As a cinematic reboot of the Resident Evil franchise, the new film Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City hews closer to the original video game source material than any of the previous Resident Evil movie adaptations. With Welcome to Raccoon City now out in theaters everywhere, audiences can revisit classic moments and characters lifted directly from the Resident Evil games on the big screen as filmmaker Johannes Roberts launches an ambitious adaptation of the franchise. Here are all the video games fans should play to catch the Easter eggs peppered throughout Welcome to Raccoon City and see how the classic story originally unfolded.
As a fresh start to the cinematic series, Welcome to Raccoon City draws heavily from the 1996 original Resident Evil game, originally released for the PlayStation. The game had Raccoon City's elite police squad the S.T.A.R.S. Team investigate the sudden disappearance of a previous team just outside of the city in the Arklay Mountains before ravenous zombie dogs forced them to take refuge in the nearby Spencer Mansion. Discovering the mansion crawling with zombies and other bloodthirsty, mutated monsters, Chris Redfield and his colleagues discover this house of horrors is linked to secret genetic experiments by the nefarious Umbrella Corporation as they attempt to survive the night and escape the premises. The original Resident Evil has since received an enhanced remake for modern consoles, maintaining the story and much of the gameplay mechanics but in high definition and is a must-have for any fan of the franchise.
In a change from the video games, Welcome to Raccoon City has the events of the original Resident Evil take place concurrently with its 1998 sequel Resident Evil 2; the game series had Resident Evil 2 take place approximately two months after the events of its predecessor. Instead, as the S.T.A.R.S. Team investigates the Spencer Mansion, Leon S. Kennedy and Chris' younger sister Claire Redfield simultaneously find themselves trapped in the Raccoon City Police Station as hordes of undead swarm outside of the building, echoing Resident Evil 2's story. In addition to the original PS1 Resident Evil 2, the game received its own enhanced remake for modern consoles in 2019, reintroducing the classic, with a fresh coat of paint, to a new generation.
With the way that Raccoon City is destroyed and Jill Valentine's role in the story streamlined to match Welcome to Raccoon City's concurrent narrative, a faithful adaptation of 1999's Resident Evil 3: Nemesis is largely impossible. The PS1 game saw Jill escape from Raccoon City on her own, separate from Leon and Claire rather than building off her escape from the Spencer Mansion in the original game. Instead, with the relationship between Chris and Claire Redfield serving as the emotional core to Welcome to Raccoon City, fans may do better to revisit 2000's Resident Evil - Code: Veronica which remains the only canonical instance in the games of Chris and Claire teaming up to date while exploring more about Albert Wesker's descent into villainy.
There are plenty of directions for Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City to go next and untouched video game material that could be adapted for the big screen. With a mid-credits sequence that certainly sets up a path for a potential sequel to go next, the rebooted Resident Evil film series' future looks bright with possibility beyond the fires of Raccoon City as its survivors prepare to take the fight back to Umbrella and expose the sinister corporation for what it has truly been up to all along in any follow-ups.
Once you've finished playing your favorite Resident Evil game, you can go see Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City, in theaters now.
KEEP READING: Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City Bites Off More Than It Can Chew
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