March 23, 2021

Feature: Resident Evil At 25 - A Shambling Corpse Never Felt More Alive

It just won’t die.

It’s now been twenty-five years since S.T.A.R.S. members Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield first burst through the front doors of the Spencer Mansion and found themselves standing in one of gaming’s most iconic opening areas. Resident Evil’s fixed camera angles revealed the full scale of that grand hall, as well as the undead horrors lurking in the rooms nearby at its own tempered pace, every view designed to show not quite enough of whatever could be heard lurching around the corner.

It was a game of contradictions; as much a thoughtful adventure peppered with ornate locks and obtuse clues (often the exclusive realm of mouse-wielding PC owners at the time) as it was a do-or-die fight for survival against biological abominations so shockingly grotesque the game attracted a legally binding '15' rating from the BBFC on its UK release, back then a classification usually reserved for swear-y gun-heavy action movies. The slight differences between the playable duo’s stamina and inventory space made picking between the two of them feel like a choice between hard and harder, while scavenging for herbs and ammunition forced those brave enough to tread the mansion’s abandoned corridors to question every action, uncomfortably aware that every item used now would be one less to fall back on later.

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