First shown in
October 2002 after hints as early as 2000, Biohazard was set
to enter the growing realm of online gaming. The original
titles were Network Biohazard in Japan and Resident Evil
Online in the West. Eventually, as we all know, the game
became Biohazard (Resident Evil) Outbreak. The first images
were very detailed, and being the first fully 3D Biohazard
game since CODE: Veronica, the step up in detail was
notable. The original visuals had more saturation and this
looked more artistic than the final release.
Aside from the
name and visuals, Network Biohazard was supposed to be a
single game with twelve playable scenarios. Many of these
were missing from the final release in December 2003, but
showed up in Biohazard Outbreak File 2 nine months later in
2004. One image that never made it to final release includes
Jim assisting Yoko.
A second build
was shown, this time exhibited for Western audiences.
Resident Evil Online was shown in early 2003 in playable
form. This is when the game's visual changes described
above were first seen. Still, for a PlayStation 2 game
not using a pre-rendered visual engine like the GameCube
counterparts, the game's visuals were very detailed.
You can see elements from this build that never made it to
the final release on this page.
Online featured actual displays of character injury,
evolving beyond the mere limping implemented since Biohazard
2. Cindy's face is stained with blood from an injury,
one of the many visible injuries a character could receive.
There were also different scenes showing the characters
becoming zombies, including a dramatic one akin to the leech
man in The Hive chapter. One notable omission from the
final release is a chapter that takes place in a cabin area
while raining, with the characters assembling together and
advancing to other cabin -like areas. Other images
that never made it to the final game as-is seem to have been
integrated into the scenarios we did get. However, the
atmospheric Raccoon Inn motel area never made it into any
Biohazard and Resident Evil Online eventually hit in 2003
and 2004 split into two titles, Biohazard Outbreak and
Biohazard Outbreak File 2. While it is very likely we got
the best possible product, still, one cannot help but wonder
what the initial beta versions were like.