Resident Evil Movies vs. Resident Evil Games: Which has better stories?
Before the Walking Dead and iZombie TV Shows and Movies like Dawn of the Dead, Warm Bodies, and 28 days later, Zombies were very popular in video games. Actually the “zombie fever” started in the 90s with the Resident Evil video game franchise that turned later into a (financially) successful sci-fi horror movie franchise.
Resident Evil Movies
Here is what you need to know about the Resident Evil Movies (Spoiler Alert: note that there are a few spoilers in the following video):
The last installment of the movie franchise Resident Evil: The Last Chapter was released in January this year. I don’t know why but I was hoping, based on all the experience from the previous movies, for a better narrative (which was not the case). Luckily at least it ties up all the narrative loose ends from the previous movies. The action sequences are great to watch. Die hard fans will be entertained with this final chapter of the movie franchise.
The first movie of the franchise had the perfect balance of a good narrative and zombie scenes. But this is not the case for the films that followed. These are more focused on the zombie and monsters scenes and had a poor narrative. Despite this, there are some good performances in the movies but even the actors could not elevate the poor written stories.
Now there are some people who say that good stories are not always necessary since the Resident Evil movie franchise has been doing well financially because its main attraction is the heroes fighting the zombies.
I disagree on this in particular because good stories will be remembered. Know that there are movies whose marketing was great and did well financially but after a while when the DVD is released with the director’s cut the interest and excitement for the film dies.
The stories in the games are well thought including characters’ backgrounds. In the following video you will see a list of the best characters of the franchise:
The narrative in the games was not always great but it has evolved through the years. The same can be said about the execution of the dialogues. One would expect a similar evolution for the movie franchise as well. For this reason I don’t understand why the stories in the Resident Evil movies are so poorly written.
How is it possible to have a good base to work on and still not having a good final product? Many argue that studios sometimes interfere with the creative process.
Seeing how the western movie franchise was going Capcom decided to create their own (CGI) animated movies which are tied to, and set in, the Resident Evil video game series. Starring in these movies are Leon Kennedy, Claire Redfield, and Ada Wong, as well as original characters. Here is the list of the Animated Movies:
- Biohazard 4D-Executer (2000) features Raccoon City but none of the characters from the video game series are present. It is a short film.
- Resident Evil: Degeneration originally Biohazard: Degeneration (2008), Capcom’s first full-length feature film set in the video game series. Taking place between the events of the video games Resident Evil 4and Resident Evil 5, follows Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield.
- Resident Evil: Damnation originally Biohazard: Damnation (2012). It is a sequel to Resident Evil: Degeneration and prequel to videogame Resident Evil 6. The movie received positive reviews from critics and it was awarded the 2013 International 3D Society Japan Award for animation.
- The sequel Resident Evil: Vendetta originally Biohazard Vendetta is planned to be released in 2017. The film will follow Chris Redfield, Leon S. Kennedyand Rebecca Chambers.
These CGI movies have better narratives than the live action movies. And since they are tied to the game you will see familiar places. There is still room for improvement (Final Fantasy VII set the bar high for animated video game movies) but creators are putting their effort into the projects and fans appreciate that. People who are not familiar with the games can still follow the story in these CGI movies.
Resident Evil Games
I have not played all of the Resident Evil games (only Resident Evil 4) but I know the stories and the characters in these games. By the time the first movie was released, I wanted to have an understanding of the game and want to recognize the characters on screen.
For those who don’t know about the games, imagine you as the player, you will receive missions but you’ll have to fight zombies and perform tasks in order to move forward in the games.
As you are progressing in the games some scenes will appear that provide you with more information. Most of the time fans make a collection of all these scenes into a movie video of sorts (you can find these on YouTube). If you are not familiar with the game in the following video you will see how everything started:
By now you know how it all started and how the game has evolved through the years. There are some games within the franchise that are better than the others and some that are not even worth playing. Here is the top 10 Resident Evil Games:
I will definitely recommend the first live-action movie of the franchise (Resident Evil (2002). I have some reservations about the rest of the movies but diehard fans will surely want to have all the movies for their collection.
Get the live-action film Resident Evil (2002) DVD
Get the Resident Evil DVD Collection (First 5 films)
The animated movies are better than live-action movies. I would recommend checking out all of them. I personally prefer Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008).
Get the animated movie Resident Evil: Degeneration (2008) DVD
As I mentioned before I have played the video game Resident Evil 4 and I agree with the assessment in the above Top 10 video and also recommend it for the newbies to this video game franchise. You don’t have to play all the games to understand the narrative. Today there is much material online to provide background knowledge of the stories.
Get the video game Resident Evil 4 for Playstation or Xbox One
or the latest HD edition for PC
Personally, if I had to choose whether to buy live-action movies, animated movies, or a game I would choose to buy one of the good games. Besides receiving missions and tasks to complete you will also view cut scenes that add to the narrative of the game.
For those who are not interested in the games, the first movie Resident Evil (2002) is worth watching and the animated movies are good (they are prequels and sequels of the video games but they are made in such a way that even though you don’t know the story of the games you can still understand the narrative in the movies).
What do you think of Resident Evil Movies? Have you ever played games? Do you agree that the stories in the games are better than the stories in the movies? Feel free to leave your comments. I would love to hear from you.