Between Resident Evil 4, the RE2 and RE3 Remakes, Resident Evil 7, and Resident Evil 8, Capcom’s survival horror series has undergone a major identity shift in the last ten years. Sometimes it’s an over-the-shoulder third-person horror. Sometimes it’s an FPS, with a greater dedication to action. It’s great to see the creators of Resident Evil try different approaches, but if you long for the classic, fixed-camera, Alone in the Dark, Silent Hill, Parasite Eve-style horror – of which Resident Evil was a pioneering part in the ‘90s – the last few years have been tough. Well, that is until now. It’s not official, but we basically just got a new Resident Evil game, complete with its own story, cutscenes, characters, weapons, puzzles, and more, and it’s available right now for free.
This is Resident Evil Containment, a fully-fledged RE game and story that functions as a kind of parallel and a prequel to the original Resident Evil from 1996. Created by Aydan Watkins, you play as a member of the Umbrella security force sent to the Arklay Mountains in response to a distress call. Arriving at the Spencer Estate, you discover – naturally – that something has gone terribly wrong. Across a sprawling, single-player horror game, you explore the events and the background that led to the mansion incident in the first place.
All the classic Resident Evil mechanics are here. Manage your inventory. Collect files. Solve puzzles. Watkins has built a loving homage to the RE games of old, introducing new locations and characters, while also adding a fresh spin on some of the series’ most recognizable sights. I’m especially fond of Containment’s version of the Spencer mansion guard house, which is even more overgrown with the burgeoning vines of Plant 42.
Strictly speaking, this is a mod for the first Resident Evil, but it’s more like an entire game unto itself. Watkins has created new cutscenes, puzzles, weapons, mechanics – it’s a totally convincing, professionally-made pseudo-prequel. If you want a classic Resident Evil experience that adds new elements while staying true to the series’ lore, you can play Resident Evil Containment right now.