Whenever an artistic medium dares to cheat on its loyal fanbase by scurrying over to another, anger and thinkpieces likely follow. Technology has amped up an uncanny-valley-sort of realism in video games. Movies have added more CGI to its blockbuster spectacles and animation. Thus, the previously distinct media have drawn blurrier lines with consumers none too pleased.
When Resident Evil originally hit the shelves in 1996, the term “survival-horror” was born. Though there were other darkly-themed experiences, such as Clock Tower, Resident Evil became known as the ultimate horror-gaming experience, with elements missing from the competition such as complicated puzzles, mysterious conspiracies, and most importantly, some genuine scares.
When Resident Evil arrived on the scene in 1996, it changed horror gaming forever. The almost unheard of genre known as survival-horror exploded into the stratosphere as one of the industry’s greatest success stories, and one of gaming’s most well-known franchises was born. Even as the original title was a fantastically unique and incredibly frightening experience though, it also had a shortlist of readily apparent problems. From the meme-worthy cheese of the voice-acting and dialogue to the ill-advised live-action opening at the game’s outset, Resident Evil in its first iteration lacked the confidence and clarity of vision to reach the true heights it was capable of. All of that would change in 1998.
You know, there was a time, about 15 years ago, when this whole Resident Evil idea was pretty damn exciting. Sure, Alone in the Dark had already pioneered the survival horror thing, but it was Resident Evil that had ironed out its kinks and presented it to the mainstream in a package which they would hopelessly devour like the ravenous creatures that they were.