Back in 1996, in a stroke of genius, the game designer Shinji Mikami began the development of a horror-themed adventure game set in a haunted mansion. The game, based on the concept of the famous Japanese horror movie Sweet Home and featured zombies, would have been developed in 3D polygonal graphics, namely a type of computer modeling technique from the late Eighties that grew notorious only in the Nineties thanks to games such as Virtua Racing and Super Mario 64. Before Shinji Mikami, 3D polygonal graphics had never been used to realize a horror game on PlayStation platform, so it is only natural that the game became a hit soon after its release. To celebrate the achieved success and to promote the title, the game development company Capcom which had financed Mikami’s project coined the term “survival horror” by which all videogames similar in content and style to Mikami’s creation are still defined nowadays. This masterpiece that made a part of video game industry is the world-famous Biohazard, best-known in Western countries as Resident Evil – name that was suggested by Capcom USA during its English localization.
You don’t need to be a fan of survival horror adventures to know Resident Evil, since it has been turned in all kind of forms of art and entertainment; starting with novels and manga and ending with several CG movies, Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield’s battles against the terrific Bio Organic Weapons created by the Umbrella Corporation and its most prominent researcher Albert Wesker in order to accomplish personal profit and power have had a big international impact on later game developing companies and publishers, leading to the creation of new products in the same vein of their predecessor. Are you curious to know in what way survival horror genre has evolved during the years, and which games are the most similar to Resident Evil? Then, keep on reading this article, because we have gather the best of the survival horror games resembling Resident Evil.
Similar Games to Resident Evil / Similar Games to Biohazard
1. Silent Hill
- System/Platform: PlayStation, PC
- Publisher: Konami
- Developer: KCET
- Release Date: Jan. 31, 1999 (NA)
When we talk about survival horror we can’t not mention one of the most famous games of all times; that is Silent Hill. Created by the Team Silent on an idea of Keiichiro Toyama, Silent Hill follows the frightening experiences Harry Mason while dealing with an old townsperson. After his wife’s death, Harry is left alone with his adopted daughter Cheryl who worried for her dad’s mental state begs him to take some days to relax in the resort town of Silent Hill, in Maine area. Not knowing how to say “no” to his precious daughter, Harry decides to please her. Due to car trouble, they arrive at Silent Hill at night through a mountain trail, but things get even more complicated when a girl suddenly appears in the middle of the road. In an attempt not to hit her, Harry swerves his car and crashes onto the side of the road, knocking him unconscious. When he opens his eyes few hours later, Cheryl has disappeared, so Harry has no other choice left than venture into Silent Hill in the hope he can rescue her. The sky is grey, all around Harry is fog-covered, and a strange white snow-like rain falls on the town endlessly; does it have to do with the death of a girl Alessa Gillespie tragically killed in a house fire seven years before?
Silent Hill could be a good game for anyone who is interested in Resident Evil for some specific characteristics the two titles share: first of all, finding weapons or objects that can be used to stay alive and advance in the game is extremely difficult. Resident Evil’s lovers recall for sure that, especially in the first games of the saga, one of the most important thing to do was sparing how many ammos and herbs as possible in order to save them for enemies more dangerous than regular zombies. Well, the surviving system in Silent Hill is quite similar, if not even harder, considering that monsters appear ceaselessly and can’t always be killed. Then, the mission of the game is very similar to Leon’s one to rescue the president’s daughter in Resident Evil 4. These could be interesting points of merit for Silent Hill if you like hard rescuing-themed games.
2. Dino Crisis
- System/Platform: PS, PC, DC
- Publisher: Capcom, Virgin Interactive, Sourcenext
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: Ju1. 1, 1999
Another step back to the past with Dino Crisis, dubbed by Capcom itself as belonging to the sub-genre of “panic horror”. The game revolves around the adventure of a special forces team, The Secret Operation Raid Team. The main character playable in the game is Regina, codename of the sole female member of the whole game, who together with her comrades is assigned to infiltrate a research facility on Ibis island. Their mission is to repatriate Edward Kirk, an energy researcher working on a project of interest to nation's government – Third Energy. Upon arriving at the facility, S.O.R.T. finds out it is infested with time-displaced dinosaurs, so Regina must find a way to get out of there alive together with Kirk.
Released in 1999, almost at the same time as Resident Evil, Dino Crisis is another vintage masterpiece by Shinji Mikami and retains all Resident Evil’s main features; the setting, with its underground passageways covered in metal, sewer, suspended platforms, reminds the atmosphere of Resident Evil’s second chapter, as the static third person battle system that was used by Capcom until Resident Evil 4. Even the way the doors open inducing anxiety for not knowing what is behind them is exactly the same as in Resident Evil, and all nostalgic of these details like this hard to see in new games would certainly be happy to know it. Being a Mikami’s work for the old generations, you can bet surviving is no easy feat in Dino Crisis, so it is highly recommended for all the lovers of wild-goose chase!
3. Dead Rising
- System/Platform: X360, PC, PS4, XONE
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
- Release Date: Aug. 8, 2006 (NA)
Capcom really likes popping out games featuring zombies and Dead Rising was another one of its greatest successes about an outbreak. This time, we will play the role of the freelance photographer Frank West, who is looking for the scoop of a lifetime. Via helicopter, he enters the town of Willamate, a fictional city set in the state of Colorado, where he believes a riot is taking place. However, Frank soon realizes there is something more than just a violent revolt going on; the town is, in fact, infested with zombies and Frank will have to find out the truth behind the outbreak before it is too late for him to escape the city.
Conceived on the tail of the immortal Resident Evil with which it shares many features, Dead Rising resembles more the latest Resident Evil’s titles, being more action-like than actually scary; you won’t need to rely only on guns or few items you have got to able to kill the enemies since you can also kick or punch them as many times as you want. But the major point dead Rising and Resident Evil has in common is the presence of zombies, of course; in hunger for human flesh, zombies in Dead Rising are divided into different categories and are capable of special actions according to the type of virus they were infected with when they used to be alive. As in some Resident Evil’s works such as Outbreak, zombies in Dead Rising can also infect people by transmitting them the virus. You will have to run if you don’t want to be bitten and become one of them within 24 hours!
Dead Rising Xbox 360 Trailer - Official Trailer
Any Games Like Resident Evil ? / Any Games Like Biohazard ?
4. Deadly Premonition
- System/Platform: X360, PS3, PC
- Publisher: Rising Star Games, Mastertronic, Marvelous, TOYBOX, Marvelous AQL, Ignition Entertainment
- Developer: Access Games
- Release Date: Feb. 17, 2010
Not many games are terrifying as the psychological horror Deadly Premonition, which is not exactly survival but it is still enough creepy to be similar to Resident Evil. In Deadly Premonition, you play as Francis York Morgan, a special agent from FBI who is sent to the town of Greenvale to investigate on the mysterious death of Anna Graham who was found crucified to a tree by two kids. York is a brilliant agent, but he suffers of a serious syndrome that makes him believe to have an alter ego Zach and makes him have weird nightmares. While on his way to Greenvale, York is attacked by mysterious creatures that looks like a mix between a zombie and a doll. Alone in the wood, York’s task will turn into a journey to hell.
If Resident Evil have made you pausing the game often to recover from the frightening encounters with masses of zombies in narrow and dark corridors while what you had left to fight back was a knife, Deadly Premonition could cause you the same anxiety, but in a more deep, psychological way. Dialogs are strange, twisted, even insane, while monsters are distorted in face and body. A great number of animal-like creatures similar to those giant insects you could find in Resident Evil 2 and 3 are scattered all over the town which, like for the two above mentioned games, is an open space that can be explored freely – at your own risk, of course. Furthermore, there is almost no music in Deadly Premonition, which makes it very close the oldest Resident Evil; moving through a silent lost town not knowing when your enemies will pop out is what every Resident Evil’s fan has experienced and would like about Deadly Premonition.
Deadly Premonition Trailer
5. The Last of Us
- System/Platform: PS3, PS4
- Publisher: SCE Australia, SCEA, SCEE, SCEI
- Developer: Naughty Dog
- Release Date: Jun. 14, 2013
Post-apocalyptic America, in a dystopian future: The Last of Us takes place in the year 2033, twenty years after a fungal-based, brain-altering pandemic has spread and infected over 60% of the world's population. The other 40% lives now in a state of panic and tension while officers try to keep the situation under control. There is no way to fix the disaster; not even the World Health Organization could provide a vaccine for the virus, and the U.S. government does away with the bureaucrats in power and the establishment of civilian government. The country is turned into a police state under the control of the military, and cities are placed under martial law little by little, one by one. Survivors of the outbreak are assigned to designated quarantine zones that are supposed to separate them from the infected and keep them safe. In this hopeless world, Joel, a dangerous smuggler who lost his interest in life and people, meets the fourteen-years old Ellie who will change his life while he attempts on taking her out of that hell.
Well, if you are searching for a game that reminds you of Resident Evil, you wouldn’t look any further than The Last of Us which shares with it basically all the main concepts; starting from the outbreak of an infection caused by an accident involving a biological experiment to the measures the American government is prepared to take to contain the infection, The Last of Us was defined by many as “the new Resident Evil”. The plot sounds, indeed, very similar to the one of the Resident Evil saga, but that is not the only point in common the two games have. The latest titles are, in fact, conceived for multiplaying and the main characters Joel and Ellie, just like Chris and Sheeva in the fifth and Leon and Helena in the sixth Resident Evil, move in pair.
The Last of Us (trailer)
6. Psychobreak (The Evil Within)
- System/Platform: X360, PS3, PC, PS4, XONE
- Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
- Developer: Tango Gameworks
- Release Date: Oct. 14, 2014
No game could be more appropriate than Psychobreak when searching for games that recall the same horrific atmosphere in Resident Evil. Created by Shinji Mikami, the inventor of Resident Evil himself, Psychobreak is about a mass massacre that occurred in a mental institute, the Baecon Mental Hospital. Detective Sebastian Castellanos and his partners are asked to go there and investigate on the crime scene, and when they arrive find out that there is no survivor left. Sebastian and the two officers decides to part and that is when he gets hit by a hooded man who knocks him unconscious. After opening his eyes, Sebastian finds himself in the basement of the hospital where his worse nightmare will become true…
Have you play Resident Evil 4? Then, you will surely notice that Psychobreak is more than inspired by Leon’s adventure in the village of Los Illuminados. Set in a town inhabited by freakish monsters whose only purpose is to end your life, the scenarios through which detective Sebastian moves are definitely crumbling, dirty, and bloody. After his mates get killed by a strange entity, Sebastian is left alone in his mission of investigating on the suicide case, and must rely on few items found on the way to be able to survive against monsters that are kind of plagas-like. Though the atmosphere in Psychobreak is way darker than the one in Resident Evil 4 but closer to the one of the first titles, the fights against the monsters looks particularly alike, because of the constant attacks and encounters along the chase scene. So, if you are searching for a melding of classical horror Resident Evil and action-horror, you would probably want to give Psychobreak a try.
The Evil Within - Teaser Trailer
With Resident Evil, Capcom gave life to the new genre of "survival horror" which changed the history of video games forever. Although many other works before the Nineties were created on a similar concept, it was Resident Evil which paved the road for all those titles that would have come later, such as The Last of Us or The Evil Within. Newer and more graphically complex games could make this genre more and more intriguing, with a wider range of nuances for all kind of players. Action, psychological, enigma - which one is your favorite? Let us know with a comment below!