Friday, 24 May 2024

The Evolution of Resident Evil’s Zombies

Long before zombies became a popular theme in video games, Capcom introduced players to their iconic ghouls in the Resident Evil series. From the first terrifying encounter in the Spencer Mansion, these monsters have evolved and changed throughout the franchise. In this article, we will delve into the evolution of the Resident Evil zombies, exploring how they have mutated and become more menacing over the years.

Resident Evil – 1996 (PlayStation)

The debut game in the Resident Evil series, released in 1996 on the PlayStation, is often regarded as one of the scariest games of its time. Players had encountered zombies before in other games, but Resident Evil brought a new level of horror. In this game, the zombies were slow and relentless, moaning and shuffling towards the player with outstretched arms. The initial encounter with a zombie feasting on a character’s former comrade was a chilling moment that left players on edge. These zombies could absorb multiple bullet shots before falling, adding to the tension of the game.

Resident Evil 2 – 1998 (PlayStation)

The zombies in Resident Evil 2 were more reactive compared to their predecessors in the first game. When shot, they would jerk and fall backwards, providing players with a precious second to escape. However, these zombies could also lunge at the player and attempt to bite them if they got too close. The game also introduced more gruesome damage effects, allowing players to blow off limbs and even sever a zombie’s upper torso from its legs.

Resident Evil 3: Nemesis – 1999 (PlayStation)

In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, the zombies were similar to those in Resident Evil 2 but with a few key differences. This game introduced the concept of multiple enemy types coexisting in the same area. The protagonist, Jill Valentine, had to navigate through hordes of common zombies while also avoiding the relentless pursuit of the towering Nemesis. Additionally, more agile “ninja zombies” would surprise players by lunging at them with alarming speed.

Resident Evil Code: Veronica – 2000 (Dreamcast)

Code: Veronica marked a milestone in the Resident Evil series, featuring fully modeled 3D environments. However, the behavior of the zombies remained largely the same as previous games. Players still had to be cautious of “ninja zombies” that could sprint towards them, but overall, the humanoid threats were familiar and exterminated in the same way.

Resident Evil [Remake] – 2002 (GameCube)

The 2002 remake of the original Resident Evil brought significant changes and added a new level of terror to the game. Players could now use self-defense weapons to stop zombies mid-attack. If zombies weren’t decapitated or burned, they would return as Crimson Heads, faster and more dangerous versions of their former selves. The introduction of Crimson Heads forced players to rethink their encounters with zombies and added tension to the game.

Resident Evil Zero – 2002 (GameCube)

Resident Evil Zero, a prequel to the original game, featured similar gameplay and art style to the 2002 remake. However, instead of Crimson Heads, players had to face zombies infested with T-Virus-infected leeches. These monsters had enhanced aggressiveness and the ability to regenerate lost appendages. Players had to rely on stronger weapons like shotguns and incendiary devices to defeat them.

Resident Evil 4 – 2005 (GameCube)

Resident Evil 4 brought a significant change to the series, revitalizing the franchise and introducing a new style of gameplay. The enemies in this game, known as Ganados, were infected humans who displayed enhanced intelligence and communication skills. Players could target specific enemy limbs and use precise gunplay to defeat them. However, shooting off their heads could sometimes result in even deadlier mutations.

Resident Evil 5 – 2009 (PS3, 360, PC)

In Resident Evil 5, the enemies were called Majini and were similar to the Ganados in previous games. They were infected with a Plaga parasite that gave them enhanced abilities. The game introduced new cover-based firefights, and players had to shoot specific weak points on the Majini to defeat them.

Resident Evil: Revelations – 2012 (3DS, Wii U)

Resident Evil: Revelations was praised for its return to the series’ horror roots. The zombies in this game, known as Ooze, were different from the humanoid enemies seen in previous games. They moved at a steady pace and attacked by latching onto the player, sucking their flesh with their large mouths. Shooting specific limbs did not have a significant effect on these enemies, so players had to rely on well-timed dodges to avoid taking damage.

Resident Evil 6 – 2012 (PS3, 360)

Resident Evil 6 introduced new enemies infected with the C-Virus. The standard zombies behaved similarly to the enemies in Resident Evil 4 and 5, but with slightly diminished mental capacity. The J’avo, on the other hand, were more organized and had powerful regenerative abilities. Their regenerated limbs had erratic functions, making them unpredictable and challenging to defeat.

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 – 2015 (PS3, 360, PS4, Xbox One, PC, Vita)

In Resident Evil: Revelations 2, the enemies called Afflicted were tortured humans on the brink of insanity. These demented creatures were bound in razor wire and had metal spikes impaled through their bodies. Players had to target the legs of the Afflicted in order to trip them, allowing other characters to finish them off. The standard Afflicted enemy was more vulnerable to headshots compared to other zombie-like monsters in the series.

With every iteration of the Resident Evil franchise, the zombies have become more menacing and challenging to defeat. From slow-shuffling undead to agile and intelligent creatures, the evolution of the zombies has kept players on the edge of their seats. As the release of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 marks a new chapter in the series, only time will tell what horrors await players in the future.


  • Q: Are there any new enemy types introduced in Resident Evil: Revelations 2?

    • A: Yes, the game introduces a new enemy called Afflicted, which are tortured humans pushed to the point of insanity.
  • Q: How do players defeat the zombies in Resident Evil 6?

    • A: The standard zombies can be defeated by shooting them, while the J’avo require more strategic approaches due to their regenerative abilities.
  • Q: Which game in the series is considered the most terrifying?

    • A: The original Resident Evil game is often regarded as the scariest due to its atmospheric horror and memorable encounters with zombies.


The Resident Evil series has showcased the evolution of zombies throughout the years. From their humble beginnings as slow and relentless creatures to their current forms as agile and intelligent foes, the zombies in the franchise have continued to terrify players. As the series progresses, it will be interesting to see how these iconic enemies continue to evolve and keep players on the edge of their seats. For more information on the series and its latest installment, visit Wqaindia.