“Perhaps Resident Evil 7 will be a similarly dramatic reinvention,”
January 22, 2017 5:55 PM   Subscribe

The Resident Evil Games Ranked From Worst to Best [PC Gamer] “As the series that popularized the survival horror genre, Resident Evil has attempted to sustain its hold on the elusive zombie shooting crown since its inception in 1996. Suffice it to say, Resident Evil hasn’t maintained a keen, constant rule over the genre, blasting further off into bizarre, convoluted lore dumps and Matrix-worthy action sequences as the series grew in scope and ambition. Through reinvention after reinvention, Resident Evil games may not always be great, but they’ve always been fascinating, curious objects. And it’s because of that wild experimentation that Resident Evil still has a firm grip on us, redefining the genre and forcing the entirety of game design to respond—hell, Dead Space was going to be System Shock 3 before Resident Evil 4 came out. Now we’re just around the corner from another series reinvention in Resident Evil 7 [YouTube] [Trailer], a more grounded first-person return to survival horror, borrowing ideas from games that may have formerly looked to Resident Evil for inspiration. We’ve come full circle.”

- Resident Evil 7 11 Minutes of NEW Gameplay Zombies/Baker Family/ Family Torture [YouTube] [Trailer]
posted by Fizz (40 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I hope this is not CHRIS' blood!
posted by Literaryhero at 6:11 PM on January 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


*clicks, verifies that RE4 is at the top of the list, nods slowly*

Good, okay, that's all right then. Carry on.

(RE7 looks like it has potential. The Texas-Chainsaw-homicidal-rednecks-in-dilapidated-old-house horror trope has worn woefully thin over the years, so they'll need to do something pretty unique here to avoid feeling derivative. On the other hand I'm liking the first-person immediacy and photorealism. If we never see Silent Hills but its legacy shows up in the next generation of horror games, there are definitely worse ways for that whole situation to have shaken out.)
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:28 PM on January 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure whether to make the Resident Evil Gaiden joke or the "Where the hell is Rebecca Chambers" joke.
posted by KChasm at 6:40 PM on January 22, 2017


I've never played any of these games and I'm using this as an excuse to go back to Resident Evil 4 and play from there. I've been told that is where I should begin.
posted by Fizz at 7:01 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yes. Any game with a sinister Spanish progeria midget is superior to games in its series that do not have one.
posted by delfin at 7:19 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I was never able to get into the series due to being allergic to tank controls. Does this one continue in the zombie apocalypse timeline?
posted by codacorolla at 7:28 PM on January 22, 2017


Resi 4. Nothing else comes close.
posted by evilDoug at 7:32 PM on January 22, 2017


I hope this is not CHRIS' blood!

See also.
posted by tickingclock at 7:39 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you are interested in two-player co-operative play through the story, your options are Resident Evil 5, 6, and Revelations 2 all of which are available for Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
posted by seraphine at 7:44 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Does the story even follow along chronologically from 4, 5, 6 and onwards? Or are they all over the place? Can I jump right into 4 and still understand what is going on without having played 1, 2, or 3?
posted by Fizz at 7:52 PM on January 22, 2017


Oh, sure. Everyone credits Resident Evil with popularizing survival horror, but fans of this classic know the truth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isle_of_the_Dead_(video_game)

: )

Note, link will not work for me. My apologies. Sometimes this happens when I try to post a Wiki link, and I suspect that I am making some silly mistake.
posted by Beholder at 8:05 PM on January 22, 2017


I might as well tell the infamous story.

I was playing the first Resident Evil on PC.

Here is the layout of my old living room.

O <>that hall. Yeah, you know the one. The one the zombie dog jumps in to through the window.

Samizdata is so startled he immediately (and loudly) yells "FUCK!"

Ex and ex's friend pretty much evacuate themselves forcefully as they spin around in their seats trying to understand why I screamed an obscenity at the top of my lungs for no apparent reason.

And that is my RE story.
posted by Samizdata at 8:16 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Well, MetaFilter COMPLETELY mangled that post. I have no idea why. But it doesn't work without the charming text illustration I put in there, and I am not doing that again. Be happy, Blue, that you ruined my story.

(It did involved gaming with headphones on though.)
posted by Samizdata at 8:18 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'll never forgive Resident Evil: Code Veronica X for the intense Bandersnatch-fear it gave 13-year-old me.

I'm still a little freaked out by those.
posted by pseudonymph at 9:27 PM on January 22, 2017


I love RE4 so much. I wonder if I still have my Gamecube here somewhere or did I give it to my brother? Hmm...
posted by atoxyl at 10:39 PM on January 22, 2017


I know RE4 is a sound choice, but I'm all about old school Resident Evil. Give me the unwieldy tank controls, pre-rendered backgrounds, grand giallo-inspired soundtracks, illogical puzzles ("insert the Gold Emblem after playing the Moonlight Sonata"), and campy b-movie voice acting! RE 2 is my game in the series that approaches perfection.
posted by naju at 10:53 PM on January 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I have a love/hate thing with Resi 5. There's so much wrong and so much right, making it simultaneously worrying, poorly paced, hilarious and fun.

It was worrying with its questionable portrayal of its setting at times. One of the early trailers was very suspect, kind of giving a white-man-slaughtering-primal-Africans vibe (I know 'they were infected', but it could have been done so much better). Made me uncomfortable, anyway. And then after this was kind of resolved in the final game, by shooting a range of individuals from very different backgrounds, you eventually face off against savage, tribal warriors! And that level was pretty boring to boot.

It was poorly paced with weird difficulty spikes all over the shop. And it felt too long, even when broken into an arcade-style level system.

Anything to do with Wesker was amazing. Solid gold quotes.

The Mercenaries Reunited mode was fantastic, especially in co-op mode. Fantastic mixture of action/planning/item organisation/combo breaking. Probably the most fun I've had with any Resi game. Shame you have to complete the main adventure to get it.
posted by bumcivilian at 4:05 AM on January 23, 2017


I LOVE RE4, played it through several times. The freaking chainsaws...

Also my sister and I played Zero (I can still hear the opening credits "Resident Eeevil....ZERO!") so much that we use its user action interface to talk to each other to this day ("Climb ladder Yes/No?", "Go for coffee Yes/No?").

I am not sure about RE7..."creepy hick family" is somehow far scarier than zombies, and not in a good way. Will wait for reviews.
posted by biscotti at 6:31 AM on January 23, 2017


And that is my RE story.

For me, that was RE 2. And yeah, you probably know what's coming. The interrogation room. I get in there and I see that one-way mirror and I'm nobody's fool. I've played this game enough to know what's coming. So I nope right out of there and go to the other room. And sure enough, there's a licker in there, just waiting to smash through that mirror and come at me. So I kill it, and I'm like "yeah, suck on that game, I'm not falling into your trap."

So THEN I go back to the interrogation room and happily skip over to those cabinets in the corner where I know there's going to be some ammo and herbs and stuff, without any idea that the licker smashing through the one-way mirror is just a programmed event and doesn't have jack shit to do with whether you cleaned out the next room or not.

So it smashed through the mirror at me and I shrieked like I don't think I have shrieked before or since.

I learned a valuable lesson that day, my friends. Shit's just going to happen no matter what you do, and you're just fooling yourself. Don't try.
posted by Naberius at 6:36 AM on January 23, 2017 [7 favorites]


Any mention that RE7 is compatible with PSVR, Sony's virtual reality headset? The article's blocked at work and from a PC publication so I guess not.

I played the 'First Hour' RE7 demo in VR and it's really, really unsettling. I don't know if I can handle the full thing. Just walking around the creepy house in VR shits me up.
posted by jiroczech at 7:33 AM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Am I the only person who hates this series? I've tried RE1, 2, and 4.

RE1 and RE2 had the worst controls of any action games ever. By the time I figured out how to move in each I'd died a dozen times and was too frustrated to continue. A few years after giving up on the PS1 versions I tried again on the PSP, thinking that my increased mastery of games would help me with these supposed classics. Nope, still dead on the first screen.

I bought RE4 for two systems and in both cases quit at the first mob. I'd empty my gun into a crowd of enemies with no impact and be killed in one or two hits by a guy in the back who would somehow skewer me with a pitchfork through the four guys in front of him, without hurting them. My understanding is that my reward for getting through a bunch of gameplay like this is some shitty quicktime events (the second worst thing in gaming) and an extended escort mission (the worst thing in gaming, hands down).

What's the appeal? Dead Space 1 and 2 have jump scares and controls that don't suck. They're great.
posted by Blue Meanie at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2017


At first glance I saw "President Evil"

posted by mmrtnt at 8:17 AM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


The inauguration thread is that away
<<---
posted by Bangaioh at 8:37 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


I'd empty my gun into a crowd of enemies with no impact

RE4 isn't a first person shooter. Until you actually build up some supplies and firepower over the first few levels, simply shooting your way out of things like Rambo isn't really an option. The real game is to iteratively build up enough situational awareness through successive failed run-thrus that you know where the soft spots are in the mob, which buildings give you access to better tactical options (in the form of additional weapons/ammo, healing items, or more defensible chokepoints), and in the process gain the knowledge to become a better player, instead of just a pair of thumbs controlling an unstoppably powerful character.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:52 AM on January 23, 2017 [5 favorites]


What Strange Interlude said. I have a tendency to be impatient with big fight scenes and get panicked and Rambo-y. That doesn't work in RE4. You need to scope out hiding spots and snipe as many ahead of time as possible. Then choose a good back against the wall spot to make a last stand with plenty of ammo. It's the game that taught me patience in shootouts.
posted by biscotti at 9:29 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


Eh, I like RE4, but it's too much of a departure. The gaming press overhyped it too much, and we forgot what RE was all about. Ammo conservation, constrictive camera points of view, an evolving boss.

RE4 is not a survival horror by any stretch of the imagination, for starters. RE2 and the 1 remake will always be on top of any RE list, for me. The disc switching, and alternate storylines of the Dual Shock Director's cut edition were brilliant for the time.
posted by _Synesthesia_ at 9:48 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


The bag headed guy with the chainsaw in RE4 certainly felt pretty horrifying and a threat to survival...

I take your point though, its very different from the initial games, happily I found both entertaining to play. After buying the first game with my PS1 and loving it RE was the only franchise I would buy straight off, until I got bit on RE6, which I hated from pretty much the first scene. RE7 won't be going on any list until I am really convinced it is worth it for me. Which will mean a good single player story, good gameplay and a bare minimum of QTE bullshit.
posted by biffa at 10:28 AM on January 23, 2017


4 is not much of a horror game, but it is a hell of a third person action game. It's kind of surprising to me that I like it, actually, coming from PC gaming and far more fluid shooters, but the gameplay is balanced against the limited controls in a way that makes it playable but tense. The first section of the game requires some conservation of ammo and knowing when to run - eventually your abilities pick up and you get to blow up dudes more freely. I loved the schlocky plot too (okay not quite new to RE4 perhaps) and playing through with different weapon configs and the time trial bonus mode...

Also RE4 pretty much invented quick time events, I think, or at least popularized them. RE4 is sorry about this.
posted by atoxyl at 10:31 AM on January 23, 2017


The Guardian gives RE7 a 5* review.
posted by biffa at 10:47 AM on January 23, 2017 [1 favorite]


It has a handful of good jump scares too, like the first time a chainsaw guy gets you.
posted by atoxyl at 10:49 AM on January 23, 2017


Also RE4 pretty much invented quick time events, I think, or at least popularized them.

*coughSHENMUEcough*
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:52 AM on January 23, 2017 [3 favorites]


*coughSHENMUEcough*

I mean I guess arguably it was Dragon's Lair. But I thought RE4 was responsible for QTEs (in cutscenes especially) being in every damn game for a bit in the mid-late 00s.
posted by atoxyl at 12:02 PM on January 23, 2017


Eh, I like RE4, but it's too much of a departure

UN FORASTERO!

Er, I mean, to each their own I guess. Surprised that the article doesn't even mention my favourite thing about RE4.
posted by rodlymight at 12:58 PM on January 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


Resident Evil 7 reviews round-up, all the scores.
Eurogamer – No score
The Guardian – 5/5
Giant Bomb – 4/5
Game Informer – 8.5
USgamer – 4/5
PCGamer – 90/100
Polygon – 9
Gamespot – 8
Telegraph – 4/5
IGN – 7.7
Destructoid – 10
GamesRadar+ – 4.5/5
EGM – 9.5
Paste Magazine – 9
Shacknews – 9
posted by Fizz at 2:24 PM on January 23, 2017


I love that IGN gave it a 7.7. Ha.
posted by Fizz at 2:32 PM on January 23, 2017


An old buddy made a YTMND ages ago, asking Where's Leon's Head At?

The problem with the series going into 4 was that it was stale. After Nemesis and Code Veronica, what was there, really to do? They had to untangle that knot, and chose the Gordian approach.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:51 PM on January 23, 2017


I'm confident that there will be future Resident Evil games that purposefully look and play like the Playstation 1 classics. And we will eat it up. Nostalgia's a hell of a drug (but also that formula for classic survival horror is really good, and much of what people think is dated or bad gameplay is just clever and uncompromising design that they don't understand yet).
posted by naju at 9:59 PM on January 23, 2017


Took the plunge and picked up RE7 and I'm loving it. Spooky as hell. The southern family thing is a bit tropey but it works in this setting. Played it last night and had nightmares. So yeah. Don't play this at night while alone in your house.
posted by Fizz at 7:56 AM on January 24, 2017


Blue Meanie: "Am I the only person who hates this series? I've tried RE1, 2, and 4.

RE1 and RE2 had the worst controls of any action games ever. By the time I figured out how to move in each I'd died a dozen times and was too frustrated to continue. A few years after giving up on the PS1 versions I tried again on the PSP, thinking that my increased mastery of games would help me with these supposed classics. Nope, still dead on the first screen.

I bought RE4 for two systems and in both cases quit at the first mob. I'd empty my gun into a crowd of enemies with no impact and be killed in one or two hits by a guy in the back who would somehow skewer me with a pitchfork through the four guys in front of him, without hurting them. My understanding is that my reward for getting through a bunch of gameplay like this is some shitty quicktime events (the second worst thing in gaming) and an extended escort mission (the worst thing in gaming, hands down).

What's the appeal? Dead Space 1 and 2 have jump scares and controls that don't suck. They're great.
"

Dead Space 3 is also pretty awesome (despite the QTEs). I just wish the MP wasn't so dead.
posted by Samizdata at 10:53 AM on January 24, 2017


How Resident Evil 7 saved a troubled series
“Resident Evil 7 isn’t constantly bombarding you with enemies, set-pieces, and cut-scenes. The developers know when to just shut up and let your imagination do the work for them. Nervously wondering what lies around the next corner, and imagining what it could be, is more powerful than throwing an enemy at you. A trick borrowed from Silent Hill, which uses the fear of the unknown to quietly whittle away at your nerves. It doesn’t maintain this for the whole game—I sprinted through the last third, calmly shooting any enemies that got in my way—but this is by design. A cathartic reward for eight hours of patience and item economy. The game expertly balances power and powerlessness, lulling you into a false sense of security then brutally punishing you.”
posted by Fizz at 11:03 AM on January 24, 2017


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