Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a present that’s made for individuals who love lore. The latest video games within the sequence, Resident Evil 7 and Village, have largely gotten away from the story of Racoon Metropolis and extra typical zombie tropes, as a substitute specializing in extra standalone horror tales which can be beginning to resemble an anthology of sorts. However there’s nonetheless a spot the place the Umbrella Company and Racoon Metropolis loom massive: tie-in films and TV exhibits. Infinite Darkness is the newest, a four-episode sequence on Netflix that actually leans into the political intrigue behind the zombie outbreak. There are some enjoyable moments, like when undead monsters infiltrate the White Home, however the present is usually fascinating as a complement to the video games.
Infinite Darkness takes place after the occasions of Resident Evil 4 and options longtime Resident Evil leads Leon Kennedy (launched as “the guy who saved the president’s daughter”) and Claire Redfield. There’s lots occurring. Initially, Leon is summoned to assist examine a cyberattack on the Pentagon, which the secretary of protection is satisfied was carried out by the Chinese language authorities. In the meantime, Claire helps to construct faculties in a fictional Center Japanese nation referred to as Penamstan, which additionally occurs to be 1) of strategic significance for each the US and Chinese language militaries, and a couple of) a Raccoon Metropolis-like testing floor for the zombie creating T-virus.
So you have got two international superpowers dancing round a conflict, a small nation getting used as a guinea pig for a harmful virus, and a remedy for that virus getting used to create utterly obedient tremendous troopers. As a substitute of implements of terror, in Infinite Darkness, zombies are simply one other software for highly effective males to make use of to generate both energy or wealth (or each). The present doesn’t actually have a lot to say past that, aside from perhaps capitalism is dangerous — significantly when it includes promoting a remedy for changing into an undead monster.
The issue isn’t simply that the present’s politics are largely only a backdrop; it’s additionally that it tries to cram an excessive amount of into a comparatively temporary runtime. Watching Infinite Darkness is a bit like watching a online game cutscene that tries to quickly run by means of plot factors so gamers can get again to the motion. There are such a lot of flashbacks and conspiracies with a number of layers that it may be exhausting to maintain monitor of what’s occurring.
That stated, the truth that the present typically resembles a online game typically works in its favor. The very best moments in Infinite Darkness really feel like they had been ripped out of a survival horror sport. Early on, after an influence outage, zombies stalk the darkened halls of the White Home, and it’s gradual and terrifying, like a basic Resident Evil sport. Equally, there’s a tense second on a submarine infested with zombie rats, the place Leon and mates are compelled to combat with out weapons, in order that they don’t pierce the hull. The present even ends with what’s basically a boss combat in opposition to a superpowered zombie with a evident weak level. There are dumb one-liners — Leon says “hey sexy,” to a bazooka — and set items the place a complete degree constructing collapses across the heroes as they try to make a daring escape.
Some tie-ins are supposed to lure in new followers, whereas others are designed to appease current ones; Infinite Darkness is most undoubtedly the latter. It’s for individuals who really wish to know what Leon was as much as after saving the president’s daughter and who marvel about all the methods a zombie virus could be exploited by governments and companies. It’s for folks with a vested curiosity — and people who miss the straightforward days of Raccoon Metropolis.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is streaming on Netflix now.