Before Resident Evil showed up in 1996, games frightened you in one predictable yet effective way. They threw things onscreen suddenly, forcing you to deal with an enemy that you hadn’t prepared for while all manner of chaos accompanied its appearance.
But you could hear that first big scare on this PlayStation hit – a rabid zombie chewing on a hapless victim – long before you could see it.
And when you laid eyes on it, it shambled and you froze, finally rousing because it was biting chunks out of your neck. You were rooted to the spot that first time because even before that encounter, you knew that everything in the mansion was… just wrong. It seemed like there were never enough bullets, green herbs and typewriter ribbon to stay alive. You weren’t meant to live through this.
With its knack for foreshadowing the ominous, Resident Evil crystallized video game dread. Gamers’ bladders have never been the same since.
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