The History of Resident Evil: The REvolution

In The History of Resident Evil, we examine the acclaimed franchise from its inception in 1996 through to present day, offering our readers a comprehensive look at each major canonical entry in the series, while delving into some of the projects that never saw the light of day. If you missed the first two installments, check them out here and here respectively. With that said, strap on your Shotgun, bag a fresh pack of underwear and fork out a First-Aid Spray as we delve into The REvolution.

Resident Evil: Survivor (a.k.a. Biohazard: Gun Survivor)
Release Date: January 27, 2000 (Japan) August 30, 2000 (North America) March 31, 2000 (Europe)
Platform: Sony PlayStation
Global Sales: Unknown (Japanese Sales: 0.29 million)

A radical departure for the series at the time of release, Resident Evil: Survivor controversially took the survival horror franchise into the first person perspective, transporting players away from the confines of Raccoon City onto the remote metropolis of Shena Island. You play as Ark Thompson, a fellow acquaintance of RE2’s Leon S. Kennedy suffering from a bout of amnesia following a near fatal helicopter crash moments before the game begins. With no knowledge of his identity or whereabouts, Thompson eventually regains his equilibrium and ventures out into the streets only to be confronted by hordes of shambling zombies and all manner of grotesque bio-weapons.

Survivor employs 3D backgrounds and regurgitates much of its assets from Resident Evil 2. As such, the game isn’t the prettiest in the series, and the first person perspective only works to exacerbate the aging hardware limitations of the PlayStation in the occasions where you get decidedly up close and personal with your assailants. The game plays out as a rudimentary shooter, featuring branching pathways and multiple boss encounters as you progress through each area. Although the usual array of healing herbs, multiple weapons and BOWs crop up, the item boxes have been completely removed from the equation, with Thompson able to lug a seemingly infinite supply of items about his person.


Despite a heavy reliance on old assets, Capcom did introduce a couple of intriguing foes to battle, notably the MP5-equipped Sweepers, along with the obligatory new Tyrant-esque final boss. Furthermore, attempts were made to flesh out Umbrella’s global activities, with files in the game revealing that the conglomerate had been kidnapping adolescents from the around the world in an attempt top fuel its mass production facility on the Island. Further documents seemingly confirm the survival of Resident Evil 3’s unscrupulous Russian U.B.C.S. grunt Nicholai Ginovaef, though fans largely attribute this to a mistranslation of the original Japanese text.

Although heavily criticized by the gaming press and fans alike, Survivor nonetheless deserves its recognition as part of the franchise. While the game’s canonicity has been a topic of heated debate over the years, Capcom cemented the game’s events as part of the core franchise in 2002’s Resident Evil Zero, when the incident at Shena Island was mentioned in the prequel’s opening sequence as one of the many locations in which the T-Virus leaked. While a sequel to Thompson’s exploits has yet to materialize, the Gun Survivor series continued for the next couple of years with Gun Survivor 2: Code Veronica and Resident Evil: Dead Aim, both available on the PlayStation 2.

Resident Evil Code: Veronica (a.k.a. Biohazard Code: Veronica)
Release Date: February 3, 2000 (Japan), February 29, 2000 (North America), May 26, 2000 (Europe)
Platform: Dreamcast
Global Sales: 1,140,000
Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (a.k.a. Biohazard Code: Veronica Complete)
Release Date: March 22, 2001 (Japan), August 21, 2001 (North America), September 14, 2001 (Europe)
Platform: PlayStation 2
Global Sales: 1,400,000

Resident Evil Code: Veronica was the first entry in the on-going survival horror franchise to debut on a format other than PlayStation, having been unveiled at the tail end of 1998 as an exclusive for Sega's 128-bit Dreamcast console. Taking place in December 1998 – three months after the events of RE2/3 ... (continued on next page) ----

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