Capcom kicked off the 25th anniversary of the Resident Evil franchise with the launch of a brand new game. Resident Evil Village, which has already shipped more than 3 million units, is the eight major installment in one of the best known video game series. Set several years after the events in Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, players step back into the shoes of Ethan Winters.
Set in a mysterious village, you fight to rescue your newborn daughter from Mother Miranda and the four lords.
Resident Evil Village Details
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PC and Stadia
Reviewed on: Stadia
Publisher(s): Capcom U.S.A., Inc.
Genre: Survival horror
Modes: Single player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: M (Mature 17+)
Welcome to the village
Resident Evil Village takes place a few years after Resident Evil 7 Biohazard. To flee from their past nightmare and start a new life, Ethan and Mia have moved overseas under the protection of the BSSA. Trying to build a new life with their new born baby daughter Rose, the Winters family is again turned upside down.
The story begins with a nice quiet night at the Winters’ household when BSSA agent Chris Redfield, of Resident Evil franchise fame, storms the house. In a jaw dropping moment, Chris kills Mia and kidnaps Ethan and Mia’s daughter Rose. Devastated, it’s here where Ethan’s adventure to once again save his family begins.
Mother Miranda and the Four Lords
Resident Evil Village takes place in a snowy eastern European village and is where Ethan’s journey begins to get his daughter back. The game’s central protagonist is a mysterious mother figure known as Mother Miranda. Strangely enough, the villagers have put their trust in her to protect them. However, Mother Miranda has seemingly abandoned them to participate in a very important ceremony.
Surprisingly, Mother Miranda has the help of the Four Lords to oversee the village. To save his daughter Rose, Ethan has to go through the Four Lords to get to Mother Miranda. Each of the Four Lords possess unique characteristics and abilities. The first and most popular of the four lords that you encounter is Lady Dimitrescu, also known as “the tall lady”. She, along with three daughters, inhabits Castle Dimitrescu which overlooks the village.
Secondly, is Donna Beneviento, shrouded in a black cloak and mourning mask, along with her doll, Angie. Curiously, Angie can move and speak independently of Donna. And, it’s a remote location, in House Beneviento where you’ll encounter this duo. Quite honestly, this is where some of the most bizarre events of the game take place.
Thirdly, there is Salvatore Moreau, a half man, half fish creature with a grotesque appearance. If there is one villain I have ever felt sympathy for, it’s Salvatore. Made fun of by the other Four Lords, he keeps to himself in a flooded reservoir on the outskirts of the village.
Finally, there is Karl Heisenberg. He wields a giant hammer and can control metals. He’s the final of the Four Kings and has built a massive underground factory that is producing human and machine hybrid creatures.
Classic Resident Evil gameplay
Gameplay in Resident Evil Village is similar to that of other games in the series. Using the same first person perspective as Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Ethan attacks using weapons you discover during the game. You can also block enemy attacks, and when you do, you have an opportunity to kick away your enemy. This allows you to heal and get prepared for battle or run away.
Managing your inventory is very important in Resident Evil Village. Space is limited, can be expanded later in the game, so you must strategically place items in your suitcase. The various different items and weapons take up different amounts of space. Luckily, crafting materials are stored separately, which makes inventory management a bit easier.
Shopping, crafting and upgrading is done via a strange travelling merchant known as The Duke. He’s scattered throughout the game and he offers weapons, ammo, upgrades, crafting recipes and other equipment. Challenge puzzles make their return and must be solved in order to move forward in the game. Puzzles include revisiting areas to unlock previously inaccessible rooms, collecting certain items and so forth. The majority of the brain teasers weren’t tough, though there were one or two that made me really think.
RE Engine provides incredible graphics and atmosphere
Like Resident Evil 7 Biohazard and the two recent Resident Evil remakes, Resident Evil Village uses the RE Engine. As a result, the incredible graphics combined with the up close and personal camera positioning makes this an extremely immersive game. Love and attention is given to every aspect of the game such as the many rooms and winding corridors inside Castle Dimitrescu, and Heisenberg’s massive underground factory.
Conversely, the sound amplifies the spine-chilling atmosphere with strange noises that heightens your alert and the arrival of haunting music indicating imminent danger is near. Unquestionably, it’s clear Capcom went through painstaking lengths to ensure all elements of the presentation coalesce into one tension-filled experience.
Fan-favourite game mode makes its return
The fan-favourite game mode, “The Mercenaries,” makes its return. It’s filled with rich content and rewards. Unlocked after completing the main campaign, this arcade-style game mode sees you face stages filled with enemies in a fight against the clock.
The Duke also appears in this game mode and helps by offering weapons and upgrades to
help complete each stage. Additionally, you can acquire abilities on each playthrough that enhance your weapons or physical abilities for the rest of that attempt. You must strategically think and choose which load out will be the most effective to get the highest score.
Resident Evil Village is a spine tingling experience from beginning to end
There has been a lot of hype leading up to Resident Evil Village and I think Capcom has done a wonderful job with the game. Although there were a few times that I jumped playing the game, I found it to be more weird and creepy than scary. The pacing of the story was spot on and the twists and turns in the storyline had my jaw hitting the floor more than once.
I really liked the character and enemy designs in the game and strangely enough whenever The Duke popped up it put a smile on my face to see him. Gameplay mechanics are straight forward. Overall, as a fan of the Resident Evil franchise, Resident Evil Village is among one of my favourites.
+ Tightly-woven story
+ Terrifying audio effects and music
+ Horrifyingly beautiful graphics
+ Classic item management
+ Great gunplay
+ Varied enemy design
– Some might not find it scary enough
– Gameplay does not innovate
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5
Overall Rating 4.3/5 (86%)
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