The Resident Evil series has been down a long road full of kick ass but also tragic moments. Introducing memorable characters in each new title that would live on in gamers minds for years to come. As these characters were introduced people would argue which one is better, which is most common in all games. I decided that it would be a good time to start a discussion with my good friend Chris C about who is the better character in the series. Pretty much every time we would talk about the Resident Evil series we would end up arguing over which character is the best out all of them, Chris Redfield or Leon Kennedy.
I know that there are other characters that became fan favorites but when you hear Resident Evil the first thing I think of is either Chris or Leon. So since Resident Evil 6 is right around the corner and both of those characters are playable in the same game finally, Chris and I thought it would be a good idea to write something that people might enjoy reading. I know some people probably won’t agree with me or him but this is just for fun and I really hope people enjoy this and let us know which one is your favorite and why. With that said I am going to start this off by giving a very brief, and I mean BRIEF summary of the first two games Leon was in that involved the main plot line. I know that Leon appeared in other spin-off titles but those are unimportant since they don’t have anything to do with the main plot. The two CG movies might also be used for some examples on why I prefer Leon without giving any spoilers for those who have yet to watch them. I am then going to finally start the discussion about the growth of the character and point out the things that I like and pretty much why I feel like Leon is better than Chris. Well let’s get started.
Leon S. Kennedy made his first appearance in Resident Evil 2. Leon started off as a rookie cop that was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Being forced to use his training to save himself and to try and save other people Leon eventually found out that a corporation called Umbrella was behind everything. Umbrella created the G-virus, a more advanced form of the T-virus which started the first outbreak in the first Resident Evil. Leon towards the end of the game finally made his way down to a secret lab of Umbrella’s with the help of Claire Redfield (Chris Redfield’s sister), Sherry Birkin and the mysterious Ada Wong. Ada is pretty much Leon’s love interest and they are constantly saving each other’s life whenever they are in the same title, that includes the latest CG movie Resident Evil Damnation. Ada eventually dies during the destruction of the lab. Leon, Claire and Sherry make it out alive only to realize that it isn’t over until Umbrella falls.
Years after he survived the horrors of Umbrella and the destruction of Raccoon City, players were finally able to jump back in Leon’s shoes in Resident Evil 4. By this time Leon has become a secret agent for the U.S. government and started on his first mission to save the Presidents daughter Ashley Graham. Resident Evil 4 introduced players to a much more experienced Leon, saying cocky remarks and being much more skilled not only with guns but hand to hand combat. One thing that didn’t change about Leon was his determination to save anyone he could. Leon eventually saves Ashley only to find out both were infected with a new kind of virus called “Los Plagas”. Leon runs into his lost love Ada who Leon was sure perished with the lab in Resident Evil 2 years earlier. Ada eventually helps Leon and Ashley get rid of the virus and escape in the end.
Leon is probably the most developed character in the RE franchise. He started as a rookie cop that was thrown into a city full of zombies and other creatures and was forced to survive. As he was trying to save everyone he came across only to fail made him realize you can’t just jump in and save everyone but at the same time he never stopped trying. During his time as a rookie Leon even ends up taking a bullet protecting Ada, then continues on to finish what needs to be done. Leon has some of the best survival skills out of all the Resident Evil characters and he has always done it alone until the newest entry. Sure you can say, “Well Leon had Claire in Resident Evil 2.” Which is true to a point, don’t forget that they never really did anything together. They would always head different ways and just radio each other to let them know about their progress.
In Resident Evil 1 Chris constantly needed help, whether it be that he got poisoned and needed medicine, to him not being able to play a piano. If it wasn’t for Rebecca, Chris would have died in that mansion. Another thing about Chris is that he sucks in CQC. (Close Quarter Combat) I want the Chris fans to just sit here for a second and think about what would happen if Chris ran into Krauser from RE4. I bet you Krauser wouldn’t even break a sweat and he sliced Chris into pieces. Now calm down I know you guys are going to say “Well Chris beat Wesker which makes him the best.” Sorry guys but as I recall whenever Chris confronted Wesker he got his ass kicked until the very end when he and SHEVA faced a very slow and stupid Wesker with a total of 5 different moves. I mean it is cool that Chris can punch rocks and shit but come on, that’s the most exciting thing he did during that fight.
Now I am going to talk about the biggest downside to Chris. At the beginning of RE5 Chris asks himself this question, “More and more I keep asking myself if it’s all worth fighting for.” Really bro? You think you lose your old partner Jill and instead of getting pissed and saying something like, “I’m going to finally put an end to this and make sure this doesn’t happen again.” Maybe even, “I can’t give up or Jill’s death will be in vein.” I don’t know it is just how I feel on the matter.
Now let’s get back to Leon, he has never even had that thought go through his mind, Why you might ask, because he doesn’t know how to give up. He has lost so many people and yet he won’t stop until he is dead. This makes Leon an amazing character because as you play through one of his stories you get excited because you have no idea what kind of things he is going to go through. He is also amazing at CQC. Another great aspect of his character like I said he has always been alone and because of that he had the necessary skills to take down not one but two El Gigantes at the same time. Not only that but he also had to protect Ashley during the times she was with him. Even in the new RE6 trailers you see Leon Saving or carrying his new partner because she is hurt. At one point during the trailer for RE6 you even see Leon grab and brace Helena in midair as a bus tumbles, making sure to absorb most of the impact. I can go on and on but I am going to go into more detail during the podcast that my friend Chris and I are going to have sometime after the release of RE6 so make sure you guys check it out.
- + Great survival skills and pretty much adapts to anything thrown at him.
- + Amazing CQC.
- + Is always willing to try and save whoever he can
- + Never gives up no matter what happens.
- + Great backstory and character development.