Resident Evil (1996)

Video Game   |  Action, Adventure, Horror

Resident Evil (1996) Poster

The RPD are investigating strange cannibalized corpses on the outskirts of the city. The Alpha squad, Jill and Chris, are sent to locate missing team members. While there, mutated dogs cause them to flee into a supposedly abandoned mansion.


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26 January 2015 | eddie052010
| You have to play this game.
Time is an enemy. This is a saying that can apply to a lot of things, as it means different things to different people and things. One area it definitely applies to is video games. This is due to how many games, despite being innovative and brilliant during their heyday, can age rather poorly. This is due to how many games improve on the established formula to a point where the original becomes essentially obsolete (i.e. the original Street Fighter), or relied on a gimmick or hook (its level or violence for example) that made them popular when they initially released but aren't much good removed from that original context (i.e Splatterhouse, arguably the original Mortal Kombat). Luckily, this isn't the case with the original Resident Evil. Despite some flaws here and there, the game has aged supremely well and its gameplay is still quite fun even to this day.

The plot of the game is that a group called STARS are investigating a bizarre series of cannibalistic murders outside of Raccoon City. While there however, they are attacked by a group of zombie dogs and flee to the nearest shelter: a seemingly abandoned mansion. However when they arrive, not all is what it seems, as strange monsters start to attack the remaining members and many of the members go missing. Now it is up to the player character to survive this terror and escape.

The plot maybe minimalist (so much so that it is forgotten about for large chunks of the game) but the game makes up for it in atmosphere. There is a strong sense of isolation and helplessness as the player, due to lack of resources and support, making the game a more intense experience. At points, it does make the game a lot more cryptic than it needs to be, but for the most part it still works in making you more immersed in the game's world.

It also helps that the game plays very well too. Despite sometimes awkward tank-like controls, the game runs at a good pace and is quite fun too, whether you are killing monsters or solving puzzles, with the former being the most frequent throughout the game, and thanks to a variant number of creatures and weapons, it never gets old and despite how later in the game some of the enemies start to regenerate, it is usually is fun to fight these foes. The puzzle solving aspect of the game is also quite good as well, with many of the puzzles being the right level of though in order to be enjoyable, but still fairly challenging as well.

The game's locations are also very detailed and encourages a lot of exploring. Sure the game isn't too huge and is limited in terms of scope , (which to be fair considering how this is a franchise starter) but there is enough in the game that is interesting and you will be curious to look around all around this game's world to find every nook and cranny around the area, which can be very rewarding as you can find many helpful items this way.

The sound design is also excellent. Many of the creatures sound menacing and make them more intimidating, motivating you to kill them as soon as possible, and for the most part, the music is pure brilliance, helping to up the game's creepy atmosphere and at certain points (like when you go into a save room or at the end credits) can be strangely calming as it makes a nice change of pace and tone from the intense action.

Is everything in this game perfect? No, considering how some aspects of the game hasn't aged very well. It isn't just the dreadful voice acting and poor live action sequences, as the graphics haven't aged greatly either. Some of the gameplay aspects are weak as well. The game can be too cryptic sometimes, the tank controls can take some time to get used to for new players & the bosses are very easy, as they usually consist of the same tactics: circle strafing and constantly shooting at it with a rocket launcher will put the creatures out of their misery, which does drain some of the tension and threat when you face them. To be honest, some of the game's regular enemies are harder to kill than these bosses.

Despite those problems, the original Resident Evil has aged very well and stands out as not only one of the best of its genre, but one of the best video games of all time. Fun, tension-filled and always a joy to play, the original Resident Evil is flawed, but it has more than enough polish and great aspects to it that make up for this in spades. If you haven't played this game yet, I would definitely recommend it to you, as it is a true masterclass in survival horror and it is one of the best video games of all time.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


The horror film Sweet Home (1989), its spin-off game Sweet Home (1989) and the game Alone in the Dark (1992) were credited by creator Shinji Mikami as the main inspirations for this first game in the Resident Evil series. Sweet Home and Alone in the Dark are both about a group of people entering a haunted mansion (albeit haunted by supernatural entities or occult monsters rather than genetically engineered abominations). Other influences that Mikami has acknowledged are Night of the Living Dead (1968), Dawn of the Dead (1978) and The Shining (1980).


Chris Redfield: Alpha Team is flying around the forest zone situated in North-west Raccoon City, where we are searching for the helicopter of our compatriots, Bravo Team, who disappeared during the middle of our mission. Bizarre murder cases have recently occurred ...


In the beginning of Jill's scenario, Barry gives Jill a lock pick, claiming her to be an expert in using one. However, it is described in the game manual that Barry is an ex-SWAT team member, who are trained to use lock picks in various properties.

Crazy Credits

Gameplay footage of each playable character is used while the credits roll, but is only available when you play the game that ends with the mansion blowing up.

Alternate Versions

A few months before the release of the sequel, Capcom issued a new version of the game known as the "Director's Cut", which contained an "Arrange" mode in addition to the original game. The Arranged Mode allowed the player to experience the game with different camera angles in some areas, new costumes for the main characters (including Rebecca), different item and enemy placement and a new monster in the game. A later version of Director's Cut, known as the "Dual Shock version", contained vibration and analog support for Sony's Dual Shock controller, as well as a new soundtrack composed by Mamoru Samuragoch. The Japanese release included a bonus disc known as the "Complete Disc" (in the place of the Biohazard 2 demo), which contained downloadable save data and gameplay footage from the scrapped version of Biohazard 2.


Moonlight Sonata
Written by
Ludwig van Beethoven


Plot Summary

Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Action | Adventure | Horror | Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller


Release Date:

25 September 1997


English, Japanese

Country of Origin


Filming Locations


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