2021 is shaping up to be the year of Resident Evil. With the excellent Village releasing a couple of months ago and an upcoming live action film reboot and Netflix series arriving at the end of the year. Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness sees Federal agent Leon S. Kennedy team up with TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield to investigate a zombie outbreak.
Written by Jack Ransom
I have had a very scattershot approach to indulging in this now multi-media spanning franchise. Having played several of the games (in admittedly the wrong order), seeing all but one of the Jovovich led films and checking out the first anime outing with Degeneration. Infinite Darkness unfortunately is one of the most instantly forgettable pieces of series material I have sunk my teeth into and does little to justify its existence as a series.
The plot is generic and predictable in its premise (shady government going’s on, another attempt at creating a bio-weapon…) yet unnecessarily convoluted and repetitive in its execution, purely just to fill out the runtime. Spanning 4 episodes at around 20 minutes each, killing the pacing and frequently begged the question as to why this wasn’t just a feature film. The moments intrigue and investigation are lightly scattered amongst the dull exterior and unfortunately are never fully realised or focused upon.
The animation style is an attempt at rendering real life facial features, locales etc. through a anime style lens. At times it works very effectively and genuinely looks fantastic. Especially the moments of gory splatter (the highlight being a nightmarish encounter with infected rats) and some of the location interiors are good enough to look like real life sets. However the lip syncing very poor at times as are the backgrounds/backdrops. There is also a surprising lack of action throughout the series. When it does occur it’s fine, nothing particularly standout or memorable aside from a couple of gnarly bite wounds. It plays it far too straight faced at times which simultaneously hinders its sillier moments.
The voice acting is solid all around, though hindered by awkward direction and clunky lines. Leon (Nick Apostolides) and Claire (Stephanie Panisello) unfortunately don’t have many moments together and lack the substance of their game counterparts (especially Leon who aside from the occasional quip is simply his RE6 version). The hamming up of the antagonists and zombie sound effects are all decent enough.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is for franchise completionists and die hard fans only. Outside of some choice bloody moments and some genuinely great and high quality animation throughout, it really is a largely forgettable mini-series. You’ve seen and played it all before and had more fun there. It’s not bad, just plain average.