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How Resident Evil Changed Horror Genre

PlayStation is known for many groundbreaking games that altered the world of video games. There is one game however, that might have been get the most attention within this spectrum. The first Resident Evil ever was released in 1996 on the console with the most units sold ever. This is actually the game that coined the term ‘survival-horror‘. It is the game that maybe influenced the world of horror games more than we can observe it today.


In 1996 there were only 2 consoles that were able to fulfil the plan of the Capcom creator Shinji Mikami. Sega Saturn and Play Station. For the first time players had to make choices on how to use their supplies. They were forced to do so becuase these supplies such as weapons and health will have an impact on the game later on. Ever since 1996 all the games carried on some features from the first game which are still used today.


One of the characteristics that helped make Resident Evil the father of horror games is the overall atmosphere and mood of the game. This was achieved through the sorroundings where the action took place. The empty and rich detailed mansions become an icon and a prevalent feature of the horror genre.

Furthermore, RE had also puzzle solving points. Some of them were necessary some were optional. These however, would alter the ending of the game. This is yet another characteristic that many similar games and developers tried to replicate. Multiple endings may be today a reality because of the first Resdent Evil game.

Whilst the game was lacking in sundtrack this actually enhanced the fear element. The sound of the footsteps along with the squeaky doors combined with uncomfortable silence are doing more than what any score would have done.

The major downside of this game is the lack of quality acting and dialogue. But this is easily estomped by all other aspects that will keep you on the edge of your seat any time of the day. If you would have played the game back in 1996, the B-movie type of acting may have actually been an enhancer for the eerie atmosphere where something at any time could have attacked you without warning.

Another negative side are the controls. Being a 3d game released in a time where over 90% of games were 2D, this is understandable. However, there are remastered versions you can play today on the PS4 and on the Xbox One console. The HD remastered release is a hit on its own. It managed to keep the mood and the overall atmosphere of the first game while improving the controls, acting and graphics. It is a real joy and pleasure seeing developers putting so much attention and care into providing what the fans want and need.

Resident Evil 1996 Gameplay

If you are a new gamer and you are used to more modern games, the 1996 version may be a no-no for you. You will still get all the goods of the original if you decide to play the remake. Regardless of your opinion it RE is undoubtedly one of the most influential games of all time. It changed the world of horror genre forever and it open new uncharted territories for many other games after it.


  1. Commented on
    Comment by John

    You should have also mentioned about Silent Hill. I believe it is also relevant when it comes to the world and history of the horror genre in video games. What are your thoughts on that?

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