There is no denying the impact the original “Resident Evil” has had on the gaming industry. Over the years, Capcom has changed and re-imagined the series to stay relevant. Last year's “Resident Evil 7“ was seen by many as a step back towards the horror roots of the original, a step that was a success as the game has sold over 5 million copies.

Let’s go over the entire series, detailing each game, its story and the impact that it has on the gaming scene. The first part will detail the survival horror games of yesteryear.

'Resident Evil'

First released in 1996 for the PS1, “Resident Evil” was a revelation.

Tense and atmospheric, the game played to all of your fears. Trapped in a mansion full of zombies, you controlled either Chris Redfield or Jill Valentine. Your job was to find out the mysteries behind the mansion and get out alive.

The original “Resident Evil” defined the Survival Horror Genre. Monsters were everywhere you went. Healing items and ammo were in short supply, so you never felt truly safe. Puzzles littered the environment for you to solve. The game did everything it could to throw you off and make you feel like you were the one being hunted.

While zombies were the main enemy you faced in the mansion, the game threw curveballs as you progressed. After you returned from the garden at the back of the mansion, a lot of zombies were replaced with Hunters.

They were faster and more powerful creatures who were more difficult to deal with than regular zombies. This was one of the many ways the game kept you on your toes.

Fixed camera angles meant sometimes your character could be staring right at something but you, the player, would be entirely unable to see anything. This was a revolutionary way to handle your game environment at the time.

You could be walking down a corridor when you hear some glass break, and you instinctively stop. What could it be? Do I have enough equipment for me to handle it? Should I leave and come back later? All the while you are thinking this, whatever smashed the window could be creeping towards you.

Then again, whatever smashed the glass might not be coming towards you.

Whatever smashed the glass might be waiting for you to come closer before jumping out. You never knew because the game often mixed these things up, leaving you second-guessing yourself.

The game wasn’t perfect. Its graphics have not aged well at all. Unless you play conservatively with your ammunition you could end up at a boss battle without any way of defeating it. The puzzles were sometimes a bit too obtuse for their own good.

A remake of the original “Resident Evil” was released for the Gamecube in 2002 with a high definition remaster of the remake released for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC.

'Resident Evil 2'

Released in 1998 for the PS1, two years after the original, “Resident Evil 2“ is held up by many to be the pinnacle of the survival horror genre.

Set two months after the original game, you play as either Claire Redfield, Chris’ sister, or Leon Kennedy, a police officer on his first day. Through chance, the two characters meet in the middle of a zombie outbreak in Raccoon City and must escape.

What is interesting about the game is that, unlike the original, the two characters stories take place at the same time as each other. In the first game, the character you do not choose to play as turns up once or twice as support. In this game, the story of the character you don’t choose plays out at the same time as your character. This leads to each character meeting different people in their story, making it a different kind of experience.

“Resident Evil 2“ takes a lot of things from the first game and tweaks them a little.

Ammo is a little more plentiful, just enough so you are able to handle enemies and bosses better. You can find upgradable parts for your weapons to give them extra damage and perks. The location is, in my opinion, better as well.

While the first game’s mansion gave a sense of loneliness and isolation, the city devastated by zombies is a more powerful and despairing atmosphere. Going to a police station and seeing bodies of people trying to make their last stands for survival is a haunting experience.

A lot of the criticisms of the first game carry over to the sequel. Puzzles are a bit difficult to parse sometimes. The graphics and voice acting have aged poorly. But after “Resident Evil 1“ was released, it left fans clamoring for more.

In that regard, “Resident Evil 2“ was a definite success.

A high definition remake of “Resident Evil 2“ is currently in the works, though the release date is as of yet unknown.

'Resident Evil 3'

Released in 1999 for the PS1, just a year and a half after “Resident Evil 2,“ “#Resident Evil 3“ helped push the series forward. The graphics were given a boost. Combat was made to be more action-orientated. Ammo was more common and you had new moves to help fight the zombies.

Taking place at the same time as “Resident Evil 2“, this game centers on Jill Valentine, returning for the first time since the original game. She too is inside Raccoon City and must escape the zombie-infested city with any survivors she can find.

One of the bigger aspects of the game is what is known as the Nemesis System. Throughout the game, Jill is chased by a gigantic monster known as Nemesis. This monster can go through doors, so it always feels like it is chasing you. If you escape from it, it could follow you.

However, it could also not follow you for a few rooms before it charges right at you.The sense of uneasiness and dread this brings in palatable.You nervously move between areas, trying to keep note of escape routes in case it shows up. You can defeat it if you fight it, but this will only give the briefest of reprieves.

Another aspect of the game is branching storylines. Though you get to play as only one character, the choices you make throughout the game changes the story and locations.

This can lead to you seeing different areas, and you may need to replay the game differently to see the whole story.

My favorite part of the game is the location. While you briefly go through the streets of Raccoon City in “Resident Evil 2“, you spend the vast majority of the game inside the city in “Resident Evil 3.“ You see more survivors and really get to feel the horror of a city being destroyed from within.

There was still some criticism, however. The game is quite short, more so than the first two games. The puzzles tend to be more convoluted and confusing too. However, the game was a success for Capcom and helped push the series forward.

‘Resident Evil: Code Veronica’

Released in 2000 for the Sega Dreamcast, “Code Veronica” changed a lot of things while still keeping to the roots of the series.

While technically the fourth game of the series, it did not get a number in its title. The characters you play as are Claire and Chris Redfield, who end up in a prison three months after the events of “Resident Evil 2“ and “Resident Evil 3“.

This game was the first to get rid of the pre-rendered backgrounds. By using real-time 3D Environments, it allowed Capcom to have a more flexible camera. This meant as you walk down a corridor, the camera follows you. Coupled with the stronger graphics from the next generation console, “Code Veronica” was the best looking Resident Evil game to date.

A lot of the criticisms from the previous games carried over. The puzzles were still hit and miss, which was almost becoming a “Resident Evil” tradition.

The control system was the same tank control system from the very first “Resident Evil”, which led to some frustration. Though the game looked a lot better, it still felt like a “Resident Evil” game, for better or for worse.

The game was critically acclaimed upon initial release for the “Sega Dreamcast”, but over the years the reverence for the game has been lowered. This felt like the first” Resident Evil” game to give diminishing returns from the series.

‘Resident Evil Zero‘

“Resident Evil 0“ was released for the Gamecube in 2002. This was the fifth “Resident Evil” game to be released in six years, not counting spin-offs and side games that had been released. This time, you played as Rebecca Chambers, who was a side character in “Resident Evil 1“.

Set immediately before the original game, she explores a stationary train near the location of the mansion from the very first game. The train starts running, and it is also full of zombies. She teams up with Billy Coen, a marine also on the train, to figure out what is going on.

The first thing you would notice about the game is it looks really good. The character models look realistic, and the backgrounds, in particular, look great. Lights flickering as the train moves look like a lot of care placed into it. You can see shells and bullet casings drop to the floor as you fire your weapons. You can see the rain splash onto your characters, who squint their eyes when it goes onto their face. It all looked gorgeous.

You take control of one of the two main characters and are able to switch between them at will. You can use Billy, who has more health, to lure an enemy away while Rebecca pincer attacks from behind. Rebecca can also climb up to explore areas, and you need to use either character's strength to solve puzzles as you make your way through the game.

Once again, the same criticisms arose. Six years after reinvigorating the survival horror genre, “Resident Evil 0“ was starting to look a bit old. The mechanics and controls had not changed much since the first game. Other titles were starting to move ahead, including Capcom’s own “Devil May Cry” series. The game still sold well, but Capcom seemed to realize things needed to be changed up.

In part two - how Capcom changed things up and the impact that had in the gaming world.