The latest trailer for the Netflix original animated series Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness reveals even more of the upcoming adaptation, but it doesn’t really help to answer the question that’s on many Resident Evil fans’ minds: “When does Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness take place?”
While even a quick dive into the Resident Evil timeline can give you a headache (just take a look at this), more people than ever seem to be interested in the Resident Evil chronology after Resident Evil Village‘s ending clearly referenced key events in the RE franchise and arguably positioned the series to “return” to that franchise mythology in future installments.
So how does Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness fit into that mythology? Well, according to this statement posted on a Capcom website, it takes place in 2006:
“In 2006, there were traces of improper access to secret Presidential files found in the White House’s network. American federal agent Leon S. Kennedy is among the group invited to the White House to investigate this incident, but when the lights suddenly go out, Leon and the SWAT team are forced to take down a horde of mysterious zombies. Meanwhile, TerraSave staff member Claire Redfield encounters a mysterious image drawn by a youth in a country she visited, while providing support to refugees. Haunted by this drawing, which appears to be of a victim of viral infection, Claire starts her own investigation.”
There’s actually quite a bit of timeline information we can gather from that statement, but the first thing you should know is that Infinite Darkness takes place about 2 years after the events of Resident Evil 4. It also takes place about three years before the major events of Resident Evil 5, although some of the early sequences in that game did occur in 2006.
Actually, that’s a big part of the reason that Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is so interesting. While Resident Evil 5 referenced some of the things that were happening around this time (both through direct story sequences and hints), there isn’t actually a “major” RE game that is firmly set during that time period. Resident Evil 4 takes place around 2004, Resident Evil Revelations occurs around 2004/2005, and then we take a big jump to 2009 with most of Resident Evil 5.
Given that there isn’t an RE game that extensively covers that “missing” four year period, you can certainly see why Capcom chose to set the series in the mid-2000s. Free of “expectations” as it relates to specific events that occur around the time of the show, they can pretty much do whatever they want so long as it doesn’t seriously conflict with what happens next.
On that note, we obviously know where Claire and Leon eventually end up (even if Claire’s life isn’t as well-documented in the games), so the show can really only fill in some of the missing pieces rather than upend the order of things. It’s also worth noting that the 2008 movie Resident Evil: Degeneration also stars Claire and Leon and even takes place in late 2005. That would seemingly make it the “missing piece” that you’re looking for if you want to better understand the plot of Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness (or come as close to understanding it as anyone can reasonably expect).
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is scheduled to start streaming on Netflix starting on July 8.