Is Resident Evil 6 set to be announced? As we anticipate the next instalment of the survival horror great, we look back at how the zombie-blasting action all began
Resident Evil has been scaring the crap out of us since it first landed on the original PlayStation and with Resident Evil Revelations and Operation Racoon City already set for launch in 2012, it seems Capcom may also have another RE up its sleeve.
A viral website called NoHopeLeft has appeared on the web with several clues pointing to another Resident Evil instalment. In anticipation of an official announcement which would coincide with the game's 15th Birthday, we look back through the gory ages from the first time we had to minimise the sound on the telly to get through this blood-drenched beast of a classic.
Resident Evil (1996)
Where it all began. Whether you knew it as RE or Biohazard, it was the first time we got to know the S.T.A.R.S team, Raccoon City, the Umbrella corporation and more zombies you can blow a rocket launcher at. Opening with a live-action sequence, it may well been looked like it was cut straight out of bargain basement B-movie, but it established the prominent role that cut scenes would play to drive the RE story lines.
Set inside a large eerie mansion, the most chilling of soundtracks matched with enough mutated dogs to make you jump out of your chair made up for the disorientating camera angles and the poor voice soundtracks.
Look beyond the minor irks and the first Resident Evil instalment was clearly bringing something refreshing to the survival horror genre.
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Resident Evil: Director's Cut (1997)
Released a year after the original, Capcom amongst minor tweaks, decided to add the uncensored opening intro which was featured in the Japanese version of the game.
As well as adding new difficulty levels for those who found tackling a room of zombies with just one cartridge pack too taxing, the re-release aimed to catch the late PS one buyers who had not yet experienced the gory horror title.
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Resident Evil 2 (1998)
Who says sequels are always a disappointment? RE2 went against the gaming grain by delivering possibly the best game in the series.
As new rookie police officer Leon Kennedy finds himself with possibly the hardest first day on the job he could have imagined, on the other side of Raccoon city, Claire Redfield begins her search to locate her missing brother and S.T.A.R.S officer Chris Redfield.
Graphically RE2 came on leaps and bounds from the original, and with the overall depth of the gameplay enhanced, it is one game that makes is worth holding onto your PSone console just that little longer.
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Resident Evil 3 Nemesis (1999)
Following the RE narrative continuity which made the game so engrossing, the action takes place before and after events in RE 2, as former S.T.A.R.S member Jill Valentine is thrown knee-deep into the zombie action, as Raccoon City is overwhelmed by the Umbrella once more. Stalked by the constant dark shadow that is Nemesis, Valentine must escape the city with the bio-mechanical super soldier able to pursue the protagonist all the way as she plots her getaway.
RE3 was once again example of the Capcom guys blending gripping storylines with enough action to keep you on your toes, and the addition of the relentless Nemesis meant you feared what was coming round each corner.
Platform:Sony PlayStation / SEGA Dreamcast
Resident Evil: Code Veronica (2000)
Before Claire Redfield and her brother Chris hurtled onto the rest of the console platforms, Code Veronica began its life on the Dreamcast, and didn't they just make the best of those Sega console innards! Replacing the rendered images for new 3D backgrounds, and the ability to make RE as graphically stunning as the story was evoking, the Dreamcast may have led a short life, but it had just enough time to throw out a survival horror necessity.
Resident Evil Survivor (2000)
Taking a break from the third perspective norm, RE entered the first-person shooter realm for RE Survivor, as the virus falls outside of Raccoon City.
With your Namco Guncon in hand, you take the place of Ark Thompson, a friend of police officer Leon from RE2, as you readily blast your way through zombies close-up.
What may have seemed at the time the perfect formula to port to an arcade-style shooter, Capcom's effort did not set the gaming world on fire and gladly returned to what they did best. That is, not before one last try...
Resident Evil: Code Veronica X (2001)
The action moves to Rockfort Island, as the magnitude of the Umbrella corporation evil plans continues to spread. After attempting to hunt down her brother Chris Redfield, Claire is locked up on the island to keep out of Umbrella's way. Ensue Claire fighting her way to get off the zombie inhabited setting. Unlike previous games, the RE Survivor split the gun-toting action into halves, with Claire beginning the tale and her brother Chris suitably hoping to clean up some unfinished business.
Resident Evil Gaiden (2001)
Your eyes do not deceive you, RE did make it onto the very small screen of the Gameboy Color and it was something of a contrasting gaming experience in comparison with its elder console statesman.
Set upon a cruiser ship which appears to be carrying some serious Umbrella weapons of mass destruction, former S.T.A.R.S agent Barry Burton must finish off Leon Kennedy's mission.
Played from an over the top perspective, Gaiden ultimately lacked that essential RE ingredient, the element of surprise, while the graphics made it virtually inseparable from any other GBC game.
Resident Evil Survivor 2: Code Veronica (2001)
Capcom decided to give the shoot-em-up another go although this time in a slightly different guise to RE Survivor. Immersed into the world of Claire Redfield seeking out brother Chris, the title also made its way into the arcade arena. Despite the addition of cooperative play, once again it was another reason why Capcom should have stuck to what they did best.
Resident Evil Zero (2003)
As the name suggests this is set before the RE1, as we are taken into the mountainous surroundings outside of the Raccoon City suburbs. Hit by a sudden increase in local folk being devoured upon by strange creatures, the S.T.A.R.S team is called in to investigate. Cue military convict Billy Cohen and surviving S.T.A.R.S Bravo medic Rebecca and the team embark on cleansing the area of any human eating behaviour. Featured on the Gamecube, the unique 'partner zapping' control system was to set the co-op trend for RE games to follow.
Resident Evil Dead Aim (2003)
While the Gamecube hogged the third person limelight, PS2 gamers got a taste of the first-person shooter. What was essentially the latest addition to the Resident Evil Survivor set, our zombie-blitzing efforts are transported onto a cruise ship, as we tackle the t-virus on board with US government agent Bruce McGivern and Chinese government agent Fongling.
With the ability to change to third-person perspective when not firing off the ammo, Dead Aim was the best of a bad bunch of shooters, but once again it did little to satisfy true RE aficionados.
Resident Evil Outbreak (2004)
What could make the ultimate survival horror you say? If you thought it was to take the action online, then you would be sadly mistaken. Outbreak was the first to offer multiplayer capability so you could have one of your mates cover your back as you lock and load your shotgun. Set against the familiar Raccoon surroundings and with eight players to choose from, there was no room to rest on your Resident laurels because if the rest of your online chums wandered off, you had no choice but to join them.
Resident Evil Outbreak File 2 (2005)
Taking another stab at the online gaming realms, Outbreak 2 similarly served up eight characters to choose from, with new scenarios to negotiate your way through, but the very same issues with its predecessor. With the severe lack of some form of headset-like communication, having a leisurely perusal of your creepy surroundings is at its minimal. If ever a slap in the reality check form arrived for Capcom, this was clearly it. RE was not ready to embrace the web just yet.
Resident Evil 4 (2005)
Rookie cop Leon has acquired a new role since the virus ridden antics of Resident Evil 2. Assigned to protect the President and his family, the President's daughter goes walkabouts, and somehow manages to find her way in the mysterious setting of a European village filled with parasite-controlled villagers gripping chainsaws. Stunning cut-scenes and an intuitive new co-op, made RE4 a title you struggled to put down.
Resident Evil: Deadly Silence (2006)
After it's previous appearance on the portable console screen, Deadly Silence provided a more admirable effort in bringing RE to your bus ride home. Looking more than a shade closer to the PS version than the previous Gaiden offering on the GBC, Deadly Silence not only looked the part but the gameplay was there for all to enjoy as that infamous slurring zombie sound drew closer. Ingeniously involving the DS features like the microphone to heal your your colleagues, Capcom finally found a suitable smaller home for their gore-fest.
Platform: Nintendo DS
Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles (2007)
The Wii got a taste of the shooter treatment as Umbrella Chronicles took yet another stab at bringing a new dimension to the RE series. Drawing on from different scenarios from the illustrious series of games, the on rails shooter is more at home controls-wise with the Wii and despite suffering from genuine game life, it had just enough of the RE flavour to make it a decent ride.
Platform: Nitnendo Wii
Resident Evil 5 (2009)
After the initial worry that we might never get our hands on this glorious looking instalment, it is here and back with a vengeance. With co-op very much the name of the game, S.T.A.R.S agent Chris Redfield returns to the Resident fold, along with a new female colleague, BSAA agent Sheva Alomar to tackle the evil surfacing on the African continent.
Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
Following on from the Umbrella Chronicles, Capcom brought the on rails shooter action to the Wii once again. Based around events from Resident Evil 2 and Code Veronica, Leon and Claire were back in action in a game that had great visuals and played well as lightgun (Wiimote) games go despite a storyline that seemed to be a little messy.
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Resident Evil The Mercenaries 3D
Making its first appearance on Ninty's glasses free portable, this was essentially a mini-game shooter set in a Resident Evil 5 world. Shooting your way through familiar enemies, there was also a co-op mode to play with another 3DS owner, plus a short playable demo of Resident Evil: Revelations which is the one we are really waiting for.
Platform: Nintendo 3DS