The History Of Resident Evil

Article: Resi for dummies (or in case you'd just forgot)

Resident Evil 5 lands in stores this Friday (March 13) and we're excited. You should be too. As part of all the promotion and hype surrounding its launch Capcom sent us a 'history of' feature to help us understand why we've been shooting zombies in the face for the last ten years.

It's a pretty big read and we haven't changed a word. We've just made it look nice for the internet. So if it's wrong, don't shoot the messenger...

To watch exclusive Resident Evil 5 footage, click here for our daily countdown to the Friday 13 launch


In 1996 Capcom released Resident Evil to great critical acclaim. Lauded for its cinematic quality graphics and sound, impressively rendered backgrounds and the very real ability to scare, it was the start of one of the most successful game franchises in computer game history.


Created by Shinji Mikami, the game set the benchmark for future action-adventure games and also created a new genre - Survival Horror. To date the franchise has spanned across a series of six titles and five different platforms, selling over 35 million copies worldwide.

The franchise has also broken into other areas of media including Resident Evil comic books, action figures, a live Resident Evil Mansion attraction and three movies.


Release: 1996
Platform: PSone


  • Chris Redfield
  • Jill Valentine
  • Albert Wesker
  • Barry Burton
  • Rebecca Chambers

It all began in 1996 when Resident Evil hit the new PlayStation console. At the time of the title's release, it was lauded as the best 3D adventure game ever. Impressively rendered backgrounds, unprecedented cinematic quality in graphics and sound, and the rare ability to provide very real tension and genuine scares.

Borrowing stock horror-movie elements such as flesh-hungry zombies and mutated creatures and featuring a story that changed depending on how the game was played, the game quickly became a favourite of players and lead to the creation of a new genre: survival horror. Resident Evil became a best seller and is now part of the PlayStation's Platinum series, and every new instalment of the game has been met with high anticipation, huge sales, and no small amount of praise.

In a Midwestern US town called Raccoon City strange reports come in from locals about missing people and unusual sightings of doglike monsters. After the remains of a mangled woman, bearing wounds that seem to have been inflicted by a wolf or grizzly bear, are fished out of the river, local police barricade the entrance to the mountain road, and Raccoon City's own S.T.A.R.S. (Special Tactics and Rescue Squad) is informed of the situation.

S.T.A.R.S. unit Bravo Team is sent to investigate the situation, but a helicopter engine failure leads to all contact being lost with the group. Alpha Team is sent in to investigate the forest area, locate and rescue Bravo Team members, and bring the situation under control. However, when the team lands, it is suddenly attacked by a pack of grotesque dogs. Abandoned by their terrified helicopter pilot, the remaining members of Alpha Team are chased to a nearby mansion. It transpires that hideous experiments have taken place here and a virus has been released that turns people into the living dead...


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