The live-action Resident Evil movies aren’t the only ones zombie fans can watch. There are also animated films for you to sink your teeth into.
Resident Evil went big-budget after its fourth entry revolutionized the third-person shooter and survival horror genres simultaneously. After this and the success of the Hollywood movies at the box office, Capcom started producing their own animated Resident Evil movies.
It’s important to point out that the animated Resident Evil movies have nothing to do with the live-action films by W.S. Anderson, starring Mila Jovovich as Alice. The animated films are set within the same universe as the games and often provide some connecting tissue between entries.
In fact, the character Alice isn’t in the games at all. Yet many of the characters in the live-action films are inspired by characters from the games. Here’s a breakdown of each animated movie in the Resident Evil franchise in order of release – and where it fits into the series timeline:
Resident Evil Degeneration
Set after Resident Evil 4 but before Resident Evil 5, Degeneration reunites Leon S Kennedy and Claire Redfield during a zombie outbreak at an airport. However, the outbreak is simply a ruse for the game’s villain to steal a sample of the G-Virus.
The movie sees some nice dialogue between Leon and Claire which fans of Resident Evil 2 and its remake will appreciate. The pair discuss their ordeal in Racoon City and work hard to prevent the situation from happening again.
Resident Evil Degeneration also sets the scene for Resident Evil 5. That game’s villains, Tricell, play a small role in the movie and one which explains how they were able to obtain the virus used to create Uroboros.
Resident Evil Damnation
Damnation is the second animated Resident Evil movie set in between Resident Evil 5 and 6. It deals with Leon investigating bioterror in a fictional country in Eastern Europe. A group of rebels are trying to overthrow their corrupt Prime Minister while she attempts to crush them in return.
Both sides are prepared to use biological weapons if it means gaining an upper hand in the conflict. Eventually, Leon is forced to intervene as both sides lose control of their undead weapons. This time it’s the Las Plagas parasite that gets released, turning the rebels into Ganado-like creatures.
The T-Virus is also released later, and the film’s climax features a rather cool battle between a group of Tyrants and an army of lickers. Ada Wong also returns, supporting Leon but once again pursuing her own agenda. The movie sets up Resident Evil 6, explaining how some war-torn countries were able to gain access to the viruses.
Resident Evil Vendetta
Vendetta is set after Resident Evil 6 and before 7. It sees Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and Rebecca Chambers team up to stop a zombie outbreak in New York. The movie also sees the return of the Los Iluminados cult from Resident Evil 4 who are after revenge on the US.
The villains have managed to create a new virus that turns people into zombies but allows them to be controlled like Ganados. This is a nice call-back to the previous movie, but also shows how the various viruses have become intermingled.
The film contains some nice lore drops, fun action sequences and tense horror moments that reminded us of the games. The story doesn’t set up Resident Evil 7 but it still does a nice job of addressing the fallout from RE 6.
Resident Evil Infinite Darkness
Technically, Resident Evil Infinite Darkness is a four-part Netflix miniseries rather than a movie. But its runtime is similar to that of a feature-length picture, and the series is similar to the previous animated RE projects.
Infinite Darkness is set before Degeneration, making it the first animated Resident evil movie/series chronologically. This is despite it being the most recent to release. The series deals with Leon and Clare seeing each other for the first time since escaping Racoon City as they are forced to survive an outbreak in the White House.
The series uses the updated likenesses and voice actors from the Resident Evil 2 Remake. Only this time they’re playing older and more confident versions of the characters, each having now survived multiple encounters with bioweapons.