Resident Evil has been a series plagued with issues both on the big and small screen. Whether it be the turbulent film series from 2002 or the numerous small screen efforts, none have managed to capture the horror of early Resi games – or the subsequent action in later titles.
Even the games, to an extent, have been a mixed bag of quality. While Resident Evil 4 revitalized the series and brought a more action-driven style to the franchise, Resident Evil 5 was much more of a subjective title. With a changed setting and a strange pull between horror and action, it was much more of a turbulent affair than it perhaps should have been. And that’s before mentioning whatever the heck Resident Evil 6 was.
With Resident Evil back in the good books with gamers following recent outings with the Baker family in Biohazard and Lady Dimitrescu in Resi 8, there was perhaps no better time to release Infinite Darkness.
Bridging the gap between Resident Evil 4 and 5, Infinite Darkness takes on a much more story-driven approach, ditching the horror and action of old for a more straightforward and politically charged story. And boy does this show squander all of its potential.
The result is a tepid and lackluster attempt to take what worked with Resident Evil and squeeze all of that out in favour of a highly forgettable and completely forgettable tale.
The story here follows both Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy – familiar faces from the Resi series as a whole – as they try to stop another viral outbreak following what happened in Raccoon City. This time though the attention turns to the fictional state of Penamstan.
Civil unrest has broken out while the US stands on the brink of war with neighbouring state China. There are political advisors desperate to spark the flames of war, and that’s only exacerbated further when the White House is attacked.
What follows is a journey to Shanghai to uncover the truth as Leon and Claire are forced to stop another bioweapon outbreak in their own ways.
With a distinct lack of action and two jump scares in total (yep, I counted them), this feels much more like an extended cutscene from the opening of a game rather than a fully fleshed-out project.
The animation is awkwardly jarring too and at times the editing completely betrays the ideas this series shoots for. To make matters worse, the visual design and grainy colours reflects the same dull mundane feel you’ll have watching this.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a lackluster attempt to rekindle what makes these games so great (when they get it right) onto the small screen. It’s an inoffensive show that doesn’t have much to say beyond the horrors of war while attempting to remain apolitical with its weird blend of fictional and real countries.
Fans of Resident Evil should enjoy seeing Leon and Claire back but there’s just not enough here to make it a series worth the run-time – or recommendation. With a bit more action and horror the show could be a good addition to the extended lore but this feels much closer to the horrors of Resident Evil 6 rather than the heights of Resi 2 and Nemesis.