Featured Columns

November 19, 2009

The Comics Console: Games Turned Comics — Resident Evil!

Resident Evil’s history in comics goes as far back as its games. In 1996 Marvel published Resident Evil #1 to coincide with the release of the first game. In 1998, Wildstorm released Resident Evil: The Official Comic Magazine. It lasted five issues, telling side-stories from the events from Resident Evil 2; similar to Capcom’s Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles for the Nintendo Wii.

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Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles reunites Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield from Resident Evil 2 for more zombie killing action. Like Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles, DC is a rail shooter that highlights some of the series’ best moments and key plots, while adding a few new ones in a horrifying and addicting game. Hardcore fans of the RE series will appreciate the many cameos and nods from RE’s rich history, most of which non-hardcore fans will miss, but you don’t need to be a RE fanatic to enjoy the story.

You’ll start the game as Leon and future RE4 rival Jack Krauser, hunting down a drug lord in South America. Similar to RE5, you share inventory with your partner and can assign weapons to the D-Pad, making changing weapons smooth and easy. DC has a much more cinematic feel to it, using a shaky camera, similar to Cloverfield or Blair Witch Project, to let you see through the eyes of your main character. As an homage to the original RE games, DC will have you struggling against the camera to make what should be relatively simple actions. The design had always been claimed as intentional by Capcom, to add more tension to the game. While those hardcore RE marks will enjoy a nostalgic rush while battling the camera, others will find it annoying.

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The frantic camera is just one trick DC uses to create that sense of urgency. The game is very fast paced, leaving you with little room to breathe through each 10-minute chapter. Between each chapter, you’re awarded a rank in various categories, and gold that can be spent to upgrade weapons. DC can support up to two players, though it lacks the drop-in-drop-out feature used by Deadspace: Extraction; meaning whatever number of players you start with, you’ll have to stick with them until the end of the chapter. Throughout the game you’ll pick up archive items, enemy data and character files that, again, those RE faithful will be sure to love. Each level keeps track of what specials you have and haven’t found.

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The game’s biggest drawback is mostly its genre: the rail shooter. The genre being what it is, it inherently lacks the depth and strategic elements that Resident Evil is known for. The documentary style camera work isn’t just to add a horror movie feel to the game, it’s used to guise the graphical limits of the game. Darkside Chronicles is by no means a bad looking game, and is probably one of the best looking third-party titles you’ll find on the Wii, but compared to RE5, the Chronicles series, graphics and gameplay wise, has to be considered the secondary RE franchise.

Capcom knocks another one out of the park with Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles as the best shooter on the Wii. 4/5

In 2009, Wildstorm collected and released Resident Evil: Fire and Ice, and began publishing a series serving as a prequel to Resident Evil 5, named simply Resident Evil. The story follows the original members of the BSAA, and is written by Ricardo Sanchez with art by Kevin Sharpe and Jim Clark. The series is scheduled for six issues.

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As popular as Resident Evil has been in games, novels, and film, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more Resident Evil comics as long as the fans keep interest; but to be honest, the comics have never really added anything of great value to the RE universe. Capcom’s focus for the series will always be the video games, and comics will always be an after thought. Capcom has created a great environment with lots of story potential, but like all comics, it can only be as good as the creative team behind it. Unless Capcom decides to get serious with its RE comics, the stories will always just be filler or side adventures that the RE junkies will love, but will be ignored by most everyone else.

Checkout The Comics Console next week when we play Dragon Ball Z: Raging Blast and Dragon Ball Z: Attack of the Saiyans!

Andrew Hurst
andrewhurst@comicattack.net

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4 Comments



  1. I’m a HUGE Resident Evil junkie, but I have never heard of a Marvel comic for RE! How did that escape my notice??


  2. billy

    Those graphics look sick!



  3. I’ve tried playing RE games, but the loading time between screens drives me insane.


  4. Dakk Attakk

    i am a HUGE RE fan!
    I read one issue of a Code Veronica comic.. it was ridiculous. Chris was as buff as a super sayian. lol
    The latest RESIDENT EVIL by Wildstorm is meh. At least the first 2 issues. They were really short and kinda boring, but the recently released 3rd issue was actually pretty awesome! They got a new artist that puts the former to shame. lol and the story and writing is much better as well. And its longer. But the fact that one of the main characters is a RE5 Chris-esque ripped british dude named Holiday Sugarman makes me giggle. .. :T I CANT BLOODY WAIT TO PLAY Darkside Chronicles!!! AWESOME ARTICLE ANDREW!!



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