PERRY, Stephanie Danelle. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy. 2012.
‘When Racoon City, a remote mountain community, is suddenly besieged by a rash of grisly murders, bizarre reports start to spread, describing attacks from vicious creatures, some human… some not. At the center of these deaths is a dark, secluded mansion belonging to the mysterious Umbrella Corporation.’
I know, I know. A book of a video game? Guys, you sound like those haters who say the book was better than the film without watching the film —or even reading the book. I’m an open-minded person and decided to give it a try. Plus it’s cheaper and faster than playing the games and I’m way behind in that sense.
I guess that I don’t need to explain what Resident Evil is. Apart from the games, there are films, and even different book adaptations, it seems. So you should already know it’s about zombies and related aberrant creatures. This novel adapts the first game with the same setting and the same characters.
The story takes place in 1998 in a supposedly abandoned mansion filled with zombies and monsters as a consequence of an accident with a virus that was being developed as a biological weapon. The mansion and the secret underground laboratory are also full of puzzles and traps that Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine need to solve and survive.
I wondered if the puzzles would be omitted in favour of horror scenes. On the contrary, puzzles were made into a key part of the story. The book often evoked moments of the playing experience, making it nostalgia-proof.
Of course, this novel won’t become a bestseller as it sprung from a game with virtually no plot. Conversely, it’s decently written and it definitely works as a substitute portable console when commuting or on holidays if you have played the original game and can only carry a book.