Following up on 2017’s Resident Evil 7, how does the latest survival horror entry in the long-running franchise fare against its first-person predecessor?
Let’s find out in today’s review of Resident Evil: Village.
Resident Evil Village Is Paying Homage
Now you guys may not know this, but I’m a massive Resident Evil fan. Well, obviously not including the movies… But as I was following along with the development of the 8th entry, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between Village, the original Resident Evil and Code: Veronica.
I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between Village, the original Resident Evil and Code: Veronica.
I was really interested to see exactly how it would combine RE 7’s first-person mode, along with the old-school, claustrophobic feel of the Spencer Mansion, as well as Code Veronica’s off-the-wall level ridiculousness…
And yeah, I’d say it all worked out perfectly.
You’ve all heard this statement a bunch of times before, and don’t cringe when I say it – but this truly is Resident Evil for a new generation.
Capcom even brought back the merchant feature from Resi 4! And yes, he does say the iconic line.
How’s The Story?… And Ethan?
First thing’s first though, how’s the story? Rest assured, it’s good. I’d have to say it’s even more intriguing than RE 7. I can’t reveal much at all because the embargo is strict with this one. But take my word for it, it’s without a doubt pushing for the upper echelon of mainline Resident Evil plots.
I don’t think he’d be anywhere near this good, if it wasn’t because of the great performance from voice-actor, Todd Soley.
I even found Ethan a lot more endearing in tone and presentation, in relation to his RE 7 counterpart. And I don’t think he’d be anywhere near this good if it wasn’t because of the great performance from voice-actor, Todd Soley. This guy can definitely sell that panicked, back-to-the-wall sense of distress like few others can. One of the scenes towards the start of the game, in particular, gave me all the goosebumps.
The Foundations of Resident Evil Village
Playing through Village feels just as good as RE 7. You guys know how it is. Conserve and combine your inventory, run and shoot like crazy when you come across a big bad and plan out your saves so you don’t lose hours of progress. And before you ask, yes. The colour-coded areas on the map from Resident Evil 2 Remake are back! They’re such a game-changer! Also, Resident Evil is still the king of in-game notes and logs. Just letting you know…
I mentioned before that the merchant’s making a return for Village, and it has been sorely missed. This is the hub for all things gun upgrades, trading and adding cute bobbleheads to your guns! We haven’t seen a trading system like this from a mainline Resident Evil in a LONG time. Although, it definitely adds a layer of strategy to a series that’s all about anticipating and planning for dangerous scenarios.
I really liked the puzzles on hand because they’re not annoyingly difficult compared to certain other games in the series.
That being said, I really liked the puzzles on hand because they’re not annoyingly difficult compared to certain other games in the series. Capcom’s clearly been listening to the fans and seems to have struck that perfect balance of great puzzle variety and frequency, without getting in the way of Resident Evil’s classic, survival horror gameplay.
Heard You Like Survival Horror?
Now speaking of survival horror, Resident Evil Village gets intense, very intense. From the moment things hit the metaphorical fan, the game loves placing you in all sorts of dire situations. And since parts of the map can also be expansive, though still tightly-packed, you never know where an enemy assault or chase is going to come from. Fear of the unknown is what humans are most afraid of, after all…
Well, I’m assuming so… But anyway. I remember one part specifically that threw me off completely, was when this one random monster just fell from the roof, supposedly dead. So as any normal RE player would do, I went over to inspect the seemingly lifeless body for any possible loot, and before I knew it, another enemy had quickly rushed behind me for an easy stab in the back. All I could say was
“Well played, sir! Well played!”
It’s clear that the developers put in a lot of time and effort – and it shows.
Along my journey through Resident Evil: Village, I encountered tonnes of unique moments like this. Even though they’re relatively minor aspects of the experience, they all help give this game its own unique sense of identity. And when you combine these moments with the game’s unsettling, gothic atmosphere and meticulously crafted sound design, it’s clear that the developers put in a lot of time and effort – and it shows.
A Few Blemishes
However, I can’t say the same for a few of the bosses. Because even though they are entertaining, once you figure out their gimmick or pattern (and you can figure it out very quickly) they’re pretty much as good as gone. With one particular boss, they let me get in about 10 or 11 knife cuts before finally retaliating. I don’t know if they were stun-locked or anything along those lines, but it kind of ruined the tension a bit. Not gonna lie.
At least they weren’t as frustrating as some of the bosses in RE 2 Remake. But there was this one chase scene which acted as a teaser for an upcoming boss that felt WAY too short for its own good. Though as a whole, this game is still very intense! Especially when the 9 foot tall, Lady Dimitrescu starts gunning it after Ethan… Then again, maybe you guys like being stepped on? Sorry, I had to put that joke in there somewhere.
In closing, does Resident Evil Village live up to its predecessor? Well, you already know the answer to that one. Just like RE 2 Remake, this game is top-tier survival horror. From the awesome puzzles, to the thrilling set-pieces and intriguing story-telling, Resident Evil Village hooks its claws into you (quite literally) and hardly ever lets go. Pick yourself up a copy, ASAP!
Resident Evil Village relishes in the past history of the franchise, combining several different elements to great effect. The gunplay is more impactful than RE 7, the atmosphere and sound design are top-notch and the puzzles are some of the absolute best in the entire series. Make sure you don’t skip this game!
This game was reviewed using a download code provided by Capcom. The Beta Network uses affiliate partnerships, however, this does not influence reviews or any other content published. The Beta Network may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links that are on the website.