can hope surpass in either spectrum.
Resident Evil 6
Resident Evil 6 is an oddball. It's reviled by a big portion of the community, but has a small, dedicated group of fans. It's usually regarded as a stepping stone for the action community and the horror portion of the fanbase to agree to hate; as when compared to the meticulous designed 4, and 5 campy, but still horror themed romp through Africa, it's considered a big downgrade. However it's wise to acknowledge the game's merits.
If you like character-based action game's, it's not so different in regards to that (hilarious when you consider the fact Devil May Cry, another famous Capcom property started as a Resident Evil game) Resident Evil 6 features a pretty in-depth and polished version of 4 gameplay style; a third person perspective with the usual shooting elements, but with the addition of dodges, voluntary (non-knife attack) melee, and enhanced mobility. It can be pretty fun to to mow down zombies, do a dodge roll to avoid attacks, and repeat the process with a few heavy hitting melee strikes. It has a wealth and variety of bonus content too, alongside three main campaigns (with an unlockable fourth) and is considered by many to the most content-rich in the series (though more on that later), with all the various characters controlling and playing differently in a lot of subtle ways. (Like a DMC game).
However, the fact that it has such a polished combat loop has been criticized for empowering the player to an absolutely ridiculous degree, and that argument has many merits; enemies can be dispatched with trivial ease, even on higher difficulties, there's no end to ammo drops, and bosses are laughably easy to defeat. Major sins for a Survival Horror franchise. The length of the game has also been eviscerated; it's very, very bloated with the four meaty campaigns to playthrough, many of which are filled to the brim with filler that seems to only exist to artificially pad the game's length. The biggest complaint, however, is in regards to the complete neutering of puzzles, the looping, almost-Metroidvania level design of past game's, and the downplaying of the very Survival Horror tenets that made the franchise so successful. It really does dampen and even downgrade many of the series aspect besides the combat.
In terms of story; it's pretty fucking out there, turning Resident Evil into a Japanese Zombie soap opera (though game's like 0 and 5 already had that element, it's just on display to a huge degree). This shit gets complicated, because it's made up of several threads that intertwine, and you're actually getting only bits and pieces of it as you play the four interlocked campaigns. The basic idea is that there's this big Illuminati-esque conspiracy group, referred to as "The Family", who have been pulling the strings behind shit for centuries. With Umbrella gone, they've created a new bio-warfare R&D company, imaginatively called "Neo-Umbrella", to carry on their legacy and be used as a weapon to continue manipulating the world to their advantage.
RE6 revolves around one dickhead member of the Family; the current National Security Advisor of the United States, Derek Simmons. When he gets wind that the current president of the United States wants to come clean about how the US government was in bed with Umbrella and caused the Racoon City incident, he decides that he has to stop this to "preserve stability in the world". The best way to do that? Engineer a zombie apocalypse in the city of Tall Oaks, where the president was going to give a lecture, and hope that the president gets killed in the chaos. That's your A plot.
The B plot revolves around Carla Radames, a former Neo-Umbrella researcher who has been driven mad because Derek Simmons has a sick obsession with Ada Wong, to the point he used Neo-Umbrella's new mutagenic virus, the C-Virus, to mutate Carla into an exact physical replica of Ada so that he could then brainwash her into becoming his lovesick sex slave. For obvious reasons, she snapped, and decided to seek vengeance on Simmons by using Neo-Umbrella to launch a widescale bio-terror assault on the world, with the hopes of basically annihilating humanity so that the Family's legacy will all be for nothing.
Enter our heroes, who are all tugging at various strings in this narrative:
- Leon's campaign involves slogging his way through not one, but two cities in the middle of a massive zombie outbreak. First, he has to escape from Tall Oaks, after having shot the president when he became a zombie after the city was flooded with the C-Virus. The second is a plunge into an infected Chinese city to confront Derek Simmons, whose role in causing the Tall Oaks outbreak he has revealed. He is assisted in this goal by Helena Harper, a member of the secret service blackmailed by Simmons into making the Tall Oaks outbreak happen.
- Chris' campaign chronologically starts the earliest when, as a leading operative in the BSAA, Chris is sent to intervene in a European civil war that is the first unveiling of the new J'avo B.O.Ws, a result of injecting the C-Virus directly into humans. He loses almost his entire squad to the virus. Embittered by the experience, he quits, but is brought back for another J'avo-related terorist incident in China, which ultimately results in him seeking out the Neo-Umbrella lab for revenge, where he stops Carla's ultimate bio-weapon, the terraforming HAOS. His assistant throughout the campaign is his second-in-command Piers Nivans, who gets a surprisingly awesome role in the final battle by replacing his torn-off right arm with a C-virus produced mutant appendage that shoots lightning.
- Sherry's campaign has her all grown up and now a government agent, seeking out the mercenary Jake Mueller, illegitimate son of Albert Wesker, whose unique genetic code may hold the keys to a C-virus antidote, during the events of the same European civil war as Chris. Instead, they get captured by Neo-Umbrella, who seek to use Jake's blood to create a stronger strain of the virus. Fighting out of Neo-Umbrella's prison, they assist both Chris and Jake at different points, and ultimately succeed in Sherry's mission. Throughout, they need to escape from Ustanak, which is basically Nemesis with a cybernetic arm.
- Ada's campaign revolves around her working in the background of everybody else's case, going after Carla Radames and taking her down before assisting Leon with defeating Derek Simmons.
In terms of sales versus reception, it's a double-edged sword. The game sold very well, it was on top of Capcom's best sellers until recently being downgraded by Remake 2, 7, and the gargantuan sales monster that is Monster Hunter World. And as mentioned before, 6 does have a dedicated following of people who genuinely like it despite it's flaws. However, it was savaged from a critical perspective, and has attracted a large hatedom. If you want a zombie-themed Character-based shooter, with fun coop you can't go wrong. Regardless of what you may think of it, Capcom has admitted they leaned too much on the action-side of things, and a planned sequel in it's likeness was scrapped and cancelled in order to facilitate a return to the old style of Resident Evil, which players would get as a first-person Horror Shooter, Resident Evil 7.
Resident Evil 7
RE7, subtitled "Biohazard" - or Biohazard 7, subtitled "Resident Evil", if you're Japanese - was released in January of 2017. Breaking from the traditions of previous games, it features a complete newcomer to the series: Ethan Winters, a man whose wife Mia was presumed lost at sea on a boating trip 3 years ago. When he receives an email claiming to be from her and telling him to come and get her off of some farm belonging to a family called the Bakers in the backwoods of Louisiana, he immediately rushes off to her rescue. And that's when things go wrong... see, the Bakers, they're like Mia's family. And they're just dying to welcome somebody new to the clan...
Fighting to survive the psychotic, seemingly immortal hillbillies, Ethan slowly uncovers the truth: it turns out his wife Mia actually worked at one of those evil bio-weapon engineering companies, and when she vanished, she was on an assignment to act as a caretaker to their latest product: a human-based B.O.W with a symbiotic fungal infection, able to both spawn fungus mooks called "Molded" (imaginative, they weren't) and to take over peoples' minds with her spores. Unfortunately, this bio-weapon, who had the personality of a psychotic bitch of a spoiled little girl, broke loose and sunk the ship in a tantrum; when she and Mia washed ashore, they were taken in by the Bakers, and the B.O.W took control of them as her new "family". Eventually, Ethan kills this B.O.W (named "Evelyn) and is rescued by anti-bio-terror operatives led by Chris Redfield.
DLC was subsequently released, with the most important being Daughters (showing Zoe Baker's attempt to escape Evelyn when she first takes over the Baker estate and its occupants), Not A Hero (Chris' attempts to hunt down psychopath Lucas Baker directly after Ethan kills Evelyn), and End of Zoe (showing Zoe's rescue post-RE7 by her uncle Joe Baker, who had been living off in a hut in the swamps and so avoided being infected).
RE7 was, initially, very skubby, as whilst it promised a hard return to the survival horror in contrast to the more action-horror b-movie feel of the previous numbered games, it did so whilst stating the game would be in a first-person perspective. This idea had been used before (in fact, it was originally considered for the first Resident Evil, but the Playstation's graphics just couldn't hack it), but only on the Gun Survivor spin-offs, and the Wii-exclusive rail shooters - it was totally new to a main canon game, and many fans were naysaying it as just more of the same mistakes, if in a new direction.
However, when it came out, it swiftly won fans over with a genuinely dank, creepy mansion to explore, and horrific new foes to fight. The only real complaints was that its blend of combat and stealth made it feel a little like Alien: Isolation, and the lack of variety in enemies to fight. Most people don't care, considering it a throwback to all that was good about the 1st game, helped by an awesomely catchy theme song and incredibly quotable enemies who manage to hit that right niche between hilariously narmy and downright fucking spooky, just like the classic Resident Evil.
Seriously, one of your boss-fights involves grabbing a chainsaw and duking it out with a laughing, mutated psycho cannibal hillbilly wielding chainsaw-shears. Who earlier may have hacked off your leg with a common garden shovel for giggles. Batshit insane does not do this game justice.
Following in the footsteps of Silent Hill, RE7 made use of a playable teaser called the Beginning Hour. Unlike Silent Hills, RE7 actually came to fruition, because Capcom isn't quite as fucked up as Konami.
Is currently the highest selling game in the franchise and Capcom's second best seller.
Alongside the FPS perspective, RE7 introduced two new mechanics to the series. The first was blocking, allowing Ethan to try and mitigate the damage he'd take from an attack, though one could argue it evolved from RE6's underwhelming "perform a QTE to reduce damage" system. The second and more endearing was crafting, allowing Ethan to create useful things like ammo or medicine by combining various component items scattered throughout the game. Crafting was so well-received that Capcom subsequently ported it into the 2make and 3make.
Resident Evil 8: Village
Formally titled Resident Evil: Village, this game released in May 2021.
The game sees the return of Ethan Winters, protagonist of RE7, now having to make his way through a creepy remote village in what is all but stated to be Transylvania in order to rescue his daughter, Rose, who was kidnapped after his wife Mia was assassinated, both seemingly by Chris Redfield. Enemies and the setting are mostly based on Gothic Horror, with the occasional splash of Lovecraft.
The region where Ethan goes is divided between four noble families; House Dimitrescu (not!vampires), House Beneviento (led by Donna, a woman in thick mourning veil and her creepy-ass wedding dress-clad puppet made from human bones, Angie), House Moreau (led by Salvatore, who is basically a fucking Deep One) and House Heisenburg (led by Karl, who looks like a Witch Hunter carrying a greathammer and is building an army of cyborg-zombies), all of whom will have to be fought over the course of the game.
Lady Alcina Dimitrescu, the evil matriarch of the not!vampires, became an instant meme because she's basically a 9-and-a-half-foot-tall big titty musclegirl vampire milf. No, we're not making this shit up.
In terms of unique mechanics, RE8 combines RE7's crafting and blocking mechanics with RE4's merchant system, but throws in a few new tweaks as well. When Ethan blocks, he can also counterattack with a melee strike to shove the enemy back. As well as selling you weapons, ammo (the first to do so!) and upgrades, the Duke will also cook Ethan recipes if Ethan brings him the requisite ingredients, which usually entails hunting down the uninfected animals scattered around the map. Each recipe consumed gives Ethan a permanent boost of some kind, like upping how much damage is removed with a block. Even crafting has undergone a tweak; rather than needing to manually select components to build stuff, selecting a single component presents the player with a list of all available crafting recipes based on what components are in the player's inventory, making it a lot quicker to make stuff on the fly.
As for the story... well, spoilers!
3 years since RE7, Ethan and Mia are trying to move on from their lives and raising a 3 year old daughter, Rosemary Winters. Suddenly, Chris Redfield and a team of agents bursts into the Winters home, where they kill Mia and take Ethan and his daughter captive. Ethan comes to and finds himself stranded in a remote village somewhere in Romania, and sets out to find his daughter. The village is under attack by strange, lupine-looking humans that the surviving locals call "lycans"... well, before they all get wiped out. Escaping from the village, Ethan finds himself captured by the four aristocratic families of the region, who obey and worship somebody called "Mother Miranda" and are all freaks with a connection to the lycans, having been infected with the same mutagenic parasite, which they call "Cadou". They are going to execute Ethan, but he escapes and instead resumes his mission.
He first goes to Castle Dimitrescu, where he must evade both Lady Alcina Dimitrescu and her three "daughters"; sapient swarms of botflies able to assume human form. Although he has to partake in a lethal game of hide and seek for much of his explorations, he discovers that the daughters are vulnerable to the cold and manages to kill them. He then discovers his daughter's head in a jar before he has to throw down with Lady Dimitrescu herself, who (after being shanked with a uber-lethal poisoned dagger) transforms into a dragon-thing to try and kill him. After the fight, the local obese merchant reveals the other families have the other portions of Rose's body, and heavily implies she can be made to live again if all of them are assembled.
So Ethan goes hunting. In Donna Beneviento's place, the gameplay switches to an Amnesia clone as he has to explore her creepy ass mansion in what may partially be an extended hallucination before he finally gets his gear back and kills her. Then it's off to Salvatore Moreau's reservoir, where he drains the lake and kills the Lord after he turns into a giant mutant fish-frog-thing. Finally, he goes after Karl Heisenberg, who is building an army of cyborg-zombies and uses his magnetism powers to turn into what is basically a giant robot (and a gloriously hammy one, at that) to kill Ethan, with Ethan defeating him by commandeering a what is basically a homemade tank and shooting him in the face until he dies.
Out of fucking nowhere, Miranda shows up and plays mind games with Ethan (changing between the forms of Mia and a previously-met villager) for few moments, before essentially launching into Exposition Mode and pseudo-explaining her motivations, why Rosemary is so important, and the secrets of life, the universe and everything before casually ripping Ethan's heart out. Ethan enters a weird coma-dream where Eveline (possibly a hallucination, possibly her actual consciousness) appears and taunts him for a bit before revealing the truth: Ethan actually died when he first ran into Jack back into Dulvey, and has in fact been basically a Molded in human form without realizing it these past three years.
This means his daughter Rosemary is also infested with the mutamycete, symbiotically merged with it in a way that basically makes her Eveline 2.0. Mother Miranda is a centuries old psycho who discovered some kind of parasitic fungus (the Cadou, or "megamycete") deep below the earth in this part of the world, and used it to become immortal. After finding it could essentially preserve the memories of those assimilated by the fungus, and desperate to utilize it to revive her dead daughter, Mother Miranda founded the local cult and began experimenting with the Cadou. She wants Rosemary because Rosemary's unique qualities mean she may be the perfect avatar with which to revive her own daughter's consciousness. Oh, and also Mother Miranda is basically the one truly responsible for founding Umbrella - she met Oswell Spencer before his trip to Africa and he learned that mutagenic agents that can give people immortality and superpowers were a thing because of that encounter; this compelled him to go to Africa and seek out the Progenitor Virus, ultimately giving rise to Umbrella and everything that went horribly wrong from that point.
By this point, Ethan's body is basically falling apart; he's pushed the regenerative properties of his own mutamycete infection beyond its limits and is going to decay no matter what. So if he decides that if he's going to go out, he's going to go out like a badass; he goes in to Mother Miranda's lair, kills her in an epic bossfight, rescues Rose and hands her off to Chris Redfield (long story short: Chris has actually been the good guy all long, fighting against Miranda from the shadows) before telling him to GTFO, and sets off a massive explosion to wipe out the Cadou once and for all.
(Oh, and Mia's not dead. Mother Miranda basically kidnapped her and took her place before the start of the game (which is why Chris attacked Ethan's household, trying to kill Miranda before the game's events could take place) only for her to be rescued when Chris and company raided Miranda's personal lair. Rosemary also grows up to be a fungus-powered superhuman anti-bioterror agent in memory of her father, though a lot of her "comrades" are still suspicious of her.)
Resident Evil: Outbreak 1 and File#2
Two short-lived co-op games for the PS2 about groups of civilians who banded together in the midst of the T-virus outbreak in Raccoon city and figure out a way to escape. It plays much like the old games, but with a deeper emphasis on survival horror due to the lower amount of resources available in each game, and the ability to be actually infected by the T-virus and zombify after sustaining damage.
The series never really took off significantly, so Capcom abandoned the 4 player co-op concept, and the Outbreak series altogether.
Resident Evil Survivor
The last RE game of the PS1 era and largely remembered as one of the worst of the franchise (being recently overtaken by Capcom's attempt at a godawful RE multiplayer game).
Unlike other games, Survivor is played in a first-person view, but still uses the tank controls of previous RE games. It was meant to be played with a light gun, but due to the US' political climate at the time(this was right after the Columbine shootings), the light gun feature was removed and you now aim a nondescript crosshair with your controller. Additionally, the survival horror tension of the previous game is largely removed due to having unlimited ammo for your handgun, ensuring you can just blast away to your heart's content.
For the game's story, you're transported into not-Europe on an island named "Sheena Island", which houses a secret Umbrella lab and unnamed city. The protag is Ark Thompson, an investigator hired by Leon Kennedy, but gets amnesia and think he's Vincent Goldman, the big-bad of the island. Vincent is the reason for the T-virus outbreak on the island, largely because he's a maniacal dick (we're not kidding, he did it to spite the people he thinks are trying to oust him). Now, Ark wanders around with a gun in hand, thinking he's Vincent, and attempt to uncover the truth about him and the island's outbreak.
Needless to say, the combination of bad game mechanics and story-telling unanimously roped it into being considered as the first black mark of the Resident Evil series. Its so bad that nobody in-universe even acknowledges Survivor happened, no references of it in files or conversations. Hell, even Leon doesn't talk about it. The only thing that keeps it from being officially non-canon is that "Sheena Island" is mentioned in the list of T-Virus outbreaks during the prologue cinematic for RE0.
Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica
A "sequel" to the Survivor series that uses Code Veronica as a setting. This is basically a quicker re-telling of the story, but in first-person and there's a model for the gun and characters now, so it plays like a traditional-ish FPS. There's still nothing really "survivor-ish" about it as it largely plays out like an arcade game, complete with infinite ammo for your handgun.
Also the entire game was a dream by Claire, so this is even more pointless than the prequel. It only escapes the negative attention due to how obscure it is.
Resident Evil Dead Aim
Officially part of and the last of the Survivor series. Dead Aim tried to mix things up by combining third and first-person playstyles. While walking around, you're in an over-the-shoulder view, but you'll change into first person when you're aiming your weapon, and can also be used with a light gun. The concept was novel, but it overall didn't really do anything revolutionary, so RE:DA ended up as one successful but forgettable game in Capcom's repertoire.
For the story, it has protagonist Bruce McGivern, a gung-ho US secret agent being sent in to investigate the Umbrella-owned ship: Spencer Rain. The ship was infected with the T-virus by a rogue Umbrella scientist named Morpheus Duvall, a beauty-obsessed perfectionist, who wanted to bomb the world with the T-virus to re-create it in his own image, unless he was paid 5 billion US Dollars (which he just did for shits and giggles as he was going to go through it anyway). At the same time, a by-the-book Chinese secret service agent named Fong Ling also infiltrates the ship with the same mission. With their goals aligning and stuck on a murderboat filled with undead, flesh-eating mutants, Bruce and Ling form a tenuous alliance to brave the horrors of the Spencer Rain and bring down Dr. Duvall to save the world from his harebrained scheme.
Predictably, an operation involving two secret agents from two opposing nations, working together despite having two completely polarizing personalities to bring down a hedonistic prettyboy attempting to usher in the apocalypse, does not go as planned.
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles
RE:UC is a different take on the series. It was originally exclusive for the Nintendo Wii, later being ported onto the PS3, and its an on-rails arcade shooter of varying quality.
While gameplay is limited (and the gunplay is kinda finicky at best), its more of a platform for Capcom to expand further into the story, without actually investing on too many resources to do so (huehue). Along with some pre-existing storylines, namely RE3 and RE1 (that were condensed and ranges from kinda-canon to "how the fuck did you cram 3 hours of gameplay into a 20-minute hallway and expect it to be good"), it also explores the stories of some of the side characters, such as:
- What Wesker did during his time in the Arklay mansion and how he escaped
- Ada's escape from Raccoon City and how she extracted the G-virus
- How Wesker rose to power during Umbrella's twilight days
It does have a unique plot, however, and tells the story of Jill and Chris' operation in Russia to permanently shut down the last of Umbrella's labs. Other than that, there's not really much to talk about. It's pretty forgettable in the long run.
Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles
RE:DC is a sequel to Umbrella Chronicles, and its still an on-rails arcade shooter.
Gameplay remains the same, albeit with some graphical enhancements, but decides to focus more on story quality, than quantity. It only features two previous stories now: RE2 and RE:CV, all of which are still condensed, but follow the major events more closely so that it genuinely feels like a decent re-telling of the previous games.
It does however, feature one unique story: Operation Javier, an top-secret US military op involving Leon Kennedy and Jack Krauser. It has them going deep into not-Latin America to stop a drug cartel called the "Sacred Snakes", which is led by Javier Hidalgo. The Snakes attracted the world's attention after Javier began employing BOWs to bolster his forces, and led to a localized T-virus outbreak that forced the US' hand to send in a covert team to stop Javier before he unleashes another Raccoon city incident. On the way, they meet a mysterious girl named Manuela, who escaped from Javier's compound. Now, the three of them venture through the infested jungle to put an end to Javier's schemes for the sake of the world.
While it wasn't explored when he was first introduced, Krauser was shown to be a bro-tier tactical muscle head who supported Leon every step of the way throughout the operation. He was only embittered after suffering a crippling injury during the operation that forced him out of the military. Living only for constant conflict, Krauser sought a way for him to get back into the action, which led to him being employed by Saddler during the events of RE4 and turned into a traitor and monster, and the rest is history.
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Another very strange spin-off, Capcom had the wonderful idea of trying to make a SOCOM (Special Forces themed, "tactical" shooters that went the way of the Dinosaur) themed Resident Evil game and even employed the series creators into doing so. Even compared to the divisive games in the series, not many people like Operation Raccoon City, which goes to show how boringly average it is. There's not much Skub or explicit hatred aimed at it, either, unlike the shittier RE games - it's just considered a very, very mediocre shooter with a Resident Evil skin laid over it.
Plotwise, it's a non-canon "What If?" game; depicting the events of fall of Raccoon City from the perspective of the bad guys, the Umbrella Security Service (and there's another campaign in which you play as United State Special Forces). It can be considered a loose adaption of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3, as it features many of the same events and characters (many of which are set into motion by you, such as re-programming the damaged-and-renegade Nemesis T-Type, giving it its rocket launcher as you go), though the overall focus is on the USS team cleaning up Umbrella's messes, getting stabbed in the back because they know too much, and then being reluctantly given a second chance at escape on the condition they mop up the last remaining survivors.
About the only major deviation from canon comes at the end, where you corner the RE2 characters (Sherry Birkin, Leon Kennedy, and Claire Redfield) and are given the choice between executing them and bringing Sherry back to Umbrella in exchange for extraction (Stay Loyal), or going rogue and deciding to gut Umbrella from the inside-out after they screwed you over and left you for dead (Protect Leon). The final boss fight of the USS route is honestly pretty lacklustre, being a brief gun-battle between one side (you and a teammate, fighting to save or kill Leon and Claire) and the other two members of your team (who disagree with your choice), particularly considering that the Spec Ops one ends with a fight against a super-powerful Tyrant infested with an experimental Umbrella parasite.
The Spec Ops DLC campaign is basically the USS' in reverse, ditching the "Your superior officers used you to clean up their mess then stabbed you in the back and left you to die" plot in favour of "We're sending you in to find out what happened and pull out survivors if you can find them". You run around finding proof that Umbrella was involved with the outbreak, save Jill Valentine from the Nemesis T-Type in a fairly underwhelming boss battle, and eventually extract Jill and Carlos from the city after a battle against four juiced-up Super Tyrants before being given another mission in a pretty obvious plot hook that doesn't go anywhere.
There's not else much to say, though the Wolfpack (the game's villain protagonists) are generally more well-liked then the actual game itself (due to a mix of cool character designs, equal parts comedically sociopathic and heroic personalities, and that time they held off a horde of over a thousand different B.O.Ws - including Tyrants, Hunters, Lickers, and zombies - over the course of a ten-hour long last stand). It also has a pretty good appearance by the one and only (though sadly underutilized) HUNK, which somehow makes him even more of a badass (this guy leads the Wolfpack for a time and fights G-Birkin one-on-one) at the cost of leaving his fate ambiguous (as opposed to canon, where he definitely survives; here he's last seen fighting G-Birkin).
If you want a straight up "Zombie" shooter, even moreso then 5 and 6, or your a fan of SOCOM, it may be worth a look, but go in with pretty low expectations and try to play it with your friends in CO-OP (as every game is better with friends...).
Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps
Capcom's attempt at a competitive multiplayer game and what can be described as the poster child of them milking the franchise dry, until it's reboot with RE7. Its widely considered by the fanbase to be the current worst of the series, stealing the trophy from Survivor who held the title for 16 years. How bad is it you may ask? It died on release day, it didn't even have a chance to crash and burn: it just burned out of the gate.
There's no story for the single-player campaign (that was basically a pointless collectathon), AI is worse than that of ORC, gunfighting feels awkward, you can't even play the central multiplayer function since nobody bothered to play it online (even during release day), and is overall just a bad game in all regards. About the only good things you can say about it is that it visually looks alright (and even that's debatable thanks to the wonky character animations) and the customization options for guns and characters are okay.
Biohazard: Clan Master
Another strange, definitely non-canon spinoff, taking place some indeterminate time after RE6.
It, as the name implies, was an online RPG/card-battle hybrid and was probably one of the more obscure games in the series; you gathered cards depicting various canonical and non-canonical characters and monsters in the series (in a rare case of continuity, this included practically every character ever shown in a Resident Evil game - including otherwise non-canon characters like the Wolfpack, Tofu, and Ark Thompson), which you then used to battle against against groups of enemy (usually B.O.W) cards. You could also create a large team (the eponymous "Clan") and fight other clans in PvP, with the aim being to defeat your rival's clan monster (a powerful "Boss" card that evolves with the clan's level, chosen when the clan is created).
Plot-wise, the basic story is this: Two ex-Umbrella scientists have created a super-computer by the name of "Vasilisk", which a large Umbrella-like corporation (also called Vasilisk) is using to simulate previous outbreaks (even going so far as to construct digital simulacra of dead characters, like Steve Burnside and Piers Nivans) for the purpose of B.O.W testing without incriminating themselves in the real world; to facilitate this testing, Vasilisk kidnapped a load of people (possibly including several main characters) and plugged them into the system to provide raw combat data, putting them in various simulated outbreaks where they must then fight against simulated B.O.Ws.
The rest of the story was fairly fragmented, told through "Story Events" - self-contained series of missions that varied from retellings of previous games (such as Code Veronica, albeit with twists such as Steve reverting to human form by sheer willpower and Claire implicitly realising this is all a simulation) to entirely new story arcs based off the B:CM setting (such as the story of Apis and Mel Lavine, where a young man seeks out his kidnapped-by-Vasilisk younger sister). It's pretty difficult to piece together, not in the least because the story was never translated to English, and was ultimately lost completely when the game's servers went offline in 2015.
All in all, it was okay game with some pretty damn cool (if unusual or somewhat goofy) monster and character artwork.
Yeah, there are movies.
The first was a set of live-action films, but like pretty much all attempts at a live-action adaptation of a videogame, they fucking sucked like all shit. These are the atrocities that unleashed Alice upon the world, specifically so that director Paul W.S. Anderson could show off how awesome his wife Milla Jovovich is. No, really. And despite the shit quality, the series remains one of the top-grossing film series of all time based on a video game. For these crimes (detailed on her page linked above), they shall never be forgiven.
Mercifully, Capcom got off their asses and have given us some real Resident Evil movies; three so far, they are all fully animated CGI affairs that are actually set in the actual universe of Resident Evil and use regular characters.
Degeneration, the first film, brings back fan-favourite characters Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy. Set between Code Veronica and 4, it involves their efforts to stop an attempt by a madman to unleash the deadly G-virus and T-virus upon America.
Damnation is a post-4 Leon-fest involving Leon fighting Ganados and lickers in some made-up Eastern European country. It's... mostly average, though with a few moments of stand-out stupidity (Leon gets thrown into a metres-thick stone column by a Tyrant and stands up moments later; the same Tyrant also grabs him and doesn't immediately squeeze him into paste, despite doing so to multiple enemies earlier) and awesome (Leon, a guy who can control Lickers thanks to a Plaga, and a dozen Lickers VS a Tyrant, which is portrayed perfectly - a lumbering, borderline-unstoppable juggernaut that takes being shot with a tank's main gun at point-blank range to take it down).
Vendetta is a London has Fallen ripoff about Chris and Leon fighting a weapons dealer who got his hands on some Umbrella leftovers. Notable for some impressive John Wick-style gun battles and for finally bringing back Rebecca Chambers. Also notable for breaking the RE canon on par with the movies, with things like a zombie virus that can actually be cured; the only saving grace for it is the non-stop, dickflick-tier action and them properly using the game's cast.
4D-Executer is the very early (as in, came out in 2000) CGI movie in the Resident Evil franchise and arguably the most traditionally horror-focused one to boot. The plot of this 19 minute-long movie is centered around a group of mercenaries coming to Raccoon City in order to find a scientist and her data on a new viral form, before the Sterilization Op goes ahead and wipes the slate clean. Everything goes south when they are attacked by a unknown B.O.W., defeat it, only to realize that the darn monstrosity has a truly scary ability... It was also notable for an impressively well-done plot twist near to the end, which cranks the horror up to eleven and actually makes a great deal of sense.
2021 saw the release of both a new live-action RE film, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, and an online anime called Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness.
Welcome to Raccoon City is yet another "creative reinterpretation" of the RE storyline, so... don't get your hopes up too high. It attempts to cram the entire stories of both RE1 and RE2 into a single runtime, shifting between the events of the Umbrella mansion and Raccoon City, which are occurring simultaneously.
Infinite Darkness is, like Degeneration, Damnation and Vendetta, set in the game continuity, and specifically takes place 4 years after RE4. It follows a teamup between Leon and Claire after a zombie outbreak occurs in Washington D.C.
A live action TV series is supposedly planned for production in 2022. It will apparently revolve around two female protagonists - sisters Jade and Billie Wesker - and shift between two points in time; their childhood, when they move into New Raccoon City, and a post-apocalyptic future a decade in the future, where the world is overrun by T-viral hordes. Fans are pretty much united that this will be a dumpster fire of a series, with the big question being whether or not it will actually be worse than the Alice films.
The basic core of the RE universe is the idea of infectious agents - traditionally viruses, but the series has experimented (no pun intended) with other vectors - that can twist living creatures into unnatural monsters. So let's try and break down the major mutagens of the series, shall we?
Progenitor Virus: The original, in more ways than one. This mutagenic virus was native only to a small cave system in West Africa, and was literally the birth of the Umbrella corporation. Compatible hosts typically become stronger, tougher, and, in animals at least, much larger. Incompatible hosts end up dead. Largely considered to be rather weak as a B.O.W producing agent; supplanted by its successor, the T-Virus.
- T-Virus: The result of combining Progenitor Virus and Leech DNA, this was the creation of Dr. James Marcus. Much more virulent and with more powerful mutagenic properties than its predecessor; it even allows for the successful fusion of genes across species, allowing for the creation of the Hunter line and the experimental Chimera B.O.W. One disadvantage is that it introduces uncontrollable necrosis (rotting flesh) and a sharp loss in intelligence. Humans exposed to the T-Virus typically become the iconic zombies. This was the mainstay of Umbrella's research going forward.
- T-Veronica Virus: A fusion between the T-Virus and an ancient virus that Alexia Ashford discovered inside of a fossilized queen ant. Much more potent than the regular T-Virus. Infectees often display arthropod or even plant-like traits. Prolonged exposure to the virus without being overcome by it - say, through cryogenic suspension or a prolonged regime of organ transplants - causes it to become symbiotic with the host, granting them superhuman abilities.
- T+G Virus: An experiment in fusing the T-virus and G-virus that didn't exactly work out (it was meant to generate a bioelectrical current in the subject; suffice to say it failed most of the time). It was used only twice in the series, with the first B.O.W it created being a horrific failure (a Tyrant with tentacle-arms, no bioelectrical abilities, and a heart sticking out of its back) and the second turning a male victim into a female(?) Tyrant-like creature (one that could shoot lightning, no less).
- T-Abyss Virus: A fusion between the T-Virus and an unnamed virus discovered in a deep sea fish. Highly mutagenic; bestows increased aquatic affinity in infectees. Seems to be especially compatible with sea life; most infected become Deep One-like pseudo-vampires or otherwise have their mutated states based on sea life of various kinds.
- T-Phobos Virus: Experiments with the T-Virus had suggested that there was a psychoreactive component to the virus - that is, the mutations were literally shaped by the subconscious mind of the host. T-Phobos is the product of experimentation and research into that aspect, creating a mutagenic virus that will affect you if you become too scared.
NE-Alpha Parasite: A macro-parasite engineered by the French branch of Umbrella, intended to grant greater control over (and durability to) B.O.W hosts by serving as a surrogate brain. Nobody knows how they cooked this up, but a popular theory (among fans and implied in-universe) is that it's an artificial recreation of Las Plagas. As the name might imply, this is the parasite that made Nemesis as smart and scary as he was.
G-Virus: A bizarre virus refined from an unnamed strain discovered in the body of Lisa Trevor after an attempt to infect her with the NE-Alpha Parasite failed. Incredibly mutagenic, granting the host constant bodily evolution and high regenerative abilities, but not terribly virulent, being almost incapable of spreading short of direct injection or being implanted with an 'embryo' from an existing G-Virus-infected creature. If anything, it's too mutagenic, devolving the hosts into squamous masses of malformed meat once they experience enough trauma.
Uroboros Virus: Wesker's ultimate genocidal virus. If, on the literally millions to one chance you're compatible with it, you'll gain superpowers of a similar kind to Weskers's. Otherwise, you just end up as a mass of slimy black flesh-eating worms. Also capable of causing some impressively horrifying mutations, such as turning a cockroach into a seven-foot nightmare with an instant kill attack purely on accident.
C-Virus: A super-virus cooked up by Neo-Umbrella, intended to be superior to the T-Virus and G-Virus. Direct injection turns victims into J'avo; aerial infection turns them into C-Viral Zombies. Had an enhanced variation that could be made by adding G-Virus antibodies to the C-Virus' components, but all three samples of it were used during its debut game. Also notable for making the hardcore scientists weep and rage due to stretching (or breaking, in the case of the advanced version,) the law of conservation of mass, by doing things like turning a normal human (without any extra mass being added) into a fuckhuge mutant T-Rex with an eyeball in its mouth.
Las Plagas: A macroparasite discovered somewhere in remote Spain. Although buried for centuries, it was dug up by a cult that worshipped it; "Los Illuminados". Whilst it has some mutagenic properties, mostly it acts to turn hosts into pack-hunting neo-zombies. This makes the hosts unusually tanky compared to "standard" zombies, as when the host is injured, the Plaga may burst out of them to continue fighting - luckily, they can't stand UV light, so a simple flash grenade will kill them. Infection is also notably slow compared to Umbrella's viruses, requiring the injection of Plaga eggs and taking about a day or so for the Plaga to hatch, mature, and seize control. RE5 introduced the genetically engineered Type-2 Plaga, which reproduces more quickly and can directly infect hosts by having an infectee spit up a larval Plaga and shove it in a victim's mouth. It also introduced the Type-3 Plaga, an attempt to create an even more virulent strain that turned out to make its hosts even crazier than regular Plagas, and was also lethally genetically incompatible with female hosts.
A-Virus: A watered-down version of the T-Virus, created by mixing the baseline t-Virus with material from Las Plagas. Infection creates "Zombies", which are essentially Ganados (Plaga infectees) mixed with "standard" zombies, being much faster and more intelligent (even being able to speak and co-ordinate) though with the same aggression and hunger as regular zombies. Infamously skubby for breaking RE canon in a big way by allowing the zombies it created to be turned back into humans (as opposed to the other viruses, where you're completely screwed after you turn zombie), though it can mostly be ignored due to showing up in only one movie and then never being mentioned again.
Mutamycete: Aka "The Mold". Symbiotic fungus bio-weapon linked with the B.O.W E-001, aka "Eveline", who can generate humanoid servitors out of fungal strands and control the minds of anyone infected with the fungus. RE8 reveals it's actually a derivative of a naturally occurring parasitic mold with mind-absorbing capabilities referred to as the Megamycete.
Cadou: A macroparasite derived from infecting a parasitic nematode with Megamycete, created by Mother Miranda as part of her efforts to revive her daughter. Responsible for the Lycans, the four houses, and the other monstrosities faced during the events of Resident Evil 8. Exactly whether the victim becomes a neo-Vampire in the style of Lady 'Step on me Harder' Dimitrescu, gains some kind of unique mutation, or devolves into a half-mindless not-Werewolf appears to be down to genetic factors.
Bio-Organic Weapons & Irregular Mutations
And what's the point of a Resident Evil page that doesn't give you at least a basic rundown of the extensive series bestiary? In-universe, the terms "Bio-Organic Weapon" (B.O.W) refers to any creature that was specifically created as at least an experiment in engineering a living weapon/super soldier, whilst "Irregular Mutation" refers to critters that just popped up on their own when the latest virus was spilled. The distinctions are kind of interchangeable as a result; infected animals, for example, can be considered both B.O.W (when created deliberately) and mutation (when produced by accident), despite being identical in all other details.
Zombies: These are the most basic enemy in the game, and actually straddle the line between B.O.W and irregular mutation; the zombifying element of the T-Virus was an intended by-product, but usually when you encounter zombies, they're the result of an accident leak rather than a deliberate B.O.W strike. Zombies are only produced by the T-Virus, although some T-derivatives have equivalent creatures. They're your fairly basic shamblers; they're slow, mindless, rotbags. Shoot them enough, and they'll go down. They can be killed with enough trauma in general, but headshots put them down much more efficiently.
- Crimson Head: Only seen in the 2002 REmake of RE1, Crimson Heads are zombies that have been subjected to massive trauma, but which had their bodies left relatively intact (ie: you didn't kneecap them, blow their heads off, or burn them). As a result, the T-Virus kicks in and mutates them into a faster-moving, more aggressive form distinguished by its blood-infused crimson skin and its elongated claws.
- Green Zombie: Introduced in Outbreak: File 2, Green Zombies have been infested by a parasitic T-virus-infected plant. This causes flowers to grow from their heads which spew toxic pollen at potential prey.
- C Zombie: Zombie created from exposure to the C-Virus. Slightly smarter (enough to swing objects as clubs) and faster, but also more fragile than their T-Virus counterparts.
- Ivy Zombie: Only appears in the RE2make. Corpse infested by parasitic seedlings of mutant Plant 43. Can be stunned temporarily by destroying large yellow growths on body, but can only be killed by burning them.
- Ooze: The zombies created by exposure to T-Abyss; these horrors are drastically more mutated than standard zombies, and have the ability to squeeze through surprisingly narrow spaces. Rather than flesh-eaters, they're blood-drinkers, seeking to suck victims dry of bodily fluids via hideous leech-like tongues.
- Afflicted: The result of experiments with the T-Phobos virus, the Afflicted are less "zombies" and more "hideously mutilated homicidally insane lunatics driven crazy with pain and fear". Thus, they act a lot like Ganados or Majini. If they die, they can come back as more standard zombie-like creatures referred to as The Rotten.
Tyrants: The ultimate super-soldier product intended to be created with the T-Virus, but very few people are sufficiently genetically compatible. Generally resemble tall, hulking humanoids with impossibly solid musculature and oversized claws, although it depends a lot on the specific model.
- T-001: The Prototype Tyrant, the very first ever produced and thus the most visibly flawed. One hand has partially begun transforming into the trademark claw. Its spinal cord has been exposed by necrosis, resulting in considerably higher vulnerability compared to later Tyrants - this is the only Tyrant to have ever been taken down completely with small arms fire.
- T-002: The Test-Type Tyrant, more successful than its T-001 predecessor, though still horribly mutilated. This was the Tyrant seen in Resident Evil 1, so it's arguably the most iconic Tyrant of them all, at least for the older fans. It's tough enough that it requires anti-tank ordinance to destroy (though the REmake gives it the ability to swat aside rockets with its distinctive claw). Unusually, it actually has three hearts, to the later models' two.
- T-103: The Production Model Tyrant, aka "Mr. X". This is the one introduced in RE2 and which was the base model for all of the other official Tyrants seen in subsequent games, so to slightly younger fans, this is probably the most iconic Tyrant. Exactly what its purpose is varies from source to source (presumably due to it being the first properly "controllable" and versatile Tyrant), with some having Umbrella deploy these as front-line super-soldiers and others (like the REmake) having them as Terminator-like assassins tracking down specific targets.
- T-078: A bit of an odd duck among Tyrants, this T-103 was created without a limiter coat to see what would happen. The result was basically a T-103 Super Tyrant with blunted claws, moderate intelligence, and no exposed heart. For some incomprehensible reason, he actually has a dick in his concept art (albeit one that's visibly fused to his abdomen) unlike literally every other Tyrant (who tend more toward the "Barbie Doll Anatomy" school of design). Mildly infamous for dying far more easily than other Tyrants (being shot repeatedly, then hit with a crate and tossed into the sea from a plane) and for the minor clusterfuck around its name on the official wiki (it was variously called the "T-103 Mass Production Model" despite never appearing anywhere else and the T-078 - which is actually its batch number.)
- T-091: You remember how we said the t+G Virus failed the first time around? This poor bastard is how they found that out. It was pretty weak by Tyrant standards, lacking the usual claws and even arms in favour of tentacles and having a heart that stuck out of its back; unsurprisingly, the protagonist of Dead Aim pretty swiftly disposed of it after a brief gun battle.
- Nemesis: A T-103 infected with the NE-Alpha Parasite for use as a super-powered assassin. Even smarter and more dangerous than the vanilla T-103, to the point where he can pull stunts like actually operating weapons such as rocket launchers (original) and flamethrowers (REmake), or survive being shot with a small army's worth of munitions before having most of his body melted off with chemicals specifically designed to dispose of B.O.Ws. Also the only proper Tyrant known to speak, even if it was only a single word (say it with me now: S.T.A.R.S!).
- Ivan: A more advanced T-103 sub-model specifically engineered to pass as human, created for use as bodyguards to powerful Umbrella executives such as Sergei Vladmir (the original genetic template for the T-103). Only two of them appeared throughout the series, looking like grey-skinned T-103s with white coats and a cool set of red/blue wrap-around visors. Both of them were fought and killed in a two-on-one battle against Wesker during The Umbrella Chronicles.
- T-011/Tyrant-Armored Lethal Organic System: One of the recurring problems with the basic Tyrant model was that they were pretty rubbish against enemy vehicles, especially aircraft. So, they decided the only sane and rational thing to do was take a Tyrant, hook it up to a mind-controlling super-computer, stuff it into a suit of Power Armor, and give it a rapid-fire multiple rocket launcher outfitted with heat-seeking missiles. Absolutely none of this is made up. The T-A.L.O.S only appears in the rail shooter The Umbrella Chronicles, where it is promptly taken down by Chris and Jill, killing Umbrella off for good.
- Bandersnatch: A failed attempt to create a cheaper alternative to the Tyrant, characterized by only possessing a single arm, which is basically a giant hand on a tentacle, allowing them to reach out and kill you from a room's length away. Visually, they look like a human whose modeller forgot to thin their paints. Overall, they're much weaker than your standard Tyrant - unfortunately for you, they often hunt in pairs or trios...
- Hypnos-T Type: A T-103 derivative intended for "greater ferocity". Draws its name from the "Hypnos gene" vital to its creation (along with a hormone harvested from the brains of teenagers while they were still conscious), which promoted natural selection in the Tyrant's cells to accelerate its evolution. Mostly unmemorable beyond having blue skin for some reason and three different forms (trading intelligence or brute force each time) to the typical boss-Tyrant's two.
- Thanatos: T-103-derived experimental model with an emphasis on killing shit over mass production; unlike the T-103 it was based on, it looked like an African American Tyrant in a speedo (for some reason). It showed a surprising level of intelligence for a Tyrant (being capable of following orders in a similar fashion to the Nemesis), and had a couple unique features - a metal cage around its exposed secondary heart and the ability to resist the otherwise-fatal effects of the anti-T-Virus drug "Daylight" (though the latter ability is only shown in one of the game's special Bad Ends).
- Tyrant R: One of Umbrella's early forays into intelligent Tyrants, Tyrant R was fitted with cybernetics that allowed it to be "programmed" to complete certain missions, similar to Nemesis. Unfortunately for Umbrella, it ended up becoming self-aware, killed the researcher who activated it (preventing a bomb implanted in its neck as a failsafe from going off), and ran off into Raccoon City to menace a group of survivors before being attacked by another B.O.W. and finished off by Ada Wong.
- Unknown: Damnation featured these guys; they look cool as all hell and are apparently T-103 derivatives. Notably, they're both fucking huge even by Tyrant standards (officially about 4.3 meters tall; for comparison, Lady "Step on Me!" Dimitrescu is 2.9 meters tall when in heels, while Nemesis and the standard T-103 are roughly 2.1 to 2.4 meters tall. These bois are big indeed!) and retain a surprising level of intelligence when transformed into their (normally much dumber) Super Tyrant forms, doing things such as catching an RPG's rocket, turning it around, then letting it go at such an angle that it falls right next to the poor bastard firing it.
Hunters: Human/reptile genetic fusions made possible through the T-Virus, created as living weapons. Incredibly intelligent by B.O.W standards (near-human intelligence to everyone else), these predators possess thick armour-like scaly hides, razor-sharp claws, and powerful muscles.
- Alpha: The original Hunter model, and the most famous, debuting in the original Resident Evil 1. They're generally considered, in-universe and out, to be Umbrella's most successful B.O.W line due to their versatile nature and distinctive image.
- Beta: Appearing in RE3, Betas were a failed attempt to improve on the Alpha, resulting in a faster, tougher, but physically weaker and almost blind creature covered in hideous tumours and sporting a disproportionately large left forearm. The RE3make features a heavily redesigned version of them - they've lost the tumours but retained their weird arm and a toned-down version of their poor eyesight, while gaining a Predator-style mouth and a nasty one-hit-kill attack (made even more painful by their ability to rapidly sidestep around bullets).
- Gamma: An attempt to fuse human genes into a frog, as opposed to adding lizard DNA to a human embryo. Gammas were regarded as a failure because they remained moisture dependent; like their froggy cousins, they die if they get too dry. They debuted in the original RE3 (where they looked kind of goofy), and were given an incredibly effective redesign in the RE3make that clearly builds on what came before. Also, according to a file in the RE3make, they're not mindless killing machines; they're territorial predators, yes, but they can recognize their trainers and handlers, and are actually friendly towards them. That's even why you encounter them in the sewers in the 3make; their handler was supposed to destroy them after word came from above that they were considered a failed product, but he couldn't bring himself to do it and bribed a sewer-keeper into letting a few Hunter Gammas nest down there.
- Delta: Another Hunter variant, and probably the one with the least written about it. Literally all we know is it exists (having appeared in one obscure manga that served as a prequel to The Umbrella Chronicles) and looks like a standard Alpha model with slightly bigger spikes on its back. Some fan speculation is that they are/were Alphas enhanced in some way to keep up with B.O.W tech advances since the days of the first Hunters, though exactly how (better hitting power, more durability, the ability to breed independently, etc.) is a matter of contention.
- R: The Alpha's intended successor, with the "R" possibly standing for "Rho". They were notably smaller and weaker than the Alpha model, but supposedly had a much greater level of pack instinct that allowed them to coordinate with one another and bring targets down through force of numbers. The Rs were wiped out during their debut game when the Tyrant R (whom they were originally meant to test in battle) was reprogrammed and unleashed upon them; what little of them remained were mopped up by survivors, and production of the Rs ceased entirely following the Raccoon City Incident and Umbrella's subsequent bankruptcy.
- Mu: Midget Hunter Rs. No, seriously. Their models are about waist-high next to the survivors, but they have about the same force and durability as the R-model. Their backstory is little expanded upon, but amounts to being an attempt at creating a smaller, more transportable Hunter. Like the Rs, they were all killed off in their debut game and never really mentioned again.
- Elite: Another Hunter model, intended to surpass the other members of the Hunter lines. They actually lacked claws on their right hand, which was more dexterous as a result, and supposedly boasted a greater level of strength and agility next to their counterparts. Then they all died during the events of Dead Aim.
- Sweeper: A Hunter with venomous claws. Officially designed to "sweep" through attacked areas and mop up anything the usual B.O.Ws failed to find and kill. Pretty forgettable overall, due to basically being a palette-swapped Hunter Alpha with a poisonous version of its normal attacks.
- Farfarello: A Hunter infected with T-Abyss, which makes it amphibious and somehow able to turn invisible for short periods of time (the official reason being that T-Abyss gave them the ability to mimic certain deep-sea creatures' camouflaging abilities). They were much more aggressive than standard Hunters, to the point where they had a nasty tendency of killing their own handlers if not sedated heavily in transit.
- Hunter II: Hunter Alphas that decided to get hench, with a cool cyborg eye implant that let them track down specific targets when paired with a robotic spotter unit. Unusually, they were actually made by Umbrella's unnamed rival company, and are noticeably bigger and more intelligent than their progenitor.
- Glimmer: Frog-like irregular mutants with several glowing red eyes. These things were accidentally created at an Umbrella B.O.W. disposal facility, implicitly due to some kind of mutation on the Hunter Gamma, and ended up being rendered extinct in their debut game.
Zombie Animals: Any animal infected with the T-Virus becomes an insanely aggressive carnivore, typically sporting necrosis in a similar manner to a zombie. A significant minority of infected animals also grow to unnatural sizes, a lingering remnant of the Progenitor virus. Some of the more iconic critters that have shown up in the series are zombie dogs, zombie crows, and giant zombie spiders, which can range from "the size of a really big dog" (common enemies) to "bigger than a car" (bosses). The list of one-off giant bosses is incredibly long and takes up a major part of the series' bestiary, including but not limited to: giant zombie snakes, giant zombie sharks, giant zombie scorpions, giant zombie centipedes, and a giant zombie elephant.
Mutant Leeches: It's telling the kind of games that the RE series are that three different forms of mutant leeches have shown up over the series.
- Marcus Leeches: The original mutant leeches, these are leeches infected with Progenitor Virus who subsequently incubated inside the decaying corpse of their creator. They are hive-minded predators, more than capable of killing enemies in a swarm of horrific sluggy bodies with giant toothy mouths in their underbellies, but their preferred tactic is to twist themselves into a repulsive mockery of a humanoid form that eats bullets and can beat a man to death with a few blows of their elongated whip-like arms. Oh, and if critically injured, they explode like acid-stuffed grenades. Kill it with fire.
- Leech Man: Another swarm-hunting strain of infected leeches, this one appeared in Resident Evil: Outbreak. What distinguishes them from Marcus Leeches is that they can parasitize the corpses of those they kill and use them as ridiculously tanky zombies to take on prey. Once again, kill it with fire.
- Giant Leeches: These are just leeches grown to the size of a good-sized car. Resident Evil: Outbreak features them in the sewers.
Licker: One of the most iconic monsters to appear in Resident Evil 2, lickers resemble flayed humans twisted into quadrupedal predators, with removed skullcaps exposing their brains, giant claws for hands and feet, mouths full of oversized fangs, and their iconic elongated tongues, which can cut and stab like whip-swords. For the longest time, nobody was sure if they were some kind of mutant abomination, or if they were a B.O.W experiment; Capcom finally declared that zombies which are particularly compatible with the T-Virus will ultimately evolve into lickers. One of the things the RE2make has justifiably earned praise for is its efforts to capture the intimidating nature of lickers on next-gen graphical hardware; they are creepy sons of bitches.
- Evolved Licker: A variant of the Licker with green skin and Tyranid-style single scything claws appears in the lab section of the original game. They're somewhat more resilient to gunfire than the standard Licker due to having tougher skin, but are otherwise pretty much just a re-skinned (hur hur) Licker.
- Licker Beta: Facing high demand for the Lickers on the black market, Tricell (the BBEG of RE5) decided to infect regular Lickers with a strain of the Progenitor Virus. The good news is that it didn't really do much, beyond giving them a slightly better sense of smell and an exposed heart to aim at. The bad news it that these fuckers can now breed, meaning that they're bloody reanimated corpses screwing each other to create new reanimated bloodied corpses to screw YOU.
Ivy: During the original Mansion Incident, the S.T.A.R.S survivors fought "Plant 42", a common houseplant in the bunkhouse that had mutated into a giant man-eater after its roots were exposed to T-Virus-laced water. Apparently, news on this got back to Umbrella, so they tried to weaponize it; officially called "Plant 43s", Ivys are carnivorous plants injected with a cocktail of the T-Virus and human DNA, resulting in humanoid killer plants that can actively hunt you down. They're slow, but they are tough.
Chimera: Chimeras, featured in Resident Evil 1, were an experiment in combining human and insect DNA to create a Hunter-like organism. To create them, human embryos were injected with a cocktail of T-Virus and bug genes, then implanted in the wombs of kidnapped homeless women to incubate. Whilst fast, aggressive, highly mobile and armed with lethal claws, Chimeras were also mindless beasts, and considered a failure. You find them in the final lab section of RE1. The Chimeras of RE1 are human/fly hybrids; a variant based on a human/spider hybrid was intended for RE2, and can be fought in the "RE 1.5" prototype game, but was cut from the final development model.
Drain Deimos & Brain Sucker: Resident Evil 3 features the Drain Deimos, a flea infected by consuming T-virus-laden blood that has mutated into a man-sized, vaguely humanoid horror, as a kind of counterpart to the Chimera. They are fast, agile, and surprisingly tough, but fortunately only encountered in a few parts of the game. The Brain Sucker is a mutated Drain Deimos that has five arms and two heads, as well as a poisonous bite. In the RE3make, only Drain Deimos are encountered, now with a horrific new ability to implant eggs in victims by sticking a tentacle down their throats. If the victim doesn't eat a Green Herb quickly, the bugs will hatch and tear out through their stomach.
Cleaners: Probably one of Umbrella's weirdest and least-utilized B.O.Ws, intended to 'clean up' messes left by outbreaks implicating them. They're ape-like humanoids wearing full-body black suits and gas masks, capable of actually wielding and effectively using firearms, though they require a human field commander to direct them. Despite their apparent usefulness in cleaning up Umbrella-caused outbreaks (being intelligent enough to use firearms with accuracy, but subservient enough not to go rogue while requiring minimal personnel on the field with them), they never appeared again after their debut in Gun Survivor.
Nyx: Featured in Outbreak, it looks like a goddamn Shoggoth that somehow ended up in the Resident Evil series. That's not an exaggeration, either: its entire body is basically a mass of amoeba-like goop and tentacles (with a central core, of course) that absorbs anything too close to it (like zombies, UBCS mercs, and in one scenario, the Tyrant R,) before using their biomass to grow. Strangely, it was never seen or mentioned after Outbreak despite the relative ease of fitting it into canon (Outbreak doesn't majorly contradict mainstream lore, and as Nyx is fought in only one scenario, it's easy to envision it never escaping containment and being retrieved).
Ganados & Majini: The Zombie equivalents for Resident Evils 4 and 5 respectively, the result of infecting humans with Las Plagas. They have a zombie-like durability and fearlessness, but still retain enough human intelligence to use at least simple weapons and basic tactics, making fighting them much more unpredictable. Both varieties will use different weapons depending on the area where you encounter them, and can spawn secondary Plaga-based enemies to fight which, again, largely depends on the area where you encounter them.
Regeneradors: An experiment in creating the Las Plagas equivalent of a Tyrant. As their name implies (it's Spanish for "Regenerator"), Regeneradors constantly regrow severed limbs and heal gaping wounds in rapid time. The only way to easily kill them is to use a sniper rifle outfitted with a thermal scope to deliver accurate shots to the multiple engineered Plagas infesting their bodies which give them this ability. A variant called the Iron Maiden bristles with spikes that it extends from its body, preferring to impale its victims on these spikes as opposed to simply ripping them apart with its gaping maw filled with jagged fangs like the standard Regenerador. Considered by many to be the only true contender against the Licker for position of "most creepy enemy in Resident Evil".
J'Avo: Infected by injection with the C-Virus, J'avo are the Ganado/Majini replacement for RE6. Aside from being smarter than Ganados, at least to the point they can all wield guns, the main trick up a J'avo's sleeve is that it can mutate in response to injury. Most commonly, this results in the bodypart you've been shooting morphing into a random form - a torso may develop bulletproof armor plating or swell up into a living bomb, an arm may be become a shield, a grappling tentacle or a giant sickle claw, stuff like that. This inevitably causes their body temperature to rise, and results in a dying J'Avo exploding into flames and burning to death.
Complete Mutation: What happens when a J'avo gets badly wounded, but doesn't die and explode into flames. They briefly harden into a slimy cocoon, in which their boy is broken down and then rapidly mutated into something much different and often utterly inhuman:
- Napad: Big, angry brutes that look like skinless gorillas covered in bony armour; they leak steam all over the place due to their horrendously high body temperature causing its water to evaporate. They're focused on lumbering toward you and then punching your face until it stops looking like a face (just in case them literally being called "Assault" didn't get that across). Thing is, all that armour doesn't mean shit if you can get behind them with a shotgun or similarly high-powered weapon, since they have a vulnerable, fleshy weakspot on their back.
- Strelac: The bastard child of a frilled lizard and a machine gun, which runs around shooting numerous fragments of its own bones at you. They're fast and surprisingly durable against firearms, but they break hard if you can melee them, creating a somewhat amusing situation when the big, bad, scary abomination against nature can be taken down by sliding into it and then kicking it as hard as possible.
- Mesec: An ornithophobe's worst nightmare crossed with an arachnophobe's bad dreams. Looks like a creepy, zombified crow-spider hybrid, and specialises in ambushing people by flying over them, then diving down to claw at them or pick them up and drop them from high in the air. They're also weirdly vulnerable to flash grenades, for some reason.
- Gnezdo: BEEEEEES!, the B.O.W. They consist of a swarm of insects surrounding a central "Queen", formed into a a shape vaguely resembling a female humanoid (strangely enough, this applies even if the host was a dude). Taking out the Queen takes out the Gnezdo. Despite seeming kind of weird as an enemy, they're easily one of the most dangerous enemies in RE6 courtesy of their ability to swarm together and drain your health fast while you struggle to damage them enough to expose the central core.
- Lepotica: A creation even many a /d/eviant would be hard-pressed to appreciate, resembling a human woman covered in numerous sagging, breastlike sacs that leak an airborne version of the C-Virus, turning anything nearby into a zombie; if you get too close, it will grab and proceed to tongue-hockey you to death (potentially resurrecting you as a zombie afterwards) unless you break free. In a moment of intentional irony, its name comes from the Serbian for "feminine beauty". (Also, the name is pronounced Lepo-ti-ts-a, not Lepo-tic-a. Just in case you didn't get the second meaning.)
- Ubistvo: Khornate Berserker: the B.O.W. This thing has an organic chainsaw for an arm, powered by its own heart and is literally called "Murder", just in case you had any doubts as to its purpose. One of RE6's two Nemesis-expies (alongside Ustanak), menacing Ada, Sherry, and Jake for a significant length of time (though it certainly dies faster than Ustanak). Unlike most specially-manufactured B.O.Ws, who can (usually) be controlled to some extent, he's completely off his fucking rocker to the point where Neo-Umbrella's way of deploying him amounts to "Point at the enemy, then sit back and let it kill everything in sight."
Ogroman: Another C-Virus B.O.W. This guy looks like a fuckoff-huge Giant crossed with an Ogre, and (thanks to a design flaw and rushed deployment) has a very large cable connected to its heart and organs sticking out of its back. Three guesses as to what its weak point is? Notably, the Ogroman is one of the few B.O.Ws where the heroes can't beat him with their usual guns - they have to weaken it via an airstrike and artillery first, and even that just brings it down to the level where they can hit its weak points (by pulling its spinal rod and organs out, then shooting the exposed heart and organs) until it dies.
Brzak: Big, scary bull shark-like mutant that used to be human. Pretty much exists purely to show off RE6's use of QTEs (seriously, the only non-QTE parts of its battle have you shooting at its weak point, and then shooting an explosive barrel in slo-mo to one-hit-kill it) and to display the extreme body horror that the C-Virus can cause. In something of a twist on the usual B.O.W. concept, it was pretty much an elaborate garbage disposal mechanism as opposed to an actual weapon, with its introductory file detailing researchers feeding several computers and corpses to it to get rid of incriminating evidence.
Iluzija: You remember Yawn, from way back in the original games? Meet his younger, scarier brother. It looks like a zombified eyeless snake big enough to eat a guy in one bite, and can turn near-invisible by secreting a strange light-refracting liquid across its scales (in a rare case of the whole "Required Secondary Powers" issue being addressed, it's explained that it 'sees' through body heat, like some real-world snakes). Oh, and it's near immune to bullets, though you can shoot its mouth to really hurt the bastard. Notable for being much truer to the "Survival Horror" aspect of the game than the "Action Horror/Shooty shooty bang bang ha ha QTE" bits - it takes place in a dark labyrinth of bedrooms and corridors, with the semi-invisible Iluzija constantly sneaking around taunting, leading you on, or springing out of the dark to ambush you and your teammate(s).
Rasklapanje: Resident Evil's leech-based B.O.Ws make a triumphant return with this creepy bastard - it's essentially a human corpse puppeted by a leech-like mutant, with the added caveats that it's almost as durable as a goddamn Regenerador (if not even more so!) and can split its body into several independently-moving parts. They're borderline unkillable outside of scripted events (as the leech just leaves to infest another corpse when you shoot its current one enough); unless you're fast with a really high-damage weapon and hit both vital parts of its dismembered body, the most you can do is permanently destroy certain body parts through extreme methods (such as dumping its hands in a meat grinder, flushing them down a toilet, or chucking them into a vat of molten metal).
Ustanak: Nemesis Mark 2: Cybernetics Boogaloo. Looks kind of like a bargain-bin T-103 (having a weird vest-like thing and a fucked up face in place of the coat and fedora) with an interchangeable cybernetic arm (notable attachments including a claw, a shitload of drills, a flail, a cage, and a fucking Gatling gun) and downright insane durability. He and his creator, Carla Radames, had some kind of weird parent-child thing going on in their backstory, with notes implying Ustanak's reason for continuing to hunt Jake and Sherry down after Neo-Umbrella dies is because he's pissed they killed his "mother". He's one of the two Nemesis-expies in RE6, alongside Ubistvo, menacing Jake and Sherry throughout their campaign before finally being killed in a climatic battle.
HAOS: Neo-Umbrella's final "FUCK YOU!" to the world. A fucking huge centipede-cephalopod-humanoid thing that's essentially a Lepotica on steroids, with its purpose being to spread the gaseous C-Virus across the entire planet, collapsing society and reducing the world to a zombie-ridden hellhole. It's the final boss of Chris and Piers' campaign, where it wakes up at 70.8% completion, rampages around Neo-Umbrella's underwater laboratory, and proceeds to eat shit and die at the hands of Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans (though it admittedly puts up a hell of a fight and causes a seriously tear-jerking moment between Chris and Piers at the very end of its battle).
Lycans: The new default enemy for RE8, the Lycans are bestial, hair-covered humanoids with vaguely wolflike features (more Universal Films' Wolfman than the classic pseudo-furry werewolf). They function most similarly to Ganados or Majini, being surprisingly fast and agile as well as using basic tactics to coordinate against Ethan. Though they happily wield weapons, they're equally happy to just attack with their fangs and claws. Infected with a parasite called "Cadou", they can spread it through wounds, and the fact Ethan never gets infected actually turns into a plot point. There's some variant lycans, including lycans in crude armor that needs to be blown apart to make them vulnerable, and two Lycan mini-bosses; the brothers Uriaș and his big brother Uriaș Străjer.
Moroaicǎ: Shambling zombie-like creatures found in Castle Dimitrescu, the Cadou-reanimated victims of Lady Dimitrescu and her daughters. Similar to the C-Zombies, they clumsily wield melee weapons, but also try to grab Ethan and rip his throat out with their teeth. They have a winged variant called the Samcă, which are basically bat-like zombie gargoyles.
Soldat: Special creations of Karl Heisenburg, the Soldat are Cadou zombies augmented with cybernetic implants, and come in varying degrees of cyborg, to the point that the most powerful, the Panzer, basically just looks like a killer robot made out of drills and scrap metal. Their prototype Sturm is even more extreme, being nothing more than an aircraft engine attached to a pair of legs.
Hauler: Soldat 1.0. They're basically male Moroaicǎ, armed with scrap-metal axes and wearing a head-implant that gives them rudimentary intelligence; they'lll just move toward you and try to hit you with their axe.
One peculiar thing about Resident Evil's menagerie of horrors is that you rarely see female enemies. Female bosses, sure, but female mooks? Only RE2, RE3 and RE6 have female zombies. In RE4 and RE5, only the initial "Village" section of the game features female plaga hosts. In Revelations, female victims of T-Abyss become "sea creepers", which are only seen in the flooded areas and far outnumbered by the standard "ooze" enemies... although, in fairness, oozes are so mutated it's anybody's guess what they were beforehand, although you still fight a recognizably female ooze as a boss. RE8 also gives us what is implied to be an entirely female "mook" creature in the Moroaicǎ, although they don't really look like women any more.
You can find material for running RE games under All Flesh Must Be Eaten here: http://thegraveyard.xtreemhost.com/resievilselect.html?ckattempt=1
For all you GMs wanting to indulge your mad scientist side, someone cooked up a table for generating B.O.Ws and mutants inspired by RE.