My Favourite Series, part 1: Resident Evil

Hello readers and welcome to the first in Shoot the Rookie’s new monthly feature, My Favourite Series. This is going to be a 12 part feature where each month I take an in-depth look at my favourite video game series. As you can see from the title, the first series I’m featuring is Resident Evil. No harm in being topical right…?

You see, due to the upcoming release of the Resident Evil 2 remake there has been a lot of activity around the series recently. A lot of this activity has been over at the That Green Dude blog, where Brandon has been curating a series called Resident Evil Memories. It is a fantastic collaboration full of great articles reminiscing about the series. Therefore, as well as this post being the first in my new feature, it is also going to be my contribution to the collaboration. Two zombies – one shotgun, so to speak.

So, let’s get down to it. Why is Resident Evil one of my favourite video game series of all time? Be warned, there are *spoilers ahead*.


Games Played from the Series: Resident Evil, Resident Evil 2, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Resident Evil 4, Resident Evil Revelations & Resident Evil Revelations 2

Favourite Game in the Series: Resident Evil 4

Favourite Character from the Series: The Merchant (Resident Evil 4)

What do I like about it…?

Merchant_re4Characters

I think it is very likely that a discussion of ‘Characters’ will feature in the majority of the series I write about, and Resident Evil is no different. As noted above, The Merchant is my favourite. I know he’s only in one game and doesn’t even have that many lines, but boy are the lines he does have good. Coming up with him was a stroke of genius by the developers. That said, I like a lot of the regular characters too, with Leon S. Kennedy probably being my favourite. He just has this relaxed vibe and is never afraid of a cheeky one-liner (“Your right hand comes off?”). The series also boasts a host of great female characters, with Moira Burton, the mouthy young rookie from Revelations 2 my favourite.

police stationLocations

The locations that feature throughout the series are one of the things I really love about it. I was disappointed at first with Resident Evil 4 because it begins in The Village, which is basically just a big brown farm in Spain with some zombie/alien head things. However, once I got to exploring the castle I began to fall in love with it. The maze, the marble floors you can see your reflection in, the weird open train carriage thing with red leather seats and the sheer scale of the castle itself. All these things really draw my attention.

This got me thinking that many of the games in the series have awesome locations. The main hall of the police station in Resident Evil 2 with its impressive statue, and much of the mansion in the original game are particularly memorable. I’m not sure if many of the later games keep this up, but even still I was impressed by the casino and dining hall on the Queen Zenobia in Resident Evil Revelations. I like this element for two reasons. Firstly just because they look nice. They are grand, ornate locations. They are different to what I’m used to in everyday life. The other reason is that they are survival horror games. Some other examples of the genre focus on grotesque locales, but many of the locations in Resident Evil games are genuinely grand and pristine and that makes it all the more scary.

re4-ashleyAtmosphere

All kinds of things are poured into the series to create that tense, scary Resident Evil atmosphere. The locations are one such element, the slightly off-kilter dialogue is another. In the early games the paucity of ink ribbons and typewriters was definitely a factor, whilst other elements such as sound design also play a part. Whilst the music in the series hasn’t really stuck with me, there are elements of sound design which I think add a lot to the atmosphere. One example of this are the voices of the followers of Los Illuminados in Resident Evil 4. They chant quietly in low voices, for the most part using Spanish. You often hear them before you see them which puts you on edge instantaneously. Even more scary is when they see you. Their voices are raised, frantic even and then they begin to shout things like “¡Mátalo!” (kill him) and “¡Te voy a matar!” (I am going to kill you) and you just know you are in trouble.

Queen-Zenobia_20111121Standout Moments

Many of the games also have a few standout moments – all that tension has to come to something after all. One of my favourite standout moments from the series is the appearance of Tyrant when you try to open a door in Resident Evil 2, which is a truly terrifying moment as you have been conditioned by the game to believe that once you open the door then you are safe. Another one is when you have to play as Ashley in Resident Evil 4. You are by that point used to being well-armed Leon but suddenly you are thrown into a situation with no weapons. This isn’t a jump scare moment, it is scarier than that because you are forced to fight not only against the enemies but also against your own vulnerability. Plus it has suits of armour, the scariest thing in all the world. The first Resident Evil also has a special moment, and this one is a jump scare. If I just say the words ‘dogs’ and ‘window’ you should know what I’m on about! My final example is from Resident Evil Revelations. I’ve written about this in some detail before, but lets just say this game features a case of mistaken identity of jaw dropping proportions.

jill sandwichHumour

It may be scary, gruesome and sometimes quite dark, but Resident Evil is a series with lots of humour. This is incredibly important to me as I believe that showing the way in which humans remain human during difficult circumstances, and even rely on humour to get them through is fundamental to understanding how we work. So, our team is dead and we’re trapped in a mansion in the middle of nowhere surrounded by killer dogs and zombies? That is FINE as long as one of us tells a joke every now and then. Although the less said about sandwiches the better.

Final Thoughts

Without meaning to end on too much of a negative note, I am quite wary about the future of the series.

Unlike most other commentators I’m not that interested in the Resident Evil 2 remake having been unimpressed with the demo. I haven’t played installments 5-7 of the main series either, as again, they simply don’t appeal to me. I do however like the Revelations series and I hope that they will consider making a third installment. Until then I will keep on enjoying the series by giving Resident Evil Zero a go.

Even if my favourite things about Resident Evil remain in the past, it will always qualify as one of my favourite series and one I will return to again and again.


So, what do you think? Is Resident Evil one of your favourite series? If so, do you have different reasons for liking it? Let me know below in comments and make sure you check out the rest of the Resident Evil Memories collaboration over at That Green Dude.

Thanks for reading,

Pix1001 x

12 thoughts on “My Favourite Series, part 1: Resident Evil

Add yours

  1. I think this is a great concept for a series of posts and I look forward to seeing what oter series you choose to highlight.

    Resident Evil is one of my favorite series and one I’ve ben in love with since I first played the Director’s Cut of the original back in the late ’90s. For me a lot of that love is based on the settings. My favorites in the series (1, 2, Revelations, and 7) all have tight enclosed settings and I think Revelations might have my favorite setting because I think being on a deserted cruise ship would be the most terrifying thing ever. I’ve played all the core games in the franchise but have missed some of the offshoots like Operation Racoon City but one of the things I love is that, especially in the early games, the story and characters all seem to exist in the B-movie horror world. They get away from that a touch with 4-6 but I think they did a great job in bringing it back with 7.

    For me it is funny that 5 and 6 don’t really appeal to you as I see them as natural evolutions of the changes made to the series in 4. I know most people love 4, and I like it, but I prefer the older more zombie focused narratives of the original trilogy and its off shoots (Zero and Code Veronica).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. As a kid I couldn’t play these games, so by the time I hit adulthood I just wasn’t interested in them – zombies are very much not my jam. But it’s neat seeing how so many people are drawn to the series! So many bloggers I know love it, so it’s gotta be something special.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks! I’m excited to see which ones I feature too, hehe.

    I’m not sure what it is exactly about 5 & 6 that I don’t fancy. I played the demo for 5 and just didn’t like it. I think it was just too big a step in the ‘action’ direction. I know what you mean though, they are certainly just an evolution of what happened to the series with 4, but somehow I just thoguht 4 was such a good game that I could forgive it changing the style, but I didn’t feel 5 or 6 had either enough quality or the right feeling. Maybe I’ll have a proper go at them one day though.

    I do love the Revelations games, and the setting on the cruise ship is a stroke of genius! I hope they make another one someday.

    Thanks for reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hehe! I would say that Silent Hill actually scares me more than Resident Evil, but I can certainly understand not wanting to play games where you are chased by scary zombies 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t start playing them until about 6 years ago, but zombies are certainly not something I look for in a game. My partner really likes the series and suggested we play through some of them and I grew to like them.

    Tbh I think it is the silly things that make me really love the series – there are lots of silly jokes and absurd dialogue – and that kinda makes the games stand out for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. @Kariyanine I’m happy there are more people like me who has the same view for the Resident Evil franchise. Not because I want to go with the flow, of all the resident evil games, I personally love the Resident Evil 2 remake. The moment I knew about it, I had a good feeling about it since it’s another Capcom masterpiece.

    @pix1001 Anyway, great insight!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Silly jokes and absurd dialogue are a staple in most of the series that are consistently at the top of my list, so I can certainly appreciate that!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the Resident Evil Series my favourite is also number four I remember playing that over and over 😜

    Have you played Resident Evil 2 Remake?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I haven’t. I played the demo and although I thought it had a lot of good points, it just wasn’t really for me. I’m generally not a big fan of playing remakes unless I missed the game the first time round, but it’s really cool that they’ve done it as it makes it accessible to a whole new generation of people!

    Liked by 1 person

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