Resident Evil: Differences Between Netflix Show, Games, & Movies

We know for a fact that Resident Evil is a video game franchise that has sold millions of copies worldwide since 1996. It is the fact that this is such a popular game that allowed it to earn different types of adaptations in shows and movies. And we know that the latest adaptation is the Netflix series that has just been released.

Of course, it is also known that not all video game adaptations are true to their source material because different creative thoughts go into the development of a TV series or a movie. That is why the Resident Evil Netflix series isn’t exactly a direct 1:1 adaptation of the video games and isn’t even remotely related to the movies. So, with that said, let’s look at the differences between the Resident Evil Netflix series and the games and the movies.

Storyline

Netflix Series

The story of the Netflix series takes place in two different timelines. First, we have the “now” timeline, which follows Jade Wesker’s story during 2036, when the world had become overrun by the zombies they call the zeroes. In this timeline, Jade is seemingly researching the zeroes in an attempt to understand them more. However, she ended up getting into some trouble when Umbrella Corporation found where she had been hiding, as it was clear that the company was looking for her.

Meanwhile, in the 2022 timeline, we follow the story of Albert Wesker and his daughters, Jade and Billie, as they move into New Raccoon City. The timeline allows us to understand the events that led to the entire apocalypse in 2036 and what happened between Jade and Billie. This timeline also sheds some light on Albert’s character and how he plays a role in the entire mess that happened to the world.

In a sense, the Netflix series follows an original storyline that doesn’t merely copy what has already been shown in the games or the movies. Instead, we get a story that was crafted originally for the series but is loosely based on the video games.

Games

Every single game in the Resident Evil franchise follows a storyline that began in 1996 when a zombie outbreak started taking over the entire city of Raccoon. This outbreak came from an experiment conducted by Umbrella Corporation, as the entire city gets overrun by zombies that can quickly transmit the t-Virus from one host to another. In fact, the first Resident Evil game takes place roughly one day before Resident Evil 1 and 2, which both take place at the same time.

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Meanwhile, the next Resident Evil games happened years after the outbreak in Raccoon City. Unlike the Netflix series or the movies, the world doesn’t get overrun by zombies. But different outbreaks happen in different areas all over the world, and that’s why the characters from the first three Resident Evil games are sent to these areas.

Movies

The storylines of the Resident Evil movies are completely different compared to the ones you can find in the Resident Evil series and games. That’s because the stories of these movies were created originally for them as they follow a central character named Alice.

However, the first Resident Evil movie was actually quite close to the first Resident Evil game. But the storyline deviated from there as it became more of a story that followed Alice and her survival in a world that had become completely overrun by zombies.

In fact, a lot of elements in the Resident Evil movies were never in the games. The biggest element we are talking about is the fact that Alice has psychic abilities and powers that seem to be completely out of this world.

Characters

Netflix Series

The Netflix Resident Evil series focuses on the Wesker family as the 2022 timeline allows us to see how Albert Wesker and his daughters, Jade and Billie, are trying to start life anew in New Raccoon City.

In that regard, the only character that was taken from the Resident Evil games was Albert Wesker, who is one of the most prominent villains in the video game franchise. However, Wesker here is more of a scientist than an operative. 

It was revealed later in the series that the Netflix version of Wesker was a clone of the original one that died in 2009. He was allowed to live a normal life and have daughters in the form of Jade and Billie. However, he was forced to work under Umbrella Corporation CEO Evelyn Marcus, who is the daughter of James Marcus, a prominent name in the Resident Evil franchise.

Games

The Resident Evil games follow different characters. However, the main characters that appear in the mainline Resident Evil games are usually Chris Redfield, Jill Valentine, Leon Kennedy, and Claire Redfield.

Depending on the game, there are a few main characters added. But the games usually star those abovementioned characters. Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 8, however, are different because they follow the story of Ethan Winters in a storyline that isn’t quite connected to the events of the first six Resident Evil mainline games.

Movies

The main character of the Resident Evil movies is Alice, who became the subject of an experiment and was able to develop psychic abilities. In fact, it is her abilities that made her the main target of Umbrella Corporation throughout the entire movie franchise.

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During Alice’s entire run as the main character of the Resident Evil movies, she ends up meeting characters that are also from the games, as Chris, Jill, Leon, Claire, and even Wesker all end up appearing in the movies. But the movies all revolve around Milla Jovovich’s Alice because she was the only character that could guarantee a return to every movie.

Events

Netflix Series

In the Netflix series, the major event that led to the zombie apocalypse seems to be what happened in New Raccoon City during the 2022 timeline, as it was clear that, by 2036, the world had become overrun by zombies.

However, as the series showed, it was clear that it did not retcon the events of the Resident Evil games because the Raccoon City incident during the 90s and the death of the original Albert Wesker were all recognized. 

Games

The biggest event in the Resident Evil video game franchise is the zombie outbreak that occurred in Raccoon City, where Umbrella’s main research lab was located. In that regard, almost all of the events that happened in the game stemmed from this outbreak. The first three Resident Evil games, in fact, all revolve around the Raccoon City outbreak.

Meanwhile, the subsequent resident evil games have events that are unique to them, but everything still goes back to the Raccoon City outbreak and the experiments that Umbrella was conducting regarding the t-Virus.

Movies

Of course, the Raccoon City outbreak was also a major event in the Resident Evil movies. But, instead of keeping the outbreak confined within the city, the movies allowed the outbreak to spread around the world to cause an apocalyptic event.

As such, the movies differ from the games and the series in the sense that the apocalypse began in the Raccoon City outbreak as the authorities failed to contain the virus within the city. On the other hand, in the games and the series, the Raccoon City incident was an isolated case that didn’t allow the virus to cause a major worldwide apocalypse.

  • Ysmael is a self-professed geek that loves anything related to fantasy, sci-fi, video gaming, and anime. Spends his free time watching movies, TV shows and gaming, a lot.