It all started with a spooky mansion hidden in the mountains on the outskirts of peaceful Raccoon City. From the first outbreak of the T-Virus, the Resident Evil series blossomed into a cornerstone of survival horror games, encompassing everything from classic third-person horror to on-rails shooters and chaotic multiplayer shootouts. .
While not all of the entries appeased fans, it’s hard to deny the influence Capcom’s ongoing horror anthology had on gaming. In fact, if you’ve played through the series three times and want a similar experience, this list of games like Resident Evil can help point you in the right direction.
While not all of them are “clones” of Resident Evil, the influence of the Umbrella outbreak is evident in the tone, style, and mechanics. We venture to guess that if Resident Evil didn’t exist, a good chunk of this list wouldn’t exist either. Alas, if you need your survival horror fix and really enjoy Resident Evil, one of these games should fill the void.
Games like Resident Evil
10. Alien: Isolation
Developer: the creative assembly
Alien: Isolation may have predated Resident Evil’s main shift into first-person territory, but if you enjoyed the slow-paced horror and meticulous exploration of Resident Evil VII, you’ll want to dive into Amanda Ripley’s ill-fated introduction to the Xenomorph.
Resident Evil VII wasn’t about massive stages and action-packed segments, and neither is Isolation. Granted, you can do more damage in VII with a small variety of firearms, but there’s still a similar sense of hopelessness in Isolation when Jack Baker stalks you mercilessly. Like the Xeno, Jack is nearly unstoppable, which is a huge hindrance to your progress.
You can even say that the big bad from Isolation is quite similar to Nemesis from Resident Evil 3 or Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 in that neither of them have limits, and once they find out about you, you’re pretty much lost.
9. Deep fear
Developer: SEGA AM7
Released two years after Resident Evil, Deep Fear emerged in the “if it’s a third-person survival horror, it’s a Resident Evil clone” era. And, to be fair to that criticism, Deep Fear borrows a bit from Capcom’s outing to Raccoon City.
The Emergency Rescue Services (ERS) that protagonist John Mayor serves with are just less cool STARS, and the cosmically radiated bacteria that result in the game’s monstrosities are really just a more complicated T-Virus.
Deep Fear has some of the charms of the original Resident Evil, with a lot of over-acting and cheesy dialogue. However, it goes to great lengths to pave its own path and obsess players with a horror story set deep in the Pacific. The most amazing thing of all is that it mostly worked.
Deep Fear isn’t one of the worst games like Resident Evil, simply one forgotten by the years of AAA survival horror titles that have been released since then.
8. Mother’s Day: 1998
Developer: invasive studies
Editor: destructive creations
There’s a good reason Daymare: 1998 looks and feels like a Resident Evil game. In its earliest incarnation, it was a remake of Resident Evil 2, using the over-the-shoulder view made popular by Leon’s trip to Spain in the fourth entry. While fans of the franchise were excited about Resident Evil 2 Reborn, Capcom wasn’t too keen on the idea, and after a quick meeting with the team at Invader Studios, the remake was dead.
But, in order not to be the villains of this story, Capcom urged the development team to keep working as they had a strong concept and gameplay that could be molded into a new IP. And so Daymare was born.
Daymare is a quirky third-person survival horror title that could feel like a spin-off of Resident Evil if the IP were available. There are zombies, secret organizations and top secret investigations culminating in the typical 90’s survival horror plot. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it makes us a bit nostalgic for the days when only one organization did very bad things.
If “samurai Resident Evil” sounds great to you, then you’ll want to fire up your PS2 and slip into 2001’s Onimusha, or check out its later remaster.
Things changed a bit regarding Yoshiki Okamoto. original concept of a Resident Evil-style ninja game set in a claustrophobic mansion riddled with booby traps, but the final product still contains many elements of the classic survival horror experience. In fact, Onimusha was built on top of the system used for Resident Evil, and it shows in the melee-focused gameplay.
Instead of facing the undead and bows, the protagonist Samanosuke Akechi faces demons and the odd puzzle. Both are still heavily inspired by the monstrosities of the Spencer mansion, making Onimusha an unexpected way to fill out your Resident Evil.
Onimusha spawned a series of sequels and spin-offs that kept many of the same elements intact.
6. Parasite Eve
Editor: square electronic arts
Sometimes it was bad luck that your horror title was immediately compared to Resident Evil. Take Parasite Eve, for example. On the surface, the two may appear to play similarly and follow the same boots. Delve deeper into the Square-developed action-horror title, however, and you’ll find that Parasite Eve has a bit more to offer with its role-playing and turn-based combat elements.
If you loved Resident Evil but can admit that it can be a bit shallow, you can easily fall in love with Parasite Eve. The story takes some weird turns, as expected from Square, but the gameplay really makes you pay attention to the character’s location relative to their enemies, resource management, and evading deadly attacks.
Granted, that sounds a lot like Resident Evil, but imagine if Resident Evil was married to Final Fantasy. That’s Parasite Eve.
Developer: Hydravision Entertainment
Editor: Mighty Rocket Studio
If you had told us back in 2005 that we would still be talking about Obscure today, we wouldn’t have believed you. Back then, it was a pretty generic survival horror game that was clearly following in the footsteps of the survival horror behemoth, Resident Evil. Today, however, it’s much easier to appreciate what Obscure accomplishes because it’s not really a Resident Evil rip-off.
Trapped inside their school, a group of teenagers must work together to uncover the mystery locked in their academic guts. Turns out there are bigger mysteries at school than the actual ingredients of Taco Tuesday. What it culminates in is a delightful cooperative survival horror experience that lets you enjoy the thrill with a friend. Monsters cause trouble, bad guys hatch crazy plans, and unlikely heroes rise to the occasion. Everything is pretty standard.
Except for couch co-op, Obscure doesn’t change anything. But it’s a suitable replacement for those who want to get away from Capcom’s land of the dead and try games like Resident Evil.
4. The evil within
Developer: tango games
Editor: tango games
The Evil Within exudes that Resident Evil look and feel. It’s probably because Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami returned to form to guide Sergeant Sebastian Castellanos through a psychologically terrifying journey. The Evil Within heightens the horror of Resident Evil, delivering true scares and thrills by bending and twisting reality.
Mikami stepped in at a time when Resident Evil was shedding its survival horror guise and developers were favoring action-packed shooters. The true lack of survival horror inspired the creator of Resident Evil to return to its rootsand we are absolutely glad that he has done it to offer this slow-paced third-person shooter.
The Evil Within can be a bit tiresome, but any shortcomings are made up for with grizzly demons and brutal butchers. There’s even a blood witch who manifests in mounds of blood and, at the time, she was pretty scary.
3. Dinosaur Crisis
Two very important things happened in the 90s to give rise to a survival horror dinosaur game. Resident Evil and Resident Evil 2 were released, and Jurassic Park and The Lost World dominated theaters. Dino Crisis is the marriage of the two mediums, replacing the zombies with giant velociraptors and the Tyrants with the prehistoric Tyrant King.
Dino Crisis was a brilliantly designed game that showed a lot of love to the source material while trying to bring something new to the table. There are some changes to the game, but the overall experience is very similar to its origins.
You’ll explore secret facilities, evade encounters with his jagged pursuers, solve puzzles and more to locate a missing doctor. Dino Crisis surprised gamers in 1999 by redesigning Resident Evil with decent success.
2. Dead Space 2
Developer: Visceral Games
Editor: electronic arts
Dead Space may have introduced Isaac Clarke and the threat of necromorphs, but it’s the sequel that pushed the boundaries, expanded its scope, and continued to make monster dismemberment fun.
Dead Space 2 sees Clarke having a very bad day. A rescue attempt on the Sprawl space station turns deadly when necromorphs return to make Clarke’s day a living hell. Fortunately, Isaac is still a master of the plasma cutter and his enemies are still very soft.
Dead Space 2 is a marked improvement over the original, offering better scares, cooler settings, and worse odds. This is how sequels should be made and it serves as a masterclass in survival horror.
1. silent hill 2
Developer: silent team
The atmospheric and moody world of Silent Hill was a great way to introduce a new IP. Unfortunately, it suffered from its release after Resident Evil, so it’s quickly being compared to Capcom’s horror game. If there’s one thing it does better, though, it’s monster design, and it’s that element that carried over into Silent Hill 2 and helped spawn two of the most iconic monsters in horror games.
Pyramid Head and the deadly nurses show that Konami wasn’t messing around with their sequel. It’s a huge improvement over the original, with smoother controls, a more cohesive story, better enemies, and an overall solemn moodiness that would carry over to future titles. James Sunderland is a tragic character with a past we can’t look away from, even if he is responsible for the horrors to come.
Silent Hill (1999) may have launched the series, but it was the sequel that launched it into stardom and helped move away from that ever-appalling “Resident Evil clone” label.
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