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8 Infamous Resident Evil Games That Should Better Stay in the Past

We picked eight Resident Evil games from various platforms known for poor execution and technical issues, clumsy and non-canon gameplay, and obsolescence to see if it’s better to forget about them

Resident Evil is one of the most prolific and famous video game series, boasting over 20 original titles on over 20 different platforms. There isn’t a gamer worth his salt who hasn’t at least heard of the bone-chilling experience that was the first Resident Evil back on the PS1, or the eerie feeling you get when you first enter the RPD in Resident Evil 2, and where you return in its 2019 remake.

Unfortunately, as in the case with most legendary game series, we’re left with tons of bottom of the barrel to explore, with spinoffs, mobile games, sequels and of course, remasters. A bunch of these unmemorable titles managed to get buried in history, and we’re going to unearth a few of them and see whether they’re still worth a try.

Beware the spoilers ahead.

Resident Evil Survivor

  • Release date: January 27, 2000
  • Platform: PlayStation, PC
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Survivor was the first Resident Evil game that made the switch from third to first person. Due to political reasons, the light-gun mechanics for Survivor were actually removed for the North American release, which made the game nigh unenjoyable

The story

The game takes place immediately after the resolution of the original Raccoon City incident when the city was destroyed. The plot revolves around the amnesiac pilot caught in a helicopter crash. He struggles to find his identity, initially being tricked into believing that he is Vincent Goldman, the man responsible for the outbreak of the T-Virus. He gradually discovers that this is, in fact, a lie and that he is an operative for the good guys sent by Leon S. Kennedy to destroy an Umbrella facility and contain the spread of the T-Virus.

The verdict

  • Is it canon: Yes.
  • Cause of death: Slow gameplay and no light gun feature in the US.

This game has a rather intriguing plotline that almost makes the game worth a play even today. However, the gameplay seems to have taken direct inspiration from the original Resident Evil games, most importantly in terms of pacing. This made no sense, considering that light gun games thrive on speed. Therefore, the game is far too slow to be exciting.

Resident Evil Survivor 2 Code: Veronica

  • Release date: November 8, 2001
  • Platform: Arcade, PlayStation 2
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This game, also known as Gun Survivor 2, is an oldie but a goodie. With now mediocre PS2 graphics and light gun mechanics, Gun Survivor 2 boasts more than enough classic shooter action and a return to the story of Code: Veronica, with several added elements that shake up the formula. You get to fight The Nemesis from Resident Evil 3, for instance, adding a significant amount of fear factor to the gameplay and keeping you on your toes

The story

Claire Redfield continues her search for her brother in the aftermath of the Raccoon City incident. Paired up with Steve Burnside, the two of them fight to escape an Umbrella facility, after which the player learns that the entire story was, in fact, a dream that Claire has after the end of Code: Veronica.

The verdict

  • Is it canon: It is, but as a dream sequence.
  • Cause of death: Old age and niche status.

The game is based around well-executed light gun gameplay and a helpful AI partner to keep you company. The graphics are dated, but the action still holds firm.

Resident Evil Gaiden

  • Release date: December 14, 2001
  • Platform: Game Boy Color
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The very first mobile Resident Evil experience, RE Gaiden, was a Gameboy Color title developed by Capcom and the now defunct British company M4 all the way back in late 2001. Critics agreed that this game was an all-around flop, owing most likely to the complete shift in perspective to a top-down dungeon crawler style combined with RPG like chance-based combat

The story

The game takes place entirely on a luxury cruise liner and tries to encourage a sense of claustrophobia and helplessness, but that effort is all but extinguished by the pace-breaking combat and generally slow delivery.

You play as a lovable hunk, Leon Scott Kennedy, and good old Veteran Barry Burton from the original Resident Evil. They manage to bump heads more than once in this game as there’s a lot of shape-shifting magic going around in the form of Umbrella Corp’s newest biological weaponry. They’re accompanied by a young orphan girl named Lucia, whom the plot revolves heavily around.

The verdict

  • Is it canon: Absolutely not.
  • Cause of death: Slow gameplay on an outdated platform.

It’s evident that the developers were trying to squeeze out as much performance as they could out of the GBC, which couldn’t be expected to compete with the mad powerhouse of the PlayStation.

Resident Evil: Dead Aim

  • Release date: February 13, 2003
  • Platform: PlayStation 2
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No list is complete without including at least one mixed bag. Dead Aim is an odd combination of third person room exploration, nearly identical to the RE:4 experience, and first-person light gun shooting. The game introduced cocksure playable hunk Bruce McGivern, whom fans had really taken a liking to. He’s just different enough from previous characters to remain memorable, and he flows through the heroic anti-Umbrella storyline quite well

The story

An Umbrella-owned cruise liner, an island facility and a romantic subplot. A complete experience.

The verdict

  • Is it canon: Yes, but as a spinoff.
  • Cause of death: Old age. Light-guns going out of style.

Light-gun games are weird and clunky, but if you like Resident Evil, you’ll enjoy this one. It’s definitely fun and flows very smoothly. Although the dialogues are a bit cringe-inducing, you’ll get over them quick enough to enjoy the story. It won’t blow your mind, but you’ll have a blast.

Resident Evil Outbreak and Outbreak File #2

  • Release date: December 11, 2003 and September 9, 2004
  • Platform: PlayStation 2
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Truly the oddest in nomenclature, the semi-successful Resident Evil: Outbreak and its sequel, Outbreak File #2. In fact, ‘’sequel’’ is the only thing there is to say about OF #2, considering that the publishers themselves marketed this game in relation to the first part stating that they’ve severely improved many elements of the gameplay and controls to offer players a better experience. Both games aren’t half-bad. They share common features like the same third person locked camera we’re learned to love, with responsive controls. Even though certain camera angles are a bit discomforting as you switch back and forth between different rooms

The story

Outbreak File #2 followed in the unfortunate footsteps of its predecessor – basing the entire gameplay around eight characters unique to this duology, rather than featuring any of the legends from the previous games that we’ve come to know and love.

There are five chapters and each is blander than the previous, with the goal to all of them being a very watered down ‘’escape’’ plot, with very few plot twists or titillating turns of events.

The verdict

  • Is it canon: Yes, but only due to lack of contradicting overlap.
  • Cause of death: It relied on a centralized server, so it was on death row from day #1.

You can’t play it with your friends unless you are a network-savvy enthusiast. The core gameplay revolved around the multiplayer and the servers for this game shut down a long time ago. Besides, the communication with your teammates was primitive. You can play with bots, though. We’d recommend you watch a full playthrough online, sped up to 200% speed, so you only have to suffer for 2 hours instead of 4. For instance, check out these playthroughs, for Outbreak and Outbreak File #2 respectively.

Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City

  • Release date: March 20, 2012
  • Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
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A Spec Ops resembling shooter with both single player and multiplayer, both of which are equally forgettable. It does boast the largest roster of playable characters unique to the series, but it’s all somehow buried beneath the fact that the game was obviously built around the multiplayer, which, while not terrible, resembles other games of the same genre that it is clearly inferior to

The Story

An alternate timeline, hypothetical scenario, in which HUNK and the USS work to stop Dr. Birkin from handing over his T-Virus research to the US Military. You essentially play as the baddies, and towards the end have the option of siding with Leon and Claire or execute them.

The Verdict

  • Is it canon: No, it’s a theoretical scenario.
  • Cause of death: Infected with the T-Virus. It’s still very much alive and kicking, but with horrendous reviews.

On this game, IGN stated: ‘’An actual zombie outbreak would have been less tragic’’, and we think they were onto something. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re not looking for a Resident Evil game, but are looking for a casual shooter to play with friends, you should give this game a shot. Just don’t expect a horror experience.

Umbrella Corps

  • Release date: June 21, 2016
  • Platform: PlayStation 4, PC
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Probably the farthest stray from the Resident Evil experience, Umbrella Corps cashes in on the series’ appeal in the same way that Metal Gear Survive tried to cash in on MGSVs popularity. In short, it is a third-person multiplayer shooter where players compete against each other for points — and also there are zombies

The Story

There isn’t one to speak of.

The Verdict

  • Is it canon: Unfortunately, yes.
  • Cause of death: It’s a Resident Evil game that has nothing to do with Resident Evil. But the servers are still up, so it’s technically on life-support.

You can’t have a Resident Evil game where the zombies are a casual nuisance, but you’re focused on everything else instead. This game has a chronic condition of wanting to be another game. It is as if the developers wanted to make a third-person Call of Duty, but their financiers insisted that they somehow shoehorn in the Resident Evil vibe at any cost. So you’ve got third-person Call of Duty, with janky controls and memorable locations from previous games.

Viktor Zafirovski January 29, 2019