Awhile back I wrote about the Wing Commander novels and their relationship with the game series of the same name. I've decided to revive the topic of video game novels to talk about Resident Evil as penned by S.D. Perry. Before I begin though, I just want to say that I'm not going to bother with the novelizations of the movies. Reading bad literature extrapolated from good video games is one thing, but reading poorly written novels of even worse movies is more than I can bear. I'm also ignoring the comics.
Zero Hour was the last Resident Evil novel I read, and while it wasn't the best, it wasn't the worst either. Basically a retelling of the Gamecube exclusive, it follows events in the game fairly closely. The only real criticisms I can think of that hasn't already mentioned earlier is the inherit issues surrounding prequels. Why aren't any of the bio-organic weapons in this novel in any later games or books? Why is Rebecca so energetic in Resident Evil 1 considering the amount of hardship she's already gone through by that point in the story? Why don't we ever hear about Billy Coen again? These plot holes aren't necessarily the fault of the author, just the kind of difficulties you run into when trying to tell a story chronologically before other already written tales.
I've heard people say that the Resident Evil novels are little better than straight up fan fiction, but I disagree. The Resident Evil games, while fun to play, were never held in high regard in terms of story. Don't get me wrong though, the games could also get pretty terrifying in places which is something the books fail to achieve entirely. That said, I think S.D. Perry did about as good of a job as you can realistically expect. I certainly don't regret the time I spent with these mass market paperbacks. Would I recommend them to other people? No, unless the only alternative were to read nothing at all. In which case I'd say "yes," if for no other reason than to keep yourself literate.