Continuing on with my look back at Resident Evil events before the fourth numbered entry — part two is here — it's part three!
Part 3: Taking The Outbreak Worldwide
This is the final section of a very long article, so if you made it this far, well done! This section will discuss the events featured in Resident Evil Code: Veronica X (a game that unfortunately hasn't received a remake yet).
Set only a few months after the Resident Evil 2 (2019) and Resident Evil 3 (2020) remakes (yes, the golden era of Resident Evil all happened within a six-month period during 1998), Claire Redfield finds herself in Europe — having travelled there in an attempt to track down her brother Chris. Unable to find her brother, though, Claire is eventually captured by Umbrella security and sent to Rockfort Island — a private prison run by Umbrella. After a short stay she is released, only to discover that the island has been taken over by the T-Virus. After teaming up with another inmate, Steve Burnside, the two of them take the fight to the island's commander Alfred Ashford. He, however, is suffering from a psychotic break and constantly switching personalities between his own and that of his twin sister Alexia. Claire and Steve do manage to escape Rockfort's maniacal leader in a seaplane although they don't remain out of his reach for too long.
Ashford forces their aeroplane to land at a nearby Umbrella base hidden in the Arctic. Stuck once again, the pair have to fight their way through all kinds of twisted creatures, before they finally kill Alfred — this is not before he successfully frees the cryonically frozen Alexia. Alexia has been infected with the T-Veronica Virus, hence the pod in which she was once contained. Now that she's free, she is able to capture Claire and Steve.
This is where Chris Redfield comes into the story; he has followed Claire's trail and arrived at Rockfort Island. Though he hasn't spoken with Claire directly, Chris knew where to start looking, due to a message passed on by Leon. As Chris tries to track down information about Claire's whereabouts at the base, he is confronted by Albert Wesker (yes, he survived the Mansion Incident from the Resident Evil HD REMASTER remake it seems), who is now a private contractor, and there to swipe the T-Veronica Virus. Eventually both men find out that the things they each seek reside in the Arctic Umbrella facility, and so both make their ways there.
Chris manages to find Claire and free her, although Steve is M.I.A., so they hunt around the facility for him. When they do find him, it turns out that he has become another experiment, and the T-Veronica Virus has made him into another monster. Before killing Claire, though, he regains his humanity and instead directs his rage toward Alexia. Steve is killed, but not before he confesses his love for Claire. Wesker and Chris then confront Alexia, looking for a final showdown — each of them for different reasons. In the conflict, Wesker flees with Steve's virus-riddled corpse, which he decides is a fitting substitute for Alexia, while Chris ultimately defeats Alexia, and Claire and he escape the base before it self-destructs.
So, there we have it, the major series' story beats that lead up to Resident Evil 4 (2023). As you can now see, on a basic level the series was mostly: kill monsters, kill a mad scientist, escape the Umbrella base before it collapses. However, the games are so much more than that! They are wonderful stories with great mechanics, and I urge anyone to give these a try — before or after the Resident Evil 4 remake.
Some other games set before Resident Evil 4 (2023) are as follows, although, their validity as canon entries is dubious: Resident Evil Survivor, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil Outbreak, Resident Evil Outbreak: File #2, Resident Evil Gaiden, and Resident Evil: Dead Aim. From lightgun, to handheld, to multiplayer, Resident Evil spin-offs have explored plenty of avenues. And even though they won't help you understand the main series narrative, some are worth having a look into.