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Resident Evil turns 25

Game News Resident Evil celebrates 25 years On March 22, 1996, the horror game that changed the life of its creator Shinji Mikami landed in Japan, but also in ours. Bio Hazard or Resident Evil in our regions has indeed messed up our little habits as gamers. If he has not invented the genre of survival horror, it is he who gives him his letters of nobility and manages to enforce it. To remember the good old days when the Cerberus smashed the windows, we return to the Spencer mansion with pointed hats and party favors. Do not go!

Survival horror under the influence

Resident Evil was originally thought of as a spiritual sequel to Sweet Home, a terrifying role-playing game produced by Capcom in 1989 in an old building with supernatural creatures. Originally, Resident Evil was meant to be a first person title. After Mikami discovered Alone in the Dark, the adventure game by Frédérick Raynal, which is considered the forerunner of the survival horror, he decides to use the same process as that of the Infogrames teams, namely pre-calculated 3D sets in real time 3D protagonists are lost. Compared to Alone in the Dark, Capcom’s work offers a more sustained narrative and involves many clashes. Compared to Sweet Home, Resident Evil strictly forgets about supernatural elements (like ghosts). Nourished by influences of all kinds, be it video games or films, Shinji Mikami builds his game under pain. It went so far as to completely restart its development after a first version that was below expectations, which did not overwhelm the company’s management teams in Osaka. The development of Mikami and his young team of around thirty years took two years and three months people deliver the very first Resident Evil. If that production time seems ridiculous today, it was considered important back then. Therefore, Bio Hazard came to Japan on March 22nd, 1996. Despite the doubts from Capcom Studios manager Yoshiki Okamoto who thought the players would hate the maneuverability as well as the lack of ink ribbons to save them, the survival horror with the Wesker roster is an amazing achievement. In fact, it’s the first PlayStation branded app to be copied more than a million times in Japan. Including the Director’s Cut and Dual Shock Edition versions, the first Resident Evil sold over 5 million units worldwide. A score that far exceeds Capcom’s original projections as the group intended to sell only 150,000 boxes when the Mikami project was entrusted.

Arklay, raw hearts

Resident Evil tells the story of the STARS Alpha team sent to investigate the disappearance of Team Bravo in the mountains of Arklay. This gritty place, just a few miles from Raccoon City, is the scene of dark news. The latest reports that one hiker thought was horribly mutilated. Unfortunately, the squad is attacked by monstrous dogs as soon as they arrive. The small group of Albert Wesker, Chris Redfield, Barry Burton and Jill Valentine find refuge in a huge building while Joseph Frost is killed by the creatures and Brad Vickers escapes by helicopter. In contrast to the appearance, this is where the problem really begins. The Opinion of LoganResident Evil is one of the first series I saw on Playstation in 1996. From her intro in Black & White, I plunged into this universe that I have never left since. A true declaration of love to an entire section of genre cinema, starting with that of George A. Romero, the first Resident Evil, who repeatedly cast a spell over me, and this in all its versions, from the original to the director’s cut through his one incredible adaptation to GameCube in 2002, which for me to this day is the essence of what a remake should be. If Capcom is to repeat that experience in 2019 by signing a remake of Resident Evil 2 with a different philosophy but with an equally significant quality, it will be good to remember everything that happened within 17 years of those two Titles have been separated. Between an incalculable number of games, from the worst (Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica) to the best (a few lines quoted above, to which we will add the extraordinary Resident Evil: Code: Veronica), a 180 ° twist with the sometimes criticized, but still so valuable Resident Evil 4, a very pronounced twist towards action, a homecoming with the excellent Resident Evil VII. The story of the saga is more like an emotional roller coaster ride than a simple train ghost. After breaking free from the medium she was born in very early on, she distinguished herself both literally and figuratively through novels, manga, animated films, feature films and soon a series on Netflix. So many ways to reach an ever larger audience and keep fans happy at the same time. For my part, when I’ve sighed at certain ideas, I’ve kept coming back to them, a testament to the enduring pull this saga has on me, and which this saga, which I hold so dear to my heart, will hold for a long time to come, Resident Evil is a Cult work, be it because of its creation, its film scenes filmed with real actors or its unforgettable game sequences. If the mansion remains the main scene of the STARS ‘misfortunes, the Keeper’s House, Caves, and Arklay Laboratory will be frightening places for players to look for a way to get out of this war-infested hell. It’s difficult to record all of the unforgettable moments that exist in the epic. We could of course quote the scene with the dogs smashing the windows, or the scene introducing the arrival of the hunter, filmed from the first-person view. For some, one of the most traumatic sequences remains the encounter with the first zombie in the game, for others it is the final confrontation against the tyrant. By drawing the classic bestiary from horror movies, the app challenges giant spiders, genetically engineered sharks, crows, a mutated snake, and even a killer plant. Resident Evil is also finding twisted puzzles and keys in order to open the correct doors and advance with them.

a major work of popular culture

In 1996 the basics of survival horror were laid: a disturbing place, angles worthy of horror movies, low ammo, low health, lots of monsters, limited backups, and a few puzzles. However, the camera, which voluntarily hides what his character sees from the player, is one of the hallmarks of the genre when it was first tested. This mix of fear, exploration, action, and good resource management (due to a very limited inventory) seduces an audience that is fearful – but also delighted – discovering the fundamentals of the genre. This formula will produce many sequels and spin-offs, but also some copies from other publishers. Though Mikami admits to having regretted certain aspects of its making, particularly the famous intro cutscene and the first few minutes at the Spencer mansion, Resident Evil remains the project that put it in the rank of developers who weigh in the industry. A small revenge for this Japanese man who had a complicated family life as a child and twice failed his entrance exams to Doshisha University in Kyoto. Could he imagine, plagued by doubts, that he would be the origin of a major work of popular culture? What is left of Resident Evil 25 years after the Japanese release of its very first episode? Mostly memories of the creepy times in front of his CRT television. But also the celebration of a time when gameplay could still set drastic limits (unable to walk, unable to aim, unable to control the camera, etc.) to put the player in an uncomfortable position and dread the am worst. every moment. Today, anyone curious can (re) discover the myth Shinji Mikami envisioned thanks to the HD versions of the GameCube remake available on a whole range of machines. In addition to being a monument to horror games, Resident Evil is a cornerstone of video game history. So we are happy to wish him a happy birthday, fans who we are. By Carnbee, journalist jeuxvideo.com MP

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