Who doesn't know Resident Evil? Old as the series is, it has done quite well for one that makes so little sense. If this game was present in your childhood, you likely remember those giant spiders quite well, and the shadows on the wall are scarier in your fabricated imagination than anything.
While I will admit that I've turned away from the RE series for a frightening good time -- thank Silent Hill for absolutely spoiling me -- Resident Evil 4 proved to be one of the most entertaining games I've ever had a chance to play (on a PlayStation 2). Now Resident Evil 5 is flooding the news, stirring up controversy well before its release, dated for 2009. It only seems fair that for this week's beefcake highlight, which will be shorter than the last week's (being focused on a single person), we turn to someone who is no stranger to the series: Albert Wesker.
Not the most obvious choice given Leon Kennedy's popularity after the release of Resident Evil 4 (face it, he wasn't nearly as cute in RE2), and the fact the Wesker is an absolute basta--.. I mean jerk following the events of the first Resident Evil. Rest assured, Leon has gotten enough lady love, and one less blog-entry about him is not going to hurt. Wesker, on the other hand, is usually overshadowed and overlooked (there's just less inappropriate Wesker fanart out there). Yet no one denies how cool he is, as demonstrated by that godly thrusting punch in Resident Evil 4 Mercenaries.
I'm willing to bet those of you who played the game tried that technique over and over again. No, don't deny it.
For those less than familiar with Resident Evil, Albert Wesker appeared alongside Chris Redfield in the original game as the commander of S.T.A.R.S. (like a fictional S.W.A.T.) and leader of Alpha Team. Through a series of events, we learn that Wesker is actually working for Umbrella Corporation and was hired to lure his subordinates into a trap as a part of the company's research experiment.
Luckily for us, some people never learn that playing with viruses and zombies is a bad idea, thus prolonging the Resident Evil series.
As the story progresses throughout the games, Wesker continues making appearances, next showing up in Resident Evil Code: Veronica where we learn of his superhuman nature. At the end of the first game, the player is lead to believe that the traitorous leader is dead, but it is later explained that by injecting himself with an experimental virus, Wesker was able to survive the lab explosion (kids, sticking strange needles into yourself is not a good idea, despite what his situation suggests).
The conspiracy continues on to Resident Evil Zero and number 4, with Umbrella Chronicles later introducing Wesker as a playable character.
To be perfectly honest, there isn't much to talk about as far as character depth and background goes, and it's highly doubtful that Capcom would ever indulge fans with much more than what was revealed in their fictional documentary Wesker's Report. At least we know the man started out wanting to be a lead researcher for Umbrella, changing his mind later when he met William Birkin. In the timeline of Code: Veronica, he is no longer working for Umbrella, but rather a secret organization that is conspiring against them.
What Umbrella Chronicles did give us is a sleeker, better looking Wesker.
A trenchcoat? He knows the secret: long overcoats will give the illusion of hip fashion sense, even when one lacks such. There is nothing particularly suave or blatantly attractive about him at first glance, especially compared to Leon's boyish good looks and socially acceptable haircut:
What does Wesker possess, other than a really nice outfit? Enough intellect to run a secret operation behind everyone's backs! The know-how to drive Chris Redfield out of his mind! Nevermind his bulging muscles.
Nice arms. I'd hit that... or steal his shades.
Granted, he looks like a crazed cop, but in the whole span of Resident Evil, who doesn't? Wesker just makes it look good.
We more or less know his role in the grand scheme of things (so far), but his appearance in Resident Evil 5 will more than likely shed new light on a rather dim scenario. Hopefully, Wesker will get to see more action in the next game rather than merely taunting us from the shadows.