For years, Resident Evil ruled the land of the video-game dead. The zombie franchise, influenced by George Romero’s Living Dead films, lumbered its way to fame, selling 36 million-plus copies worldwide and spawning a genre of horror games and a profitable movie series.
But since the 2005 release of Resident Evil 4, there has been a population boom in zombies. Thrillers such as Lef
t 4 Dead, Dead Space and Dead Rising have been connecting with rabid fans.
The arrival of Resident Evil 5 on Friday (rated M for ages 17-up, $60 and $90 for collector’s edition, for Xbox 360 and PS3) does not necessarily mean a return to the top of the heap.
“The landscape on which Resident Evil 5 is appearing is radically different. There has been an upswing of creativity in the horror genre,” says Evan Narcisse of CrispyGamer.com. “The challenge it has to meet in order to re-establish any kind of dominance is a lot bigger.”
The development team at Capcom enhanced Evil 5 for its high-definition game debut. Traditionally lurid settings have been replaced with luminous and unnerving vistas in a fictional western African region. Enemies move faster than in past Evil games, and there’s more action.