Resident Evil is deemed as the granddaddy of survival horror titles and it has just turned 20 this year. It first started back in the 22nd of March in the year 1996 when the first title was released in Japan. It was then known as Biohazard in its home turf, and the game got its name changed when it got released in the American and UK regions. However, it still kept being called as Biohazard in Japan. The title, somehow managing to be a cross between very frightening and quite cheesy at the same time, made the game to a land a grand spot in the Mature rating of videogames. While it was targeted for older audiences, it was still able to find mainstream success, and thus the term “survival horror” went on to be a keeper.
Resident Evil Just Turned 20
Since that date on 1996, Resident Evil has now become a worldwide sensation and publisher Capcom even produced a lot of spin-offs and sequels over the years. Still, it is now seen that the series’ future currently hangs in limbo after the very poor reaction to the 6th major installment to the franchise. While a major announcement that a new title is imminent, let us take this moment to take a trip back to memory lane.
Before the game even first came out, Capcom’s title was heavily influenced by a horror game known as Alone in the Dark. This title, which was released in 1992 for the PC, had a similar style of graphics. It had pre-rendered camera views (just like the first Resident Evil for the PS1), but the PC title had a more “Lovecraft” narrative rather than a science-fiction background.
Another highly influential figure to the franchise was Capcom’s own Sweet Home. This title was released on the year 1989 for the NES, and had so many elements to which Biohazard was originally supposed to become a direct remake of it.
However, it was decided that the game won’t be a direct remake of Sweet Home as what Shinji Mikami had decided. He instead relied on other influences, particularly those that are coming from the big screen. Titles such as Zombi 2 and The Shining were then one of the many that were chosen to inspire the making of the survival horror title.
At first, Resident Evil was originally envisioned as a first-person shooter (FPS), even though it was extremely rare for such a game to be present in consoles during that generation. It would even have a co-op mode before it became the game that we now know today. Since Capcom USA wasn’t able to trademark the name Biohazard, they have to change the name for the Western regions.