Chris Redfield returns in Resident Evil Village, sporting an intimidating new look, abandoning the controversial redesign from Resident Evil 7 in favor of something more akin to a cinder block in a turtleneck. The original Resident Evil, released in 1996, featured two playable characters in the form of STARS officers Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield. While Jill has appeared in many games since then, most recently 2020’s remake of Resident Evil 3, Chris has essentially established himself as the de facto protagonist of the series.
In the nearly 25 years since his debut, Chris’ look has evolved numerous times, from his stocky beefcake look from Resident Evil 5 and 6 to his less more “everyman” look from the original game and Code Veronica, a look that returned in Resident Evil 7 and its Not A Hero DLC story. For Resident Evil Village, the next mainline entry in the franchise, Chris returns, and his design has changed yet again.
The new version of Chris Redfield seen in Resident Evil Village is bigger than ever before, with an almost comically thick neck and a boxy silhouette, and the internet noticed. As reported by Polygon, social media is pulsing with praise, complaints, and comedy memes poking fun at Chris’ new look, from his “Caesar boy bangs” to his new, all-black fashion ensemble, and, of course, his immense size.
Chris’s new look is radically different from his Resident Evil 7 incarnation, but protagonist Ethan Winters instantly recognizes the longtime franchise staple, thus establishing that he’s the same character (unless they do some type of clone plot twist as was done in the oft-derided Resident Evil 6). At this point, “Skinny Chris” from Resident Evil 7 is arguably non-canon in the eyes of Capcom, since this new design hews much closer to an older, angrier version of the Chris seen in Resident Evil 5 all the way through to the animated film, Resident Evil: Vendetta.
While not a direct translation of his Resident Evil 6 visage, the character seen in Resident Evil Village is nonetheless recognizable as Chris Redfield. This stands in stark contrast to the Resident Evil 7 version of the character, who many fans believed was some type of imposter or long-lost relative until he was finally addressed by his full name in the Not A Hero DLC. In hindsight, Chris in Resident Evil 7 can be seen as a miscasting that fans quickly rejected, not unlike when Michael Ironside was not brought back to play Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, only to reprise the role years later for guest appearances in the Ghost Recon franchise.
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Source: Polygon, keroberos, PetrichorCrown