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Not much is known about Steve's life before his was imprisoned on Rockfort Island. He is a very guarded young man that first encounters Claire Redfield shortly after the island is attacked by an unknown force. He is in a guard tower picking off zombies when suddenly he spots movement in the courtyard. He opens fire and is immediately shot at by the figure. Realizing the person is alive he stops shooting and joins the figure in the yard.
Claire explains that she was captured breaking into an Umbrella Facility and Steve is impressed (even a bit smitten with the attractive older woman). While Claire is e-mailing Leon to warn Chris that he is under observation by Umbrella, Steve starts to make snide comments about not being able to count on family. Claire is taken aback but defends her relationship with her brother and assures Steve that he will come for them. Steve leaves Claire to go see if he can find a way off the island himself.
The next time Claire meets up with Steve he is caught in one of the many traps in the Ashford Manor. Steve has taken the gold plated Lugers which set off a booby trap. Claire saves him but Steve is less than grateful. He refuses to give Claire the Lugers until she gives him something automatic.
Claire eventually finds some Mac-10's and gives them to Steve for the Gold Lugers (but unknown to Steve, they are empty).
While going through the training area Steve is caught off guard by one particular zombie that is closing in on Claire. The duo had just fallen through a floor board so Claire is stunned and does not have any of her weapons. As the zombie is about to kill Claire, Steve reacts and kills the Zombie yelling, "Father!"
Claire (and the player) learn that Steve's father had previously worked for Umbrella. His father sold classified secrets to a rival company and was found out. Umbrella killed Steve's mother and took the two male Burnside's to Rockfort. Steve works through his grief and with Claire manages to escape from Rockfort Island. Unfortunately, the plane the duo escape it is sent via autopilot to a secret facility in the Antarctic.
The Antarctic Facility has had a viral outbreak as well and the duo must contend with zombies, hunters, mutated insects, a giant spider and finally Alfred Ashford. Steve shoots Alfred and the last male Ashford seems to fall to his death. In reality he survives but only to witness the rebirth of his twin sister. An enraged Alexia commands one of the mutant tentacles to attack her brother's killer and she decides to use them to further her experiments.
Alexia subjects Steve to the T-Veronica Virus and he turns into a green mutant beast intent on killing Claire. Claire can not bring herself to fight her friend and runs away. One of the Tentacles is about to kill Claire but rather than quicken her death, Steve manages to fight off Alexia's influence and cuts Claire free. However another tentacle runs Steve through.
Steve reverts to his human form and Claire explains that Chris has arrived to save them. He is happy that her brother came for Claire (proving him wrong about family looking out for each other) and tells Claire that not only was he glad to know her, but that he loved her. Steve dies in Claire's arms.
Steve's dead body is left by the Redfields who go to battle Alexia. While they are away, Albert Wesker and his team remove Steve's body as it contains the T-Veronica Virus. Wesker extracts the virus from his body and several years later sells the virus to drug lord Javier Hidalgo so that he can cure his ailing daughter Manuela.
Steve uses only two sets of weapons in the game. He uses dual Luger P08
's until Claire provides him a set of Mac 10's (that he also dual wields).